Tuesday, April 03, 2012

The Party is the Thing-D&D Heroic Roleplaying using Marvel

This post is about a rules hack for Marvel Heroic Roleplaying Game from Margaret Weis Productions. It's specific to the 4E dnd Hack by Dave Chalker from Critical Hits. I originally started writing it as a comment on Rob Donoghue's Some Space to Think Blog but it kept growing until it felt like a full blog post. If that interests you read on.

Rob has been talking about MHRPG on his blog for a few months now. Ever since he mentioned Affiliation dice and the DnD hack for MHRPG I've been thinking about how to hack the Affiliation dice in regard to the 4e DnD hack. Dave left them in but it feels like he never figured out how to implement it properly with 'splitting the party' GM tactics. My thought is to emphasize the fact that the PCs are a party and that they don't split up. So instead you can emphasize their strengths and weakness within the group.

A good replacement bucket for Affiliation might be 'Party Role', in the form of Leader, Striker, Controller, Defender. They are an important identifier for D&D PCs that fall outside of the other distinguishing features of your charater. So the party roles can be separated out from powers, classes and race. Leaders who are fighters, clerics who are striker/defenders, and controller rogues all have a place in my ideal DnD. This hack formalizes your strengths and weakness for filling these traditional party roles with a die to build your dice pool around. I haven't tried this out yet but here is an example of what I'm thinking.

You could be a tactically minded Wizard with the following Roles:

Leader d10
Controller d8
Striker d6
Defender d6
(or d4 depending on whether you want to add a weakness).

So when ever you take action to control the battlefield or target lots of enemies with your spells you would roll your Controller d8. When you take action to encourage, heal or put allies into positions to excel you roll Leader d10. If you take your turn to make yourself a target of the enemies to save your allies roll Defender d4. Looking to deal a lot of damage to the 'Big Bad Evil Guy' with your nova power, Striker d6.

Try it out; let me know what you think.

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