Gamemastering

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4C is a toolkit. As such, no suggestions or information on the “art” of being a Gamemaster are provided; if you need an introduction to being a Gamemaster, or just want to polish up on your skills, it is recommended you search online for help (various RPG messageboards may prove especially useful to novice Gamemasters).

Using the Master Table

The Master Table has already been introduced in the Combat section (p.00), but the usefulness of the table extends beyond the confines of combat; the Master Table is the key to any an all actions characters perform.
When a character wants to attempt an action that will have an impact on the storyline (i.e. leap from rooftop to rooftop or notice an enemy hiding in a dark alley) the Gamemaster does two things:

  1. Decides which Primary Trait or power applies to the action. For example, Brawn for jumping or Awareness for noticing or Superspeed for running up a wall.
  2. Decides the difficulty of the action based on the following table:
Color Difficulty
Black Easy
Red Average
Blue Difficult
Yellow Ridiculous

The player then rolls d% based on the appropriate Trait or power and compares the color result to the color needed for success; if the result equals the color or a greater color the character’s action succeeded. If the action fails, it is up to the Gamemaster to determine exactly what happens to the character as a result.

Varying Circumstances: In addition to setting the basic requirements for success, the Gamemaster can also use Row Step bonuses and penalties to reflect favorable or unfavorable conditions. The following are some suggested modifiers:

Circumstance Modifier
Hiding in shadows -5 Row Steps to opponents attempting to notice
Jostling train -2 Row Steps to balance along the top of the train cars
Raining -2 Row Steps to trying to grab a wet ledge

Character Health, Hit Points, or Vitality

Characters start the game with a number of Damage points equal to the total of their first four Primary Trait Rank Values (Melee, Coordination, Brawn, and Fortitude; see p. 00). Characters lose these points as they suffer damage (see Damage p. 00) throughout the course of an adventure and may die if reduced to 0 points (see Dying p. 00).

Healing

Characters recover all damage between adventures.

Optional Healing

For adventures that take place over a series of days, or if you’re just looking for a little more depth in your games, characters heal a number of Damage points each night equal to the Rank Value of their Fortitude.

Fluctuating Fortunes

Characters start the game with a number of Fortune points equal to the total of their last three Primary Trait Rank Values (Intellect, Awareness, and Willpower; see p. 00). These points may be spent to affect the outcome of events in the game (see p. 00). In addition, characters may gain and lose these points based on their actions.

Gaining and Losing Fortune Points

Characters gain Fortune points for positive actions such as stopping crimes, winning fights, donating to charity, keeping appointments, rescuing someone from a fire, making time for friends, etc. The amount of points gained varies by the impact of the action as shown on the following table:

Scale Points Gained
Personal +5
Neighborhood +10
City +25
State +50
National +75
Global +100

Losing Points

Characters lose Fortune points for negative actions such as committing crimes or allowing them to happen, losing fights, failing to keep appointments, failing rescue attempts, ignoring friends, etc. The amount of points lost varies by the impact of the action as shown on the following table:

Scale Points Lost
Personal -5
Neighborhood -10
City -25
State -50
National -75
Global -100

Character Assets, Means, or Resources

Lifestyle measures a character’s wealth and access to other resources (see p. 00) as shown on the table below:

Rank Value Level of Wealth/Lifestyle
1-2 Unemployment or state benefits.
3-5 Student or part-time employment.
6-9 Full-time, hourly wage employment.
10-19 Professional employment.
20-29 Independently wealthy.
30-39 Small corporation.
40-49 Large, international corporation.
50-74 Small nation.
75-99 Large nation.
100-149 Superpower
150-999 Global resources.
1000 Galactic resources.

In general, the Gamemaster should allow characters to procure items and services appropriate to their Lifestyle Rank Value unless it would interfere with an adventure.

Character Fame, Popularity, or Prestige

A character’s Repute is used when a character is dealing with the public; the player rolls d% on the Master Table and checks the color result:

Color Public Reaction
Black Unfavorable (“Get out of here you freak!”)
Red Favorable (“Thanks.”)
Blue Very Favorable (“That was amazing!”)
Yellow Extremely Favorable (“You are the greatest!”)

Actions Speak Louder Than Words: The Gamemaster may assign Row Step bonuses and penalties to the d% to reflect the character’s actions prior to interacting with the public. The following are some suggested modifiers:

Circumstance Modifier
Threatening -2 Row Steps to reactions when threatening a citizen
Friendly +2 Row Steps to reactions when treating citizens in a friendly manner

Dealing with Criminals: The above assumes the character is dealing with law-abiding citizenry. If the character is interacting with criminals the table is reversed; a black result indicates a favorable response.

Gaining and Losing Repute Points

Each time a character stops a crime or saves a life (or, if things aren’t going well, commits a crime or kills), and the action is known to the public, the character gains or loses Repute points:

Act Points Gained or Lost
Thwart Criminal Activity +1
Save a Life +2
Commit Criminal Activity -2

The above amounts are suggestions only. If the crime a character stopped would have affected the entire city or if the life the character saved was that of someone “important” or “famous”, the character may gain bonus points.

Vehicles

Except for those with special movement powers (see p.00), characters will need to rely on vehicles if they want to quickly cross long distances.
All vehicles are defined by three Vehicle Traits:

Durability

This Vehicle Trait is a measure of how much damage a vehicle can suffer before it is destroyed. It also doubles as armor, reducing the damage the vehicle and characters inside the vehicle suffer from an attack by its value.
This Vehicle Trait uses a numerical score (not Rank Value) that is decreased as the vehicle takes damage and increased when the vehicle is repaired; this Vehicle Trait may never drop below a score of 0 and never be raised above its starting value. Damaging and repairing vehicles is discussed on p. 00.

Handling

This Vehicle Trait measures the agility of a vehicle. This Vehicle Trait uses a Rank Value (see p. 00). Performing sharp turns or other unusual maneuvers is handled with this Trait; roll d% and compare the color result to the difficulty of the maneuver on the following table:

Color Difficulty
Black Easy (standard turns)
Red Average (sharp turns)
Blue Difficult (jumping over a broken bridge)
Yellow Ridiculous (turning a car on to two wheels to slip through a narrow alley)

If the result equals the color or a greater color the maneuver succeeded. If the maneuver fails the vehicle crashes.

Crash: When a vehicle crashes its operator must roll for the severity of the crash. Roll d% on the Master Table using the operator’s Coordination Rank Value and compare the result to the following table:

Color Result
Black Vehicle crashes into an appropriate object, character, or vehicle (as determined by the Gamemaster) in the same sector in which the maneuver was attempted. If the vehicle crashes into a character or other vehicle there is a chance for the vehicle to avoid the crash (see Collision p. 00).
Red As black but the vehicle crashes in an adjacent sector to the one in which the maneuver was attempted.
Blue Same as red.
Yellow Same as red.

For purposes of damage inflicted/suffered, a crash is treated like a collision. If there is nothing but ground to hit in the sector the vehicle crashes into the ground (Material Value 50).

Velocity

This Vehicle Trait measures the number of sectors a vehicle may move in a single turn. This Vehicle Trait uses a numerical score (not Rank Value).

Vehicle Combat

Vehicles are attacked like characters; roll the attack and apply damage if the attack hits. Vehicles cannot wrestle or be wrestled.

Collisions: A vehicle hits something (a character, wall, another vehicle, etc.). A vehicle’s operator may choose to purposefully hit an object (ram) and the selected target must roll d% on the Master Table using Coordination if on foot or the vehicle’s Vehicle Trait #2 (Control, Handling, Maneuvering, etc.) if operating a vehicle and compare the result to the following table:

Color Result
Black Failure. The target is hit and suffers collision damage.
Red Success. The target gets out of the way.
Blue Same as red.
Yellow Same as red.

Collision Damage: The struck object suffers a number of points of damage equal to the vehicle’s Durability and the striking vehicle suffers a number of points of damage depending on what was hit:

  • Character: If the character has armor (either worn or natural), the vehicle suffers a number of points of damage equal to the armor’s Rank Value.
  • Vehicle: The vehicle suffers a number of points of damage equal to the second vehicle’s Durability.
  • Object: The vehicle suffers a number of points of damage equal to the Material Value of the hit object.
  • Characters Inside a Vehicle: Characters inside a vehicle that is involved in a collision suffer 10 points of damage for every sector the vehicle moved that turn prior to the collision.

A vehicle involved in a collision moves no further that turn.

Vehicle Damage and Repairs

A vehicle with its Durability reduced to 0 is completely destroyed; it cannot be repaired. Vehicles are fully repaired between adventures.

Sample Vehicles

The following is a small selection of vehicles. The Gamemaster should use these as a point of reference for vehicles of his own design.

Vehicle Durability Handling Velocity
Compact Car 10 6 6 (sectors/turn)
Sports Car 10 30 12 (sectors/turn)
Private Jet 20 10 20 (sectors/turn)

Character Advancement

As a superhero game, character advancement is slightly out-of-genre and not completely appropriate. For those of you that like advancement, though, characters may improve their traits and powers as follows:

Traits: A character may spend Fortune (see p. 00) to improve the Rank Value of traits. Increasing a Rank Value by one costs a number of points equal to the current value.

Example: Joseph wishes to increase his character’s Melee from 30 to 31. This costs 30 points.

Powers: The Rank Values of powers can be increased in the same way as the Rank Value of Traits: Increasing a Rank Value by one costs a number of points equal to the current value.
A character may also gain a completely new power – with its Rank Value determined randomly – by spending 1,000 points. This new power must have an in-game explanation (be it an accident, a new gadget, super serum, or any other means approved by the Gamemaster).
Skills: A character can gain a new skill at the cost of 250 points. As with new powers, there needs to be an in-game reason for this new skill (maybe the character has been attending night school).