Feb 1, 2016

Guardians - game balance, what's that??

Since the inception of roleplaying games from their roots in wargames play balance has been an important factor in the system designs. Magic-Users were denied weapons and sucked at melee so they were not more powerful than Fighting Men. Level progression was carefully balanced vs. the relative power per level a class would have. Monsters were given Hit Dice as a general indication of their fearsomeness so encounters could be balanced, and so on.
There was always a huge balance flaw in the original RPG that has persisted to this day. Rolling randomly for ability scores guaranteed that characters in the same party would not be balanced from their inception.
There have been a variety of systems to mitigate this, such as roll 4 keep 3, so everyone could have a chance at getting a 'decent' character. And of course with games like Champions and GURPS point buy systems have been developed, with ever increasing complexity, to make perfectly balanced characters.
In Guardians the approach has been to exchange careful game balance for variety and texture in character creation. If the players want a super hero group comprised of a radiated muscle-monster, a Norse god, an eccentric billionaire with a fancy metal suit, a super soldier at the peak of human ability, a trained assassin, and a human marksman then so be it. There is no balance in that group, but each plays a crucial role in the composition of the party. Balance is maintained by the game master.
As for ability scores that are such an integral part of character creation, there is nothing to compare to the excitement of rolling up a character! Guardians does give the option. I love the brutally straightforward method of straight roll 3d6 assign in order. You get such unexpected results and are forced to play a character you might otherwise not have chosen. The character generation system does give you a lot of options from that point on with your choice of Origins and Character Class that will allow you to modify some abilities into truly superheroic ranges!

Super-Alien Power-Wielder (4th level)
Str 9 (0) Int 10 (0) Wis 10 (0)
Dex 17 (+2) Con 9 (0) Cha 12 (0)
Gifts: 1 gadget point.
Powers: Electrical Aura, EMP, Superior Flight, Superior Lightning. Features: +2
Dex, +2 Str, Resist Electricity.
Limits: Depowered by Immersion in Water.
Issues: Enemy (the Mormog).
Gadgets: Force Field Belt (Force Field).
Equipment: None.
HP 18. EP 14. AC 12 (16 when force field up).
Yiz’s blue-skinned humanoid race, the Ryx, possess natural electrical powers. Her planet was raided by the Mormog, who enslaved her people as living power-batteries in the cores of each of their warships. Yiz was freed after the starship she was integrated into was shot down during a Mormog raid against Earth. Later on she captured a force field belt from an alien bounty hunter sent to recapture her. She can hide her blue skin with makeup.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, I just purchased the rules for Guardians and was wondering if it would be okay with you if I started posting character write ups and short adventures to my blog site.