Soooo.... (Sentinel Comics RPG Office Hour)

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Silverleaf
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MightySi wrote:

Hey Silverleaf, I'm in! :)

Wooooooooooo! :)


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Mutants & Masterminds is a solid game at a fairly mid-to-high complexity level on a par with D&D and HERO. We're aiming for something less complicated, really. Much more tightly dependent on character goals, story elements, and emulating comic books as opposed to being exhaustive, detail-oriented, and emulating a world of super hero physics. That's the same basic idea I had when designing MHR, and Dave and Phil and I are taking that same approach here while also making sure to embrace the spirit of Sentinels of the Multiverse and the GTG style.


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Cam Banks wrote:

Mutants & Masterminds is a solid game at a fairly mid-to-high complexity level on a par with D&D and HERO. We're aiming for something less complicated, really. Much more tightly dependent on character goals, story elements, and emulating comic books as opposed to being exhaustive, detail-oriented, and emulating a world of super hero physics. That's the same basic idea I had when designing MHR, and Dave and Phil and I are taking that same approach here while also making sure to embrace the spirit of Sentinels of the Multiverse and the GTG style.

Oh, Cam. This is why I threw my full support behind your being on the development team.


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Silverleaf
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Did you also throw tomatoes? ;)


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No! I was asleep when this happened. I would've asked if the RPG was going to come with a basic timeline of the Sentinels universe making it easier to reenact important events from the comics. Oh well, perhaps I will get an opportunity to ask later.


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Just got off work and came home to find this topic.  Sad that I missed the Q&A session!

But the news of a Sentinels RPG is fantastic.  I absolutely love story-telling in RPG's and would love to dive into a new Sentinels based system.  I don't think creating and running a comic book or Multiverse themed session will be very hard; should be intuitive for most veteran GM's and comic book fans.

What I'm interested to learn more about is the character creation and how the different powers are going to be balanced.  Like in many comic books, super powers are never created equally with many heroes just being completely overpowered compared to some.  For instance, while Hawkeye and Thor are both awesome heroes, no one is going to argue that Thor couldn't literally fly circles around Hawkeye and smeer him allover the pavement if he was so inclined.  Their power sets are just on completely different planes.

I've never played the Marvel RPG, so I'm not sure how balancing has been done in a comics RPG in the past, but I look forward to learning more!  That Kickstarter can't come soon enough!

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Just assume I'm always doing that.

Damn it, Ronway!

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Nielzabub wrote:

No! I was asleep when this happened. I would've asked if the RPG was going to come with a basic timeline of the Sentinels universe making it easier to reenact important events from the comics. Oh well, perhaps I will get an opportunity to ask later.

That'll teach you to never sleep again.

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MarioFanaticXV wrote:

Lots of comparisons and questions with DnD- which is understandable, with DnD being the biggest name in RPGs. But I'm more curious about comparing it to the RPG that best matches Sentinels' theme: What will this bring to the table that can't already be done with Mutants and Masterminds in a Sentinels setting? M&M is best when you buy the peanutbutter kind, and avoid dark chocolate already a fairly narrative-focused game with heavily customizable heroes, and it sounds like SCRPG is going to be going down the same route to a degree; what will you be doing to make sure that there's enough difference between the two that it won't be a redundant product for those that are already interested in Mutants and Masterminds?

There are other supers RPGs that are fairly narratively focused with heavily customizable heroes. There's room for more than just M&M. I mean if there's room for Icons, Supers!, M&M, and BASH there's also room for a Sentinels RPG.

What I've read in this thread sounds pretty distinct from M&M, actually.

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The question "What does this RPG do that makes it better for Sentinels than [other generic superhero RPG]?" is a nontrivial one, and one I look forward to seeing the answer to!

 

It does kind of raise some interesting questions of its own, though. Like, individual characters aside, in what ways does the Sentinels Comics universe differ significantly from, say Marvel or DC? What are the guiding principles of the fiction? If Christopher weighs in on such things in the GM Rules/Advice chapter, that'd be at least if not more interesting to me than any juicy setting tidbits revealed (not that I am not looking forward to those and more of Adam's fantastic artwork as well, of course.)

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Mind if I answer that question? I collect Superman, Batman, etc. I, also, collect SotM. To me, DC is about the characters that share a common universe, while SotM is about the universe that has interesting characters. Does that make sense?


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phantaskippy
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Just got to see this.

So excited, and reading through. . .

OMG the setting is going to be cosmic contest.  Towards the end of the card game, and the sort ofs!  This is awesome.

Can't wait to play as Haka and make Baron Blade sit in the uncooperative chair.

Silverleaf
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I for one am much more looking forward to creating my own characters than playing official ones. If I play someone else's character I feel I don't know them well enough to behave "correctly" in every situation, or to make decisions that are the right ones for the character.

They are already far too fleshed-out for me to be able to play them well without feeling like I'm crapping all over the canon, which after all isn't my canon. That's just me though, I'm totally weird about that.

Silly example: I played a one-shot Dr Who game with pregens. I don't really watch Dr Who, and I only have the vaguest idea who everyone is. The GM handed me Rose. I know Rose likes chips and has some kind of tragic romantic thing with the Doctor, but that was really about it. I spent the whole game crippled by the inability to do anything in case I was playing Rose wrong. Obviously I know much more about Sentinels Comics characters than I do Rose, but I don't feel it's possible for me to feel comfortable with a character that I don't know every single thing about (unless it's my own character, in which case I can make it up on the fly because it's my character).

Anyway, digression. As you were.


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Sentinels of the Multiverse.

The character can be an alternate universe version of the card game character, your interpretation of an established character. It's not like that's any different to how "real" comic book writers do it anyway.


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I'm the same as Silverleaf in not wanting to play "someone else's" character, but if Matchstickman hadn't got there I'd've said that those who find themselves in that position but have to play one anyway can just be playing a version who's from a different part of the Multiverse and will therefore act differently to the canon version (who in some cases has multiple different versions of themselves running about anyway ;)).

This RPG sounds cool...I might look into it. The simplicity of the rules sounds promising but I'd love to see what char gen is like. If it's as open as it sounds then I bet you could make a game in any setting. I mean, you could probably give everyone Fantasy powers and make up a Fantasy setting in which to play - after all, several characters (funnily enough, they tend to be the ones I like playing best, like the Bard and the Druidic Shapeshifter ;)) could easily be fitted into a Fantasy setting and if the rules are open enough then I bet you could do it :D.

I know a good site for setting up forum-based RPGs if anyone decides to set one up in the future :).


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I'm with Silverleaf on this one; it's the reason I prefer settings that are only lightly defined or that I have created myself. That's not to say that I'm in any way opposed to the SotM RPG, but I'm much more excited about the possibility of creating new characters than the chance to RP existing Sentinel Comics heroes. 

Let me make a D&D parallel (for those of you unfamiliar with Forgotten Realms, my apologies). Sitting down to a game of SotM RPG and being handed Legacy to play is (in my mind) somewhat like joining a D&D group and having them say, "Okay, you're going to play as Drizzt."

But by Grabthar's Hammer, I am excited about this game. 


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Any chance for a "living" sentinels RPG campaign that we can have game days for and such. The living  city/grey hawk campaigns were a big hit back in the day I was involved with them and would love to have one for sentinels. 

Silverleaf
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Matchstickman wrote:

Sentinels of the Multiverse.The character can be an alternate universe version of the card game character, your interpretation of an established character. It's not like that's any different to how "real" comic book writers do it anyway.

Oh yeah, I know, and that makes total sense.

It just doesn't work for me, for reasons I've explained. It's why I have no urge to write fanfic. That and the fact that I suck at writing! ;)

I'm very glad that existing characters will be available though, don't get me wrong. I'm just not planning to use them myself.


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I'm fine with doing either or. I would feel really nervous about doing the character justice if I was acting in an official movie or T.V show, but for a game, I'm fine with it. All we know about these characters is from tidbits dropped from Christopher and the flavor text, and so it wouldn't be like playing Spiderman or Iron Man who have years of comic book lore behind them.


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Fortunately, another thing the Sentinel Comics RPG does well is encourage characters playing true to their abilties and personalities. For instance, Legacy has a "Family Man" trait that he uses to overcome certain challenges. I hope that's as awesome and thrilling sounding to you as it is to me. 

This game is as much about personality and character is it about combat and super-powers.


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I'm looking forward to hearing more about it.   Just wish the kickstarter was sooner. 


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I think the earlier question about "Why use this system vs other superhero systems?" is a very valid one. The things that make me very eager to see how GtG answers this question are:

1) I like the way GtG writes rules, combining character with ability. I look forward to seeing how they approach RPG rules since character and ability are vital to a good game.

2) The advantage the Sentinels universe has over the established universes is that it is not 80 years old and written by lots of different people. While it echoes the longstanding histories of the established companies, this universe is fresh and built from scratch from a very small pool of minds who have a clear vision for what it is and how it works. Yes it combines super-science, magic, time-travel, space opera and all the usual comic book tropes which can make for a cumbersome universe. But the people who made this universe know how it all fits together, instead of cobbling it together from the career-long creations of hundreds of creators with vastly different (and often conflicting) ideas.

3) I'm a Sentinels fan, and knowing more about the story and the world makes me happy.

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I mentioned the RPG to my 11yo daughter last night and she got really excited about it, saying that she practially plays the card game as if it were an RPG already.

 


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I'm under orders from one of my gaming groups to fund the kickstarter and keep an eye out for playtester openings.

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seesome wrote:

I mentioned the RPG to my 11yo daughter last night and she got really excited about it, saying that she practially plays the card game as if it were an RPG already.

Parenting - you're doing it right.


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Where can we sign up for the GenCon events? I didn't see them in the event catalog.

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Don't hurt yourself looking, man.  They're already sold out!

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I've been swamped under and haven't had a chance to write this yet, but don't want to put it off any longer.

There is no team of people I can think of that I would trust more to create a new system for a Sentinels RPG that will still feel like the card game. There is only one team I might trust more to preserve the feel of the game overall, but they would be unlikely to create a new system for it, and I'm not sure the system they work in is the best possible fit for Sentinels.

For those who don't know, not only were Cam, Phil, and Dave three of the principal forces (maybe THE three principal forces?) behind Marvel Heroic, but Cam has a lot of other work on licensed RPGs, including Smallville and Leverage. I'm primarily familiar with Dave & Phil's separate works on 4th Edition D&D, and think they both did out-of-the-park jobs on them. (I don't think Phil knows that at one point I pitched an adventure to Chris Perkins in which I expressed the preference to use his 0-level character rules. It wasn't greenlit and other pitches in that same batch were, so it never went anyplace, and I'm not sure I can recall off-hand what the concept was, although I've probably still got a draft of the pitch around someplace.)

These dudes have got chops. The only thing I haven't previously seen in this thread is the possible ability to throw this at my (currently) 9-year-old, who does not have RPG experience because I don't have the combination of time and a good group to give him same, and have him pick it up with no difficulties. 

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jffdougan wrote:
... including Smallville and Leverage. ...

I read "Smallville" as "Smallworld", and was rather confused that Smallworld was being counted as an RPG.

 

Carry on.


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Late to the party, but super excited about this news.

 

Of course, the thing I'm most excited about is the potential new lore we could learn this way. I'm a sucker for the depth and complexity of the characters GtG has created.

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Aye. More information on the lore is always good.

I'm interested in seeing how the environments affect gameplay. Mayhaps something like Fate's Aspects?


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slaaneshi611 wrote:

Aye. More information on the lore is always good.I'm interested in seeing how the environments affect gameplay. Mayhaps something like Fate's Aspects?

Funny you say that... the Evil Hat crew were the other folks I was alluding to above. Just not sure that I think FATE is a good system for this. (I've given some on and off thought to trying to design it for FAE. I was close to sending Cam a message wanting to pick his brain about licensed systems with this in mind back in mid/late January, but got swamped under in work/professional development/coursework and had to put it on a back burner. I was just getting really close to dusting off my thoughts about it when the news leaked.)

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Among the people I know, Fate is pretty much the only thing that has anything involving environmental aspects that affect play that anyone knows about. Admittedly, it is a small sample group. Which is annoying because I want to use enviromnents in the game I'm writing but I only have Fate as an example of what can be done. Also, I imagine Evil Hat are kept very busy.


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I really like the looks and sound of this. I will be running a supers game at my university gaming group this September. Is there any chance that a playtest version of the rules will be available by then?

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It sounded like playtest stuff would be available in 2016.

Rabit
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Christopher said he'd get the materials being used for Gen Con out to the playtesters before Gen Con, so playtesters will see some early materials long before 2016. smiley


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phantaskippy
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Rabit wrote:

Christopher said he'd get the materials being used for Gen Con out to the playtesters before Gen Con, so playtesters will see some early materials long before 2016. smiley

Still. . . Too. . . Long. . .

 

Silverleaf
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You know, since I discovered >G, I've spent most of my time having to be patient until the next cool thing is available for me.

Damn it, >G!


Just assume I'm always doing that.

Damn it, Ronway!

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You know, since I discovered >G, I've spent most of my time killing heroes in a card game.

Bless it, >G.

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Now you will get the chance to kill heroes in an RPG!


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Matchstickman
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Since I discovered >G, I've aged.

Damnit >G!

(this appears to be the start of a very likely candidate to bud off in to it's own thread in the off topic section)


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Pulling it back on topic, I wonder how much >G has changed since developing such a passionate and civil fanbase.

EDIT: With regards to developing products like this.


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I'd gathered that they might have something out for playtesters, I'm just sort of assuming that will be a very bare-bones version of the game (only pre-generated characters/environments etc). Not that I would mind being proven wrong in the slightest. And I'm really interested that a number of people who worked on the Marvel RPG are working on this - I liked the look of it but couldn't get my head around the advancement system (it looked like it was intended for fairly short campaigns).

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SIlverleaf... If i can actually become a playtester, I'm happy to run it for you online :)
I've had plenty of experience  running games online

 

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Aaaaaaahhh! How did I miss this?

 

I've been a huge fan of Cam's work for a while. He's a great guy, too, having met him at a few cons here in the Twin Cities. I hope that means playtests might be available here, too...

 

As an aside, I am super-down to be considered a playtester for this. SotM RPG! I seriously haven't checked the boards in too long, as I've been sitting over here, working on a campaign for the Apocalypse World SotM port... lemme go ahead and burn that to the ground and wait for this!


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Cam Banks wrote:

Hey folks! I'm Cam, another of the designers on the RPG. I'm a huge fan of super hero games, and was lead designer on the recent Marvel Heroic Roleplaying game from Margaret Weis Productions. Now I work full time at Atlas Games and in between being a husband and father of two boys, I do freelance design and development work. 

The art on your icon looks familair.  Is it from the old On the Edge CCG?

 
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Silverleaf wrote:

My next question is for everyone: who wants to play online?

Me-me-me-me-me-me-me-me-me-me-me-me-me-me-me-me-me, yes-yes-yes-yes-yes-yes-yes-yes-yes-yes-yes-yes-yes-yes-yes-yes

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Super excited about this.

EDIT: It's probably out already. Now I just have to find it...

 


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Lord Flash Fire wrote:

EDIT: It's probably out already. Now I just have to find it...

Nope, not yet! I'm sure you'll hear something about the Kickstarter here on the forums when it gets closer.


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