Superteam Handbook

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squirrelly-sama
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Re: Superteam Handbook

Post by squirrelly-sama » Mon Jun 24, 2019 8:16 pm

FuzzyBoots wrote:
Mon Jun 24, 2019 5:43 pm
No Hero Lab portfolio? At the least, my PDF purchase did not include one.
I've collected the advantages into an Authoring Kit package.

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Tattooedman
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Re: Superteam Handbook

Post by Tattooedman » Sun Aug 04, 2019 3:38 pm

So over on the RA board greycrusader offered to answer any questions people might have about the Project Freedom section of the Superteam Handbook (given he was the author of that part). A few days ago I posted a question to him but he was unable to reply because of issues that forum is having. So he was so very kind enough to reply to my question in a PM here and asked that I share it (and once I can get logged onto the RA forum again I will there too), so here it all is.
Tattooedman wrote: I'm curious as to how you came to choose the members of Project Freedom - were you thinking about what character archetypes would fit best in a group or was it more about personalities of the characters. Second, how hard did you find it to take already existing FC setting characters to be part of Project Freedom and find a balance between "known" characters and the "new" ones?
greycrusader wrote:Excellent question First, when the assignment was given to me, it was with the understanding of using at least a couple fairly well-known villains, along with two-three original characters. The other parameter was the team members couldn't include any outright psychopaths, career killers, or other types who would not be plausibly repentant or redeemable. Another suggestion was to, quite frankly, create a Freedom City analogue for Harley Quinn. I kept those considerations in mind, but tabled selecting the pre-existing characters while I generated ideas for the wholly original figures on the PF roster.

From the beginning, I decided the team should reflect its obvious comic-book predecessors-Suicide Squad, The Thunderbolts, and Gail Simone's Secret Six, by choosing/creating characters who fulfilled the same tactical and interpersonal roles. This made filling-in-the-blanks much easier. Since the Freedomvese lacked many size-changing heroes, Fortress America became a stand-in for Atlas, along with Catman's good looks and wealthy background; since he also reflects Atlas' insecurity, I decided his background tied into an earlier concept of mine, the Van Meters-in a family of brilliant psychics, growing up with an average intellect and physical powers marked him as an "underachiever". The Hexorcist checked multiple boxes-he was a fan favorite who hadn't appeared in quite awhile, fit the slightly unbalanced "weirdo" role as Ragdoll, and possessed diabloic/black magic like the Enchantress or Satanna. I built Queen of Hearts next-my HQ expy-but combined Dr. Quinzel's background with that of Songbird/Screaming Mimi; to take her a bit astray from her roots, I made Q of H more of a lightning-bruiser than a super-acrobat.

With my first three slots, Project Freedom had a couple of front-line melee fighters (powerhouse and martial artist), along with a support/transportation specialist (Hexorcist); for long range firepower, I came up with 9th Airborne. He combines aspects of Rick Flagg (disgraced ex-military) with (plainly) Mach V, a long-time favorite of mine from the original Thunderbolts. As an ex-Power Corpsman, 9th Airborne is also 'recognizable" to longtime M&M players, but allowed some room for character development, as the Power Corps are fairly anonymous as individuals outside their fighting unit. As he's quite competent but has issues with authority, he contrasts with Fortress America's earnest but insecure nature and Queen of Hearts manic, unstable, cheerfulness.

For the final bad guy to join the team, I looked to the Crime League, but none of them seemed quite right to me, so I settled on the Thieves Guild instead. While The Bolas would have been an obvious choice, being a rough Captain Boomerang counterpart, he wouldn't have added much to PF's tactical punch, and his personal traits overlapped those of Fortress America. It came down to a choice between Looking Glass and Weather Mistress; eventually I went with the latter, as her tragic backstory made her a bit more sympathetic, while her intelligence and antisocial traits mapped well to the "Moonstone" role, the team leader who sort-of disdains her own comrades. Her power set gave the team many more options, while providing a "Flash's Rogue" analogue for the final roster.

And that's how the "Final Five" came together. Hope you enjoyed the background.

​​​​​​​All my best.

FuzzyBoots
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Re: Superteam Handbook

Post by FuzzyBoots » Sun Aug 04, 2019 5:36 pm

squirrelly-sama wrote:
Mon Jun 24, 2019 8:16 pm
FuzzyBoots wrote:
Mon Jun 24, 2019 5:43 pm
No Hero Lab portfolio? At the least, my PDF purchase did not include one.
I've collected the advantages into an Authoring Kit package.
Funnily enough, they now have the characters available for download, but they failed to use the Editor to actually implement the new Advantages.

greycrusader
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Re: Superteam Handbook

Post by greycrusader » Thu Sep 12, 2019 4:38 am

JDRook;n398510 wrote:Project Freedom

9th Airborne - Powers add up to 78p (1p short), Skills add up to 26p (4p short). Total adds up to 160p, so 5p short of the listed 165p

Fortress America - The Quirk "capped by Toughness Rank" on Impervious Toughness isn't really a Flaw since Impervious has no effect above the rank of the defense it modifies. Taking it away would not affect the function of the power. Therefore total is 1p over.

Queen of Hearts - Powers total is 18, not 20. Also only 25p of Advantages, not 26. Overall 3p under.

Weather Mistress - Powers total is 46p, not 45. Likely more Removable math confusion. Could be fixed by bumping Flight to 6, otherwise 1p under cost overall.
And the following corrections (from the author):

Harriet Wainwright: The text states the Project Freedom members can spend a Hero Point from their Team Complications pool to invoke the benefits of her Inspire and/or Leadership advantages, but her character sheet doesn't list either; substitute her Guidance advantage for the reference to Leadership (and allow the benefits to stack with a PF hero spending his/her own HP to pull off a Heroic Feat); add Inspire to her advantages, raising her pp total to 102.

9th Airborne: Increase ranks in Equipment to 3 (15 pts) OR give him a rank of Well-Equipped,  and add Favored Foe (power-armor wearing opponents) to Advantages, add Ranged Combat: Firearms 2 /+4 to Skills, add 2 ranks apiece to to Technology (10/+13) and Vehicles (8/+10) skills, which brings pp total to 165.

Fortress America: As noted, the listed Quirk on the character's Impervious Toughness is meaningless, since the power is already capped by Toughness Rank. The  Quirk should be replaced with the Noticeable flaw-his physique becomes increasingly pumped-up as Fortress America resists attacks.

Under Powers and Abilities, the text indicates Fortress America has to use all 10 ranks of his Growth power (or none at all); that is not correct-the power is not listed with this Flaw and the point totals are correct without it.

Hexorcist: His Foul Magics array is neither Removable nor Dynamic (all but one slot are attack powers, and the teleport slot cannot be used with any of the others anyway); add one additional AE: Deep Shadow Passage: Teleport 4 (500 feet/16 miles, Extended, Portal, Extra Mass 4) to keep the point total for the array correct.

Queen of Hearts: Improvised Weapon ranks should be increased to 3, and add the enhanced feat Improved Smash under her "Off With Your Head" power-set; that gets her actual pp total to 165, Her healing power should have the Restorative extra, not Energizing (which cannot be a personal power, RAW).

Weather Mistress: As the character is currently 1 pp shy of 165, consider giving her the new advantage Variable Team Attack OR Increase Flight rank to 6 (120 MPH) to bring her up to the correct power point total.

Darrin Kelley
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Re: Superteam Handbook

Post by Darrin Kelley » Mon Oct 07, 2019 8:55 pm

I just got this book today. And I just finished going through it.

It is a comprehensive resource on its topic. And very well needed facet of the superhero game experience that has been served. I love the fact that it treats its topic so thoroughly. It's way better than I expected it to be.

greycrusader
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Re: Superteam Handbook

Post by greycrusader » Tue Oct 08, 2019 2:00 am

As one of the authors, I thank you profusely! And I hope you enjoyed the Project Freedom section as much as you liked the rest of the book!

All my best.

Darrin Kelley
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Re: Superteam Handbook

Post by Darrin Kelley » Tue Oct 08, 2019 8:06 pm

I'm not the audience for a Suicide Squad riff. It honestly does nothing for me.

There is an Exiles riff in the book too. Which also leaves me cold.

Darrin Kelley
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Re: Superteam Handbook

Post by Darrin Kelley » Tue Oct 08, 2019 10:38 pm

One of my problems with this book? It's full of genre subversions. Instead of genre illustrations.

It's not what I either like or need.

Darrin Kelley
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Re: Superteam Handbook

Post by Darrin Kelley » Wed Oct 09, 2019 12:08 am

If someone wanted to write a book on subverting the superhero genre. I would be all for it. But I don't need it mixed into books that are supposed to illustrate aspects of the superhero genre. The styles are far enough apart to seriously clash.

FuzzyBoots
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Re: Superteam Handbook

Post by FuzzyBoots » Wed Oct 09, 2019 1:52 pm

Darrin Kelley wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 10:38 pm
One of my problems with this book? It's full of genre subversions. Instead of genre illustrations.

It's not what I either like or need.
Can you explain what you mean by that? The examples provided seem representative of various current teams.

Darrin Kelley
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Re: Superteam Handbook

Post by Darrin Kelley » Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:38 pm

FuzzyBoots wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 1:52 pm
Darrin Kelley wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 10:38 pm
One of my problems with this book? It's full of genre subversions. Instead of genre illustrations.

It's not what I either like or need.
Can you explain what you mean by that? The examples provided seem representative of various current teams.
Examples of teams that subvert the iconic team dynamic. They subvert the genre instead of representing it.

Project Freedom is a Suicide Squad riff. Instead of being a typical superhero genre example. There is also an Exiles riff. Which is also a subversion of the concept.

Darrin Kelley
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Re: Superteam Handbook

Post by Darrin Kelley » Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:57 pm

Subversion of a genre is to defy its conventions. Instead of being representative of those conventions.

The goal of this book was to represent and detail the conventions of superteams. So that gamers would understand how they worked.

But instead we got a book full of examples that subvert those conventions. Which should be a topic of a book on its own.

FuzzyBoots
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Re: Superteam Handbook

Post by FuzzyBoots » Wed Oct 09, 2019 7:33 pm

Darrin Kelley wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:57 pm
Subversion of a genre is to defy its conventions. Instead of being representative of those conventions.

The goal of this book was to represent and detail the conventions of superteams. So that gamers would understand how they worked.

But instead we got a book full of examples that subvert those conventions. Which should be a topic of a book on its own.
{nods} I understand. You were looking for more JSA or Avengers kinds of teams, but the book only really has one of those, with the others embodying other team types drawn from the comics. You may have more luck with the teams listed in Freedom City, which tended to hew more to four-color ideals. What was your opinion of the informational sections?

Darrin Kelley
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Re: Superteam Handbook

Post by Darrin Kelley » Wed Oct 09, 2019 10:37 pm

FuzzyBoots wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 7:33 pm
{nods} I understand. You were looking for more JSA or Avengers kinds of teams, but the book only really has one of those, with the others embodying other team types drawn from the comics. You may have more luck with the teams listed in Freedom City, which tended to hew more to four-color ideals. What was your opinion of the informational sections?
The informational sections are mostly helpful. I don't have any glaring problems with them.

But the sections on players wanting to subvert normal superhero comics conventions were not helpful. They took up space from a topic that deserved the most screen time.

How many superteams exist from Marvel and DC? A very large and diverse catalog. But very few of those archetypical superteam types were given any screen time in this book.

Instead this is a book trying to serve two separate topics. And not serving either one of them very well.

My overall opinion with this book? Disappointment. This book could have been so much more without its crisis of identity

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Bladewind
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Re: Superteam Handbook

Post by Bladewind » Wed Oct 09, 2019 11:58 pm

Personally (and I bet no one who knows me is really surprised) I seriously enjoyed Magna Force... :)

And while I get what DK is saying, I respectfully disagree. I liked the "genre subversion" examples for nothing other than to showcase how the new options could work. The JSA/ JLA/ Avengers... they're easy to envision. They already play (mostly) well with others... On the other hand, I've tried to play in and GM a few Lockdown/ Suicide Squad games and they're tougher. PF is much more useful to me in that regard than another X-Men team analogue with examples of Fastball Specials and the like...

But I get your point DK.
Thorpocalypse wrote:
Sun Oct 07, 2018 6:01 pm
Building to be comics "accurate" is different than building to run a PC or building something to challenge a group.
Bladewind's 3ed M&M Builds
The Merge Setting document

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