Thursday, February 20, 2014

Marvel Heroic Roleplaying House Rule Suggestions

I've played a lot of Marvel Heroic Roleplaying (MHP) now, both as a Player and as the Watcher.  There are a few minor tweaks to the rules that I have found make things a little better, or at least clearer.  Here they are...

Mob Affiliation
Any character with a Mob Affiliation is actually a group of "characters" that act together. It always uses it’s Mob affiliation.  The most Stress the Mob can take is it’s Mob Affiliation die size; whenever the Stress exceeds that value, remove an Affiliation Die.  For the purpose of Area Attack, you can treat a Mob as if it were a number of characters equal to it’s current Affiliation dice (although it probably represents many more individuals).  Unlike normal characters, you can do multiple effect dice of the same type to a Mob (e.g. multiple physical stress effect dice).  If that’s the last die, the Mob is taken out.  A Mob is still capable of acting as long as the total “sides” of complications on it are less than or equal to the total “sides” of Affiliation dice it has left, but if the “sides” of it’s current affiliation drop below the “sides” of it’s complications, it is immediately taken out.  For example, a 3D6 mob would have to have at least 18 “sides” of complications (for example, a D12 complication and a D6) to be completely taken out.  However, if it already has a D12 complication, and then loses one Affiliation die, it would be taken out immediately.
Mob Affiliation is really just Team Affiliation under a different name, but the bit about complications is the big difference.  I've found that it is just not fun to let a mob be complicated out of the scene on a single D12+.  This makes them tougher.

Large Scale Affiliation
Any character with Large Scale Affiliation is a particularly powerful and dangerous individual.  They always use their Large Scale Affiliation.  Treat their Affiliation in the same way as Mob Affiliation EXCEPT that the dice cannot be targeted individually or by
Area Attack SFX.  
The idea of Large Scale Threats like Galactus having Buddy and Team affiliations of small die sizes and fewer dice has always been confusing and unecessary to me.  This just clears that up.  Note that Complications work differently here as well.

Associated Mobs
Some characters have a multi-die power trait that has the phrase “Associated Mob” next to it.  This trait represents a mob of followers for that character.  They do not get a separate action, and do not affect the way the main character takes Stress or Complications.  However, they can be targets of an Area Attack as if they were a separate mob, and can be assigned effect dice to reduce their numbers.  To simplify matters in such cases, as long as the effect die is bigger than the die size of the power trait, it will remove one die from the trait; smaller dice have no effect and do not track stress and complications for them separately.   Lost dice are recovered in a transition scene.
This is really just a clarification of the rules found on such characters as Multiple Man and Doctor Doom in the later books.

Area Attack SFX
The most D6’s you can add is 5, but you can still add extra effect dice beyond 5 if you are targeting a lot of characters.  For example, if there is a 5D6 Mob and three normal characters in a scene and you targeted them all with Area Attack, you would only add 5D6, but you could use up to 8 Effect Dice.   
When you have multiple Mobs in a scene, Area Attack just gets silly very quickly in it's handling time.  This just makes it clear there is a limit.

XP for Resource
You may spend 5/10 XP to make a D6/D8 Resource last until the end of the event.  If, for some reason, the resource becomes larger during an action scene, it resets to it's "Natural" level at the end of the scene.

Watcher Stress-Changing
The Watcher may spend a doom die (any size) to change the type of stress being inflicted on a Watcher character.
I'm betting a lot of Watcher's play with this rule anyway, but I can't find it anywhere.  It clearly says Player Characters can do it.

D12 Max
An effect die can never be treated as higher than a D12.   You must first do a D12 (stress, complication), and then on a different action get at least a D4 to step it "past" D12.   Therefore, it is not possible to "one-shot" someone out.
When people have a lot of plot points, it is VERY easy to take a Watcher character, by getting multiples of 5 over their total and stepping up the effect die to D12+.  I've seen it happen a lot.  This rule slows this down ever so slightly.