Thursday, February 8, 2024

New Salem: Renaissance - Are You Experienced?

It turns out I have less work to do than I thought in updating V&V's experience system for New Salem: Renaissance. That's Good! It shows that the original 1982 system is more mathematically complete than I had realized as a kid. We do need some tweaks 

The Core Activity of New Salem: Renaissance restoring the city by dismantling its criminal and corrupt networks and restoring a sense of Justice and Community to the citizens. 

Ways to get Experience: 

  1. Defeating Criminals: Capturing criminals and handing them over to the authorities. The experience value of the criminal is 
    1. The sum of their Hit Points+Power Score
    2. Plus 10 points per Ability they possess. Note that Bionics, Animal Powers, etc.  count as one ability, despite their granting sub-abilities
    3. Multiplied by their experience level. 
    4. Criminals handed over to non-corrupt authorities will earn more than the normal experience award, but this require the PCs to locate and cultivate relationships with or recruit and place such non-corrupt authorities. Each of the following increases the award by *0.2: Arresting Officer; Overseeing Detective; Chief of Police; District Attorney; Judge.
    5. (Defeated criminals will be inconvenienced by the defeat by a measure based on their location in their Conspyramid and how corrupt the authorities on their case are.)
  2. Killing Criminals: Because we are still operating in a stressed-but standing Comics Code environment, there is no reward for killing villains. This is a genre convention, just as much as a domino mask protecting your identity. 
  3. Converting Alignment: a chunk of play is based on the PCs, through their actions and behavior modeling, either convincing the unaligned of New Salem to become Good, or convincing the Evil that they are better served becoming Unaligned or even Good. While I have not worked out a game mechanic for doing so, it should be rewarded equal to the value they would have as a defeated criminal. 
    1. Their standard award applies for each alignment change, so moving an Evil character to Good is worth twice the standard award, though it likely happens in two parts. 
  4. Donating Reward Money: I am legit torn on whether to include this. It's entirely in keeping in such a corrupt city for independent citizens to offer rewards for villain's capture, knowing that the authorities won't prioritize it, and for the corrupt authorities to offer rewards for the heroes. But for now, I'm leaving it out. 
  5. Saving Lives: Each session the PCs are eligible for bonus experience for rescuing innocents. The award is based on the relative risk to the PC, and applies if the PC is rescuing a small number of people from a single clear threat. 
    1. Low risk: 50
    2. Some risk 100
    3. Great risk 150
    4. Surviving what should have been a self sacrifice 200
  6. Crisis Situations: Reducing the impact of a crisis situation to reduce property damage and prevent people from being hurt. 
    1. Assisting 100
    2. Mitigating 200
    3. Preventing 300
  7. Gathering Information: In classic supers play this would be unravelling the super-villains dastardly plan, but here it's learning the identities and weaknesses of the Conspyramid nodes. These are small but relevant bonuses to mitigate the sting of not having combat be as frequent, given how necessary combat is to defeating villains. 
    1. Gathering information on an identified villain/node 50
    2. Identifying linkages and weaknesses between identified nodes. 100
    3. Discovering the existence of a new node 150

I know the baseline of this system works because I used something very much like it for my Legion of Super-Heroes PBEM game. That version also had awards for drawing on character tags and advancing rational, emotional, or teenage angst subplots, which aren't pieces of technology I want to advance in this game. The players can control the emotional states of their characters without having to deal with XP awards for it, as super hero comic book melodrama isn't part of our core activities. Nothing wrong with it, but it's not this game.

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