Archive for June 5th, 2008

Nextwave Hack Cover

2008 Jun 5

Nextwave Notes

2008 Jun 5

Eric mentioned that you couldn’t read my notes on the Nextwave hack without being logged into Story Games, so I’m going to collect and consolidate notes that I’ve made so far.

I was thinking about all the criticism I’ve heard about D&D4:

  • encounters strung together by minimal narrative bridging
  • focus almost entirely on combat and action
  • ridiculous setting elements hap-hazardly thrown together
  • characters have huge power levels right from the get-go, but fight big bosses with even more ridiculous power levels
  • set pieces are very important, with battlemaps and such

And I was like… “Oh, so it’s Nextwave.”

NOTE: They’re the ones in the trench coats.

They’re basically a classic adventuring party.

  • Wizard: Monica (Capt. Marvel)
  • Fighter: Elsa (Moonstone)
  • Paladin: The Captain
  • Cleric: Aaron (X-51/Machine Man)
  • Rogue: Tabby (Boomer)

Clearly there needs to be some hippie storygamer way for characters to have flashbacks in order to get temporary bonuses to rolls. Like, the team is fighting MODOK (Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing) and some character makes an offhand comment like, “This beast is nothing compared to my first boyfriend.” And the entire group yells “FLASHBACK!” and we get 15 seconds of the boyfriend before cutting back to the action and giving the character a bonus against this lesser evil.

I also think it’d be dead simple to drop in some TSOY style keys that give you Action Points. Like Elsa gets an Action Point whenever she acts ridiculously British.

I’d say no leveling. Characters would probably still develop in some hippy storygamer way, but they wouldn’t gain new powers spontaneously. They might be able to refine existing powers into new types of attacks, though, or gain new equipment or something.

Honestly, I bet you could design it so that the characters have to stunt well in order to get past significant encounters. Like, their basic powers are pretty effective against mooks and certain bad guys, which form a major part of encounters, but the only way to defeat, like, Fin Fang Foom or MODOK is to stunt like crazy and transcend the basic rules of the battlemap.

And enemy attacks would, like, disrupt your effectiveness instead of actually doing damage to you, or something.

I’m going to stat up one of the Nextwave crew today or tomorrow, probably Boomer because she’s the most straightforward, to see how she works in 4e. I figure I’m going to cobble them together from various 1st-3rd level racial and class abilities. Frex, Monica would probably get Magic Missile and she and Boomer will probably split a lot of the Warlock’s energy throwing powers.

And, then, you know, you scour HeroClix for enemies like this dude: