Saturday, April 23, 2016

Super Saturday: Alternate Universal Tables

One thing that's always bothered me is how the Marvel Super Heroes Role-Playing Game (FASERIP) has significantly more detail in the space of ability scores from 10-50 than outside that range, creating a "flat spot" there if you make a graph of it. I've suggested a few fixes for that in the past. In addition, I'm always on the lookout for some way to easily convert Marvel Wiki Power Grids to the FASERIP system. But: Any such fix to the FASERIP ability scores would require a new Universal Table, of course.

Here's one option, one that I would be likely to use these days, based on a very simple 1-2-5 series progression (a "Basic" table, if you will). This actually gives exactly 7 ranks from Feeble to Unearthly, the same granularity as Marvel Wiki Power Grids, so in theory you could convert them directly to the fixed ranks as given. (With one caveat: on the Marvel Wiki, "2" indicates "Typical", so we might have to offset it by one place.)



Alternatively, if you want more granularity (an "Advanced" table), you could use the Renard R5-series (ISO 3), which is actually a better match for the "flat spot" from Good to Amazing, although it also introduces new ranks above and below for consistency -- like Anemic (3) on the low end, and Shift H ("Shift Eta", 600) on the high end. In this case if you were looking at the Marvel Wiki Power Grids, a score of 1 would be Feeble/Anemic, 2 would be Poor/Typical, 3 Good/Excellent, and 4-7 would respectively be Remarkable, Incredible, Amazing, and Unearthly (as an initial approximation).



Which looks better to you?

8 comments:

  1. Do you think there's more detail in the low end because they expect more abilities to be in the low end? I dunno, I've never played it but that was just what struck me immediately.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Basically, yes (although I'd call it the middle part, 10-50). The system is pretty clearly targeted towards mid-level heroes like Spider-Man, Captain America, Daredevil, etc. (and less so folks like Nick Fury/the Punisher, or Thor/Hulk...)

      Delete
  2. I like the first one, 1-2-5, But it may have some of the same issues I have with M&M 3rd edition, where there does not feel like there is enough room/variation in the low-level "normal human" spectrum.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree (and that is the same as how the RAW table feels awkward); I'm a bit torn between the two options myself.

      Delete
    2. I guess we have to keep in mind, in a game where folks can toss mountains, the difference between what I can lift vs my brother in law, does not amount to much. Plus it matches genre conventions, "peak" human characters are constantly rock-paper-scissors beating each other, then getting taken down by mooks as story demands.
      So I would default to the cleaner chart, less likely to make a prospective new player's eyes glaze over.

      Delete
    3. I like that line of thought.

      Delete
  3. Both of these series grow a lot faster than the original. I discussed it at http://explorebeneathandbeyond.blogspot.com/2015/04/inspiration-from-faserip.html and suggested 4, 6, 8, 10, 15, 20, 30, 40, 50, 75, 100 – which is keeping the series 20-100 and simply continuing it downwards filling in the obvious missing entries in the series to make it smoother. For lower human values this makes it a slower growth curve, but I think it’s good.
    If you’re not trying to match the original then the 1,2,5 series works well (each term is always 2 or 2.5 times the last) but 1,2,3,4,6,10 series isn’t as good (terms can be between 1.3 and 2 times the last) but the one I suggested the multiplier is between 1.25 and 1.5.
    It’s tricky in general to get a good pattern - I talk about it in detail at http://explorebeneathandbeyond.blogspot.com/2015/11/logarithmic-scales.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nice blog article. Certainly I wanted to avoid decimals in our rank values, so rounding the R5 values of 1.6 ~ 2 and 2.5 ~ 3 did cause that somewhat undesirable quantum jump. Good point, and that's another argument in favor of the simpler 1-2-5 scale, I think.

      Delete