Suikoden Character Comparisons: Im working on a project

Ask questions about the personality and backstory of the multitude of characters in the Suikoden series.
Okami
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Suikoden Character Comparisons: Im working on a project

Postby Okami » Sat Dec 13, 2014 6:03 pm

Im currently working with a table top game system and decided one thing I'd like to do would be recreate some suikoden characters. The system in question would be Mutants and Masterminds 3e, which is primarily geared toward super heroics but you can actually tweak things for fantasy settings. One of the more complex things in other systems would be to recreate rune effects and such, but MM actually encourages creating powers and that will be fairly easy to replicate.

There's two fundamental things I need to address first before I start the project however, because I need to come up with some form of consistency to make sure characters are accurately represented.

ISSUE 1: I have to set "Power Levels" to determine starting points to spend as I want them to be legal playable. To give an example:
POWER LEVEL 8 - MASKED ADVENTURERS: Spirit, Green Hornet
POWER LEVEL 10 - SUPER HEROES: Green Arrow, Spider-Man
POWER LEVEL 12 - BIG LEAGUES: Batman, Iron Man
POWER LEVEL 14 - WORLD-PROTECTORS : Superman, Thor

Now while Suikoden does tend to have characters wielding some massive powers, (IE: True Runes) I don't think that over all, any particular character would cross into the metahuman level compared to the rest of the setting, except for a handful of characters, typically the true rune users. (Tir, Luca Blight, Luc, etc)
Im personally thinking I want the power level range to be 4-10. Anything over that kind of gets away from the fact Suikoden is an RPG about armies, not heroes (even if heroes are in the armies) and I want to try to replicate that.

My initial idea was to have characters base level determined by their status for their game, story wise. So characters that are vital to the story and automatically added to the party would have higher PL than optional recruits. IE: Viktor would be a higher power level than Quincy, by virtue of Viktor being a story character, and Quincy being an optional recruit. Then there would be other modifiers to apply, IMO. IE: Viktor is present in 2 games, but Kuromimi is only present in 1. So Viktor should have a higher level than Kuromimi. I'd also say that characters that join your party but don't actually serve a combat purpose, should take a PL Penalty. Templeton and Viktor are both in S1 and S2, but there's no way that Templeton should be on Viktor's level.

So, I was thinking as follows:
Characters have a base PL of 4.
If they appear in more than one game, they get +1 PL, per game.
If they are part of the story mode and non optional, they get +1 PL, once.
If they are ever a non-combat character, they get -2 PLs, once.

The issue I ran into here? You wind up with some weird comparisons.

Lorelai is a fixed character for Suikoden 5, so she's going to be 5 from that. Then she appears in S1 and S2, so she's going to be PL 7.
Viktor is arguably a more important character for the series, but he would be 5 for his fixed appearance in S1, and then only go to PL 6 for appearing in 2.
Viki and Jeane would go OFF THE CHART (even with a -2 since they were both NonCombat in 1 and 2) which would be amusing, but maybe not accurate.
Also, the Tenkai Stars would be outshined by Lorelai, when we all know, that's simply not really the case.
You can then get into nuances even worse, IE, Should Cleo have more value than Camille, because while they were both fixed characters, Cleo obviously had more importance to the game than Camille?

This is the issue that im bumping my head into right now.

(TL:DR version)
If you had to assign a numerical rating of 1-10 to the various suikoden characters through the 5 main games, would you use a set value with a core explainable calculation, or would you just hunch it? Does anyone even care or have an interest?

(I'll likely be crossposting this on the MM forums as well, as they do have fun building various fictional characters, but I wanted definite suikoden fan input)

Edit: I didn't even mention Issue 2, while typing this up, I realized in all honesty, setting character PL is going to have to be the first step.

Wolkendrache
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Re: Suikoden Character Comparisons: Im working on a project

Postby Wolkendrache » Sun Dec 14, 2014 6:02 am

I guess I didn’t fully understand what you’re about to do and what your definition of power is (fame = power?), but I have the feeling that the following criteria could be worth considering…

- Heavenly Star or Earthly Star

- Hierarchy
That’s not so easy because there is no explicit formal command structure, but there are several indications for who ranks high, e.g. those who lead a war unit, and those who are placed at the top of the stone table even though they don’t lead a unit (e.g. Humphrey and Pesmerga). The next level could be “corporals” like Freed, Cleo, Miklotov etc. and finally the rest like Bolgan, Millie, Mina etc. No, I would just separate between high ranked and rest, because I don’t think that Freed or so is supposed to be more powerful than let’s say Rina.

- Experience or age
Tengaar is a Heavenly Star, but nonetheless I believe Hellion is supposed to be more powerful. Sometimes the game already respects this, like Maximillian, even though only an Earthly Star, he seems to rank very high in the command structure.
"Within the four seas, all men are brothers" Shuihu Zhuan

Okami
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Re: Suikoden Character Comparisons: Im working on a project

Postby Okami » Sun Dec 14, 2014 8:53 am

Yeah I over worded it terribly.

I could just make everyone of the same base points and PL, but then that means you have Viktor being just as "Potent" as Juppo, and in my head I can't see doing that. (Sorry to Juppo Fans)

This doesn't necessarily mean that I'd have to have Templeton just be completely rubbish at life because his PL is lower. I could easily make Templeton a PL2, have his combat traits be strictly average/below average, still make sure he has the skills necessary to be the best Cartographer in history. PL is just a mechanic the system has to keep combat balanced.

Thinking on it more, I think my main concern is if I go with a system of giving bonus power levels for games appeared in, Jeanne and Viki are going to be more powerful than the tenkai stars, and possibly Lorelai would be as well.

Once I've established the method of setting Power Level for the characters, it then just boils down to ranking their attributes on a scale which is easy enough to do based on their game stats, and I can make sure certain things get represented. Even if Fu Su Lu has a lower PL than others, I can absolutely make him the "Strongest Person in the World" because the system has a method of giving characters strength for noncombat purposes and it not affecting their damage out put.

Edit: You're right that I could have Star Relevance be a factor, I hadn't considered that, I'd just need to go through and figure out which stars besides Tenkai are always in important roles.

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sticky-runes
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Re: Suikoden Character Comparisons: Im working on a project

Postby sticky-runes » Sun Dec 14, 2014 12:58 pm

I would go by significance. So the heroes would be ranked alongside rulers and other True Rune bearers.
But I would rank knights, magic experts and combat experts above characters related to rulers and faction leaders (so for example, Lepant is president of Toran Republic so he's one of the highest ranking characters, but his trusted warriors like Valeria and the other generals get ranked above his wife and son because of their military roles)
Then down the bottom I put all the riffraff cooking staff and bath builders and gamblers and so on.

Country leaders and True Rune bearers: Lepant, Lino, Joshua, Sasarai, Heroes, Flame Champions
Generals and Faction leaders: Great generals from S1, Kiba, Boz, Raja, Teresa, Kika, Lucia, Viktor, Flik
Powerful Mages and swordsmen: Crowley, Mazus, Zerase, Warlock, Eresh, Jeane, Georg
Knights and trusted allies: Camus, Miklotov, Alen, Grenseal, Roog, Rahal, Cleo, Gremio, Queen's Knights, Shin, Zegai, Maximilian knights
Influential Figures (related to leaders): Eileen, Flare, Tengaar, Sheena, Luserina, Logg, Haswar
Adventurers: Lorelai, Faylen, Foylon, Roy, Nikea, Wakaba, Urda
Civilians: Innkeepers, Blacksmiths, Inventors, Shopkeepers, Doctors, Chefs, Mapmakers etc.

Okami
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Re: Suikoden Character Comparisons: Im working on a project

Postby Okami » Tue Dec 16, 2014 9:51 pm

I think I've decided on using a mix of significance and appearance numbers giving a bonus. My initial creation is going to be Pahn, at PL 6, I'll post it here and explain what the numbers mean, and people can critique it or what not.

Okami
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Re: Suikoden Character Comparisons: Im working on a project

Postby Okami » Tue Dec 16, 2014 10:51 pm

Pahn

Abilities

Strength: 3
Stamina: 3
Agility: 4
Dexterity: 2
Fighting: 4
Intellect: -1
Awareness: 2
Presence: 1

Defenses:
Dodge: 6
Parry: 6
Fortitude: 4
Toughness: 6/3 (The 3 is when flatfooted)
Will: 8

Skills:

Acrobatics: 8, (+12)
Athletics: 8 , (+11)
Close Combat: 5 , (+9)
Deception: 9 , (+10)
Expertise: [Military] 6 , (+5)
Insight: (+2)
Intimidation: 4 , (+6)
Persuasion: (+1)
Ranged Combat: (+2)
Stealth: 1 (+5)

Advantages:
Accurate Attack
Defensive Attack
Defensive Roll: 3
Interpose
Power Attack
Set Up: 1
Teamwork
Uncanny Dodge

Powers:
Boar Rune: Damage: 7, Tiring (DC 22)

Device:
Claws: Damage 4 (Strength Based),
Water Rune Fragment: Regeneration: 3

Complications:
Honor: Pahn takes his oath to the empire and his master seriously, and will make unpopular decisions based on that oath.
Rivalry: Teo McDohl: Pahn serves Teo but eventually wants to test himself against the General


---
Whats the above mean?
Well, the Abilities rank from -5 to 20, with 0 being Average Human, (And 8 is considered Peak Human, generally) and most are self explanatory.
The skills break down into two numbers. The first number is the skill, the second is the actual bonus to a d20 roll, which includes abilities bonus.
The Advantages chosen are based on Pahn's status as a Martial Artist, with an ability to Lower Accuracy for more damage, or lower damage for more accuracy, to overcome his lower damage output. Defensive Roll means Pahn's a little more durable because he can roll with an attack and take less damage. Interpose means he can step in and take a hit for a teammate. Set Up means that Pahn can use special moves to make a teammates next action easier.

The Boar Rune does pure damage, and would not be affected if Pahn's strength is debuffed, but it does cause Pahn to tire.
His Claws are a "Device" and I added a water rune fragment bonus to give Pahn some minor regen capability. It's a bit of noncanon, but its not like you couldn't do this in suikoden 1.

The Complications are a game mechanic of the d20/MM system where if a player has a complication triggered, they get "Hero Points" which they can spend for later bonuses. So in the flow of Suikoden 1, Pahn would have gotten a Hero Point for abandoning the party in Gregminster, and then again for Choosing to fight Teo in Tir's stead.

Im thinking for the rest of the Gregminster crew, Cleo will be PL7, Gremio will be PL6, and Tir will be PL 9, not only for his tenkai status, but also due to his cameo in Suikoden 2.

If you're curious about what skills/abilities do or more info on the system, the basic MM/d20 heroes rules are available for free on http://www.d20herosrd.com/ and was created by Green Ronin for their Mutants and Masterminds system.


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