Slogging Along

Even though the last post covered the possibility of switching game systems, I find myself more intrigued by the ideas I have for a 4E supers game. I’ve been putting a lot of time into one of the other defender classes, one I hadn’t really touched before last week. Part of this is certainly a result of greater familiarity – 4th Edition D&D has been my primary game for the last two years, there are several dozen books on the subject in my library and my experience with it is fairly significant as both a player and a dungeon master. FATE, on the other hand, is almost entirely new to me. I have yet to actually play a game using the system despite owning three games in the system and a printed copy of FUDGE (circa ’92).
More than that, I find that working within a more concrete system gives my creativity a greater focus. The brilliancy of FATE is also its greatest weakness. The players must be very creative and the GM very loose in order to have a good game. D&D has long been the gateway drug into role playing games and part of this is because the system gives people restrictions that act as guidance. That the structure of 4E has a similar effect upon my initial forays into game design isn’t that surprising, I suppose. My players have been working with me since shortly after our campaign began to create their own magic items and powers.
The class I’m working on is something kind of radical. It’s a defender class that doesn’t mark enemies. As a class concept, it was one of the earliest to solidify within my head two years ago but the details hadn’t really been hashed out until now.
Work on the Beast progresses, as well. I’ve fleshed out the class abilities for it a little more and I keep waffling on one major point: should the Beast have the ability to grow larger? There is certainly a precedent for it in the source material; The Incredible Hulk is the best example and one of the primary inspirations for this class. Were I to stat him out, Giant Man would likely be cast as a Beast. He simply doesn’t fight intelligently. Hank Pym may be a genius, but he’s something of a retard in combat. The only thing Giant Man had going for him was that he was bigger than everyone else. Details will follow once I’m actually happy with the writeup.
Anyway, once I have the class features set for this second defender, I’ll move on and write up the third (and final!) defender before diving into another party role. Don’t worry, this last defender is much more traditional than the Beast and the one I’m working on now. As far as next steps are concerned, there are four strikers and their source material inspirations are all pretty well defined, so that’s probably a good place to start.

About PK

PK Sullivan is a game designer and writer living in Chicago.

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