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<  FAN SECTION  ~  Beermonkey's Guide to Supreme Building

PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 1:58 pm
User avatarGuardian of PulpPosts: 2139Location: Maine U.S.A.Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2007 6:52 am
Beermonkey?s Guide to Building Supremes

Everyone has ideas for creating their own custom Supremes for use in Pulp City. In fact we have a yearly contest where the fan base is encouraged to do just that. The winner of the Supreme Genesis get?s their Supreme added to the line of Pulp City minis. As the winner of the very first Genesis contest, one of the main play testers, and as a contributing writer to the Pulp City game, I feel myself qualified to speak about what it takes to build a fair and well-balanced Pulp City Supreme.

First thing you need to have is a concept. I won?t tell you where or how you come up with this but it?s important to have the core idea of who or what you are going to build firmly in mind. Is he hulking bruiser, or an agile ninja whatever you are building keep this core concept firmly in mind and you?ll be pleased with the results. So write down one or two sentences that clearly define who you will be building.

Next we need to talk about the anatomy of a Pulp City Supreme. Is this a Hero or a Villain or someone who can cross the line? Remember that Heroes can clash and so can Villains. This alignment is really about the Supreme?s attitude towards the populace and it?s laws and values. Heroes will largely respect law and preserve human life, Villains usually seek to destroy society and it?s law in pursuit of power, and Hero/Villains are neutral towards people. A Hero/Villain is only interested in their personal goals and will play nice sometimes, or kill off a whole town other times. Keep this in mind when choosing your alignment.

Level is the next consideration. In short Level 1 Supremes are a little better than normal. They have some skill or ability that makes them superhuman but they aren?t going to be throwing cars around. A Level 1 Supreme is usually a support character or has a single focused attack style. The ninja types like Twilight and Chimp-Chi, or the ranged characters like Gentleman, or support characters like Blood Rose or Sister Bedlam. This is not to say that you can?t build a Level 1 brawler type, you can you?ll need to work a little harder to make it work. A Level 1 Supreme will have 3 to 5 AP to use each round. A Level 1 Supreme has a Damage of 6 to 10. These numbers will be determined by what kind of a Supreme you are building. If they are slow but tough they should have a lower AP but more damage. Supremes that are faster than humans have about 5 AP, but only 6 or 7 Damage. Average for a Level 1 Supreme would be 4 AP, and about 8 Damage. If you?re not sure what you should but it at go with the average, you can adjust it later.

Level 2 Supremes have a lot more going for them. They are the main stay super humans. They have exceptional powers and abilities, or amazingly advanced technology. Level 2 Supremes have more Damage, and more AP?s than Level 1 Supremes. Because of this they can be more generalized than the single role Level 1 Supremes. They tend to mix some support powers with some damaging powers. Action Points for a Level 2 Supremes tend to run between 5 and 7, with Damage running from 12 to 18 points. Slower more heavily armored Supremes have the lower 5 AP?s. While supernaturally fast character, or Supremes with very AP heavy powers will have 7 AP. Damage ranges from the fairly human 12 to the tank like 18. On average a Level 2 Supreme will have 12 or 14 Damage. Only the most unnaturally tough characters should be seen with more than 16 Damage. Only the frailest of Supremes should have 12 Damage, save this for ranged blaster types or characters who use extensive mental powers.

Last big consideration is the Origin of the Supreme you are going to build. This may seem like a fairly easy thing, but it plays a major role in how your Supreme will interact with others. Many exclusive actions grant bonuses or penalties to different Origins. Science is the easiest to figure out. A Science Supreme is any Mechanical Supreme or Construct. It also applies to power armor users or any character that derives the bulk of their powers from futuristic gadgetry. Mystery Supremes are the occult characters. They derive their powers from magic spells, artifacts, or from otherworldly sources of energy. Many of these Supremes are ancient gods and spirits, or like the Necroplane draw power from another realm. Nature represents the primal forces of nature but also characters that are ?normal? but with exceptional training. Nature characters can be the mutants of Pulp City as well, simply born with something that makes them special.

Many times you will find that the Supreme you want to build will blur the line between the Origins. This does happen quite a bit. Consider then how the character would view the world. Look at established Supremes and see whom this character would align with. Let?s look at Stone Hawk for example. He clearly gains his ability to control rocks and stone from some otherworldly source. He doesn?t appear to have been born with his powers. Yet he chooses to draw from the land and to live in harmony with the land. It?s a philosophical outlook as much or more than where the powers really come from.

Next we need to look at your Traits. This is probably the most critical thing to get right. If you stack the Traits to high or too low your Supreme will be very unbalanced. Traits also play a major roll in determining what your powers will be like. To start here is a break down of the various numbers and what they mean:

0 Trait: that Supreme doesn?t possess that Trait for various reasons.
1-2 Trait: most of the humans will have Traits developed at this level.
3 Trait: skilled humans will have selected Traits at this level, for instance a professional athlete will muster (icon Strength) of 3.
4-5 Trait: now we are talking supreme!
6-7 Trait: call on the Channel 4 reporters ? one in a million will possess that power!
8-9 Trait: team leaders would be happy to possess at least one Trait at this level
10 Trait: followers of Darwin ? run, creationists ? pray!

A Level 1 Supreme will have an average Trait of 3. With all 3?s in your Traits you should have a single Trump Trait of 4. If you want to have 2 Traits at 4 you should probably lowers one of your other traits. A single Trait at 5 for a Level 1 is possible but expect to put another Trait down to 1 or even 0 in order to justify this. Level 2 Supremes average out at about 4 per Trait, with one or two Trump Traits at 5. If you raise a Trait to 6 you?ll need to lower another Trait to balance this out. Because all opposed rolls in the game are made using Traits it?s critical that these are in balance. You should NEVER have a Trait higher than 6. If you do it will need to be very carefully counter balanced. We?ll talk about balancing out the character later on. For now keep your max Trait at 5 for Level 1, and 6 for Level 2. Remember you also get 1 Trump Trait for each Level of your Supreme. Trumps allow you to roll that extra die for better results and give you access to specific abilities associated with that Trump.

Before you plug numbers into Traits let?s take a good look at what all the Traits mean and how they work in the game. Below you?ll find the description of each Trait and what it means as a Trump Trait.

Strength :STR : defines how hard and precise your Supreme can hit and how much he can lift. Beings with high :STR are usually warrior-like bruisers who hit first before asking questions. :STR is probably the most damaging Trait in the game. As a Trump Trait :STR let?s you manipulate terrain to great effect, allowing you to deal damage at range. Bear in mind that a Supreme with trump :STR will not need a ranged attack as he will be able to throw cars, crates or whatever around. This isn?t to say you can?t give him another ranged power but you need to consider this fact.

Defense :DEF : whether it?s supernatural resilience or amazing luck in absorbing enemy blows, :DEF shows how skilled your miniature is in staying alive! Beings with high :DEF wear heavy armor or rely on the otherworldly help to protect them from oncoming blows, or are just very lucky to be born with iron-like skin. Another thing to consider is that :DEF is equal to mass. A large character tends to have a higher :DEF just because they are so big. Some Supremes, like Hellsmith, have a lower in exchange for more Damage and a skill like Immovable, or Absorb. This being said try and avoid creating a fast nimble character with high :DEF , instead give them absorb or some other skill to make up the diffence.

Energy :ENG : is the unique ability to manipulate various kinds of energy, whether of cosmic origins or elemental sources. Sometimes, a clever use of guns and modern weapons may be enough to combat other super humans. Beings with high :ENG are powerhouses with a lot of Ranged Combat attacks. Supremes that use conventional weapons tend to have stats of around 4 or 5 for :ENG . Only truly amazing shooters, or massively damaging attacks will have :ENG of 6 or better. As a Trump the major benefit is that you can shoot into and out of close combat without penalties.

Agility :AGL : is speed and acrobatics combined. Beings with high Agility run with the speed of light and can dodge bullets. High or Trump :AGL Supremes are often very fast, with Blitzer or other movement boosting skills. They have a much easier time avoiding ranged attacks and can usually recover from being knocked down easier than other Supremes. :AGL can also be used in a Free Strike to avoid damage and break from combat.

Mind :MND : is the power of the thought that can level buildings or calm raging psychopaths. Beings with high :MND usually sport some unusual psychic powers. More importantly :MND is used on the Starting Roll. In so many situations being able to act first can win you the game, or at least a good chunk of Agenda Points. Remember when building a character with mental attacks that high :MND is also equal to good tactics. If you aren?t planning on building a master tactician keep the :MND at 5 or less. Only the most brilliant of Supremes should have a 6 or better.

Spirit :SPT : is the undying will to live but also resilience to psychic attacks and to mind control. Beings with high :SPT draw upon their religious or philosophic convictions and usually support their team members more indirectly than others. :SPT can be a good Trait to use when building a character with mystic powers. Use :SPT instead of :MND if you want a mystic but not really an academic. :SPT Trump characters can often be helpful to your team even after they?ve been Incapacitated.

Ok you?ve got your Traits assigned and you?re thinking everything is looking good. Now you must consider the Skills your character will have. Most Supremes have 1 or 2 useful skills and yours should too. Now if you don?t want to add any skills to your Supreme that?s fine. In that case look back at his Traits and feel free to bump one or two of them up a little bit. If you want to take a lot of skills you may need to lower a Trait or two to make up for it. You can also take some of the negative Skills like Heavy Gear, or Instability to offset the extra skills. Skills and your Team Power are the two things you?ll use most often to balance out your Supreme. A high Trait Character with lots of AP and lots of Damage usually won?t have any Skills, or only negative ones. Some Skills are neutral like Elemental Skills, Non-Living, or Mechanical, these are here primarily to help define what the Supreme is.

Finally we get down to the hardest part of the creation process, Exclusive Actions. This is where you really get to be creative. It?s also often the hardest thing to balance out right. First off you have FOUR exclusive actions. Of these most characters will have two that are straightforward, useful and generally damage dealing powers. These are your bread and butter powers that you?ll use almost every round. Next you?ll have some kind of support power. This power might help you or others on your team. It could also be something that penalizes your enemies or reduces their ability to act in some way. This power generally does no damage. Lastly you have situational power. This is power that won?t be used every game. It?s usually high in AP cost and very powerful, but only in the right situation. This is the basic breakdown of powers. If you look at any established Pulp Supreme you?ll be able to find these three kinds of powers without much effort.

Melee powers are usually the easiest. They use :STR and generally target :DEF or :AGL . Mostly the Melee power will add something that a Basic Strike doesn?t have. These extras can include additional damage, reach, or knock down effect. Sometimes you can make a Melee a simple strike that uses a different Trait like :AGL or even Mind :MND . Because a Melee Action is in addition to the basic Strike action every character has, it should cost a little more. Most Melee Actions will cost about 2 AP on average.

Next up you have Self Blasts. These are very powerful and can affect a large number of models. A generic Self Blast has a range of 2? and can use any Trait you like. Most often this will be opposed by Agility :AGL or Spirit :SPT for a :MND based attack. A Self Blast costs an average of 3 AP. This is an average depending on the range and the extra effects you may need to increase the cost. If you have friendly models immune to the effects of this power expect it to cost a little more.

Ranged attacks can vary quite a bit. An average Projectile Action is Range 6? to 8? and costs about 2 AP. No Ranged Action should cost less than this. A Ray usually has a shorter Range and costs 3 AP due to its ability to hit multiple targets. Blast attacks have average range and cost 3 AP as well. A Blast is already handicapped by the fact that rolling a 1 on opposed roll could end up hurting you. If you add extra effects or longer range expect the price to rise accordingly. Again these are only guidelines but should give you a place to start.

Support powers also vary widely in cost. On average expect most support powers to be Self Blasts or Auras that give a +1 bonus to some kind of opposed roll. These usually cost around 2 to 3 AP. Cost will depend on who benefits, all friendly models or only specific Origin models. The larger the area affected by the power the more AP it will need to cost. Remember any power that will negatively impact an opponent will require an Opposed Roll. These powers need to state they cause no damage or they will count as a ranged attack with additional benefits. Again this is about common sense and balance. The more penalties or bonuses you add the more the power will cost. The more restrictive it is in who is affected the less it will cost.

For your situational power the sky is the limit just be reasonable. The Ace of Wraiths attack allows you to make a ranged attack against all enemies in a huge area. The cost is a massive 6 AP?s though. Six Feet Under can use his Dust to Dust but to get the most out of it he really needs three opponents two of whom are heavily damaged or Minions to be in just the right positions. Because it?s so rare to get that exact set up the power cost a bit less at 4 AP. It?s still expensive as it allows you to make up to 3 Charage Strikes with separate moves in between. Whatever you choose for your Supreme's power here it should be expensive and tough to pull off. That said it should also be a powerful and impressive action.

The last step is the Team Power. In some cases this is the most difficult to come up with, in others the easiest. You Team Power is the final balancing point in Supreme creation. If you?ve created a powerful supreme with great Exclusive Actions, good Skills and high Trumps you will need to handicap him with a Team Power that keeps him on par with other Supremes of his level. On the other hand a Supreme that has few Skills, average Traits, and Exclusive Actions will need a boost from the Team Power to stay competitive. On average a +1 bonus, or ?1 penalty in some kind of specific situation is about average.

The Team Power should also help to reveal the personality and character of your Supreme. So make sure that in addition to keeping the Supreme in balance it?s also indicative of who this Supreme is as a character. A successful build will be able to tell someone what this Supreme is all about just by reading his card. Without a full history you can get a very good sense of who a Supreme is and what they?re about from any Pulp City card. This should be your goal here too.

I hope this has been a helpful guide to everyone. If you have questions or comments I?ll be happy to answer them. If you want me to give you some feedback on a custom Supreme post it up in the fan section I?m happy to look it over. Again these are only guidlines and hints. No Supreme you build using these guidelines is a legal charcter in tournaments or the like. That said if you and your friends want to build your favorite super hero characters and try them out in Pulp City you should have an idea of how that might look.


Last edited by Beermonkey on Thu May 20, 2010 10:58 am, edited 1 time in total.


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PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 2:56 pm
User avatarHeraldPosts: 1461Location: Zen StudiosJoined: Wed Apr 23, 2008 3:43 pm
Nicely, Nicely - Great Writeup!



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2010 2:28 am
User avatarHeraldPosts: 947Location: Frankfort, KentuckyJoined: Wed Aug 29, 2007 5:18 pm
Very nice!



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