Hello everyone. I have an idea. Before leaving comments, please read this post to the very end to fully understand this concept. It would be courteous so I won't have to constantly explain things. I do have a part at the very end on limited campaign usage.
-Mutants & Masterminds 3E rules, PL X characters.
-M&M3E Cosmic Handbook rules, PL X 1-5.
-Jes86's Omniverse Sourcebook Vol. 1-2, stats for cosmic entities (Galactus, Heralds, Celestials, etc).
-Dragon Ball Franchise: Goku VS Beerus, Battle of Gods.
-DC Comics: Superman Prime VS Monarch, Countdown to Final Crisis (Destruction of Universe 51).
Imagine you have players who want power. They want to be as powerful as possible, as many players do. They may want to be planet-busting, god-stomping powerhouses that are nigh unstoppable. But the GM, while wanting to entertain this idea, still needs to maintain game balance. Especially in Mutants & Masterminds, where Power Level (PL) is key to maintaining said game balance. What do you do? Is there a way to do both?
I think, possibly, there is.
The TL;DR version is this. Without going above PL, you have the players put in a situation where they must battle a PL X character, and they need more power to get the job done. Make the stakes high to create the need for success and make this change plausible (or else the planet, solar system, universe, etc, will be destroyed). Like Goku in Battle of Gods, the players discover a means to attain a "God Mode". Once they do so, their character stats functionally stay the same on paper, but act as though they have +20 ranks in their traits. The PL X villain would be given stats like any other character/villain written up within PL 1-20 as per normal. When the players are not in "God Mode", this threat character is effectively PL X. But when the players attain "God Mode", the PL X character is no longer PL X to them, instead now having stats like the other players. Between the players and the villainous God-character, their stats are relative to each other, as they all now operate and function on the same/similar level. But to outsiders watching their battle, it would seem as a battle between gods (and pretty much is) due to the power being unleashed, and the speed with which they move.
Further Reading, Thoughts, Etc:
-My main thought process on this subject has been kicking around in my head for a few weeks now, as I began looking back through my M&M books. I sat down a few weeks ago and tried writing up a version of Goku as a thought exercise. A key reference was the Death Battle video of Goku VS Superman. While a lot of Goku fans hated the outcome of the video, it did give several facts about Goku's abilities that could be used to stat him out in M&M, which I used. The result was a Pl 10 base form Goku, and a PL 15 SS4 version when fully powered, based on the Suer Saiyan power multipliers and tryin to fit them into the M&M3E rules. Many people would argue this, even more so when I made up my own takes on SS God Red, SS God Blue, and SS God Blue Kaio-Ken, making Goku PL 17, but having very little facts about SSG forms to go by. The only straight fact I could determine was Goku needing God Ki to even be able to touch Beerus in Battle of Gods, and past that everything else was a guess. At first glance, this looks way, WAY under-powered and not even close to what Goku in god form should be able to do, UNTIL you take this next bit into account...
-When Superboy Prime (PL 16) was attacked by a self-destructing Guardian of the Universe late in Sinestro Corp War, he seemed to die, but instead was shunted somewhere else in the DC Multiverse and received a strong power-up (assume PL 17), looked older, and called himself SuperMAN Prime for a while. This led up to Prime fighting Monarch (PL 17) in Universe 51 during Countdown To Final Crisis. At the end of the fight, Prime ruptured Monarch's armor, and the energies unleashed destroyed Universe 51 entirely!
-Using that event as a reference for how to handle battles between godlike characters of high PL, we refer to Battle of Gods again. SSG Red Goku fought Beerus and their battle reverberated throughout Universe 7, and many characters were afraid this fight could destroy their universe. While my SSGR Goku write-up is about PL 12-13 (but adding 1pt Feature of "God Ki", where Beerus would be PL 20-ish with an Immunity against mortals with a Limitation that it can be bypassed by anyone using "God Ki" until I find a better way), SSGB Goku is PL 15, and SSGBKK Goku is PL 17, using the Prime/Monarch fight as a reference and making "universal destruction" as more of a background theme (or if GMs wish, they can have the universe be in true peril if either character actually dies and releases their godlike power!). When characters tapping into such power begin fighting, reverberations and "cosmic quakes" throughout the universe could be signs to any involved player characters that there is real cosmic level danger for even having this fight in the first place.
-The next step in my thought process was Jes86's Omniverse Sourcebooks and the Celestial Entities statted out there. He did a fine job on these! MUCH RESPECT! It got me thinking of how could players close the gap from their mortal PLs to do battle on even footing with such godlike beings. The stats there for Galactus and the sidebar for his Hunger added to the thought process.
-Add in the expanded rules for PL X in M&M3E's Cosmic Handbook to rank PL X as 1-5, and everything said so far starts to mix together, resulting in this. On one hand, there's the "theme" GMs can add to godly battles of having the universe quake when certain characters, even lower PL (10-15) characters begin to battle, depending on where their power is coming from. On the other hand, this mic also led to me forming the idea presented above, where player characters can attain an effective PL X god mode form, on paper and in battle not much would change, and the PL X threat they face would actually have stats like any other PL 1-20 character/villain as they fight it. The fight between these characters goes like normal as they are on the same level now, but on the outside they would seem overly powerful beyond belief!
-Something I wonder about if this PL X +20 rank idea were used is if it would increase character's Speed and Quickness. This makes me think of the many times during Dragon Ball where characters start fighting, and they move so fast most other characters cannot see them. On one hand, for most characters, this could make a lot of sense. But what if one of the characters getting this PL X +20 boost is already a rank 20 Speedster? Would it be ok to make them a rank 40 Speedster? Would this become too powerful? Since the players and villains would be operating on the same PL X level at this point, if everyone involved has +20 Speed/Quickness, it probably wouldn't matter, Defense and Offenses between these characters would not effectively change as they fight, it would just be the outside observation looking in that would notice (or not, if the Speedster is moving too fast to see, and probably already did this to begin with). And what about Flight? Or should such characters get Movement powers like Space Travel? I guess this would be up to the each GM in the long run.
-LIMITED CAMPAIGN USE! OK, this is something that needs to be said. While many people might like getting access to such power, while I would love to tinker around with it, this is not the kind of power that should just be handed out and used all the time. This led to more thoughts I had on the subject as I have been mulling all of this over these past few weeks. If I were to use this in a campaign, I would either discuss it with my players first beforehand (unfortunately spoiling any surprise), or hit them with god mode in a single game session for fun, then discuss its usage afterwards. Bottom lining it, I would say that we can use this from time to time, but it's not going to be there all the time, nor should it be. If they all agreed to this, I'd keep it in the campaign. If they balked at god mode's limited use in the campaign, I'd not bring it back, and maybe end the campaign entirely if I wound up having a pushy bad batch of players (which has happened before). If used in a campaign, I would want the limitation(s) to involve a process that cannot be done all the time (being allowed and endowed by the Gods themselves (GM discretion) only in the direst of universal circumstances; performing a ritual that requires a key element that will not always be available; only being able to transform into god mode when certain beings or enemies are nearby, such as evil gods with God Ki or other divine energies; etc).
So. Thoughts? Please feel free to share, both good and bad. I know there will be people who say no, but I am also hoping for some more positive and constructive criticism.
A place to discuss game rules, homebrew systems and the like.
1 post • Page 1 of 1