JAGS Holiday City - Superheroes


We're still churning away on our super-hero supplement. I wanted to take a little bit of time to talk about how we are doing the books. It turns out that we almost always wind up doing things differently than we set out to. One of the things we're doing that I am pretty happy with though is separating the stats and the write-up for the characters. I'm not 100% sure I haven't talked about this before--but here goes.

For superheroes (especially) we want awesome pictures--we also don't necessarily want to reveal all their stats on the same page. How do we do that? We have two pages per character. One has the "public write up" (a super-wiki entry) that does the basic stuff that a person in the world might know. The second is has the stats and an "internal psychology" and "secret history" (if any) write-up.

Thus, a player can read the public entry and still have fun finding out about the character's stats during play. This has a limited shelf-life, of course (if you reuse the NPC, the players will know a lot more than their characters might)--but it provides at least a vehicle to separate the information in a way we like.

It also allows characters with secret identities to appear elsewhere in the game world-write ups in both their secret and public ID's. This is something that would be hard to accomplish with a traditional "enemies book" layout.

We determined that a super-write up needs to encompass origin (if decent) and motivation (almost always). Good origins turn out to be hard to come up with: they are usually key to heroes--but far less key to villain types (where motivation is often based on things that don't really apply to their origin story).

The above team is a "secret team" in the high-school portion of the book (JAGS Holiday City has three modes: High School Characters, Street Characters, and high powered Hero Characters). They belong to a private school run by what passes in the game-world for supervillains (we avoid using the terms superhero or supervillain for a variety of reasons).

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