Well, now I feel pretty stupid

I’ve recently decided to put my Mutants & Masterminds Fable based campaign: Heroes of Albion on hold for a while, the task of creating monsters/NPCs is quite daunting. The system is entirely points based and you start off with 15 x level points, the default starting level is 10, and most abilities cost only 1 or 2 points. So rightly so this game is on hold until I can come up with the spare time to spend an hour or two on each major baddie and try to find a good build for generic mooks that can be reskinned as needed.

As pointed out by AWizardInDallas in a reply to my reply, just scroll down a bit on that page, my group changes campaigns frequently. This is because we have a great group where everyone is up to the task of DMing a game and should there be a scheduling conflict with one party and the normal game not be run we usually have a back up game or one shot that fills in our evening. We also usually game two nights a week so there is a lot of room for games to just pop up.

I’m working on another campaign since Heroes of Albion is grounded. This campaign is going to use the much easier True20 system and is based off of Crimson Skies, a very fun alternate 1930s setting with lots of high performance airplanes and sky pirate action. In my opinion most RPGs do not handle vehicles very well at all. Perhaps they went too much for realism, or didn’t bother with balance, or maybe they just stuck it in as an afterthought to make modern gaming seem possible with a system clearly designed for a more medieval setting.

There is one system that does handle vehicles exceptionally well and that is Star Wars Saga Edition so I decided to pull out my core book for that and try to kit-bash it into True 20 which is possible since they are both d20 derived systems, but its not an elegant or by any means seamless combination. One of the hang-ups I had and continued to have until this morning was how many guns/missiles/bombs/chocolate doughnuts you can stuff into one plane and use in combat. Obviously planes don’t have hands so you can’t just go a gun in each hand. They do have wings and hard-points though and perhaps a slots based system would be ok, but I wanted more customization and didn’t want everyone to just go with One-Inch Cannons on all their slots because they do the best damage.

I struggled thinking of various mechanics that I could use to balance the types of weapons that each type of plane could carry and then this morning at 9:07 it dawned on me – WEIGHT! I sat here trying to force a system to abstract a thing that is naturally already the best darn thing to use. Vehicles have a strength score and thus a carrying capacity, so give them a select number of hard points and just don’t overdo it on weight. Yeah it will take a while to load out aircraft, but in a d20 Future game I ran one player spent over two weeks designing the perfect masterwork luxury star battle cruiser for the party to fly around in. And that is why I feel so stupid right now, I couldn’t see the game through the mechanics and tried to abstract and codify something that in its raw form already did what I needed it to do.

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~ by katallos on July 24, 2010.

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