Preferred App Process For Comic Game


  • Pitcrew

    To start, I'm a firm believer that applications on MU's need to be simple. It shouldn't be too much of a struggle to get a character on a game. Especially if that character is a feature character that everyone knows everything about anyway. So, to that end, I've attempted to make the application process on an upcoming DC Heroes game as simple and easy as possible. We use the DC Heroes RPG system(because I love it and firmly believe that though it was released some 30 years ago it is the best superhero RPG to be found) with staff doing up all of the +sheets. Players simply log on, check the +roster for the character they want, and head into the FC chamber to claim them. From there they just give us a pitch on how they intend to play the character and why they want them and, at that time, they have the option to request changes to the characters +sheet. There's also the +finger info, @desc, all that but, overall, the app process should probably take about 15 minutes.

    For FCs. I'm still on the fence about OCs but if they are allowed , with the above system, they would need to create their +sheet and the process could take a bit longer. Everything regarding the DC Heroes RPG would be on our wiki.

    It has been suggested to me, however, that I use Worlds in Peril for our in-game system. For those who don't know Worlds in Peril is a superhero game that is "Powered by the Apocalypse" style game. I won't lie, I do like the game. In fact we play it TT and love it. It's not like other PbtA games in that you don't need playbooks for powers or anything. Instead you have some basic stats (Smash, Investigate, Maneuver, Protect, and Influence) which dictates how your character goes about doing things and then you fill out a Power Profile that essentially creates a framework for what your character is capable of. You write a simple phrase describing something Simple your character can do, something that is Difficult for your character to do, something that sits on the Borderline of what your character can do, something that is Possible but that they've never done, and finally something that is Impossible for them to do. There are a few ways to get more phrases for each level(and a few more with the house rules we use) but that's roughly it. So the game is very narrative in nature and some people I know think it would complement a MU environment nicely.

    Example, say Superman has "Shrug off military artillery fire" listed under something that is Easy for him to do. Joe Thug poses firing at Superman. There's no need to even roll because a gun shot is well below the level of artillery fire. In fact, by using the system, Superman could use that to "take out" the thug by posing that he's standing his ground, hands on hip, letting the thug burn through his ammunition before dodging the gun as it is thrown at him.

    My TT group has found that mixing power levels with this system works amazingly well. For those interested there's a Google+ Group dedicated to it. And, honestly, a quick net search will get you the PDF if you're so inclined.

    So my question is...does the Worlds in Peril setup interest anyone? In going back to my initial statement and goal of quick and easy character generation this obviously isn't as easy as "I'll take Aquaman, please" but I don't think it would be that much more difficult. And it would be a far cry from having to write a dissertation on your character and their abilities.

    Whew, anyway if you made it this far thank you for reading!


  • TV & Movies

    @zombiegenesis I am a little confused as your post seems to have two completely different sets of assumptions using two different sets of rules. If the main question is between systems, I am generally adverse to highly complex systems for super games. I am capable of doing the min-maxing and spending a gajillion points on a gajillion widgets, but I am kind of over it and it often feels like it works great for some characters but terribly for others and ends up being more pro-math than pro-RP.

    I would suggest that if staff is making sheets for FCs, they should probably make them for OCs too (if you end up allowing them, if not, no skin off my back), at least in more complicated systems. Otherwise you'll get min-maxed OCs tooling on FCs.

    Beyond that, app process wise, I think there's only so much that's useful on a comic game. I find it tedious to have to write up the well-known backstories of well known characters (aside from a basic which version I'm playing, if there's multiple), and more valuable to have information that is a bit more player-oriented: what comics/other media are their favorite appearances of the character (can tell you a lot about the tone to expect), what kind of scenes/RP are they most interested in (big cinematic fights, plot-y cerebral, ts social, etc.), etc.



  • I'm also confused. Your subject line is preferred app process for comic game, but your in post question seems to be if you should use a specific game system? I'm happy to assist but not sure what the question is.



  • I think I've been on one supers game in the last twenty years of MU*ing that expected dice use for conflict resolution. Everywhere else, it's been freeform/consent with the option of dice resolution.

    As a result, I don't want to have to learn a formal system that's almost never going to be used unless it's REALLY easy to set up and use.

    But, like you, I don't want to have to vomit trivia into extensive trait descriptions. For FCs, it's easy enough to assume that (for the most part) Wikipedia and other online resources can fill in details, with PC bits focusing on relevant nuances of interpretations of FCs they're going for.

    For OCs, this is trickier, since there's no expected/conventional benchmark that players can lean on to "get" an OC's power limitations, character traits, etc. I'm not sure if I have a perfect answer for how to make this streamlined approach OC-friendly (in the sense of not putting more responsibility on the apper to define their abilities, weaknesses, personality, etc.) as equally as FC-friendly.



  • The answer to this is something no one wants to admit: Applications are useless. They prove nothing about your ability to RP. The only "application" that you should need for a comic game is basically a link to a wiki article you want to use as the basis for your character, and a bullet point list of any changes from that. If you're an OC, bullet-point all the way, simple, basic comparative. In the day of logging into an MMO, making a character in 2 minutes and being in play in three, you just CANNOT have this "write an essay, then wait a week for us to get back to you" mindset. People move on. And for god sake, for a superhero game, ditch the idea of stats. Superheros have wildly different abilities even from issue to issue, based on the writer's needs. Treat your players like adults, and assume they'll play like that. If they don't, show them the door.


  • Pitcrew

    @gamerngeek OCs should take more than 2 minutes to write if they want to be taken seriously. Even OCs that take a week end up being 'I am a billionaire beautiful guy who is also Omega Mutant and super famous!' As for the rest... Man. It is hard to strike a balance between letting lazy people app characters half-assedly, and forcing you to learn a whole system to play somewhere. I particularly think that if you can't ass yourself to sit down and app a character for a hour or two, you are probably not going to add much to the game to begin with.


  • TV & Movies

    The difficulty of getting balanced, comic-appropriate OCs is another part of why I say staff should handle both statwise.

    I think you'll get much better results if someone apps with a brief overview of 'I want to play an electricity-manipulator who's an IT professional in their civilian ID' and the staff comes up with some reasonable powerset and weaknesses. Instead of getting, y'know, that OC cyborg/electricity/technopath/whatever who could absorb all tech and grow to theoretically infinite size and and and and.. etc they had on UH. Or whatever example of people being little twinky fuckers that you want.

    The people who argue for OCs say they need them for various reasons of creativity, variety, and even diversity of representation, and yet I cannot think of an OC I've played with who wasn't a nightmare like this. Cut the bullshit, call their bluffs: let them do the creative part, you do the power part, and if they qq about what they get show their munchkin ass the door and you're not worse off.


  • Pitcrew

    I would also recommend staff doing the mechanical c-gen if you are using a table top system.
    Most superhero RPGs have fairly complex c-gens that often aren't necessary to learn to play the rest of the game. Even in table top if I am running a superhero campaign I do c-gen for everyone after they tell me what they want their characters to be. Not to avoid twinkieness but to save the time of teaching everyone c-gen and also because most superhero systems make it pretty easy to accidentally completely hose yourself in CG so that why It also save a lot of players complaining at the end when they can't do what they wanted to.


  • Pitcrew

    Just to clarify on the use of the DC Heroes system, I've stripped out point costs and all that for the MUX. Characters are built based on what "they should have", whatever that is, without having to worry about point costs or any of that. That said, I really do like the idea of them filling out just a basic "power profile" application and staff handling the actual mechanical +sheet.


  • Pitcrew

    @zombiegenesis
    While removing point cost does make things easier I would still go with staff, esepcially for DC Heroes since some powers have similar names and effects that unless you know the system knowing the difference between them can be tricky. For example: Force Field and Force Shield, and Mental Blast (mental blast that damages Body) vs Mind Blast (Mental blast that damages Mind)


  • Admin

    @gamerngeek said in Preferred App Process For Comic Game:

    The answer to this is something no one wants to admit: Applications are useless. They prove nothing about your ability to RP.

    I readily admit that, and have thought it for a long time. They are a relic inherited from the last game and the one before that - it's part of the way things are done, rather than something useful.

    Everything about CGen should be automated so the numbers check out and that's it. The rare outlier cases crossing some kind of line can be caught and dealt with later on without causing everyone else having to wait for days to be approved, or having someone nitpick on little details that will never get used in RP anyway.


  • Coder

    @arkandel said in Preferred App Process For Comic Game:

    Everything about CGen should be automated so the numbers check out and that's it. The rare outlier cases crossing some kind of line can be caught and dealt with later on without causing everyone else having to wait for days to be approved

    I used to think that too until I tried it on a couple games with "no apps required" or "I'll check you over after you hit the grid".

    Never again. shudders


  • Politics

    @gamerngeek said in Preferred App Process For Comic Game:

    The answer to this is something no one wants to admit: Applications are useless. They prove nothing about your ability to RP.

    This is because staff aren't asking the right questions.

    Power limits? Irrelevant. Canon? Irrelevant.

    Relevant: how one envisions the PC reacting in important situations.

    Relevant: how much time one has to devote to the game.

    Relevant: when one regularly comes on to play.


  • Coder

    @ganymede said in Preferred App Process For Comic Game:

    Relevant: how much time one has to devote to the game.

    Relevant: when one regularly comes on to play.

    You want staff to start approving characters based on RP schedules?!


  • Politics

    @ixokai said in Preferred App Process For Comic Game:

    You want staff to start approving characters based on RP schedules?!

    For a comic book game? Yes.

    Yes, I would want to know on a Marvel game whether Captain America's player can only log on during Hawaiian evening hours. Yes, I would want to know on a DC game set in Gotham whether Batman's player is stationed in Afghanistan and can only come on once a week at most. Yes, I would want to know whether the players of FCs who are central to the functioning of the game's setting are going to be around when I fucking need them to be.

    I mean, maybe you were trying to be funny? I don't know. But whether a player has the time and druthers to handle a PC of responsibility should be of the utmost concern.


  • Coder

    @ganymede said in Preferred App Process For Comic Game:

    @ixokai said in Preferred App Process For Comic Game:

    You want staff to start approving characters based on RP schedules?!

    For a comic book game? Yes.

    I'd think that would be true for any character in a RP-leader position. It's not really about "how many hours can you put in" but "are you going to be available to drive RP".

    (Of course - I'm no longer a fan of having PCs in enforced RP-leader positions for this and other reasons, but I understand I'm in a minority there.)


  • Admin

    @faraday said in Preferred App Process For Comic Game:

    (Of course - I'm no longer a fan of having PCs in enforced RP-leader positions for this and other reasons, but I understand I'm in a minority there.)

    Leadership positions are only as good as the player occupying them. Put a great one in and you'll get great results; if they're inactive the effect will be anywhere from invisible ("I didn't even know we had a Tony Stark!") to being a bottleneck ("I've been trying to get a scene with Reed Richards for days to warn the FF about the secret Skrull invasion"). And obviously if you choose a bad one, well...

    This isn't specific to comics. The same applies to high-end nobility in L&L, to Prince or Primogen in a Vampire sphere, etc.

    For me the worst part of having these positions filled by PCs isn't really the risk factor of picking an 'incorrect' player. It's the OOC issues from not being picked to play one, the dancing chairs effect in a bunch of people desperately trying to land that kind of position on day 1, the envy over who did get to play a covered roster spot, etc.

    In comparison an inactive person is almost a non-issue.


  • Coder

    @arkandel said in Preferred App Process For Comic Game:

    In comparison an inactive person is almost a non-issue.

    Agreed with all your points, and that's why I'm no longer in favor of those positions being filled by PCs.

    It's like playing the lottery... you've got a 1 in many-thousand chance of it being Super Awesome, but most of the time you're just throwing your money away.


  • Pitcrew

    @faraday said in Preferred App Process For Comic Game:

    (Of course - I'm no longer a fan of having PCs in enforced RP-leader positions for this and other reasons, but I understand I'm in a minority there.)

    I am turning against this kind of thing myself lately because actually being in one of these positions is a lot like being middle management IRL. The shit flows both from above and below, and your actual power to do anything about it is usually negligible.