The King is Dead

Monday, July 24, 2017

Gargoyles SPC Campaign Parameters

I ran the Gargoyles game utilizing the gargoyle Paradigmatic Framework I posted on the blog a while back, but – frankly – I wasn’t too satisfied with it. The hefty load of Hindrances was too overbearing for a one-shot game, so I wound up rewriting and simplifying things a bit on the character sheets. At about noon on Friday, I realized the whole affair would have been easier with the Super Powers Companion, but it was too late to redo all the characters.

While the stats I used for the game worked fine at my table, where everything was at least internally balanced (if not exactly system-balanced), I don’t want Game Masters and players out there who want to borrow the characters to have any balance issues at their tables. Therefore, I’m presenting revised options to play Gargoyles with the SPC.* 

Gargoyles Campaign Parameters

Gargoyles is a Four Color power level campaign world using Super Karma and typical Power Point distribution (instead of the Rising Stars model). The available races are gargoyles, humans, Children of Oberon, mutates, and New Olympians. The following new setting rules are in effect:

New Setting Rule: Family-Friendly Violence

I’d rather just leave this as gentleman’s agreements between Game Masters and players, but we all know there’s going to be that one jerk who wants to break the game.

Except for “Deadly Force” (a Very Special Episode if there ever was one), violence on Gargoyles is rarely deadly. Characters get hurt worse than on most American-made children’s television of the ‘80s and ‘90s (Gargoyles is arguably more violent than Batman: The Animated Series, for example), but most violence stays well within the limits of typical Saturday morning and syndicated cartoons. Claws, guns, rocket launchers, and swords all have about the same chance of seriously injuring someone.

To reflect this, characters are limited to a maximum of two ranks in any damaging powers. This means that attack, melee is limited to Str+2d6 damage, attack, ranged is limited to 2d10 (with the Enhanced Damage modifier), damage field is limited to 3d6, etc. This applies to uses of super-sorcery by Oberon’s Children as well.

New Setting Rule: Ritual Magic

Outside of the Children of Oberon and their descendants, no characters in Gargoyles display the ability to work magic without using a spellbook (almost always the Grimorum Arcanorum). Even the Archmage relies on the Grimorum – which he has magically ingested – during his brief reign of terror in Avalon.

The super sorcery power is unavailable to any character except fae or partial fae. Characters in possession of a spellbook may activate a power from that book by beating the spell’s Power Point rating with a successful Smarts or Knowledge (Arcana) roll. This roll may be attempted as a Dramatic Task for spells with higher Power Point costs, with the results of each roll adding to the previous one (suffering the usual -2 penalty to the roll and complications).  

New Setting Rule: Untapped Potential

Over the course of the series, numerous characters who begin as ordinary humans become super-powered: Derek Maza and Wolf become part-animal mutates, Jackal and Hyena become cyborgs, Dingo gets a set of super-armor (that becomes even more super later on), Rory Dugan is the reincarnation of Cu Chullain, Fox is revealed to have innate magical abilities from being part-fay, etc.

Rather than spending all of their Power Points during character creation, players creating human characters may save points to purchase super powers after some transformative event. This option is only available for human heroes.   

*Honestly, the Super Powers Companion is everyone’s best friend for non-Rifts® higher-powered and/or cartoony Savage Worlds games and all of y’all should own a copy. It works just as well for anime and cartoons as it does for supers; you just have to set limits on what powers are and aren’t allowed at the table. Heck, I swear by it as a tool for pulp-style games – after all, who needs some sort of “chainmail bikini” Edge when you can just give your loincloth-clad barbarian some extra Toughness?


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