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New GM Looking for Advice

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  • New GM Looking for Advice

    Hello, all.

    So, here's the scoop: I've owned some M&M 3E books for years and haven't really had ample opportunity to GM. The games I've tried to get started have fallen apart during character creation for one reason or another (often personal reasons, either with myself or the players). I may have an opportunity to try once again in the near future, and I'd like to be prepared.

    To try something different, I'm designing a custom steampunk/fantasy setting for the game, loosely inspired by the late 1800s and early 1900s. I really like this idea that in an age of discovery and exploration, with the advent of locomotives, airships, and the telegraph, the world is beginning to feel smaller than it has in times since past, and as humanity's progress lays the path for a new era, so too do we begin to glimpse the truth about the supernatural. While the heroes will likely have a shared mutant origin granting them some inherent powers, there are many possible origins available in the setting, allowing for some growth as we progress through the game. Were-creatures, vampires, alchemy, elemental crystals, various forms of magic, summoning, chi, mechanical devices, early electrical advances, hypnotism, and more will all be present to one degree or another, but will each be doled out slowly as the world gradually grows.

    I guess, ideally, I'm looking at a low-PL game to match the setting. This isn't a world that's used to supers, as most people who demonstrate supernatural abilities have either been seen as monsters or faded into legends. Depending on how the group wants to play the game, I'm leaning towards PL 4, maybe PL 3 if they want to do teen supers, but I'm not sure I'd really want to dip below that. The hope is that the lower PL will help reinforce the idea that while these characters are "super" compared to the normal populace, they are by no means gods among men. Damage seems like it could still hurt a lot at this level, and I'm hoping that will help encourage some thoughts on how to resolve scenes without always having to resort to combat (or, at the very least, having to rely more on cover and concealment than a straight-up brawl). I dunno, keeping the PL lower feels a little more grim and gritty to me, and that's kind of the vibe I'd like to aim for, trying to emphasize the "punk" aspect of steampunk.

    I'm still trying to keep the game fairly urban, setting the first several adventures in a larger city, but there are some transportation issues that come with the time period I'm not sure how to resolve in the rules. Any suggestions for how one might model things like bicycles, riding horseback, or horse-drawn carriages?

    Also, does anyone have any experience using the Wealth system presented in the GM Guide? It seems like it could be a fun addition, and I know at least one of my players would appreciate a way to track finances. Though, if I do decide to incorporate it, I may lean a little more heavily on the Wealth system from d20 Modern, which seems to be the foundation for that segment in the GM Guide.

  • #2
    First go PL 6 to 8,it is still a supers game and the players will feel to normal if you do PL 4,The idea of a supers campaign is (what ever setting)they are above normal people.I would look at League of Extraordinary Gentlemen or even a few Sci-Fi books that involve steampunk.Use a place like the Empire club or your own(mine was the Magic Hat Lounge)to get them together and have that feel of the era.