Sunday, May 3, 2020

Fighting Fists, Terror Claws, and Mechanical Horses

One thing about Masters of the Universe (and by extension likely any hypothetical rpg based on it) is that, sort of like D&D, advancement often means the acquisition of stuff. There are no mounds of gold or jewels for the heroic warriors of Eternia, though, instead they get new vehicles, the occasional animal mount, and He-man, at least, gets battle armor, flying fists, and thunder punch accessories. In other words, it's toyetic.

The other thing is these innovations aren't mass produced. All the heroes don't get battle armor any more than they all get a power sword. In the more post-apocalyptic world of the early minicomics these items are analogous to D&D artifacts

To keep the game becoming more of an arm race than the source material is, these items should require attunement or bonding. Getting more bonding slots/points should probably be one of the rewards for advancement.

Looking around, one MOTU inspired rpg, Warriors of Eternity, takes this into account, with new bond points doled in reward for narrative goals.

Skeletor levels up


Jason Galterio (Legionair) said...

Bonding works well to explain why a random character doesn't just pick up the discarded / confiscated weapon of one of the main characters.

Along with the bonding, you could also use charges to reflect an item with limited uses. That would explain why some weapons might only appear a single episode or two.

For a vehicle, this could be the lack of the fuel source after all the passing years.

The concept could also fuel (pun intended) a campaign to acquire an esoteric substance to be used to recharge an important artifact.

JB said...

I am not a fan of MotU (far from it!) but I miss gonzo fantasy, the kind that mixes sorcery and super-science.

Not that it doesn't exist as a genre (they're still publishing Rifts, right?), but it all seems to fall into the extremes of pretension or laugh-at-ouselves humor...the former of which lacks soul, and the latter which consistently grates on my nerves as contemptuous.

Where is the earnest version of gonzo?

Trey said...

@Jason - Good thoughts!
@JB - It's out of fashion these days, it would seem.

Jason Galterio (Legionair) said...

I imagine that I know the answer to this... But did you happen to watch a show called "Toys that Made Us?"

There was an episode that dealt specifically with the MOTU product line. The amount of randomness to the development was quite surprising.

I think that any RP that wants to capture the setting should embrace that weirdly random nature somehow.

Trey said...

Yeah, it was really interesting. That weird was part of what I was trying to capture with my Random Ultra-Warriors generator:

Jason Galterio (Legionair) said...

Interesting approach to a fairly complicated question...

Looking at it I can't help but think of the old Marvel Superheroes RPG from the 80s. Specifically the Ultimate Powers Guide. If you followed that with pure randomness, you could come out with some freaky characters.

If you took that as a basis, tweaked it a bit, leaning more towards body modifications, you might end up with a fairly serviceable template.

The thing I always liked about the UPG was that you could tailor the special effects of each power and enforce a symetry to the character even after the randomness.