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Power System For Comic Book Themed Legacy Game

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Nicklypuff
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Joined: 08/30/2018

Hello,

So besides my card game, I have been working on a comic book inspired legacy game that I'm very passionate about and want to make the best game I possibly can make it. Currently I am looking at the power system of the game i.e. how to implement superpowers into the game.

I know that I want the powers to be card based. From there though I am thinking of taking three directions with the game. One direction I've thought of is using different classes of superheroes and giving them a limit to one kind of abilities and powers they can upgrade or learn. So for just an example, a powerless anti-hero character would be able to learn how to upgrade weapons and martial arts abilities, but wouldn't be able to for example learn how to fly or gain ice breath.

Another direction I thought of is just to have more generic miniatures and just letting the players learn any abilities they want. This has the advantage of allowing full customization, but the downside I think is it could take away from the immersion and experience that I want to invoke and will likely lead to players just selecting the best abilities in the game in a combination that doesn't make much sense.

A third option I thought of is a combination of the two. Players would have a pre-built abilities/powers/actions deck, but then could purchase other powers, but it'd be a leveled system so you'd need to already have for example a Level 1 Telekinesis power before you could upgrade it to Level 2.

I'll like play around with all three of these, but just wanted some input and to hear some of your thoughts on the subject.

Thanks.

questccg
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Here are my thoughts on this matter...

In terms of the design, I don't think #2 is feasible. What you should maybe focus on DESIGNING is an "Abstract Tech Tree".

See I kinda think #3 (Blend of actual and fictional abilities) is kinda "FUN" sounding... Especially since it's a SUPER HERO concept. So what I would say, if you use an ABSTRACT Tech Tree... Why Abstract? What I mean is that the abilities are PARTIALLY defined.

Take for example the "ABSTRACT Tech Ability" = "Fire Storm".

I can PERSONALLY call it: "Rain of Fire", "Storm of Embers" or "Fire Flood". Because this are some of the NAMES I could CHOOSE. Because I thought them up in my own mind.

But FUNDAMENTALLY each of these NAMES BEHAVE as a "Fire Storm".

So the ABSTRACT Ability is "Fire Storm" and follows some DECISION-RULES, like say some kind of complex point system which allows me to CUSTOM define what "Fire Storm" is TO ME.

And lastly I give it a CUSTOM NAME to my own liking (As explained above).

You biggest challenge is DESIGNING the "Tech Tree" and the way you can allocate POINTS to an ability and how it affects the other players.

These are of course IDEAS... Not too definite. But just to illustrate what could get you working towards a #3 design-type of game.

Cheers!

Nicklypuff
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Joined: 08/30/2018
Thank you for the response

Thank you for the response and your thoughts on the topic. As far as gut feeling goes, I definitely feel #3 will be up being the right option of the game. It doesn't box players into what kind of powers and abilities they can have, but at the same time it gives an initial focus at least which helps with so much including allowing players to start off with a technological superhero who somehow finds a way to control objects with his mind and allows players to come up with their own reason of how that works like maybe the character as nanobots that fly around and move the object for them. It gives both a structure as well as an ability to be more creative than #1 would allow.

mcobb83
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I have a superhero game

I have a superhero game concept, the idea behind which is a game of fully customizable powers. Here's the system I came up with:

Each power is split into broad categories: for example, mind powers, physical powers, non-powers, energy powers. Basically whatever you want them to be. Each category has a deck of cards.

At creation each character is given access to certain decks of cards and barred from others. For example, Phoenix from X-Men would have access to mind powers and energy powers. Punisher might only get non-powers. The key is to come up with a reasonable limiter as to what stacks you can choose from.

The cards in each stack are of 2 types. 1 type is a new power, like telekinesis or weapon modification or flight. These cards either let you learn a new skill or power, or upgrade an existing one from the same deck. The other type of card let's you simply upgrade the power that you already have.

This idea is completely untested, but it does allow some degree of customization (using a draw 3 discard 2 for generating powers gives more control to the players) and it would be easily implemented in a legacy style game.

Nicklypuff
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Joined: 08/30/2018
Thanks. Yes, I've considered

Thanks. Yes, I've considered a similar method like that so for example a Batman character gets martial arts and technological skills, Iron Man would get technological and energy skills, etc.

Right now I'm thinking more along the lines of a skill tree similar to video game skill upgrades with the main thing I'm trying to figure out is whether each character should have limits to what skill trees they can explore or if players should have the freedom to explore all the trees with one character.

X3M
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How about only have affinity

How about only have affinity for a certain tree of skills?

Meaning that you can train in any aspect. But the tree that you have affinity for will cost less xp or something along those lines.

This will also allow for an all rounder character.

Examples:
All rounder xp costs; 80% each tree.
Martial artist has 60% for martial artist. But 90% for the other 2 tree's. This makes the martial artist be 50 percent ahead on the other skills.

mcobb83
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Skill affinity does make it

Skill affinity does make it easier to specialize. Kind of like having bloodline powers in Classic Vampire the Masquerade.

With a skill tree it could also be possible to restrict powers - certain abilities being more potent than others, they could be placed further down the tree.

Nicklypuff
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Joined: 08/30/2018
Thank you for the advice and

Thank you for the advice and suggestions, those definitely seem like viable options for how to approach it.

Mensian
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Joined: 08/14/2018
specializations

I've seen some games where your heroes can learn a "sphere" of abilities/spells (your super powers) as they level up. 1 sphere per X levels. If you want to specialize in a sphere, learn the second and third level of it which allows access to most powerful abilities/spells of the sphere. If you want to make a "jack of trades" character, learn different spheres to access a wide variety of not-so-powerful abilities/spells.
These "spheres" are like the above mentioned "tech-trees" and must be well designed, tested and balanced. The only difference is that here you gain access to all abilities of a tree that are on the same level, and not one by one. This gives simplicity to the game, what is essential in board games.
Your action cards could be printed with 3 levels of the effect. Or they could have a level and be used only when a hero learned that level of the sphere.

Suff
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Joined: 07/24/2018
Thought process

What if you thought of the heroes more as there type instead of a direct comparison. Like Human special ops, or Alien speedster. this way you let the player decide if they will be an antihero or "boyscout".

This also allows power cards to play a matching mechanic. You get card A that matches best with Special Op( doing the most damage), matches moderately with a tech head (minimal damage) and not at all with a speedster (no damage). This would open up versatility for cards and create choice to use cards or share them with teammates (I assume it's coop).

just some thoughts. I'm excited to see this progress. I'm a big comic nerd and these types of games always surprise me with implementation. Thanks

Jay103
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Joined: 01/23/2018
Sorry, coming in late

Sorry, coming in late here.

Not sure precisely what you mean by "card based" powers here, but if you mean you're gaining powers sort of randomly by drawing from a deck, then one possibility is to have a single large deck containing all power types, and you just draw from that. You can only use cards that match your own type(s). The others serve a sort of random delay function, where you might draw good-bad-bad-bad, or you might draw bad-bad-bad-good (etc).

The "Bad" (non-applicable) cards could serve a secondary purpose either specified on the card itself ("For an energy hero, grants +2 to all attacks. Otherwise, play during the attack phase to stun your opponent, then discard"), or a more general-purpose "mana" function, where some powers/abilities/card text says "discard 3 cards to hit your opponent for 5 fire damage", etc.

Maybe that's not at all what you're talking about, of course :)

Nicklypuff
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Joined: 08/30/2018
Thanks for the responses. By

Thanks for the responses. By card based powers I mean similar to how Rum & Bones has special skill cards for its characters or how Gloomhaven has unique cards for its characters.

Jay103
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Nicklypuff wrote:Thanks for

Nicklypuff wrote:
Thanks for the responses. By card based powers I mean similar to how Rum & Bones has special skill cards for its characters or how Gloomhaven has unique cards for its characters.

Hmm, well in that case, I wonder what interesting game I could come up with based on that card thing I just described... ;)

Nicklypuff
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Joined: 08/30/2018
Might be an interesting

Might be an interesting design territory for a card based game. :)

tikey
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I'd been tinkering with a

I'd been tinkering with a superhero boargame too, that I actually put on the backburner indefinitely. What I had in mind for character creation was a combination of superhero type and an element.
So for types you could have, Brawler, Support, Ranged, Scout for example, something that defines a role of the hero. Combine that with an element like energy, metal, nature, mental, etc. So with these you'd have interelationships, something stronger or weaker to something else, stuff that's complementary.

I never got around to make it interesting enough, but maybe this idea helps you with coming up with something that's useful for your game.

Nicklypuff
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Joined: 08/30/2018
Thanks, this is actually

Thanks, this is actually quite helpful. I am thinking of giving each superhero a Brawling, Support, Ranged, and another ability, perhaps a static one, and then give each one different paths to go through in the development of those abilities.

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