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  • DC characters vs original?

    How many people are actually playing an existing DC character from the books versus playing an original character? (I'd explore polls, but some people might be playing multiple characters and I don't want them to have to choose.)

    john
    Some M&M stuff at my blog, [URL="http://jhmcmullen.blogspot.ca"][i]Iconic Energy[/i][/URL], but mostly [i]ICONS[/i]

  • #2
    Re: DC characters vs original?

    Original characters are much more fun to play than canon characters. Canon sorta puts you in a straight jacket, else you get "nuh UH they would never do that!" every time you try to make a decision.
    "Alexander, looking at the breadth of his domain, wept, for he saw no more of the world to conquer."

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    • #3
      Re: DC characters vs original?

      We're playing a Freedom City campaign, but one of my players really wanted to play Deathstroke. The rest are playing original characters.
      Apprentice Mastermind:
      Assorted Builds: [url]https://calubrecht.us/mutantsAndMasterminds/miscreants.html[/url]

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      • #4
        Re: DC characters vs original?

        I personally have a *thing* for Legacies and Amalgams. Even most of my so-called originals are homages in one way or another.
        [QUOTE=Enigmatic One;178799][FONT=Verdana]Note to self, get Bruce and his Bat-force to take this one.[/FONT][/QUOTE]

        [URL="https://www.dropbox.com/s/0m9d5ob31w5pfjw/Earth%20218.pdf?dl=0"]Earth 218 - JLA Academy Setting[/URL]
        [URL="http://roninarmy.com/threads/28-Blade-s-Third-Edition-Builds?p=109&viewfull=1#post109"]Blade's Builds[/URL]

        [URL="http://roninarmy.com/threads/1554-The-Merge-3E-(OOC)?p=124944#post124944"]The Merge Character Sheet Lists[/URL]
        [URL="http://roninarmy.com/threads/4284-The-Merge-Cosmic-Quandaries-3e-Interest-check?p=167246&viewfull=1#post167246"]The Cosmic Merge Character Sheet List[/URL]

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        • #5
          Re: DC characters vs original?

          Originally posted by kipling View Post
          How many people are actually playing an existing DC character from the books versus playing an original character? (I'd explore polls, but some people might be playing multiple characters and I don't want them to have to choose.)
          All original, all the time: Okay, sometimes my original characters are grifted from pre-existing characters, but always in a most original fashion. After all there is no such thing as an original idea, just new combinations of pre-existing ideas.
          “The very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. Instead of altering their views to fit the facts, they alter the facts to fit their views...which can be very uncomfortable if you happen to be one of the facts that needs altering.”

          -Doctor Who

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          • #6
            Re: DC characters vs original?

            Original, because everybody wants to be the goddamn batman
            "Nothing is more painful than the betrayal of an angel"

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            • #7
              Re: DC characters vs original?

              Originally posted by saint_matthew View Post
              All original, all the time: Okay, sometimes my original characters are grifted from pre-existing characters, but always in a most original fashion. After all there is no such thing as an original idea, just new combinations of pre-existing ideas.
              Pretty much this.

              And before anyone says...but you run two DC legacy games on the ATT...I'll defend that decision by saying, I put few restrictions on the powers those legacies could possess and never demanded they mirror the parent/mentor character.

              I also agree with Omnipotent Being in that there is much more freedom in playing a character of your own creation. Granted, much of the limitations of a canon character are simply preconceptions based on the published renditions of the character, but Batman really isn't Batman if he's cruising for chicks in the Batmobile.

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              • #8
                Re: DC characters vs original?

                The characters in my current game are all the grandchildren of DC characters.

                Superman appeared in '38, had a son in '48, and that son had a daughter in '79 who is Supreme in our game.

                Batman appeared in '39, had a daughter in '53, and that daughter had a son with Dick Grayson in '87 who is Batman in our game.

                All 6 players have similar origins.
                "Reverting to name calling suggests you are defensive and therefore find my opinion valid," Spock, Into Darkness.

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                • #9
                  Re: DC characters vs original?

                  I think it all depends on the group you're playing with. Back in 2001 when I first started to game and we were playing Marvel (FASERIP and Saga) we only ever played canon characters. That was a lot of fun. I don't think I ever heard the words, "That's not how s/he would have done it" attributed to any of us. We usually just appreciated when someone did pull it off and had a laugh.
                  Penny's Build Party - Playable builds - M&M 2.5 featuring Damage Roll combat

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                  • #10
                    Re: DC characters vs original?

                    Originally posted by Horsenhero View Post
                    Pretty much this.
                    In my case I think that's because Green Ronin said "oh so you are a fan of superhero comics huh? Well here is an infinitely adaptable tool kit capable of making any superhero your mind could ever want, so what are you waiting for chum, go to it."

                    Why would I ever play in something as limited as a pre-existing universe as a GM, when I can literally create my own entire universe taking all my favourite elements from every comic I've ever loved?

                    Heck my villain file is so big now that even though I refer to it as "arch-nemesis" some of my past players have referred to it as the "who's who of the Tower-verse, omnibus volume 1", in reference to the old comics from the 80's from DC... Or the Marvel version which my players agree are much less interesting.

                    Heck, I build new characters just for the fun of it.... Probably haven't even used 50% of the solo villains in the file yet, though some have been used multiple times because particular players liked them & requested they return.
                    “The very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. Instead of altering their views to fit the facts, they alter the facts to fit their views...which can be very uncomfortable if you happen to be one of the facts that needs altering.”

                    -Doctor Who

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                    • #11
                      Re: DC characters vs original?

                      Although I see your point saint_matthew, there is IMO a certain appeal to playing existing characters.

                      I love making my own just as much as the next guy, but I also see the appeal of pre-existing. Legacies aside, it`s sometimes fun to figure out what would Batman (or Superman or Gleek) do. Picking a style of play/ writer`s approach sets rules just as much as using that toolbox to create quasi-original or original characters...
                      [QUOTE=Enigmatic One;178799][FONT=Verdana]Note to self, get Bruce and his Bat-force to take this one.[/FONT][/QUOTE]

                      [URL="https://www.dropbox.com/s/0m9d5ob31w5pfjw/Earth%20218.pdf?dl=0"]Earth 218 - JLA Academy Setting[/URL]
                      [URL="http://roninarmy.com/threads/28-Blade-s-Third-Edition-Builds?p=109&viewfull=1#post109"]Blade's Builds[/URL]

                      [URL="http://roninarmy.com/threads/1554-The-Merge-3E-(OOC)?p=124944#post124944"]The Merge Character Sheet Lists[/URL]
                      [URL="http://roninarmy.com/threads/4284-The-Merge-Cosmic-Quandaries-3e-Interest-check?p=167246&viewfull=1#post167246"]The Cosmic Merge Character Sheet List[/URL]

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: DC characters vs original?

                        Originally posted by Bladewind View Post
                        Although I see your point saint_matthew, there is IMO a certain appeal to playing existing characters.
                        Trust me, it doesn't last. The second someone does something outside of canon the rest of the session is usually the GM putting people in separate corners to cool down, rescuing the table from the Brian Vanhoose style table flip & cleaning up the spilled mountain dew.

                        Yeah, I'm being hyperbolic for the sake of humour, don't take the above comment to seriously: If you enjoy playing pre-existing characters you go right ahead, do what makes ya happy.
                        “The very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. Instead of altering their views to fit the facts, they alter the facts to fit their views...which can be very uncomfortable if you happen to be one of the facts that needs altering.”

                        -Doctor Who

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                        • #13
                          Re: DC characters vs original?

                          Exactly.

                          And when that fails, blame it on the Red Kryptonite.
                          [QUOTE=Enigmatic One;178799][FONT=Verdana]Note to self, get Bruce and his Bat-force to take this one.[/FONT][/QUOTE]

                          [URL="https://www.dropbox.com/s/0m9d5ob31w5pfjw/Earth%20218.pdf?dl=0"]Earth 218 - JLA Academy Setting[/URL]
                          [URL="http://roninarmy.com/threads/28-Blade-s-Third-Edition-Builds?p=109&viewfull=1#post109"]Blade's Builds[/URL]

                          [URL="http://roninarmy.com/threads/1554-The-Merge-3E-(OOC)?p=124944#post124944"]The Merge Character Sheet Lists[/URL]
                          [URL="http://roninarmy.com/threads/4284-The-Merge-Cosmic-Quandaries-3e-Interest-check?p=167246&viewfull=1#post167246"]The Cosmic Merge Character Sheet List[/URL]

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: DC characters vs original?

                            While in my case it's more Marvel as opposed to DC, I think both approaches have their merits.

                            As far as saint_matthew's extreme example, that's more a problem with certain players. If you've got members of the group that are the type to get hung up on "comics canon" regarding how a character would act or what abilities they have, then the GM is probably better off having everyone make original (or at least semi-original) characters. Legacies are certainly an option, particularly if the GM wants to implement real-time vs. comic-book time, making it so that heroes such as Batman and Green Arrow are now mantles that have been passed down from master to student, such as Bruce Wayne passing the Batman mantle to either Dick Grayson or Tim Drake.

                            But if you don't have such extreme stick-in-the-mud players, then by all means go for a full-blown pastiche of a particularly character if that strikes your fancy. I had a hoot playing Darkhawk in MWP's Marvel Heroic RPG, and am having even more fun playing Spider-Man (with some minor background tweaks such as the Uncle Ben figure being alive and this Peter not needing a harsh lesson in "great power = great responsibility") in a friend's M&M3e Emerald City campaign. None of the players have raised the "well that's not what Spider-Man in the comics/movies/cartoon/ would do!" complaint, but then I'm probably making too many bad quips and puns... which is precisely what Spidey would do in most instances.

                            Granted, with the two Marvel examples I cited, I had to come up with the stat blocks myself (the Civil War supplements hadn't been released until after several sessions of my playing Darkhawk, and it's not likely we'll be seeing official M&M3e versions of Marvel characters anytime soon), so there was some aspect of "originality" to them. In contrast, a lot of the DC heroes do have stat blocks (some of them are even viable as player characters), but for some players simply grabbing a pre-made stat block for more than a one-shot isn't exactly their cup of tea.

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                            • #15
                              Re: DC characters vs original?

                              People might want to play iconic characters, and often when they do they should make decisions when playing the same they would with original characters. If you look at the Marvel rpg that just came out it has an experience system that is built to incentive players to play iconic and to reward them when they seek goals in line with the traditional outlooks of that character.

                              This is something Marvel game has that MnM3e (and 2e) didn't really explore as it has a general power point reward system, not something like the karma system or this new marvel system has that seems to reward players based on specific objectives and character driven outcomes. The power point rewards work the same way but are not spelled out like we see in those games. The GM is free to do that.

                              DC adventures should have a set of, let's call them, character objectives or goals which if you meet them you are rewarded as a player. It goes without saying a goal is in line with the character. If this is Captain America he has a goal in line with his character and if this is Batman he has a goal. Say it is batman and a player decides to specifically go against that batethos. He decides to be Punisher and kill the Joker. That clearly is something multiple comics have gone to great lengths to inscribe in the batman character. The player if you look at the marvel system is rewarded for achieving goals, not penalized for going against the ethos. So the GM doesn't take Hero Points away from a player, rather he simply doesn't reward the player. At least that seems to be the approach thus far.

                              Now, if the player says they want to play and he says I want to be Batman but I might make decisions that the writers of Batman have not made. For example, I might kill the Joker if the opportunity presents itself (as generally Batman does not seek to do this but the opportunity in the story will eventually come up) and as such I will not make that same choice.

                              The player takes on the role of a writer, and should have the freedom as such.

                              It should also be stated that we read a lot of comics and often, at least I have this memory and I assume most of you do too, that we read comics where we completely disagree with how that comic writer takes the story, or makes a villain choice, or a number of other issues. I'm sure this is a topic ripe for the online Vigilance Podcast as I know they will have plenty to say about it.

                              That is how the iconic character should be taken in the story. If the players say we want to play a Batman comic story and thus agree with the limits of Batman as they are iconic-ally stated. Then please just write them down. I'm sure, since it is batman there is already a list of canon tropes about his comics that writers purposely limit or editors hold writers to. Meaning, the editor (as the GM of the comic industry) stops that writer from going against this list and writing Batman in an way counter to it.

                              Being a player is about freedom and fulling the urge and if that urge is being Batman in a campaign. There is zero wrong with that and instead of stopping it, as you see with a game like marvel rpg it encourages it (But then that game might also suffer with not pushing original characters). The ultimate rpg would allow both. For you to create your own characters and play iconics if you want to do that.

                              Playing iconics simply means you get a ready list of things you can do to achieve power points and hero points. Perhaps a more nuanced XP system can be put into place, like every 10 XP = 1 power point (or some ratio you agree with, like every 15 XP = 1 pp, etc.) in which case you can have something like you see in the Marvel system married into the MnM approach and move on. Problem identified, problem solved. You then can make similar lists of character Milestones.

                              If you want to penalize clearly out of character actions, like Batman killing, then perhaps the player pays a cost of X hero points, or perhaps for that game session, may not earn hero points. Instead of penalizing this eliminates their access to hero points since they are not really being heroes.

                              Those type of decisions should be GM and player group decided and yes it might mean that a group of five people, four people out vote that one person who votes otherwise. But that conflict is internal. Yet, the official MnM books can include information on this. Like a list of suggested outcomes, like three ways to address it and stress this is ONLY a set of suggestions that can be ignored.

                              That is why MnM is a great game. It can include optional rules, but enshrined in the official books. Many games don't do that.

                              But ultimately this is wherre DC Adventures in particular has room to grow since Milestones for DC characters (and a list of them) would be great. Do you need them for Marvel characters? not really since many of them are created, but perhaps you don't like what is created, create alternative milestones for a character. In the end its just information generated for people to use like a shopping list and use if they want. Nothing is mandatory, so I say go for it and create some lists as someone will end up using it, if not you of course. This takes the positive reward approach rather than the negative penalty, though if you do make a negative penalty for being unheroic (for a character who is not an anti-hero) and acts unheroic (or anti-heroic) the penalty of not gaining hero points is severe. We are talking: your playing Superman and you act like Wolverine, should Superman still get hero points that game session'. Also, what if Superman does this near the end of the session, how about next game session if that same group carries over to the next, or if the same story line is continued into another game session.

                              That is part of this issue and should be addressed.

                              It does go without saying that if an iconic character already includes unheroic behavior most players aren't going to be as hostile about when they act heroic (so there is a double standard). What if Booster Gold doesn't act in a manner that involves self-promotion? or Wolverine decides to 'be a boyscout'. This aspect seems silent and also could be discussed, but the real part that seems to upset is when a more iconically heroic character (like superman, batman) act in a manner that is anti-heroic or outright villainous and thus by definition un-characteristic.

                              It should also be noted that is the whole point of comics like the Authority or Astro City. If the writers of that comic had the chance they probably would have taken the DC iconic characters and played out that same comic, and then you'd have superman making choices that would seem out of character since his character clearly has been molded against making such choices.

                              You could then say its like a giant case of What If? And that is where players playing iconics really come in. What if Superman says to the humans if you can't solve your problems and if all these crimes happen perhaps mind control is a solution and I'm going to partner with Batman to make a solution. Of course, this will go against that that is built into the DC ethos of comics, so that people have to create a story like this, with character who are like those characters but not those characters. Part of this then is about how DC comics as a company (and Marvel) have been about protecting and crafting their characters and not allowing individual writers to explore characterization that was out of line with that, since clearly it is possible and many writers might want to do so.

                              That is what is then possible with playing iconics in an rpg game. There is no secret police of DC and Marvel that comes to your house and takes you in for interogation. You really can play it how you want and the problem is other players or the GM playing the role of the secret police. Perhaps DC or Marvel can pay a fee to those players for protecting the IP of their companies. "Yes this player was actually going to kill Joker as Batman but by God, I said something and the conflict left Batman fortunately unable to complete that act" "oh you can make my check out to.....and my mailing address is'. DC would be proud of you secret police and they will send you a Decoder Ring and Badge for your membership in the Junior Editors club.

                              Imagine that the player got a letter from DC thanking him for his or her service. IP protected!!!! Of course sends you a letter by Stan Lee (though actually they just have his signature on a stamp but no one is suppose to know that) and he says Excelsior to the person for making sure Peter Parker stays a True Believer along with the person receiving the letter.

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