POLL: Super Hero MU Gut Check


  • Pitcrew

    Quick poll question for my own curiosity/theory/purposes

    It is my opinion that large, cattle-call superhero MUs fail because there are too many options to enable a cohesive environment. That, ultimately, too many options leads to difficulties with plottage, clique factions, characters that don't fit with the setting, etc.

    HERE IS THE YES/NO QUESTION

    Would you prefer a more limited roster superhero game with more focus over the massive net of Multiverse-type games?

    Examples include:

    • ONLY Gotham setting with staff utilizing villains vs PCs
    • A game with ONLY mutants with two PC factions, Xavier's/Brotherhood with staff utilizing villains (Purifiers, Brood, etc) vs PCs
    • Avengers (Initiative|Avengers|S.H.I.E.L.D.) vs Hydra (Thunderbolts|Hydra) with staff covering villains vs PCs
    • Agents of SHIELD
    • ONLY Justice League/Titans
    • Original theme game focusing on one or two factions with villains for each faction to fight (each other, ally against, etc)

    There's plenty of ways this can be done, these are just examples. The examples aren't the point.

    YES means "I would prefer a more limited roster, more focused setting hero MU" or this sounds like a great idea.

    NO means "I prefer Super games that incorporate large rosters, either within one or more comic book universe, and across multiple teams within those universes, or I wouldn't be willing to try a smaller roster setting.

    I DONT HAVE INTEREST... is the option for people who dont care about super hero MUs so that their no votes don't pollute the polling pool.


  • Pitcrew

    I would also like to note that I'm not looking to start up a YES option SuperMU.

    I have this theory that the large MarvelDCImageDarkHorseEVERYTHING games, while fun and have a bazillion options, suffer from being too wide in scope. That when 2 people who want to play Avengers, 2 who want to play X men, 2 who want to play Justice League, and 5 OCs that don't really fit into any of those groups get together, it's not only hard to click, but for staff to direct a game that caters to their player base.

    A few of my friends say "No this smaller scope idea would fail due to no one wanting to ONLY play off a limited roster" and others have said "This might be the answer."

    So this is me polling to get an idea as to how my theory, just in theory alone, would be approached by the MU community.



  • Are you going to have feature characters? Because I would 100% lean towards Gotham. I am bias in favor of Batman stuff.

    I ask because I tend to prefer 'comic features' should be more NPC (THey have some pretty solid details about them done and they've done everything) and jump in to save the day if the original bits are going to a point where 'they all die' or some other way that they don't seem to be pulling out of.


  • Pitcrew

    @icanbeyourmuse Yeah, the idea for YES is that the game would still allow Feature Characters (and/or Original characters) to be selected from a roster, but for that roster to have a scope that is more focused for the setting, which would allow staff to better shape the game environment with plot and group cohesion.

    Using Gotham as an example, the roster might contain the entire Bat family, Birds of Prey, Red Hood, etc anything that would be conducive for a GOTHAM environment...

    ...at the expense of NO Marvel, No Justice League, No Atlanteans, No Wonder Woman, No Teen Titans etc unless the characters from those groups would fit in with the rest of Gotham.

    So, in theory, NO to Superman, YES to Constantine, NO to Aquaman, YES to Arsenal, NO to Captain America (not DC), and YES to Green Arrow

    And then staff/TP/PrPs could throw the Joker, Solomon Grundy, Killer Croc, Clayface, etc at the PCs as part of the ongoing Gotham soap opera.



  • I would prefer or at least certainly enjoy a more narrow, specific focus opposed to the usual 'you can play what the fuck ever you want'.

    The glaring issue is you run out of fun FCs almost instantly. Even if you restrict people to 1 PC.

    The only real exception here would be an X-Men specific thing because there's a billion mutant characters.


  • Pitcrew

    @Tempest Which could potentially be an issue, but IMO this YES idea would likely limit players to 1 (maybe 2) FC to avoid one player eating up all of the FCs and then sitting on them, with an option for an additional OC or two.

    Just an idea.

    In the Gotham setting alone I could conceptualize over 30-40 FC playable characters.



  • Also a jaded but I believe incredibly accurate comment, you'd never manage to make a game like this last long.

    First culling, you cut out the vast majority of MUers simply because the vast majority of MUers have no interest in the theme or setting or story. They just want to do whatever they want to do, whenever they want to do it. This is why the most popular and most active MUs tend to be the very "free" ones with no real coherent setting or world.

    Then, of the people willing to participate in a narrowly focused game, 90% of them are going to complain about what you focused on and say you should've done some other setting.

    Also - Yes, sure there's maybe 40 FCs from Gotham or whatever. How many of them are actually 'fun' though? Batman, 4 batgirls or whatever, 4 robins or whatever, Black Canary, Green Arrow, Zatanna maybe, and probably a couple others I'm forgetting off the top of my head.

    Also related to the limit of available FCs, a game specifically focused on say, Gotham /drastically/ inflates the value of say, Batman. Would likely lead to incredible levels of drama over who gets to play him. Opposed to the 'play whatever you want' comic games, there's no clear 'this hero obviously runs the whole game'.



  • This is gonna be a quick post but yes, in my experience a smaller more focused game would work better than a large sprawling game. I eventually had to close DC because of this lack of focus. I tried narrowing it down to just Gotham in the end but by that time I think it was too late. A nice narrow focus and plots to go with them would work very well for a comic MU I think.



  • I mean, I think in ANY context a smaller, more focused game is going to be more successful than a giant sprawling mess.



  • Focused is good. Even if not one city, one 'team' that stretches out. Young Justice showed a way to do this very well.



  • I think /any/ setting can work, if somebody is going to invest the time into telling stories.

    Staff has to be willing to get the RP ball rolling, not just to build a game and expect people to show up and breathe life into it on their own. And that means potentially running multiple +events in the first few weeks (maybe months) of your game until people are hooked enough to start doing it on their own.

    Even if you build an amazing, super detailed 'world' and then open your game, that's not enough.



  • More post rawr.

    I think a mutant-specific game would be awesome. You'd have Xavier's and the Brotherhood as options for PCs, with the possibility of inter-PC conflict, and still plenty of room for staff antagonists and even reasons for the two groups to work together vs the various anti-mutie crowds. Also the anti-mutant stuff would have more 'teeth' I think, without Iron Man/etc hanging around.

    I also think I'd die of cancer from the hordes of teenage mutant OCs.

    But hey, life has its ups and downs.


  • Pitcrew

    As a counterpoint, I've seen focused games like BSG games have some really great success with only one/two factions, one setting, and more plot and story to keep people roleplaying together rather than in groups separated by differences in power levels or (in some cases) galaxies apart.

    But lets focus for right now on preference. Whether or not it would work we could save for later. Which is preferred?

    MUs live and die based on interest and are a lot like advertising TV shows. Some hit it off, some fail despite having similar qualities to other successful games. It's a crapshoot, but polling for interest is important.

    Once you know what is desired, you can try to work on an option that would make it work.

    I'm excited to let this poll roll and see how it ends up.


  • Pitcrew

    @Tempest said in POLL: Super Hero MU Gut Check:

    More post rawr.

    I think a mutant-specific game would be awesome. You'd have Xavier's and the Brotherhood as options for PCs, with the possibility of inter-PC conflict, and still plenty of room for staff antagonists and even reasons for the two groups to work together vs the various anti-mutie crowds. Also the anti-mutant stuff would have more 'teeth' I think, without Iron Man/etc hanging around.

    I also think I'd die of cancer from the hordes of teenage mutant OCs.

    But hey, life has its ups and downs.

    This is one of the concepts I've carried with me for a while. It's a simple setup.

    Two factions of PCs

    XAVIER'S

    • X-Men
    • Students
    • X-Force

    BROTHERHOOD

    • Brotherhood
    • Younger generation

    PCs could select from a roster and place whichever thematic Mutant (and only x-gene mutants) wherever they please so long as they come in with an interest in mutant civil rights.

    They can fight each other, ally, switch sides, have drama as much they want, especially when staff throw the following into the mix of the mutant civil rights drama:

    • Apocalypse
    • Bolivar Trask/Sentinels
    • Reavers
    • Marauders
    • the Brood
    • Mojoverse
    • The GOVERNMENT
    • Weapon X program
    • Omega Red
    • Purifiers
    • the Shi'ar Empire
    • the list goes on...

    So, 2 factions, plenty of goodies to throw at mutants, and the central theme being the trials and tribulations of Xavier and Magneto's philosophical differences.



  • I had a half-baked Gotham City MUSH concept project years ago, which was basically: let's take a comic book theme, and introduce a combat system, to make combat objective (as far as these things go.)

    I just have a question, what's the deal with staff posing villains? Is this a gaming field encompassing trend? If you look at Gotham City, you have the best potential net of some really memorable villains (but I'm biased). I think the question is how to make villains palatable again. Comic books have been stretching apart in terms of the unforgivable background of the villain, and the purity of the hero, forever, and I think it's why comic book games have a hard time translating to a MUSH.

    As an exercise, to test out my theory: take four heroes, four villains. Compare them to people you know that aren't the actual characters, and write personality sketches for each. I think, with an accurate representation of a feature, that you've laid a real person onto, you could create an entire roster of semi-original characters that would look much more intriguing to a writer. Then, the question would come down to marketing: how would you get people to play there? What's the tagline?


  • Pitcrew

    That's a prime example of what I envision a YES concept game to be.

    No PCs in the Avengers, DC, Spawn, Asgardians, etc because the focus of the story is mutant civil rights

    Sure, the Avengers may show up as NPCs come mutant registration day...but its just an example my brain came up with as to what might work better.



  • Straying further away from the preference discussion....I feel like it's worth repeating that X-Sphere in particular has a number of advantages that I'm not sure any other Comic sphere would have.

    2 separate groups that are both at odds but also in a way working for the same goal and struggling with the same basic problem.

    Briefly back closer to discussing the preference of small/wide focus...In a way, this kind of reminds me of how in nWoD, Vampire tends to be the most 'self-sustaining' splat because the players interacting with each other can basically be plot in and of itself if they want.

    If you did Gotham only or Justice League only or something like that, I get the feeling it'd just be a string of plots with people possibly not really connecting in the same way.

    Also @Chet , I've played Villains on comic games before, and the usual problem I see is that they only ever get brought out for some plot once a month or whatever. Which isn't really worth being a Player Character.



  • @Tempest Then why don't we turn this whole pie upside down before we eat it, and make it a game with ONLY villains. Villainous groups only, with competing interests, all comic book characters in a particular world. Then, the staff poses the heroes as NPCs!



  • @Chet said in POLL: Super Hero MU Gut Check:

    @Tempest Then why don't we

    Because.


  • Pitcrew

    @Tempest said in POLL: Super Hero MU Gut Check:

    Straying further away from the preference discussion....I feel like it's worth repeating that X-Sphere in particular has a number of advantages that I'm not sure any other Comic sphere would have.

    Agreed. Xavier vs Magneto isn't a story of good versus evil but a philosophical entry in the discussion about civil rights.

    Don't give up hope on humanity versus We aren't going to wait to be placed into chains

    Concepts of good and evil can be found in both the Brotherhood and the X-Men, and while each have a default setting closer to good or evil, what matters is the point of view.

    Is Magneto evil for working alongside Sabretooth who is willing to take human lives...but the Brotherhood would be willing to destroy half of Manhattan to save a mutant life?

    It's a great setting. Everybody matters so long as they have an X-gene. They are all at stake.


  • Pitcrew

    A few other successful, or possible, smaller-focus settings:

    • Transformers
    • GI-Joe

    There have been Transformers games for a while now. I haven't played them personally, but there always seems to be one hanging around, which I feel may also be a point in favor of tighter focus; smaller scope.


Log in to reply
 

Looks like your connection to MU Soapbox was lost, please wait while we try to reconnect.