Wednesday, April 17, 2024

New Salem: Renaissance - Customized Power Charts

Since we have been discussing the various power designs and generation methods I wanted to take a look an an option for our base system, V&V, that I don't know that other V&V GMs play with, which is redesigning the Power Charts for your specific campaign. The basic idea is that you can prioritize and split the powers up as you wish. Since they are mostly there for inspiration and giving some framework, you're not going to break anything. 

In some ways this takes us back a bit to the 1E charts, where the origin types had separate power charts - and you could recreate that if you wanted, but I more want to take a look at how to tweak the system. V&V 2E has two different sized of power charts: Powers, Devices, and Magic/Psionic items (which also incorporates extreme hypertech like the Green Lantern Corps Rings) are expansive lists, while Skills and Magic/Psionics are tighter lists. The expansive lists have roughly 60 powers on them, with 40-ish at 2% chance and 20-ish at 1%. The tighter lists are 12-14 powers, each with a 7-9% chance (except Cosmic Awareness, with a 1% chance on Magic/Psionics - wow did the scarcity of Cosmic Awareness make me think it must have been the most kickass power ever as a kid; in practice, not so much). 

The Skills list is generally fine, as it's not so much "skills" as it is "abilities common to non-powered heroes" or "if you've already got some things you think are cool roll here to see what training you did". It's great to be a DC style hero with your one high tech device and lots of training, or your badass martial artist. 

The Magic/Psionics list 

It's a very short list of 12 abilities designed to maximize your chance to get mental powers or Magic Spells, which is strange because you can just, ya'know, pick those. And it creates this weird implication that things rolled on the Powers table can't be magical in nature, because the Magic table is here.

This may have all be an aside, but I'm leaving it in. 

My idea then, is to build new power tables for New Salem: Renaissance that better reflect what I want to see in the setting. They will have two designs

Expansive will have 

  • 10 powers with a 3% chance each - the most common super-abilities in the setting.  
  • 20 powers with a 2% chance each - common super abilities
  • 30 powers with a 1% chance each - rarer super-abilities
  • One of those 1% powers is Mutant Power, a unique super-ability. 
Tailored will have 
  • 10 powers with a 7% chance each - core abilities of this tailored set
  • 6 powers with a 4% chance each - common options in the tailored set
  • 6 powers with a 1% chance each - rare options in the tailored set. 

Yes, this is going to force me to expand on the skills list a bit, which is also going to add more powers. But it also lets me build separate Magic and Psionics tables. WATCH THIS SPACE, TRUE BELIEVERS. 

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