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"Rising Pinnacles" Roleplay Game System Rules (working title)


ArchVileTerror
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The following post is pretty big.  To help you navigate it, I have created a Table of Contents.  
To use the Table of Contents quickly, use your browser's Find/Search function (typically Ctrl+F) and type in the numerical code for the respective section.
The post following this one will contain the Quick Start rules.
 
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Section 1:  Preamble
1.0.1 - Introduction
1.0.2 - System Intent
1.0.3 - Mechanical Intent
1.1.1 - Preamble Summation
1.2.1 - GM vs ND (Narrative Director)
 
Section 2:  The System
2.0.1 - Game System Overview
2.1.1 - Attribute:  Physical
2.1.2 - Attribute:  Mental
2.1.3 - Attribute:  Social
2.1.4 - Attribute:  Technical
2.1.5 - Attributes at a Glance
2.2.1 - Specializations
2.2.2 - Examples of Specializations
2.2.3 - Signature Specialization
2.3.1 - Traits
2.3.2 - Positive Trait List with Examples
2.3.2 - Negative Trait List with Examples
2.4.1 - Affect of Powers on Attributes
2.4.2 - Examples of Power Sets' Effect on Attribute scores and Thresholds
 
Section 3:  Building a Character
3.0.1 - Build Point Categories
3.1.1 - Example Character:  Nene, Dual Pistols / Super Reflexes Sentinel
3.1.2 - Example Character:  The Retiree, Street Justice / Ninjitsu Scrapper
3.1.3 - Example Character:  Inspector Dupras, Illusion Control / Kinetics Controller
 
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1.0.1 - Introduction
       Tabletop roleplaying has directly provided, and inspired, a lot of great gaming experiences; including City of Heroes itself.  While many folks are familiar with the systems based directly on Gary Gygax and David Arneson's work, there are actually many, many more roleplay systems out there.  These range from combat simulation calculations, to structured narrative construct hierarchies, to extremely loose supportive materials meant only to shake up some unpredictable randomness to otherwise freeform roleplay.  Some systems are daunting in their complexity, while others are almost laughable in their simplicity; and that's not to imply some kind of value judgement on any of them.  So long as there are people who enjoy those systems and get something out of them, then they're good (enough) systems.
       This thread would like to introduce a new one, specifically for use in City of Heroes.
 
1.0.2 - System Intent
       "Rising Pinnacles" is a roleplay system with the express purpose of providing the tools for players looking to add a little dice rolling to the non-combat conflict resolution for City of Heroes.  Introducing some light rules and utilizing the existing game mechanics to enhance the system, "Rising Pinnacles" aims to be accessible to all players with a simple core structure, but with enough nuance to provide players optional depth.  And while this system currently uses the "Just for Fun Snowball" as an internal dice rolling mechanism, with the support of Homecoming Developers like @Captain Powerhouse or @Faultline to implement the proposed Dice Roll Power (as suggested at https://forums.homecomingservers.com/topic/16387-tempests-roleplay-suggestion-compendium/?tab=comments#comment-185109 / https://forums.homecomingservers.com/topic/16387-tempests-roleplay-suggestion-compendium/page/2/?tab=comments#comment-196367 ) then this system would also minimize intrusion and impact on in-game roleplay activities.

        The "Just for Fun Snowball" is accessible at the P2W Vendors for 100,000 Inf in the Prestige Powers category.  A single purchase gives an unlimited use version of the Snowball Power from the Winter Event.  It allows players to 'attack' one another for 0 damage, causing a To-Hit Roll to take place.  This roll can be viewed in the Combat Log on the Chat Window.  It is this roll value which is used for this system to determine a single die's result.  If/When a Developer creates a dedicated Dice Roll Power, this post will be updated accordingly.
 
1.0.3 - Mechanical Intent
       Using a combination of Variable Threshold and Scaling Dice Pool mechanics, the "Rising Pinnacles" system attempts to provide players the satisfaction of knowing that the better their character is at a given task, the less likely they will be to suffer catastrophic failure (unlike singular die roll Threshold systems).  Characters with exceptional skills become exponentially more insulated from failure the more they focus on a single Attribute.  However, this adds the active decision of the player on whether or not they wish to allow for glaring weaknesses in their build, or attempt to strike a balance in multiple Attributes.  Specializations and Traits provide additional nuance to the build and can provide further benefits (or weaknesses) for ludonarrative resonant characterization.
       Note that this system is not meant to replace the existing combat mechanics in City of Heroes.  This system is meant to supplement the existing gameplay and combat of the City of Heroes game.  As such, no Hit Points or Damage is factored in to these rules; all of that is taken care of in the computer game itself.
 
1.1.1 - Preamble Summation
       In short:  This is a system where the player gets to design and define their character within the structure of limited-impact rules in the City of Heroes game.  It's not meant for combat, since that's already baked in to City of Heroes gameplay.  It's meant to offer players and those running roleplay sessions/campaigns tools for resolving conflicts mechanically.
 
1.2.1 - GM vs ND (Narrative Director)
       Traditionally the role of someone who moderates and guides the players in a tabletop roleplaying experience is referred to as a "GM" (often:  Game Master).  However, since the title of "GM" has a specific function in City of Heroes, and impersonating a GM is a violation of the Code of Conduct, it is proposed that a new term takes the place of the tabletop Game Master:  Narrative Director, shortened to "ND" from this point.  The responsibility of the ND is not to tell a story, but to provide the tools and material for the collective players to share their mutual story.
 
 
2.0.1 - Game System Overview
       "Rising Pinnacles" uses four core Attributes:  Physical, Mental, Social, and Technical (for details, see:  2.1.1 through 2.1.4).  These abstractions represent aspects of a player's character and numerical values provide a comparative measure.  This number ranges from 1 to 10, and translates directly to the number of Dice the player rolls to determine the success or failure of any activities their character performs which are related to that Attribute.  For example, an Attribute score of 5 would mean that the player rolls 5 individual 1d100 dice when attempting to use that Attribute.  The default Threshold which each die is checked against starts at 37 (this Threshold can be modified; see:  2.2.1 and 2.3.1).
 
       In the same way that in-game combat checks the 1d100.00 rolls for the To-Hit of an attack, a higher Threshold with a lower Roll result are more likely to provide success.  Each die in a Pool is checked against the Threshold independently.  The number of these individual dice with results below the Threshold count as a point toward the quality of the action's success.  The more of these points accumulated, the higher the quality of the success.  In instances where two or more players are rolling against one another, the difference in the number of these points is used to determine success.  The individual results on each die is never modified (other than to be rerolled entirely in instances of the invocation of Traits such as Lucky, Fortunate, and Unlucky (see:  2.3.2 and 2.3.3)).
 
       A value of 3 in an Attribute would be equivalent to an average starting player-character's ability to perform tasks associated with that Attribute before taking in to account superhuman abilities or specialized training.  Statistically, a 3 in an Attribute (without any modifiers) would provide approximately a 45% chance for a basic success, 25% chance for an intermediate success, and a 5% chance for a dramatic success.  This leaves a 25% chance of failure.  Based on the unenhanced default Accuracy and To-Hit of the average attack in City of Heroes after factoring out Beginner's Luck, this is roughly in line with the success/failure ratio already in-game.  Improving an Attribute or modifying its odds of success with beneficial Traits or Specialization can quickly turn the odds to the player's favour, pushing the odds of failure lower than 1% in some cases.
 
       The ND may also state that a task being attempted is challenging or simple enough to modify the Threshold for the associated rolls.  Increasing the value of the Threshold improves the odds of success, and is therefore meant to represent a task being easier than normal.  Decreased Threshold translates to increased challenge.  Players may attempt to negotiate for these kinds of modifiers by demonstrating keen roleplaying skills in the form of preplanning or taking extra risks.  However, it's recommended that everyone tries to avoid allowing such negotiations from taking up too much time.
  
2.1.1 - Attribute:  Physical
       The Physical Attribute governs the raw material form of the player-character.  A Physical Attribute score of 3 would be a regular human in good, fit health, in the prime of their life.  A Physical Attribute lower than that might represent someone who is over- or underweight, has a physical defect or poor health, is a child, or is otherwise weaker than average.  A Physical Attribute of 4 would represent a professional athlete, while a 5 would be a top-tier mundane athlete or metahuman with strength- or endurance-related Powers.  A value higher than 5 represents a truly powerful individual, with the likes of Super Strength or Invulnerability as appropriate Power Sets.
 
2.1.2 - Attribute:  Mental
       The Mental Attribute represents the cerebral aspects of the player-character.  A Mental Attribute score of 3 would be a regular human with a full education or equivalent capacity for logical deduction and reasoning.  A Mental Attribute lower than that might be applied to someone who is a bit of a slow thinker or has difficulty with cognitive functions.  A Mental Attribute of 4 would represent an academic or low-level genius, while a 5 would be a certifiable genius.  A value higher than 5 would be superhuman intellect, advanced AI, or a collective mental network.  Powers such as Robotics or Mind Control could be good fits in such cases.
 
2.1.3 - Attribute:  Social
       The Social Attribute is about charisma, personality, and the capacity to persuade others.  A Social Attribute score of 3 would be a regular, well-socialized individual, capable of making and maintaining friendships and resolving conflicts through discussion as long as everyone remains rational.  A Social Attribute lower than that might suggest someone who is awkward around other people or otherwise maladjusted within society; a loner or a misanthrope.  A Social Attribute of 4 would represent a person with natural leadership ability, and a 5 would be someone capable of winning a major electable position.  A value higher than 5 implies a character with metahuman powers of seduction or telepathic empathy.  Mind Control (again) or Empathy (no duh, eh?) would be solid Power Sets for a Social savant.
 
2.1.4 - Attribute:  Technical
       The Technical Attribute includes hand-eye coordination, grace, dexterity, and the application of technique over brute force for problem solving obstacles.  This Attribute is a bit more far reaching than the other Attributes, and benefits from Specializations and Traits to help refine it.  A Technical Attribute score of 3 would be someone with regular competencies handling guns or melee weapons, or enough hand-to-hand combat training to win more often than not.  However, this Attribute also governs such skills as lockpicking and sneaking, dancing and artistry (though not aesthetics, which would be arguably Mental or Social), and mechanical or device interfacing skills.  A Technical Attribute lower than that might be appropriate for a clumsy individual, or someone who can't hold their hands still.  A Technical Attribute of 4 would be appropriate for a trained gunner or martial arts enthusiast, or a skilled burglar, while a 5 would be the pinnacle of mundane human skill for such talents.  A value higher than 5 is meant for characters with truly remarkable skill in their chosen fields, with enough talent left over to excel even in secondary skillsets.  Martial Arts and Dual Pistols would be apt Power Sets to choose for a Technical adept.
 
2.1.5 - Attributes at a Glance
       Physical
1 = Complete Pushover
2 = Weakling
3 = Average Strength
4 = Athlete
5 = Pro Athlete
5+ = Superhuman Strength
 
       Mental
1 = Idiot
2 = Dimwit
3 = Average Intellect
4 = Detective
5 = Genius
5+ = Superhuman Intellect
 
      Social
1 = Pariah
2 = Awkward
3 = Average Charisma
4 = Leader
5 = Acting Professional
5+ = Superhuman Charisma
 
      Technical
1 = Fumbler
2 = Uncoordinated
3 = Average Dexterity
4 = Soldier / Mechanic / Thief
5 = Spec Ops / Pocketwatch Repairer / Cat Burglar
5+ = Superhuman Dexterity
 
2.2.1 - Specialization
       To further enhance and personalize a player-character, Specializations and Traits can be applied.  A Specialization is a specific category of skill for an Attribute, granting the player an additional +1 to their Attribute and a +7 to the Threshold for any rolls which apply directly to that Specialization.  Appropriate Specializations and the kinds of actions that they apply to is up to the mutual consent of all players involved in a session, with the ND making a judgement call if necessary.  Specializations can be just about anything, even "crossing territory" between the Attributes; some examples follow.
 
2.2.2 - Examples of Specializations
       Physical
- Endurance (taking a beating and keep on ticking)
- Fight-or-Flight (the hairs on the back of one's neck offering a sixth sense for danger)
- Intimidation (one doesn't always need to be good with people to be able to scare them in to cooperating)
- Strength (picking up heavy stuff, bending bars, busting down doors)
 
       Mental
- Mind Over Matter (repress pain or desire with superior willpower)
- Logic (fit the various pieces of the puzzle of a mystery together) 
- Debate (convince others with well-reasoned arguments rather than personality)
- Computer Science (code software, hack encryption, give birth to AI)
 
       Social
- Authority (command others to do as told)
- Theatrics (rile up the common folk by putting on a show)
- Seduction (compel others to show their appreciation)
- Hero/Villain Culture (know who's who, and how to call in favours)
 
       Technical
- Sharpshooting (control of ones breathing and eagle-eyed accuracy)
- Interfacing (multitasking on several devices with lightning speed and precision)
- Perception (spot clues or hidden threats with ease)
- Lockpicking (fine motor control for getting tiny tools in a tight space)
 
2.2.3 - Signature Specialization
       A Character starts with one Signature Specialization.  This provides the regular +1 to the Attribute, but also provides +14 to the Threshold, and grants the player the chance to invoke Guaranteed Dramatic Success once per session with that chosen Signature Specialization.  A player can only ever have a single Signature Specialization, but may change which Specialization they declare as their Signature for the cost of 1 Build Point between sessions (see Section 3 for details).
 
2.3.1 - Traits
       Along with Specializations, Traits help to define a player's character.  Similarly to Specializations, Traits are fairly open-ended with how the player defines their impact to the characterization of their creation.  Unlike Specializations, Traits can be both positive AND negative (Negative Traits allow for increased Build Points, see Section 3 for details).  Traits have a range of Build Point costs, typically 1, 3, or 5.  The mechanical influence a Trait has is pre-established, but its thematic function allows for greater definition.  Note:  Getting rid of Negative Traits costs the same amount of Build Points that were received for taking it, but should also have a roleplay challenge to overcome.  This challenge could be resolved in a manner as simple as some freeform roleplay, or as complex as a whole story arc.  ND should discuss this with their players in advance.
 
2.3.2 - Positive Trait List with Examples
       Advanced [Attribute] (3, 5, or 7 BP, upgradeable)
The Advanced Trait applies a +7 bonus to an Attribute's Threshold for each rank purchased.
- Advanced Social could be used on a character who is attractive, but has little social skills (higher Threshold combined with low Social Attribute score).
 
       Fortunate [Attribute] (variable BP, upgradeable)
The Fortunate Trait is applied to a single Attribute each time it is purchased with BP.  Fortunate allows the player to reroll a number of dice in a single test associated with the specific Attribute equal to the Build Point value invested in the Trait.  These rerolls may refresh at the start of a new session, when the player-character suffers a Dramatic Failure, or when the ND feels it is appropriate for a specific player-character.
- Fortunate Technical could represent the character having literal wealth to call upon to resolve mechanical failures in the devices they use.
 
       Lucky (3 BP, repeatable up to x5)
Similar to Fortunate, the Lucky Trait applies to all Attributes, but only provides a single die reroll per 3 Build Points, and may only be purchased up to five times total.  These rerolls do not all need to be spent in a single test if the Lucky Trait is purchased multiple times.
- A Lucky character is one who is less likely to suffer Dramatic Failures, assuming their luck hasn't run out.
 
2.3.3 - Negative Trait List with Examples
       Foil / Rival / Archrival (1, 3, or 5 BP Refund, 'up'gradeable)
Each of these Traits creates a persistent enemy to the character, with each rank providing more frequent incidents and more power for the enemy.  Should this enemy ever be killed or otherwise indisposed, then the player has the immediate opportunity to pay the Build Point cost to remove them, including the option to go in to Build Point Debt to do so.  If this Trait is not removed, then the enemy has some way to continue to be a thorn in the player-character's side, whether it's through minions, undeath, or elaborately crafted plans and traps left in advance.  The ND should consult all players in a campaign before allowing any single player to introduce an Archrival due to the complications it can cause to the rest of the group.
- An old friend who grew jealous of the player-character's powers can make for a compelling enemy.
 
       Inferior [Attribute] (1, 3, or 5 BP Refund, 'up'gradeable)
The Inferior Trait applies a -7 penalty to an Attribute's Threshold for each rank purchased.
- Inferior Physical could represent a character who eschews physical interaction, even if they're built to be physically capable (lower Threshold with a high Physical Attribute score).
 
       Vulnerability (variable BP Refund, ND approval)
Whether it be some kind of tangible material which causes sickness and loss of strength, or some kind of emotional addiction to risky behaviour, a Vulnerability is some kind of flaw which can be invoked by the ND to put a player-character in to a compromised position.  Depending on the severity and the frequency which the Vulnerability could be brought up, the player and ND should negotiate the specific Build Point Refund it will provide.
- An alien player-character who has superior powers on our world could have a Vulnerability to a rare mineral substance, which drains them of their powers.
 
       Unlucky (3 BP, repeatable up to x3)
The Unlucky Trait grants the ND the opportunity to call for a reroll of any successful die which lands within 15 points of failure for each 3 Build Points spent on this Trait.  Additionally, it may only be purchased up to three times total.  These rerolls may only be spent once in a single test.  The ND is also encouraged to "throw narrative curveballs" at Unlucky player-characters, appropriate to the number of times the Trait was taken on that character.
- An Unlucky character is the sort where sometimes life just decides to treat them poorly.
 
 
2.4.1 - Affect of Powers on Attributes
       The Primary and Secondary Power Sets which a player-character possess may be treated as an additional Specialization, free of BP cost.  Additionally, as the player-character levels up, the Power Sets may also have an effect on the Attribute score and Threshold of one Attribute each per Set.  These improvements occur when sufficient Powers are acquired during the Combat Level Training of the core gameplay.  The player and ND may discuss which Attribute this applies to.  A bonus of +7 to the Threshold of the agreed Attribute is applied after three Powers have been chosen from a Set (or an Ancillary/Pool Power of comparable type; subject to ND-approval).  And a +1 to the Attribute score is applied when seven Powers have been selected.  Both of these Power-related bonuses are applied directly to the Attribute, not the related Specialization.
       Since there isn't always a clear 1-to-1 translation from Power Set to Attribute in this system, it's up to the player(s) and ND to discuss what is most appropriate, and what everyone is willing to agree with.  Below are some examples, including use of Pool Powers to supplement the Primary/Secondary Sets.  Please note that these are examples of what the author of this system would consider reasonable and acceptable, but other groups do not have to adhere to these same standards for this process.
 
2.4.2 - Examples of Power Sets' Effect on Attribute scores and Thresholds
       Martial Arts applied to Technical
1 Power:  Thunder Kick grants "Martial Arts" as a free Technical Specialization to the character.+7 to Technical Threshold starting at level 1.
3 Powers:  By Combat Level 6, with the additions of Cobra Strike and Focus Chi the player-character gains a permanent +7 to their Technical Threshold for all purposes.
7 Powers:  By Combat Level 32, with the additions of Crane Kick, Crippling Axe Kick, Dragon's Tail, and Eagles Claw the player-character gains a permanent +1 to the Technical Attribute score.
 
       Traps applied to Mental
1 Power:  Web Grenade grants "Traps" as a free Mental Specialization to the character.+7 to Mental Threshold starting at level 1.
3 Powers:  By Combat Level 4, with the additions of Caltrops and Triage Beacon the player-character gains a permanent +7 to their Mental Threshold for all purposes.
7 Powers:  By Combat Level 20, with the additions of Acid Mortar, Force Field Generator, Experimental Injection, and Poison Trap the player-character gains a permanent +1 to the Mental Attribute score.
 
       Arachnos Teamwork applied to Social
1 Power:  Combat Training:  Defensive grants "Arachnos Teamwork" as a free Social Specialization to the character.
3 Powers:  By Combat Level 4, with the additions of Combat Training:  Offensive and Tactical Training:  Maneuvers the player-character gains a permanent +7 to their Social Threshold for all purposes.
7 Powers:  By Combat level 12, with the additions of Maneuvers, Assault, Indomitable Will, and Pacify the player-character gains a permanent +1 to the Social Attribute score.
 
 
3.0.1 - Build Point Categories
       Build Points (BP) are the component of character building and progress which are provided for players to use to set Attribute scores and purchase Specializations and Traits.  Build Points are also rewards the ND may hand out to players for impressive roleplay, driving the story forward, or for completing objectives and milestones.  Partial BP are recommended for this purpose, such as  0.25 BP for each session, and 2.5 BP for a story arc.  This should be discussed between all players in a campaign, so that a collective decision may be made.
       Different amounts of BP at the start of character creation exist as different categories to allow the group to set tone and overall power level of player-characters in their group.
Meagre - 11 points, 1 Free Signature Specialization, 2 Free Specializations
Average - 13 points, 1 Free Signature Specialization, 2 Free Specializations
Advanced - 15 points, 1 Free Signature Specialization, 3 Free Specializations
Superior - 17 points, 1 Free Signature Specialization, 3 Free Specializations
Incredible - 19 points, 1 Free Signature Specialization, 4 Free Specializations
 
3.1.1 - Example Character:  Nene
       Build Point Category:  Meagre (11 points, 1 Free Signature Specialization, 2 Free Specializations)
Physical:  2
Mental:  2
Social:  3
Technical:  3
Signature Specialization:  Supernatural Senses (Technical) - "Nene has incredibly powerful senses, and can even see, hear, smell, touch, and taste magical energy, even though she has no capacity to manipulate or exploit it."
Free Specialization 1:  Graceful (Technical) - "Nene has the body of a dancer, which she uses for that express purpose.  She also has quite the ability to contort and squeeze in to tight spaces."
Free Specialization 2:  Stunt Driving (Technical) - "Despite her frail and demure appearance, Nene is a bit of a speed-demon when she gets behind the wheel.  She loves to go fast and perform reckless stunts, especially in sports cars."
3 BP Trait:  Advanced Social - "Nene is beautiful.  Her appearance is striking, and despite appearing a bit demonic, she has an overwhelming softness to offset that."
1 BPR Trait:  Inferior Mental - "Nene isn't stupid . . . but she doesn't much care to use her brains to solve problems either.  She would much rather do something flashy and fun, and do it quickly, rather than sit down and come up with a plan."
1 BPR Trait:  Vulnerability "Thrill Seeker" - "Nene loves life, perhaps a little too much.  She can be swayed to drop tedious work if the offer of something fun or exciting comes up and grabs her attention."
Dual Pistols - applied to Technical
Super Reflexes - applied to Physical
 
3.1.2 - Example Character:  The Retiree
       Build Point Category:  Average (13 points, 1 Free Signature Specialization, 2 Free Specializations)
Physical:  2
Mental:  3
Social:  3
Technical:  4
Signature Specialization:  Retired Spec Ops (Technical) - "The Retiree isn't in the prime of his life any longer, but he's picked up a lot of tricks over the years when it comes to subterfuge and infiltration."
Free Specialization 1:  Gregarious (Social) - "The Retiree is quick to make new friends.  When meeting new people, he seems to have an advantage in first impressions."
Free Specialization 2:  Mind Over Matter (Mental) - "Being rather old and having put his body through a great deal, The Retiree has needed to learn how to manage all those aches and pain over the years."
1 BP Specialization 1:  Hand-Eye Coordination (Technical) - "He may not be fast in his old age, but The Retiree is still precise."
1 BP Specialization 2:  Fight-or-Flight (Physical) - "Sometimes The Retiree's body just knows when it's time to make an exit, rather than getting dragged in to another fight."
1 BP Specialization 3:  Authority (Social) - "The Retiree spent a little time as a commanding officer, but it'll always be a part of him now."
2 BP Trait:  Fortunate Technical - "Years of experience has taught The Retiree a thing or two about bringing the right tools for the job.  He keeps a utility belt on his person at almost all times."
3 BP Trait:  Lucky - "You don't get to be as old as The Retiree in his line of work unless you're at least a little bit lucky, no matter how skilled you might be."
3 BPR Trait:  Rival "Inspector Dupras" - "The Retiree has committed many crimes in his life, but he always managed to get away . . . mostly.  Inspector Dupras is an INTERPOL agent who has had it out for The Retiree for many, many, MANY years."
4 BPR Trait:  Vulnerability "Old and Busted" - "The Retiree is far from his younger years and it shows.  He walks with a cane and he isn't about to go on any more missions himself, unless absolutely necessary."
Street Justice - applied to Physical
Ninjitsu - applied to Technical
 
3.1.3 - Example Character:  Inspector Dupras
       Build Point Category:  Superior (17 points, 1 Free Signature Specialization, 3 Free Specializations)
Physical:  5
Mental:  5
Social:  5
Technical:  5
Signature Specialization:  Logic (Mental) - "Inspector Dupras is a detective of quite some renown for his intellect.
Free Specialization 1:  Inquisitive (Social) - "The Inspector has a way with questions, often getting people to open up without realizing it."
Free Specialization 2:  Built Like a Brickhouse (Physical) - "Inspector Dupras isn't all brain; he's also quite brawny.  He's pushing the limits of the human condition."
Free Specialization 3:  Magical Sleuthing (Technical) - "One of Inspector Dupras' trickier detective work skills comes from the fact that he's an accomplished mage and an ancillary member of the Midnighters."
3 BPR Trait:  Unlucky - "For all his skill, talent, and rare potential, there's one thing that constantly screws over this detective, and that's his terrible luck.  It's as if the cosmoi align to deny him his quarry from time to time."
Illusion Control - applied to Technical
Kinetics - applied to Mental

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       Quick Start Rules
 
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Step 1:  Discuss Campaign plans with players and ND (Narrative Director, since "GM" has a different meaning in City of Heroes).
       1-1:  Establish Theme, Tone, and Group Rules to help make sure everyone is on the same page.  This is usually the most important step.
       1-2:  Don't assume anything.  Not everyone has the same life experiences, particularly when it comes to roleplay, so be sure to discuss things openly.
 
Step 2:  Discuss player-characters collectively as a group and establish a Build Point Category for all players based on the group's theme, tone, and expectations.
       Meagre - 11 Build Points, 1 Free Signature Specialization, 2 Free Specializations
       Average - 13 Build Points, 1 Free Signature Specialization, 2 Free Specializations
       Advanced - 15 Build Points, 1 Free Signature Specialization, 3 Free Specializations
       Superior - 17 Build Points, 1 Free Signature Specialization, 3 Free Specializations
       Incredible - 19 Build Points, 1 Free Signature Specialization, 4 Free Specializations
NOTE:  If the group collectively agrees, it's possible to mix-and-match different Categories in a campaign, but this is not recommended for first timers.
 
Step 3:  Conceptualize your character!  It helps to get feedback and ideas from your fellow players and the ND.
 
Step 4:  Spend Build Points on Attributes, Specializations, and Traits.  Remember that you get some free Specializations based on Build Point Category and your character's Primary and Secondary Power Sets.
       4-1:  Attributes may range from 1 to 7 at character creation.  The cost is 1-to-1 with BP (so a minimum of 4 BP must be spent on Attributes).  Consult 2.1.1 through 2.1.5 in the post above to learn details on Attributes.
       4-2:  It's recommended you select your free Specializations before spending BP on additional Specializations.  Consult 2.2.1 through 2.2.3 in the post above to learn details on Specializations.
       4-3:  Select Positive and Negative Traits for your character.  Consult 2.3.1 through 2.3.3 in the post above to learn details on Traits.
       4-4:  Double-check your Build Point total and make adjustments as necessary.  Remember to consult with your ND to ensure the character is valid.
 
Step 5 (recommended):  Arrange a one-on-one with your ND to familiarize yourself with your character, the rules, and the ND's style.
 
And then . . . enjoy!
 
 
 
Remember; these forums have a powerful private messaging system that allows for group conversations.  It's recommended that you make use of them for planning during times when all players can't be online together at the same time.  Send your ND a message in the forum right now, and they can help organize such a group discussion in the future.

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Interesting idea.  I can even see how a person could reference another RPG list, like GURPS advantages/disadvantages for inspiration into other positive / negative traits  while keeping it all streamlined like this. (using your "enemies" example, you could use it to represent allies/mentors/dependents very similarly).

So, looking at Tabby- a kinetic melee / willpower stalker (with the melee part representing close-range spellcasting).   The game mechanics would suggest a high physical and technical would be appropriate, but at barely 4' and not even 75 lbs, she's not exactly that intimidating or car-lifting sort.   The knockback in her spell-blasts, on the other hand...)
 

So I could pick something in the middle for general purpose. then:

 - specialize "Die Hard" to reflect willpower's channelling of her innner John McClain, then possibly, with GM help, make a negative (or neutral) trait 

 - come up with a negative trait like "kawaii- intimidatiion suffers a -x penalty, the more she tries, the less seriously she's taken.  (maybe a neutral trait with a particular +to social there.



 

 

 

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Part of what I intended for this system is for players to take it and use it however their personal groups wish to.  I don't harbour any "but it was meant to be X, and you're playing it Y" as ill-intent.  I consider it the whole point.  If someone takes this system and does their own things with it, and the people they play with are all enjoying themselves, then that's all I really want.

 

But, yeah . . . your reading of the Positive/Negative Traits seems to be on-point for what I intended, @chase.

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It has a lot of potential and helps make sense out of requests I've seen for die-rolling mechanics in-game (or in discord) to support the RP community.   It balances structure with maintaining the flow of collaborative storytelling.


One observation regarding the working title:  I like to imagine that this is the carefully-honed TTP paranoia from my time tangential to the game industry and not my own inner 13-year-old, but any game title that includes "rising" with anything remotely phallic (like some meanings of "pinnacle") will... inspire... some players.  😄 

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