Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Is it Wednesday? Then it's Milestones!

Some more recently released/inspired Milestones for Marvel Heroic Roleplaying.  We'll start with one inspired by Web of Spider-Man #129.2.  Howard can always use a new set of Milestones . . .



Somebody Famous

1 XP  When you first wander into a scene in an already ongoing event, and you act as if nothing is amiss.

3 XP  The first time someone enters into Buddy or Team affiliation with you, and they express their desire to actually work with you.

10 XP   When you either decide that this group is exactly where you belong and everyone agrees, or you decide that this group is lame enough that it might sully your good name, and you leave.



And now some inspiration from everybody's favorite "reformed" mutant thief, a la Gambit #2:


I Don't Trust You In the Least

1 XP  When you first state that an ally of yours can't be trusted, or when they say the same about you.

3 XP  When you allow an ally to suffer physical stress or a complication because you let them take the heat from your mutual opposition.

10 XP  When you dissolve your partnership with another character at the same time you cause them physical stress or trauma.


And let's wrap things up with some inspiration from Captain Marvel #3 (which might serve as a framework for event specific milestones in an event with time traveling as a theme):


Pretty Sure This Is Not Going to Jibe With the Butterfly Protocols

1 XP  When you wonder if an action that you are about to take will cause damage to the timeline.

3 XP  When you take reckless action regardless of the integrity of the timestream.

10 XP  When you find a way back to your own time, and you either decide to return home, or forsake your own time to live your your days in your new home.


I really wanted to come up with some Milestones inspired by this week's Avenging Spider-Man, but it's hard to build a set of them around taking emotional stress from hearing about your Aunt's love life.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Why Am I Always Late to the Party? (Fiasco)

I have been planning on picking up Fiasco for a while, because I've seen so many references to the game in various geek/game related venues.  I finally picked it up last night.  While I'm not completely through the book, I think I love this game.  I know I want to figure out some time to give it a spin to see if it plays out as well as I think it could.



Essentially, Fiasco isn't so much a roleplaying game as it is a storytelling game.  The game rules are set up to emulate "capers gone wrong" style movies, like Fargo, or black comedies where things just keep getting worse and more and more out of control, like Very Bad Things.



In a nutshell, you figure out who you are based on a playset  (the setting, that has what kind of people and things populate a given story that you are about to play), and what your motives are, and how you are connected to the other players.



Once you do that, you go around the table the first time, and one player will frame a scene, and you will explain how your character resolves the situation that the other player sets up.  Oh, and the other player is suppose to try and incorporate relationships, motives, and things that you detailed your character with when they frame the scene.



Once you frame a scene, you give a dice to someone, and when you resolve a scene, you either pick a positive dice or a negative dice, depending on how you resolved the situation  (you can "win" every scene you resolve, but if your negative dice and your positive dice at the end of the game end up fairly even, you are destined for a bad end).



Once you get halfway through the game, you roll on a table to add some complications that make the situations in the game much more desperate.  You play another round of scenes as you did with the first act, but this time, you incorporate those chaotic elements on the Tilt table, and once all of the dice have been assigned, you roll to see if you got a happy ending, or came to a gruesome end.

I know I haven't done the game justice, but it sounds like so much fun, and I would love to try this game sometime.  The sheer number of playsets, for emulating all sorts of "things go from bad to worse" movies just look great.  If nothing else, the conversational tone of the book and the numerous quotes from the types of movies that the game emulates are worth the price of admission.

Things (Comic Book) People Do

Reading through some forums about multiple supers games produces some similar results, even with radically different rules elements.  One thing that I've noticed is that in any game that allows for any kind of flexibility or narrative variance in what "actually" happens, people will begin to discuss the where the line between "cheesy" and "abusing the rules" begins and where "setting tropes" leave off.



What can you parry with?  What can you throw at someone?  How much can you use the excuse that "it's magic?"

My personal preference tends to be to let things slide unless it's painfully obvious that the player in question isn't really just being over the top, but is just handwaving something in order to get some kind of perceived advantage.



Can it be silly to have a character use a reflective belt buckle to deflect a laser back at a bad guy and blind/injure him?  Sure, it could sound really over the top.  Some people may hate over the top action like that.  But the real question is, is it something that has happened in comics before?



Yup.

If it's something I can recall seeing in comics more than once, it's probably something that isn't going to ruffle my feathers too much when I'm running a game.

I do realize that everyone at the table has to have fun, and that sometimes too much of something can really shift the tone of a game and change the "feel" of the game.  I mean, nobody wants to be Ryan Reynolds in a serious, grim, dark Blade event, right?

On the other hand, if someone does something really over the top, but still totally super heroic, once or twice a session, does that really ruing the game for everyone?  Is it just a matter of people liking different aspect of comics than you do?



Like most things in gaming, it's a balance.  If it happens all of the time or really, really throws someone off their game, and isn't something the "offending" player really has to do to enjoy themselves, sure, have some talks, make some adjustments.  But I'd urge everyone at the table to remember that one person's cheese is another person's cool, and unless the game degenerates into a fully on session of over the top silly oneupmanship, forge ahead and save the world.

Friday, August 24, 2012

More Mighty Marvel Milestone Madness

Yeah, I read more comics this week.  And with great comics come great milestones.  Or something like that.

This first one is inspired by Web of Spider-Man #129.1



You're Gonna Get Sued By The Real Avengers

1 XP  When you reluctantly admit you were a member of a pitifully bad super hero team in your past.

3 XP  When you share a Team or Buddy affiliation with someone from that old team, and they take stress or trauma, reminding you how badly you worked together.

10 XP  When you convince your old team members never to use their powers to fight crime again, or when you take charge of the old team and decide to make it into something noteworthy.


. . . and this one was inspired by Captain America  (and Namor) #635.1

Sometimes A Little Human Gumption Is All It Takes



1 XP  When you do something dangerous and call attention to it in order to hearten non-super powered allies.

3 XP  When you take stress or trauma in a scene from an opponent that clearly overpowers you and is using a d12 in their action against you.

10 XP  When you are the one that takes down a major threat to the entire world instead of your more powerful allies.


. . . and this one was inspired by that same issue, from Namor's side of the fence:

There's A Thin Line Separating Ally From Enemy



1 XP  When you mention that you are only helping out your current allies because of your own self-interests or the interests of Atlantis

3 XP  When you do something to cause your affiliation to shift to Solo, and your ally receives stress or trauma, all because you were pursuing your own agenda.

10 XP  When you either apologize for your actions and name your current allies as good friends and worthy allies, or you grow weary of their concerns and you leave their company, explaining to them how inferior they are.





Sunday, August 19, 2012

Interest Definitely Piqued . . .

I finished my read through of the 13th Age Beta rules.  I have to say that I'm really interested in this game.  My brain already started to ponder how to set up encounters, adventures, and campaign arcs the more of this I got through.



In general, it feels a good bit like 4th edition, but that's kind of misleading.  It's not simulationist, and it's not a full bore narrative system  (definitely less so than Marvel Heroic, for example).  However, it's a lot more narrative and story based than 4th edition, and does not require a map at all.  To me, this is a huge plus, but I'll avoid that for now.



Cons

There are several narrative based mechanics that "sort of" have a mechanical effect that might come up once in a while, but there aren't really examples of how this might come up.  While I can understand leaving the whole range of imagination open, but like DCC RPG, some examples  (such as DCC gives for fighters) might not be bad, even if they stress that the examples aren't the only things that can happen.



Lasting injuries aren't really that exciting.  I was hoping that lasting injuries would be more like the injuries in Dragon Age  (the original video game, not the table top), where you could drop to 0 hit points, come back, but you would have an "issue" of some kind until you could get a remedy for that specific injury, but it didn't affect your hit points.

I think a system like this would be great for lasting injuries, curses, or illnesses.  I get that heroes can often get up after being beaten down and handle the next fight, but lasting afflictions of the above nature are also fantasy tropes, even in heroic fantasy.  They don't have to hamstring the character, but if they had some kind of effect, it would be nice.

Incremental advances are meant to be a "stop gap" to give your players something after a session even if they haven't leveled up, but they almost seemed more confusing and to cause more fiddly stuff to track between sessions.  Especially given the fact that the book has no real set advancement rate, having jettisoned XP  (which I actually kind of like).

The following con is only because this element is something that really seemed to have potential:  the monk is not going to be included in the core book because the development team wants to spend more time tweaking it.  I will say this, it felt much more like a martial arts class that previous monks I've seen.  Long story short, monk powers were divided into opening moves, a transitioning move of some sort, and a finishing move.  You could use opening moves whenever you wanted, but transition moves could only be used after an opening move, and finishing moves could only be used after a transition move.  It sounded like a lot of fun.

However, I did just read that anyone that pre-ordered the game will get a PDF of the class from the final product that it appears in.



Pros

I touched on this a while back in a post, but I'm really liking the condensed level progression.  Levels range from 1-10, with the tiers broken up into 1-4/5-7/8-10.  It keeps the "feel" of progressing in levels and getting better and better, and moving from being a person with potential to being a near demi-god, but without a lot of the filler levels in between.

Abstract movement is another thing I love.  You are Far Away, Nearby, and if you are Nearby, you might be engaged.  If you aren't engaged, and someone tries to engage one of your buddies, you can interpose and force them to engage you instead.  You have to have a move action to engage or disengage, and to reach someone Far Away you have to spend a whole round moving.  I love it.

Rituals are one of those things that I mentioned as being narrative that might have some kind of rules effect, but are left pretty wide open.  That having been said, I love the idea.  Essentially, you pick one of your daily spells to give up, gather a bunch of stuff, potentially spend some gold and make a check, and in the end, you come up with some magical effect that is appropriate for your level and the spell you gave up.

It's very free-form, and a nice addition to this system is that spellcasters can't do exactly the same ritual more than once.  So if you have an idea to solve a problem in one adventure, and use a ritual to do it, you can't expect to "spam" that ritual to solve every similar problem.

Relationship dice are a neat mechanic that are designed to tie a character to the setting.  In the default setting, there are "Icons," important NPCs that are the movers and shakers of the world, and your dice show how closely tied to them you are, and in what manner  (positive, negative, or conflicted).  Once or twice a session you can make a roll on your relationship dice to see if they help you out.  You either get no effect, a positive effect, or a "messy" success.  Plus, if your relationship is negative, even a good result means that you might have garnered negative attention from your adversarial Icon.

When creating characters, each player is suppose to come up with "one unique thing."  You can be fairly wild with these.  They aren't suppose to have much of a game mechanic use, but help explain who your character is and give you an oddball thing that just might be helpful in some weird corner case that will make for a memorable session.  For example, you might be a human, but make your "one unique thing" that you were cursed to be a cat for a few years, and out of the blue you might be able to understand when some cat is agitated to give you a clue, but you may also never get along with any dogs you run into . . . it's another example of one of those narrative based things in the game that I really like, but want to see a few more examples of from actual players.

The setting is actually more compelling than I thought it would be.  It's simple, but that's the point.  Lots of things are spelled out in vague terms, which are just detailed enough to be interesting and able to be developed, but not quite detailed enough that you get the idea that you might be doing it wrong if you provide too many of your own details.  It's the level of detail I wish WOTC's points of light default had, instead of vague "we're going to constantly reference it, but never connect any dots at all" hints we got in a lot of 4e products.



Finally, I was a big fan of the "inside baseball" candid comments in the book that had to do with the preferences of the developers and their differences as well.  It went a long way towards making the game feel like it's meant to be played and tweaked and enjoyed, not that there is One True Way to Fun, as some of the initial 4e marketing seemed to imply.

All in all, really interested to see how this develops, even if the monk won't be ready in the final version of the rules.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

D&D Keynote Speech And My Lack of Caring

Apparently there was a big keynote speech.

I didn't watch it.



I'm not that concerned about D&D these days.  Not the "official" version.  To be honest, a while back I would have agreed with those folks that said that D&D has to do well for the hobby to do well, but I'm not so sure about that now.



Not that the hobby is doing gangbusters without them, but that D&D will always be the magic bullet that pulls in new gamers, and thus has to do well in order for the hobby to have a decent influx of new gamers.



I think that if companies like Margaret Weis Productions or Fantasy Flight, companies that have big name licenses, could get some kind of market penetration with their RPGs, selling Marvel Heroic Roleplaying or Star Wars RPGs in Wal Mart would bring a lot more people to the hobby than D&D has a chance to in the future.



I'm not trying to undercut D&D, I'm just saying that I think D&D's name recognition is a blessing and a curse at this point.  People have heard of D&D, but they also "know" that it's an "old thing," and even if it's still around, it's an "old thing" that people "hang onto" not a well known thing that attracts people.

Go ahead and explain to a kid about what the Forgotten Realms is, or even what Paizo's Golarion is.  I'm not making a judgement on the settings, I'm saying, from the "outside," why would someone care?  Sure, the kid might like wizards and dragons and swords . . . but I'm betting if you asked that same kid if he wanted to be the Hulk, Captain America, or a Jedi, you would get an immediate reaction that didn't involved trying to explain a fantasy setting that is swimming in "inside the hobby" tropes that have been stewing for years.



Also, and this is coming from someone who loves the classic version of the setting, I think the Forgotten Realms has become as much of a liability to the gaming side of D&D as it has been a boon to the "tie-in" side of the property.  Making it the focal point of the relaunch . . . well . . . what is it anymore?



It's not the pre-Spellplague version of the setting that managed to be the only thing making money for TSR when the company was awash in bad decisions.

It's not the same to a die hard fan of the fiction that wants Elminster, Erevis Cale, and other powerful NPCs to be the focus of the setting, because for the fiction fans, the books trump the setting as a place for stories.

It's not even the same for people that are mainly fans of Drizzt, because a lot of them barely know what setting their hero runs around it, because his adventures are more important than any historical details or ties to characters created outside of books where he is the star.

I don't blame WOTC for pushing the Realms.  If they are pushing it this hard, they must be making money off of it.  But I'm not sure that what sells novels and non-tabletop RPG games (featuring iconic charactes) is the same thing that sells an open ended land of adventure where your players are the stars.

A few years back I would have railed against the idea that the NPCs are too important and downplay the player's characters.  Now that 5th edition will have yet another massive event featuring the gods and important people saving the Realms and setting the stage for the "little people" to play in once they are done, I'm not so sure that WOTC hasn't made all those years of detractors complaints about the powerful NPCs into a self-fulfilling prophesy.



In fact, the D&D thing I'm most upset about right now is that the D&D comic, set in the 4th edition "default" points of light setting, written by John Rogers, appears to be dead.  I'll poke a hornet's nest on the way out by saying that the Rogers D&D comic had about a 1000% more personality and fun in it's pages than that first issue of the Pathfinder comic.


I Can Feel The Conflict Within You!

Why must everything Star Wars fill me with conflict these days?

It's so hard resisting something that has been hard wired into my geekdom since I was three years old.  Much like Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, Batman, and Spider-Man, not only was I exposed early, but my obsession was fed by older siblings who also loved said aspect of geek culture.

In case you are wondering why I'm yammering about Star Wars, today, at Gen Con, Fantasy Flight released their softcover beta rules for Star Wars:  Edge of the Empire, the Star Wars RPG that they are publishing first.



They are using a similar model to their Warhammer 40K games, where they will be using the same basic system, but releasing three RPGs, each with a different Star Wars theme.  Edge of the Empire will focus on bounty hunters, smugglers, scoundrels, and people that hang out in wretched hives of scum and villainy.  The next two games will focus on Rebel agents and Force users.



My first bit of consternation is the game's default setting.  I would have much preferred the wide open Old Republic era, or even the Knight Errant "everything is about to fall apart" era to the Rebellion era. Yes, it's the era we all know and love from the original trilogy, but it's also the era that has the most stuff that people know is "suppose" to happen, and the most prominent heroes.

You might say to me, "but KEJR, are you saying you couldn't run a good game in this era?"  Nope, not at all.  In fact, it's close enough to the Dark Times era that I'd probably bump it back a few years, making it easier for heroes to be isolated and not part of a functioning Rebellion, and having more room for half-trained Jedi to not have to explain why they aren't Luke.  They just have to be "not hunted down and killed yet."



You might also say, "just because they are releasing Rebellion era books first, doesn't mean they won't get to Old Republic era material."  To that, I'll say . . . I'm not so sure.  The current schedule shows the full (non-beta) Edge of the Empire in 2013, with the Rebel game in 2014, and the Force game in 2015.  From  WOTC's licensing, it seemed like Lucas likes to have very specific time chunks for their RPG licenses, and I'm betting 2015 is when the licence is up, meaning we might get more, or we might get three and out.

Now, where were those other misgivings . . . I know I left them around here somewhere . . . oh, there they are . . .

Next up, apparently Lucasfilm still has definition problems with PDFs and what exactly they are.  I'm saying apparently, because I haven't seen in confirmed, but given that Fantasy Flight released the Only War Beta in PDF form with a discount on the final product, but is putting out this beta in softcover with no mention of PDFs, I'm betting the issue still exists.  What issue?  Lucasfilm considers PDFs to be electronic games, even if it's just a virtual version of a book.  Since it's an electronic game, in order for it to be a licensed Star Wars product, a licensee needs to have a separate license with Lucasarts, the video game arm of the Lucas Empire.  Which means if you want to put out PDFs, the Star Wars license costs you about twice as much.



I could be wrong, and there may be other reasons PDFs weren't mentioned, but it was the reason offered by WOTC when asked about the lack of PDFs on their Star Wars Saga line  (again, before WOTC saw that legal PDFs are the root of all evil).



That means, as I stated in the commentary here in this very blog about The One Ring, I'm not really too hip to pick this up.  I like having my PDFs of rulebooks.  I like having my gaming library on my laptop and my tablet, and I like getting it slightly cheaper to see if I'm interested in the full physical game.  I don't know if I can violate my new habits just to pick this thing up.

And what's the final issue I'm having?  Proprietary dice.  Yup.  Special wonky dice that can only be used for Star Wars RPGs.  Fantasy Flight seems to love them these days, and while I can't say they are abjectly horrible, as the owner of a million crazy limited use dice, I'm not sure I want dice that are that limited in use.

Strangely, the beta book has stickers to transform your normal dice to Star Wars dice, and there is also a dice app available for the game  (wondering how that fits into the electronic game mind set, or if Lucasfilm just hasn't realized what apps are).

So, overall, interested, very interested.  But conflicted.  Revealed my feelings are.

Thursday Night's Game--Almost Live!

The video from Thursday night's session of Marvel is up on You Tube, for the viewing pleasure of all .76 percent of you that might be interested in watching . . . ;)


I am having a lot of fun with the game, and with the players.  And except for a few momentary lapses of internet service, which I'm fairly certain are related to the cable company, gaming over Google+ has been a pretty cool and trouble free experience.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Prep Night!

Just a quick post about my prep for my Marvel Heroic RPG game tomorrow night.

I'm running the Breakout event from the Basic Game.  I had initially wanted to put up a Google+ page for the event with all of the information about unlockables and updates on what happened last session, however, I was getting a little confused over how exactly to set up the page to display to people and the like, so I gave up on that one.

Still, the event scheduling on Google+ has been working well.



Since my printer can print out index cards, I printed out the hero's datafiles on index cards, the cards for the villains that will come up, and the cards for any potential "turned" villains if the PCs go that route.



I also printed out the event milestones so I can glance at them from time to time.  It's nice having the heroes and the milestones printed out, so I can jump on those XP awards and limits when they should logically come up.



And yes, I went out and bought a Spider-Man notebook to do all of my prep work in.  I didn't just do it to be cute.  I'm a firm believer in getting in the right frame of mind, so why not get a notebook that puts me in mind of what I'm about to run?



Having a lot of fun with this.  Hope the prep work helps me to properly pull off this event and give my players a good game.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Some Follow Up Thoughts

My last post makes me wonder about something I had played around with a little while ago.  I posted an abstract encounter map a while ago, but I think I made it too complicated.  I'm really wondering if you could port the 13th Age movement system to Pathfinder and still make it work.

Obviously, anything that relies on five foot steps and adjustments of this nature become much less useful.

What it seems like it should shake down to is the following:

You are either far away, nearby, or nearby and engaged.

To engage someone that you aren't engaged with, you would have to spend a move action.

If you move to engage someone, anyone else that is not engaged previously may interpose without spending an action of any kind.  They don't do anything, but if they interpose, they are the only target that you can engage.

To get far away, or to get to someone far away, you would have to spend a full round action.

Once you are nearby someone that was far away, since this is abstract, despite the fact that they haven't moved, they would become nearby.  It's just easier to track that way.

Using a non-touch spell or a ranged weapon when you are engaged with someone provokes an attack.

You can use a move action to become disengaged, and you would roll your CMB against your opponents CMB, adding a +5 for each person you are engaged with as normal.

A reach weapon can attack someone nearby without becoming engaged.

Biggest problems?

Everything that involves 5 foot steps is dead as far as rules go.

Areas for spells are all in absolute areas.  I'm thinking that adapting the Savage Worlds rules for spell areas might work, but Savage Worlds ranges are much more standardized than Pathfinder ranges and areas.

Something like the following:

Any time a creature is targeted in an area, if there is a creature engaged with that creature, they must be targeted as one of the results.  The caster can't choose to exclude anyone if he has creatures left to hit.  He only has to have one medium sized spot left to hit a large or larger creature, but a large or larger creature can take up 4 (large), 8 (huge), 16, or 32 spots.  If more than one large or larger creatures is targeted, they must use the full amount, until the last large or larger creature is allocated.

Cone Shaped Burst = 1d3 Medium Creatures

Cone Shaped Burst  (60 ft.) = 3d4 Medium Creatures

10 ft. Radius = 2d4 Medium Creatures

20 ft. Radius = 3d6 Medium Creatures

30 ft. Radius = 4d6 Medium Creatures

120 ft. Line = 2d10 Medium Creatures

40 ft. Radius = 6d6 Medium Creatures

I'm sure there is plenty of stuff I'm not thinking of that would come up, but that's all I've got for the moment.









Friday, August 10, 2012

Consternation and Regret . . .

I've been out of the Pathfinder game for a while.  Grids, minis, ever expanding rules, and a loss of the original "magic" just kind of wore thin, despite still being better than the end point of 3.5.  It's not universal.  I like parts of it, and I know it serves a lot of gamers well.

That having been said, there is a lot of quality and interesting work done for the game, and once in a while, I regret not running it.



I think one of the things that burned me out was that I was trying to be as open to the new "official" releases as possible and not limiting options for the players.  Sometimes you forget that as a GM, you need to have some fun as well, and sometimes that fun is in coming up with concepts and boundaries.

Boundaries need to be things that your players can still have fun with, obviously.  I have to say that I was having a lot of fun with the all Godling campaign that HangedFool was running  (or is, continuing to run, without my participation at the moment).



With that though firmly in mind, I found another installment of Super Genius Games Anachronistic Adventurers supplements on RPG Now, and it made me think . . . wouldn't it be fun to run an adventure path will all characters that come from Earth, in modern times?  Everyone would need to start off as one of the Anachronistic Adventurer classes.



This gets me to wondering about what adventure path would be good for dropping a party of lost modern day adventurers trapped in another world?  I wouldn't want to try Fire Mountain Games' Way of the Wicked AP, since a lot of the emphasis is playing standard fantasy with non-standard characters  (i.e. villains).



So I'm wondering what APs might be good to throw at hapless characters from Earth.



This also gets me to wondering about my post on class and level, and how spread out they are, and gets me to thinking about how much filler there is even in a good AP, but that's a post for another day.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Convergent Ideas

I think it's interesting when very similar things come out in close proximity to one another.  It happens a lot in Hollywood.  Sometimes it's because both of those things are based on a pop culture element that has become popular, other times, it's because one studio knows what another one is doing, and wants to beat them to the punch.

Most of the time it's coincidence, but rarely do both similar things end up being successful.  Sometimes you are the GoBot, sometimes you are the Transformer.



The coincidence of some announcements may not strike anyone else, and in the long run, it might not be as significant as it first seems, but one RPG that has just come out in Beta and another one that has just gone to Kickstarter resonate in my brain as "something similar."



Josh Frost's Quantum RPG has already gone through the Kickstarter process, and is in the beta phase of existence, with a really slick looking beta rulebook that is available for free download.  The RPG is a science-fantasy game set in the far future on a world that broke away from Earth long ago, whose inhabitants vie for scientific secrets controlled by a cabal of people that lock it away from the common folk, thus keeping them in roughly medieval societal levels.



Monte Cook's Numenera RPG is just now in the Kickstarter phase, and is a science-fantasy setting set in the far future of Earth where Earth's inhabitants are in a new era where they view the super science advancements of Earth's past as magic.

Both designers have worked with d20 rules extensively.  Both are making new rules for their RPGs that are not related to d20 rules.  I'm have absolutely no doubt that both arrived at their concepts independent of one another.  I just find it interesting to have two impending RPGs on the horizon with similar themes.

I also worry a bit that Josh's effort might be drowned out a bit by this timing.  Unless I miss my guess, Monte's name is a bit more of a "geek celebrity" draw, which makes me wonder if someone  with limited "experimental" gaming dollars is going to let the name be the deciding factor for their curiosity over far future science-fantasy gaming.

Time will tell, and I've got nothing much to add.  Just curious to see this unfold.

Milestones!

Okay, this deserves it's own blog post, but somewhere along the way, Marvel really started impressing me with some of their series.  That, and the fact that I'm running a Marvel Heroic Event on alternate Thursdays got me to thinking about Milestones based on some of the comics I'm reading right now.

I'm not thrilled with how all of these turned out, so feel free to mention your tweaks and suggestions to these milestones.  Still, it was kind of fun to try and distill the essence of where a character is going in their series  (and making some wild guesses and extrapolations, when it comes to series like Hawkeye or Gambit).

And Now . . .

The first several of these come straight from my obsession with Spider-Man, and especially Dan Slott's current run on Amazing Spider-Man.  Speaking of Slott's Spidey . . .





No One Dies

1 XP When you admonish an ally that states that someone would be better off dead, or rebuke a villain that threatens a life.

3 XP When you spend your action in a scene to perform a recovery action for someone that has taken physical stress or trauma.

10 XP When you defeat a major threat that could have taken many innocent lives without any casualties, or when you allow an ally to sacrifice themselves in order to defeat that threat.



Hero On The Horizon

1 XP The first time you point out that a given villain has technology that might be helpful if put to less nefarious use.

3 XP When you use your Tech Expert Specialty to create a resource based on the technology of one of your enemies.

10 XP When you see an enemy utilize technology based on your designs to cause widespread danger
or a threat to innocent lives, and you decide to swear off of inventing gadgets for fear of their
misapplication.



Sharing a Toothbrush

1 XP Each time an unforeseen event happens in a scene that might delay time you intend to spend with your love interest, and you mention that complication to your allies.

3 XP Whenever you activate a Watcher's opportunity to create a resource expressly to help you explain your absence to your love interest, or to help you smooth over an argument you may have had with them.

10 XP When you choose to explain your heroic lifestyle and secret identity to your loved one, or when circumstances related to your secret identity cause you to end your relationship with your
loved one.

The next one is based on some of the story arcs in Avenging Spider-Man, especially the team ups with Red Hulk, Captain America, Hawkeye, and Captain Marvel.



Avenging Allies

1 XP When you share a personal detail about your life or outlook with an ally that did not know that
detail previously, or when they share a similar detail with you.

3 XP When you create an asset for an ally who is an Avenger and is using the Buddy Affiliation, or
when you successfully use an asset created by a fellow Avenger who is using the Buddy Affliliation.

10 XP When you defeat a major threat that your ally would have been better suited to defeat, or you
convince your ally that they were integral in defeating a major threat that you took down.

And this next one is kind of a hybrid of situations that have come up in Spider-Men and Avengers versus X-Men with Miles and Hope.



I'm A Role-Model?

1 XP When you encourage a younger hero about their place in the world.

3 XP When you accept an asset from a younger ally, or when you create an asset to give to a younger
ally.

10 XP When you take trauma showing a young hero that you can accomplish major task that appears to be beyond you.

The next one is kind of a treatment on the current "I'm a super-hero, not a grim brooding violent vigilante" Daredevil by Mark Waid.



Accentuate the Positive 

1 XP When you tell someone that you have known for a long time that you aren't going to dwell on
the negative elements of your past.

3 XP When your allies and friends have reason to believe that you are giving in to your dark side, or
that you might be about to suffer a mental breakdown.

10 XP When you defeat a villain that has caused you great pain in your past without sinking into
madness or indulging in your darker urges, or you give up on your positive attitude and
embrace violent revenge and brooding dark urges.

The next set of Milestones is based on Tony Stark's tendency to kind of freak out a little and stop just short of saying "game over, man, game over," in both Avengers versus X-Men and Avengers Assemble when faced with the Phoenix Force and Thanos, respectively.  



I Don't Often Doubt Myself, But When I Do . . .

1 XP Whenever you express doubt that you and your allies are prepared to face a threat that is facing
them.

3 XP When you create an asset for an ally, and their action fails, or when you create a resource and a
dice pool that includes that resource fails.

10 XP When you create an asset or resource that is used to defeat a threat that has previously defeated you or your allies, or when you and your allies are defeated and you lock yourself in your lab obsessing over what went wrong with your plans.

The next is based on Captain America's team up book, which is really starting to grow on me after the Iron Man arc . . .



Captain America and . . .

1 XP When you offer an ally philosophical advice or a moral rebuke while using the Buddy Affiliation.

3 XP When you create an asset for an ally while using the Buddy Affiliation, or when you successfully use an asset granted to you using the Buddy Affiliation.

10 XP When you and your ally defeat a major threat while using the Buddy Affiliation, and you either reaffirm that you make a good team, or you vow never to work together again.

The next few are based on some limited information, i.e. new series that only have a #1 so far, but pretty impressive #1s, to be sure.  First up I'll throw one out that is technically for Ms. Marvel to transition to her new mantle.



Reconciling the Past

1 XP When you mention a lesson you learned from your military past.

3 XP The first time in a scene that an ally points out your long history of important super heroics.

10 XP When you take on a new, already established mantle, and reveal it to the world.

The next one up is Hawkeye's, based on all one issue of his new series.



If I'm Not With The Avengers Or At the Barbeque, I Don't Eat

1 XP The first time you successfully complete an action without using your Bow and Trick Arrow Powerset in a scene.

3 XP When you use a resource from your Avengers background to help someone or something in
your neighborhood.

10 XP When you leave the Avengers to become a defender of the common folk, or when you move
out of your neighborhood to focus on your career as an Avenger.

And finally Gambit's, from his brand new #1 issue, though it really could apply to a few points in his career.



Once a Thief

1 XP The first time in a scene when you review your surroundings for potential targets for larceny.

3 XP When you activate a Watcher opportunity to create a resource or asset that will aid you in stealing an item.

10 XP When you decide to either get back in “the game,” or when you give up your extra-curricular
activities in order to focus more on your team and those that count on you.