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Which to buy? Silver Age Sentinels

I'd like to take advantage of the big sale over at Guardians of Order, since I've been meaning to get Silver Age Sentinels for, well, an age now.  Plus, I can help out a company that deserves to stay in business.  I can't, however, afford to get both the D20 and the Tri-Tac Tri-Stat versions, so I turn to my LJ friends for advice. Many of you are in the gaming industry and more of you are long-time gamers, so I'd appreciate your suggestions for which way to go.

D20: I don't mind D20 as much as some of my friends do, but I harbor no illusions that it's a "one-size-fits-all" solution. There are many factors that I think can render it unheroic (the inadequate quantities of skill points, the "whiff" factor, etc.), and I do think that "heroic" (read cinematic and fast paced) is essential for a superhero game.  The advantage to D20 is that those in the potential player/GM pool are likely to be familiar with the basic mechanics, making it easier to lure them into it.

Tri-Tac Tri-Stat: I don't know much about the system, other than that I've heard others speak well of it. It sounds to me as if it might do a better job of simulating the genre, but I don't know how hard it is to learn, or if it has any particularly ugly warts.

Speak up, my friends! I need your wisdom (or, in the case of some, your wiseacreness).

Edit: Oh, my, I'm embarrassed. I even know the difference. I'm going to blame it on menopause, because hey, I can. And do. I blame everything on menopause these days. TMI.

Edit the Second: I did finally buy the Tri-Stat, and am eagerly awaiting its delivery. Thanks for the good advice, guys!

Comments

( 8 comments — Roll the dice )
innocent_man
Jan. 7th, 2005 05:53 pm (UTC)
Oh, for the love of god, Tri-Stat. Ignore my feelings on d20 for the moment. Tri-Stat is simple, it's not level-based (which means it's not fried ass right out of the gate) and you can make literally any super you can imagine with it.

The only fix I've had to make with the rules involves figuring out hits and defense in combat, and it's a very simple fix. Beyond that, I've had nothing but good experiences with Tri-Stat SAS.
savageplanet
Jan. 7th, 2005 06:55 pm (UTC)
Go with Tri-Stat. I have both and while I love d20, the Tri-Stat version is a lot better. It's a cleaner version of Champions and lets you get whatever you need done. Currently it's my second favorite Supers system. (It was replaced by Mutants and Masterminds, but that's neither here nor there.)
innocent_man
Jan. 7th, 2005 07:10 pm (UTC)
If Jae doesn't mind me jacking this space a little, what can MnM do that SAS Tri-Stat can't? I ain't being snarky here; I've never played MnM, but I've heard good things about it, and I'm curious.
jaegamer
Jan. 7th, 2005 07:15 pm (UTC)
M&M/Space Jacking
I don't mind at all, as that question was going to be my next. I have a copy of M&M, but haven't had a chance to even open it.
savageplanet
Jan. 7th, 2005 08:49 pm (UTC)
Re: M&M/Space Jacking
There are 3 things that caused SAS to drop a notch. These are problems we ran into game after game for over a year.

1. While Tri-Stat dX fixes some of this problem, in SAS the 2d10 die roll, at the lower point levels (100-125), makes it so you have to sink a lot of points into skills that raise your defense and attack rolls. This leads to problem #2.

2. In far too many games it became:

"I hit"
"I dodge"

"I hit"
"I dodge"

"I hit"
"I dodge"

I'm really not a fan of a separate die roll for defense. It makes it so a roll to hit isn't really a roll to hit, because the defender gets to see if you actually did hit. (This is a separate game design situation however.)

In combat after combat, characters with high DV's would just outshine everyone else.

In my experience, high DV's are worlds better than high armor.

3. How experience is rewarded. (And yes, you can as GM give out more experience. However, the base line rules assume you follow their guidelines.)

In vanilla SAS characters never advance. Unless you're playing 3 times a week, you're not going to see any change in your character. This might be a feature and not a bug, but for me it's a bug. :)

If I remember correctly (I don't have the book here at work), you're supposed to get 1 skill point per session, and 1 BP every 5-7. That's WAY too slow.

As for M&M:

I love the simplicity of the damage mechanic. (You have a "Damage Save" that if you make, you're ok, although subsequent saves become harder.)

I love the Extra's, Limitations, and Power Stunts. For me, character creation and actual character playing feel more in genre. SAS just doesn't have that feeling for me.

I dropped Champions for SAS, and then moved on to M&M. While I'll play SAS in the future, whenever I run a game it'll be M&M. (I'm currently running a semi-regular X-Men game.) I'll never play or run Champions however. ;)

I like SAS and will buy more stuff for it, but I prefer M&M.

My $0.02.
innocent_man
Jan. 28th, 2005 11:26 pm (UTC)
Re: M&M/Space Jacking
2. In far too many games it became:

"I hit"
"I dodge"

"I hit"
"I dodge"

"I hit"
"I dodge"


Our fix for this was to total the attack or defense roll with the ACV or DCV (respectively). If the attacker's total is higher, HIT! If the defender's is higher, MISS! Simple, makes DCV effective but not as effective.

I rarely awarded BP running SAS, but then we only played monthly anyway.
savageplanet
Jan. 29th, 2005 03:43 am (UTC)
Re: M&M/Space Jacking
That's a nice fix. :)

We finally ended up comparing how successful the hit was (ie: I hit by 3) vs. how successful the dodge was (I dodge by 2). Whoever did better won.
doctor_toc
Jan. 7th, 2005 07:34 pm (UTC)
Tri-Stat (Tri-Tac is a dead fish of a totally different odour). Tri-Stat all the way, kiddo. Not only is it one of the best supers systems around, it's also what I'm using for TIME WAR, and will therefore stand you in good stead when I put the call out for playtesters :-)
( 8 comments — Roll the dice )

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