House Rules.   Posted by Watcher.Group: 0
 GM, 5 posts
Mon 4 Apr 2016
at 01:33
House Rules
This thread will hold variations and house rules from the core Marvel Heroic rules.
 GM, 6 posts
Mon 4 Apr 2016
at 02:00
House Rules

Dice Pools:
Your dice pool will have one die for each of the following:
  1. Distinction
  2. Specialties
  3. Background power set
  4. Occupation power set

    If one of these does not fit, do not try to shoehorn it. When you don't have something that is applicable, you can add a d6 to the pool instead. (Example: You are hitting someone with a sword but you do not have the Melee Combat specialty. Do not try to substitute in a different specialty, just take the d6.) Thus, the minimum dice pool anyone will ever roll is 4d6 or 3d6+d4+1PP if you use your distinction as a disadvantage.

    When applicable, you may also have extra dice from:
  5. SFX
  6. Resources OR Assets  <-- If you have more than one available, you get one for free, then must spend a PP per extra you want to include
  7. Opponent Stress, Trauma, OR Complications <-- If you have more than one available, you get one for free, then must spend a PP per extra you want to include

    You can spend Plot Points to add more dice for:
  8. SFX (if required based on the description of the SFX)
  9. Extra Distinction
  10. Power stunt
  11. Extra Resource or Asset
  12. Extra opponent Stress or Complication

Most of that is pretty much straight up MHR. The d6 when something isn't applicable is different (but a house rule I use in MHR anyway). A couple of other differences:
  • No Affiliation die
  • Everyone has two power sets
  • The three types of stress are Physical, Mental, and Social. Social is a lot like Emotional stress, but a little more specific.

Counter attacks:
Counter attacks require the activation of an Opportunity, and they do not get Extraordinary Successes. The SFX that gives you a free counter attack with a successful reaction works like this:
  [**] You can spend 1PP to counter attack when there is no Opportunity.
  [**] You can counter attack for free if there is an Opportunity.

If your pool includes a D4 Distinction (to gain a PP), you may NOT use a PP to add an extra die to the total of that pool. D4 Distinctions are supposed to represent a weakness. Something about your Distinction is getting in the way and making things harder for your character. However, I often see players putting in the D4 Distinction to get the PP and then using a PP in the same pool to add a third effect die. This has the side effect of making these actions highly effective, when they really shouldn't be. If you are using a Distinction at D4, your narrative should indicate how it's hindering you.

Other uses of PP are acceptable. Although remember, the Narrative is king. Your narrative should clearly justify your pool.

Area Attack:
You have to allocate all of your effect dice BEFORE buying dice to boost your total. This is to prevent the area-attacker from using dice on the total and getting "free" D4 effect dice on the targets.

Also related to Area Attack - if your multiple targets each have Stress/Complications, you can add the Stress/Complications of the PRIMARY target (and only the primary target) to your pool. It's up to you who's primary... the narrative is king.

One more area attack issue - it is +1d6 per EXTRA target. If you are targeting n opponents, n-1 d6's.

Doom Pool:
Doom Pool Dice can Merge Up or Split Down for Doom Expenditures. (1d12 is equal to 2d10, 3d8, 4d6.) Spending a D12, even if Merged Into or Split From, rewards XP accordingly. XP rewards are only granted for spent d12s, not rolled ones.

This message was last edited by the GM at 14:19, Sat 15 Oct 2016.

 GM, 9 posts
Fri 30 Sep 2016
at 22:33
House Rules

1. The narrative is king. Your description of your character's actions should be clear, should make sense for that character, and for the genre. Most of the rest of these house rules and interpretations are corollaries of The narrative is king.

2. Corollary: It works best if you describe your action first, THEN build your dice pool to represent it. I know there's a strong temptation to power game - to build the best dice pool you can, then narrate how you could get it. The game will be more fun if you resist that as much as you can (and don't feel bad for the occasional dip).

3. Don't take anything too seriously - it's just a game.

4. Unless someone specifically asks, please refrain from correcting other posts. I will point out things from time to time (more often if we have less experienced players), but let me do it. I will almost never ask for a reroll - we'll just go with whatever the mistake was and keep it moving.

5. The application of Specialties should be pretty straightforward and obvious, similar to Powers (look at the list of Stunts). Your narrative should justify the use of the Specialty. If you can't find a way to narrate it, or you find yourself having to write a novel or twist the narrative to make the Specialty apply, it probably doesn't. Just take your d6.

The way many people play Iron Man exemplifies a violation of this interpretation. Iron Man is a Tech Master, but has no Combat Specialty. Let's say Iron Man shoots his repulsors at a robot. Many players add Tech to that pool. They often don't even try to justify it with narrative, relying on some kind of assumption that using his armor counts as Tech. In my game, it doesn't. Shooting repulsors is Combat. Tech is about gadgeteering. Tech would cover inventing a virus on the fly to mess up the robots' programming (and putting the Repulsors die in THAT pool is possible, but a stretch).

6. The Rookie (d6) level of Specialty is assumed. Someone will have to REALLY justify getting anything at Grandmaster (d12)

7. The list of Specialties is slightly altered in this game. I'll post it in another thread.

8. Advancement is a little different in this game too. Again, I'll post in another thread.

9. You can take actions to reduce Doom Pool dice like you would Complications.

10. Looser Scene Distinctions. Scene Distinctions default to d8 unless otherwise specified.

11. Distinctions.  We are NOT using the rule that allows for both a scene distinction and character distinction be included in a dice pool, provided one is a d4. You can spend a PP to add additional Distinctions at D8 to a dice pool.

12. Large Scale Threats do not allow Area Attacks against them unless specified otherwise. (In some cases, the vast size of them might allow for broader attacks.) Mobs CAN be targeted with Area Attacks.

13. Because of the way PBP works, if you have an SFX that lets you reroll on failure, you need to decide whether to reroll before seeing the reaction results. This prevents an EXTRA back and forth (there are already more than I prefer with Cortex rules). As a bit of compensation, I'll allow you to keep the better of the two results.

I will add other House Rules and Clarifications as they come up.
 GM, 10 posts
Fri 30 Sep 2016
at 22:38
Here is the list of Specialties for this game. It is slightly modified to reflect a fantasy setting.

  • Acrobatics: You’ve had training in leaping, jumping, contorting, and dodging out of the way. You’ve got a great sense of balance and you’re not afraid of heights.
  • Crafting: You can use, repair, and create physical goods, from blacksmithing to traps, to siege devices and alchemical items.
  • Diplomacy: You have a gift for understanding sentient behavior and finding common ground with other people and cultures.
  • Healing: You’ve had training in treating wounds and ailments of the body and the mind.
  • Intimidation: You know what scares others. You’re familiar with how to get others to do what you want through force, threats, menace, and fear.
  • Lore: You have a wide breadth of knowledge, from history to politics to sciences.
  • Melee Combat: You’re good in a fight with melee weapons and the training to act on the offensive, or if you like, the defensive.
  • Merchantry: You’ve got merchant acumen and know your way around finances, appraisal, and trade. This Specialty also implies a certain level of wealth available.
  • Mystic: You have experience in occult dealings and spellcraft. This Specialty encompasses both training with magic and general magical knowledge for those who have no magical ability.
  • Performance: You have training in entertainment of all kinds.
  • Ranged Combat: You’re good in a fight with ranged weapons and the training to act on the offensive, or, if you prefer, the defensive.
  • Riding: You don’t just know how to ride a horse, you were born to ride.
  • Nature: You have experience in the natural world, as well as tracking and leading the way in a dangerous situation.
  • Skullduggery: You’ve got training in sneaking, infiltrating, breaking in, and hiding the truth.

This message was last edited by the GM at 14:20, Sat 15 Oct 2016.

 GM, 11 posts
Fri 30 Sep 2016
at 22:41
Here is how advancement works.

Mundane equipment is abstracted into Distinctions, Power sets, and Specialties. You can assume you have any mundane item you need to do what you're trying to do. Or if you want to take a Distinction at d4, say you don't have it and it's hindering you.

Single-use magic items can be handled as Resources and Unlockables.

To permanently add a durable magic item (e.g. magic sword) to your character's stats, you pay XP (how much depends on how powerful it is) and merge it with the most applicable of your two power sets, adding its powers and SFX to that set.

Minimum XP
For any Social or Exploration scene in which you don't hit any of your Milestones, as long as you post at least once, you earn 1XP just for participating. For Combat scenes, the minimum participation award is 3XP. Participation means you put up at least one post in the scene.

This message was last edited by the GM at 12:45, Sat 08 Oct 2016.

 GM, 14 posts
Sat 8 Oct 2016
at 12:13
Types of Scenes
There are three types of scenes in Fantasy, as opposed to two in Marvel.

Combat - pretty much the same as an action scene in Marvel
Social - pretty much an action scene where the action is talking

The third one is a little different. It's call an Exploration scene. It's mostly a transition scene, although IMO, it's really more of a sub-scene than a full scene. I will probably use something more like MHR Transition scenes and stick an exploration roll into them.

Exploration Scenes have heroes moving overland into
uncharted territory, cutting through a dangerous forest,
or navigating a dark dungeon. Exploration rolls take
place during Exploration Scenes, and are described on
page 219, along with other details of how to handle
Exploration Scenes.

Heroes may each take the following actions during an
Exploration Scene:
  • Roll to recover your own or another’s stress.
  • Make an Exploration-based resource by spending a PP.
  • Roll to search for magic items or create an asset.
  • Roll to explore.

As stated above, resolving an Exploration Scene requires
a character to take the lead to resolve it.
That player builds his exploration dice pool and
rolls against the doom pool plus any Environmental
Distinctions, complications, etc. you may decide to use.
On a success, the characters find where they must go
and (most likely) make their way there. You then provide
an initial description of the next Scene so the lead player
can use the roll’s effect die to create a useful asset. That
means the party can exploit the situation to their advantage
by gaining a particular edge over whatever challenge
awaits them in the next Scene. As usual, that asset can
be maintained from Scene to Scene by spending a PP if
it makes sense to do so.

Examples of such assets are:
• Get the drop on any monsters awaiting at the destination (Ambush).
• Finding Perfect Cover.
• “Hey, there’s a Secret Door Here.”
• Finding a Convenient Piece of Adventuring Gear on the way.

Of course, even the best of trackers can lead their mates
through patches of trouble on the best of days. On a successful
Exploration roll, a GM is allowed to add elements
of trouble to the scene (See Adding Trouble to Scenes,
page 232). He must, however, spend an additional die
from the doom pool that is at least the same size as the
lead player’s effect die before doing so.

On a failed Exploration roll, something definitively goes
wrong for the heroes. You have several options to cause
trouble. First, you get to send the heroes to any Scene of
your choice: an ambush, into the lair of a ravenous predator,
or straight into a cursed temple. Additionally, you get
to use the effect dice of your roll do any of the following:
• Inflict stress
• Create complications
• Add trouble to a Scene

This message was last edited by the GM at 15:33, Mon 10 Oct 2016.

 GM, 15 posts
Sat 8 Oct 2016
at 12:43
The book has example powersets for the standard groupings of fantasy races and classes. Here's an example of building an Elven Wizard (with a magic wand) using elements only from the book.

Elven Wizard

---Distinctions (these are a bit vanilla)----------
  • Inheritor of ancient eldritch secrets
  • Distrusts non-elves
  • Prefers indirect action

Power Sets

---RACE: WOOD ELF----------
Enhanced Reflexes d8
Enhanced Senses d8
Enhanced Speed d8
Magical Aptitude d8

SFX: Elven Grace. Spend a PP to reroll an attack action,
adding Enhanced Senses to pool or stepping up the die
if already included.

Limit: Fae. Shutdown Wood Elf and gain a PP when
affected by cold iron or fae-specific magic. Recover when
no longer affected.

---CLASS: WIZARD----------
Mystic Blast d6
Sorcery d10

SFX: Evocation. Spend a PP to attack multiple targets with
Mystic Blast. For each target beyond the first, add a d6
and keep an additional effect die.

SFX: Transmutation. When using Sorcery to inflict a
magical complication, add a d6 and step up effect die.

Limit: Utility Magic. A pool containing Sorcery cannot
be used to inflict physical stress.

Limit: Fizzle. Shutdown a Wizard power to gain a PP.
Recover during the next Exploration or Social Scene.

Magic Blast d8

SFX: Unerring. On failed attack action, spend a PP and
step back effect dice and use it to inflict physical stress.

SFX: Split Missiles. Magic Blast may be split into 2d6
or 4d4.

Limit: Magic Gear. Shutdown Wand of Magical Projectiles
to gain a PP. Make a roll against the doom pool to recover.

Mystic Expert d8
Lore Expert d8

You were born into aristocracy and you are well aware of
your station in life. You take pains of reminding others of
theirs. When the going gets tough, you expect your bloodline
to make problems disappear.
• 1 XP when you say something dismissive about the lower class.
• 3 XP when you try to buy your way out of a problem.
• 10 XP when you surrender your noble station for adventure,
or wrap up your adventuring party up for a life of nobility.

Apocryphal, your wisdom people say is. No matter it is,
for knowledge sharing is reward in itself.
• 1 XP when you make a cryptic observation.
• 3 XP when you encounter something you can’t explain.
• 10 XP when you are exposed as not that wise, or if
someone in your group is the Chosen One the prophecy
spoke of!

This message was last edited by the GM at 12:51, Sat 08 Oct 2016.

 GM, 27 posts
Sat 15 Oct 2016
at 14:22

Made a change to the minimum dice pool. You can now add a race and occupation die to all pools. This makes the minimum 4d6 or 3d6+d4+1 if you take your distinction as a weakness.

I also changed the name of the Scouting specialty to Nature. I think that's a little more precise.
 GM, 230 posts
Tue 16 May 2017
at 01:31
Advancement Costs
• Train a new Specialty at Expert.
• Add a new power trait at d6 from a Power Set’s Advancements.
• Unlock a d6 magic item or ally from an asset.

• Upgrade an existing power trait from d6 to d8.
• Unlock a d8 magic item or ally from an asset.
• Add a new SFX or other Advancement from a Power Set’s Advancements.
• Add a power trait at d6 from a Power Set you do not possess.

• Upgrade an existing power trait from d8 to d10.
• Upgrade an existing Expert Specialty to Master.
• Unlock a d10 magic item or ally from an asset.
• Add a new SFX from a Power Set’s Advancement from a Power Set you do not possess.

• Upgrade an existing power trait from d10 to d12.
• Unlock a d12 magic item or ally from an asset.
 GM, 398 posts
Fri 1 Dec 2017
at 03:21
Single Shot Traps

Single-shot traps are that they will get a die rating between d4 and d12 (and maybe a single SFX, probably area effect is the most common) and they will "attack" the party using the doom pool plus that die. Whoever gets attacked will get to make a reaction roll like they would versus any other attack.

Then it's done, because it's a single-shot trap.