What do you think about Powered by the Apocalypse games?

pemerton

Legend
@Manbearcat - I agree that playbooks aren't just classes. Though some D&D classes, especially in their early/AD&D forms, come close to being playbooks: druids, monks, paladins, to an extent rangers and thieves. Why I say that is because these classes tend to bring an arena of conflict, and an archetype, and to some extent dramatic needs, in a way that resembles a playbook. That's why they are always the "problem classes" in any discussion of classic D&D play (whereas fighters, clerics, MUs and illusionists fit right in - they have no inbuilt trajectory or tensions).
 

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Campbell

Relaxed Intensity
Fighting words, for we MHRers!

I've never checked out Smallville, or the relevant chapter(s) of the Hacker's Guide, and probably should. I think that soap-opera stuff in MHR is carried by Milestones. I've seen them work reasonably well, but maybe the Smallville tech is better.

A lot depends on your reference point. I think early Clairemont era works pretty well with Marvell Heroic, but the X-Men I grew up reading in the 90s into especially more recent runs are barely superheroes. It's pure soap opera interspersed by random bouts of violence.
 

I enjoy them, but as various posters here know, they stress me out. When we played Masks I really appreciated how each playbook reflected a narrative arc and pushed the character to have certain concerns in the fiction-- I had fun as a player with my Soldier playbook and the the kind of relationship it gave me with the rest of the team and the game world. But I also found myself feeling a lot less supported in actually structuring scenes, ESPECIALLY fight scenes that in the genre take a while to play out, and they could feel meandering and awkward-- probably because I'm out of practice, but it mirrored the kinds of issues I had in my freeform rp message board days (though in a different way.) I'm hoping that Avatar Legend's exchanges help, and when a fight scene is worth actually playing out rather than summarizing, it provides better support.

I also had some issues when it came to my players not enjoying the degree to which they ceded agency due to complications, one took a member of their legacy playbook's cool motorcycle out on a joyride as revenge (clearing conditions specifically, in terms of how it was resolved-- I don't remember the exact context, but I think it was foolhardy action to clear insecure), another decided to supercharge it with their powers, there was a complication, and the bike was damaged. Which led to a breakdown in the relationship between the player and a member of their legacy, at least temporarily, which, totally apropos for the genre-- but the player hated that sense of the story pivoting around their character being encouraged to do 'stupid' things as a result of their emotional state, or their actions having unintended consequences arising from me generating complications out of the roll.

They strongly approved of Lancer's declaration that the player has to know the exact consequences of every roll before choosing to go through with it, for a point of comparison-- and their favorite part of Masks was the fact that power and combat was completely free form, so they could describe their power set and abilities however they wanted without any real restriction of matching up with game mechanics.
 

Aldarc

Legend
A lot depends on your reference point. I think early Clairemont era works pretty well with Marvell Heroic, but the X-Men I grew up reading in the 90s into especially more recent runs are barely superheroes. It's pure soap opera interspersed by random bouts of violence.
And characters with poorly drawn feet covered in pouches.
 

pemerton

Legend
A lot depends on your reference point. I think early Clairemont era works pretty well with Marvell Heroic, but the X-Men I grew up reading in the 90s into especially more recent runs are barely superheroes. It's pure soap opera interspersed by random bouts of violence.
I stopped reading in the mid-90s - I remember Scott and Jean getting married, because a comic shop owner laughed at me when I purchased the wedding album; and in Excalibur I remember Warren Ellis apparently writing himself in as Pete Wisdom.

But the stories that are burned on my brain are definitely Claremont-era!
 
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