View Full Version : Classless Superheroes

2005-08-10, 01:00 PM
I don't mean rude and crude, but without PHB class levels.

Basically, I'm working on a classless superhero system. Thought about feat-based, but that just wasn't what I wanted. Here's what I'm thinking:

Each level (you progress exaclty like you would in D&D), you get points to spend on whatever you want. Want to raise your strength, buy a feat, up your skills, whatever? Use enough points to get it. I've also created a bunch of "Superhero Traits" specifically for the system.

What I'm having trouble with is assigning how many points players should get at each level, and how much each benefit should cost. I figured starting at the least valuable as 1 point should work (one rank in a skill), and working up from there. Feats would cost a lot more points, ability adjustments would cost a little more.

Anyone have any ideas? Is there a point-based system anywhere that I could look at to give me an idea of what I'm looking for (web resources would be great).

Thanks all.

2005-08-10, 01:21 PM
Have you looked at the "Abberant" superhero system WhiteWolf put out about 5 years ago. I don't mean the d20 version that was released eventully, but the original d10 dice pool based system that only got two paperback book to it credit. The system didn't take off as WW hoped so they dumped the game only to recreate it for the d20 craze. It worked just like all WW other games. Gain XP, spend it. No levels or feats. There are Merits and Flaws characters can take, but those are generally just for first level. Would that be what you're looking for?

2005-08-10, 01:26 PM
yeah, i kinda guess the simplest way to attribue points is just to allow players to spend their xp points, it'll be a lot of work balancing everything, but it sounds like a cool idea

The Demented One
2005-08-10, 01:28 PM
Sounds like GURPS Supers. You might want to take a look at it.

2005-08-10, 03:37 PM
The Marvel Universe Role Playing Game uses something like that. Basically start off with a pool of points(kind of like point-buy for D&D), and buy your stats/powers from there. Higher stats/powers=more expensive, of course, but you get to put more points into a particular power during combat, if it has a higher level.

2005-08-10, 03:43 PM
Mutants and Masterminds doesnt have a class per se...You use Points to Buy everything from Attributes o powers to skills...You even "Buy" you BAB...:)

2005-08-10, 03:56 PM
Mutants and Masterminds doesnt have a class per se...You use Points to Buy everything from Attributes o powers to skills...You even "Buy" you BAB...:)

2005-08-10, 07:06 PM
The old Marvel system was very similiar to that. You spent karma points accumulated through game play to improve your attributes, obtain new skills, and you could improve your powers by purchasing an improved rank or buying power feats. Power feats are cheaper in the long run because you no longer have to make a power check to do something specific with your power. ie. Hawkeye firing multiple arrows from his bow at the same time, Nightcrawler teleporting in rapid succession to hit more than one person, the Colossus/Wolverine fastball special.

You can download the basic books and a few modules here.


2005-08-10, 08:14 PM
As Thayan mentioned, Mutants and Masterminds which is esentially a modified D20 version of the HERO game system fits the bill nicely.

Its probably one of the best new games in the last couple of years.

If your not in a hurry though don't run out and buy it cause I seem to remember reading they were releasing a second edition of the game this fall.

2005-08-11, 01:19 PM
Thanks guys/girls. These sound sort of like what I'm looking for. Never heard of Abberant, but I have heard of Mutants and Masterminds. Anyone know where I can get info on M&M?

Spending XP sounds like a pretty good idea. Now I just need to figure out some good costs for abilities. A D&D Feat should cost more than a skill point, for instance. I'll work on it. I'm thinking I'll just look at XP/level in D&D, figure out the average number of skill points, BAB, feats, etc that a character would get at each level, and designate my costs from there.

2005-08-11, 02:27 PM
Try here,


Its the official webpage.

2005-08-24, 07:41 PM
I've decided to go with a level system. What I've come up with so far is:

HP: 1 for 2 points
Skill Points: 1 for 2 points
Feat: 1 for 6 points (may be boosting this one a bit)
Ability Score: 1 for 8 points
Base attack: +1 for 5 points
Saves: +1 for 3 points
Spell/day: 1 for 4 points
Spells known: 1 for 4 points
Special: 1 for 6 points
Superhero traits: 1 for 10 points

I was thinking about 40-50 points per level. Maybe with a random element thrown in, like 40+1d10 or 50+1d4, something like that.

I think I might have to boost the cost for spells and feats. Or maybe cap it, since you could buy 6 or 7 feats per level, which would be nuts.

2005-08-24, 08:36 PM
Just buy the HERO system and the CHAMPIONS supplements, and you will be all set. *IMO its a VERY good system, and the BEST for a Super Hero game.

2005-08-25, 10:21 AM
Just buy the HERO system and the CHAMPIONS supplements, and you will be all set. IMO its a VERY good system, and the BEST for a Super Hero game.

Dude, if I could afford to buy the HERO system and CHAMPIONS supplements, do you think I would be bothering with this? This will probably only work itself into one campaign - not really worth buying the books for. I'm just trying to put something together that makes sense.

2005-08-25, 04:59 PM
I am going to weigh in with my support of the Marvel RPG. I think it's the bee's knees.

2005-08-25, 09:29 PM
I am going to weigh in with my support of the Marvel RPG. I think it's the bee's knees.

I've looked at it, and parts I liked, others I didn't. Just trying to set up a system that combines everything I want.

Really, I'm just asking if you think this points set-up is good, or if things need to be cheaper or more expensive.

2005-09-07, 12:59 AM
Have you ever played the game 'Arcanum' its a classless system, where all character points are of equal value and can go into any feature, be it spells, tech abilities or social interaction, which are also dependent on one of the 8 stat blocks, also have you ever heard of the 'Silhoutte' rules set, which is also classless, you can check out the silhoutte games at www.dp9.com hope this helps!

2005-09-16, 04:43 PM
If you really want a good look at creating absurbly super-human characters, check out Big Eyes Small Mouth. That give you some wicked strong characters.

I still remember the first real action a player told me in that game. "I kick out the cornerstone of the church."

And he succeed.

Of course, it is a d6 system, which is a little weird.

2005-09-16, 07:46 PM
I would reccomend Star Trek RPG (d10 system if I am correct) or a look at Exalted. Both of these could be modified into a superhero game.

Attributes: Same as before.
Abilities: Fly, Super Strength, Magic knowledge, Cool gadgets etc etc etc
Backgrounds: What is the source of your power? Aliens? Lightning? Gadgets? and that would give you bonuses to things (or could just be stronger or less role based powers, ie flight)
Charms: Lower use/day powers, but stronger ones

2005-09-19, 12:23 AM
How about giving them spells they can cast an unlimited number of times? Limit this to spells without a significant material cost and give the Eschew Material. Make beneficial enchantments affect only the caster. How about something like this:

Level 1: One unlimited 0 level spell and 1 unlimited 1st level spell.
Level 2: Bonus feat.
Level 3: They learn 1 unlimited 2nd level spell.
Level 4: Bonus feat.
Level 5: Bonus feat.
Level 6: They learn one unlimited 3rd level spell.
Level 7: Bonus feat.
Level 8: Bonus feat.
Level 9: Bonus feat.
Level 10: They learn one unlimited 4th level spell.

This will make them much more powerful than the average D&D character but hey, they're superheroes.