Hero Popularity in DCA

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crashmurdoch
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Hero Popularity in DCA

Postby crashmurdoch » Sat May 25, 2013 6:53 pm

For my new campaign I was thinking of introducing a Popularity system similar to the old TSR Marvel RPG. Essentially something to gauge what the populace thinks of the characters, perhaps leading to scenes like the one in Spider-man where the people rise to defend the hero or distract the villain.

Is there such a system in M&M already?
Does anyone have any suggestions?

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Re: Hero Popularity in DCA

Postby Greyman » Sun May 26, 2013 1:44 am

There is a Reputation system in the Gamemaster's Guide.

In summary: When an NPC interacts with a character, they make a check: d20+Hero's Reputation+NPC's Intellect versus DC 20 (usually). Success means the NPC recognises the hero, and the hero gains a bonus or penalty to interaction skill checks depending on their opinion of that reputation. This modifier is equal to half the hero's reputation bonus rounded down. The reputation bonus is equal to the character's power level, modified by Benefit(Reknown) advantage (+2 per rank), and any event based modifiers.

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Re: Hero Popularity in DCA

Postby Isungr » Wed Oct 09, 2013 11:48 am

Late to the party (as usual!), but you might consider giving DC Heroes a small bonus, maybe +2 or even +4 to the roll. My rationale behind this is that in DC, heroes are generally wll-loved and respected. A perfect example of this is in the JLA/Avengers crossover from ~2002.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JLA/Avengers

The differences between the Marval and DC tretment of heroes is pronounced. I never really thought about untl I read that crossover.
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Re: Hero Popularity in DCA

Postby Goldar » Wed Oct 09, 2013 12:38 pm

Isungr wrote:in DC, heroes are generally wll-loved and respected. A perfect example of this is in the JLA/Avengers crossover from ~2002.

The differences between the Marval and DC tretment of heroes is pronounced.



Well, generally in DC Comics, one does not see a superhero group feeling depressed because the world they protect fears and hates them, mere mortals are not trying to exterminate the superheroes with antidotes, large robots or any other method, except if they are villains after the heroes. And then maybe a few secret groups of humans popping up here-and-there, but generally, DC Heroes are loved and wanted by the populace.

Seems like a much nicer multiverse! And don't forget, the DC Earth is cleaner, larger and less crowded!

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Re: Hero Popularity in DCA

Postby Berior » Wed Oct 09, 2013 1:53 pm

It is a much better universe in DC for superheroes.....asside from the whole multiverse getting reset, erased, tweaked and made silly putty out of every few years or so.

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Re: Hero Popularity in DCA

Postby JDRook » Wed Oct 09, 2013 5:23 pm

Greyman wrote:There is a Reputation system in the Gamemaster's Guide.
In summary: When an NPC interacts with a character, they make a check: d20+Hero's Reputation+NPC's Intellect versus DC 20 (usually).

Isungr wrote:Late to the party (as usual!), but you might consider giving DC Heroes a small bonus, maybe +2 or even +4 to the roll. My rationale behind this is that in DC, heroes are generally wll-loved and respected.


I don't think a bonus is really necessary for DC characters. The roll is only to determine whether Reputation is a factor in the interaction. Whether it's a positive (Popular) or negative (Infamous) Reputation is in the eye of the NPC; in other words, it's based on story and roleplay, not an algorithm.

Also, the equation makes Rep show up a lot if you use the standard PL10 setting. Basic Rep is the PC's Power Level plus any Benefit bonus purchased. That means that if a standard PL10 PC with no Rep bonus is spotted by a crowd of Bystanders (0 Intellect), roughly half of them will know him by reputation. And the interaction bonus is half Rep rounded down, or +5 in a PL10 game. That's a +5 to Deception and Persuasion (equal to 2 ranks of Attractive) if the NPC has a positive opinion, and -5 Decep and Pers but +5 Intimidate if the opinion is negative. This would make Reputation a big deal when it happens, with crowds cheering heroes ("Yay, Superman!") and yelling at vigilantes ("Die, mutant scum!") and PCs paying a little more attention to their portrayal in the press ("Spiderman: Threat or Menace?").

It's not a bad system, but you might want to tweak it for your setting. If you didn't want Reputation to give such huge modifiers, I'd recommend having them start at maybe half-PL, or even at zero (particularly for new heroes) and give them Rep ranks only after really public events, or due to coverage by intrepid media who may love or hate the heroes, or who just want to escalate the story. You could also keep the Rep ranks but make the DC higher. At DC25, the average citizen is less likely to know the hero's rep, but the well-informed or obsessively dedicated would know them and be strongly swayed by that huge Rep modifier.
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Re: Hero Popularity in DCA

Postby Earth-Two_Kenn » Wed Oct 09, 2013 9:52 pm

Berior wrote:It is a much better universe in DC for superheroes.....asside from the whole multiverse getting reset, erased, tweaked and made silly putty out of every few years or so.


And honestly, after JLA/Avengers the "heroes are more respected and less feared by the general populace" started getting whittled away, and the new 52 seems to have flushed it.

It's like when the world's were put back together at the end of JLA/Avengers, they were put back together wrong.
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Re: Hero Popularity in DCA

Postby Goldar » Thu Oct 10, 2013 8:18 am

Earth-Two_Kenn wrote: It's like when the world's were put back together at the end of JLA/Avengers, they were put back together wrong.


Yeah, instead of the DC-way things had been, it seems like it has become more Marvel-ish, as in more like how the MU is portrayed.

Maybe the DCU writers themselves became jaded after seeing the MU in the JLA/Avengers books and decided to show the DCU in that same light? :twisted:

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Re: Hero Popularity in DCA

Postby Monolith » Thu Oct 10, 2013 8:34 am

DC started going marvelish because Marvel comics have outsold DC comics for years. No matter how pure a certain segment of the DC fanbase wants to keep their heroes the simple truth is that angst and bitterness outsells wholesome.

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Re: Hero Popularity in DCA

Postby JDRook » Thu Oct 10, 2013 9:48 am

Monolith wrote:the simple truth is that angst and bitterness outsells wholesome.

I think that's a pretty simplistic view when you consider the vast changes in the 80-odd year history of both comics, both in the industry and the society surrounding them. Just to look at the extreme ends for brevity, both Marvel and DC started publishing in some form before WWII, and the idea of individuals who could make a huge difference was not only a great escape from the realities of war, but would be something encouraged in order for citizens to help the war effort itself. Fast forward a few generations and you have a world where the true effects of war are more easily seen and the motivations seem less lofty, and a more common view that those in power are not to be trusted. If comics is an art form, it should change to reflect the current times instead of days long past, otherwise it's just nostalgia and doesn't develop as a form. This is not to say I agree or disagree with the changes made, only that changes need to be made, and "angst and bitterness" will eventually be eclipsed by something else just like wholesome was.
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Re: Hero Popularity in DCA

Postby Monolith » Thu Oct 10, 2013 10:11 am

I'm referring to the characterization of people in the comics rather then the transition of "ages" of comics. There's a reason why Marvel became more popular then DC in the '60s. It was because the characters were more human. They had real problems to deal with other then the badguys. Push that forward 50 years and we're still sitting at the same place, but DC has spent a couple of decades trying to make their heroes more human and flawed to keep pace with Marvel. Whether someone likes the "human with problems" approach or not it has resonated with the fans, and that means more sales for Marvel. DC has been changing to try and catch up for years.

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Re: Hero Popularity in DCA

Postby Earth-Two_Kenn » Thu Oct 10, 2013 9:18 pm

I wasn't referring to the heroes with problems aspect of DC vs Marvel.

I was referring to the way civilians are written when interacting with heroes.

It used to be that DC heroes were respected and held in admiration, unless they were Batman who was feared.
It used to be that Marvel heroes were feared, unless they were Captain America who was respected and held in admiration.

That difference is gone now. Now they're all feared.

The world got more jaded. The creators got more jaded. And those of us who wanted a sense of hope in our fantastic literature are too few to be of interest to the bean counters.

Because apparently in stories about people who can fly and lift 1000s of tons, what's really important is realism.
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Re: Hero Popularity in DCA

Postby Stigger » Fri Oct 11, 2013 7:23 am

That's why I avoid most published comics these days... just too depressing at my age. But hey, that's why DCA is so much fun for me, still all the heroes, none of the angst. :D

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Re: Hero Popularity in DCA

Postby Isungr » Mon Oct 14, 2013 11:42 am

Well, yes, I was referencing the "classic" pre-52 DC Universe which is the one that DCA Universe presents as well. :)
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