Complications Part Two

The Good Stuff!

I mentioned the last time that I had a love/hate relationship with Complications. That last post discussed some of the “hate” side and now I want to discuss the good.

As I mentioned previously, one of my worries with complications is that it can create rulings issues for GMs and they’re groups. Because complications are not mechanical — even though they are a game mechanic — they can be problematic to make rulings on.

If a game master makes a ruling that a player is not fond of — such as a lasting injury — it is hard to reconcile that with just “getting a hero point.” Of course, these sorts of suggestions are also exciting because they can be put in the players hands. If a player gets hit repeatedly with critical hits then it’s a perfect time for a player to step up and “hey, GM, I want a concussion, can I have a concussion?”

I’ve used that line with a GM before so, that’s why I picked it. And hey, this time around, I do get a Hero Point that gives me more options later. Of course, this still requires GM oversight, but it really gives players a chance to insert themselves into the storyline creating problems for their characters. This I can definitely get behind.

Another really exciting thing I’ve noticed with Complications is the ability to really mix it up and define interesting aspects of a character in a way that mixes story and mechanics. For some characters, like many of the Astro City characters, their complications are almost more interesting to write than their powers. I had particular fun with stat’ing up Winged Victory and was really happy with her complications, because I can imagine seeing them in game play.

Overall, still love/hate. As most readers know, I’m not a big fan of FATE style games, and Complications in M&M fill a similar role to certain parts of the Aspect rules, and I have a similar frustration.

But that’s my take on Complications — what do you think?

Thanks for reading — and looking forward to next week — I’m finally going to weigh in on D&D Essentials… and you might be surprised by my opinion.


2 responses

  1. One of my absolute favorite characters to play ever was my troll street samurai named Kira August. His street name was “Beast” and he had certainly earned it. In his background, he had been kidnapped twice, both before the age of ten. The second time had resulted in the death of his parents, his and his brother’s torture, and his brother’s eventual death in his arms. Whenever he heard the sound of an air compressor (not too common to be a heinous game issue, but not uncommon enough to be cheap) he had to make a test of will to see if he didn’t have some horrible flash back.

    He was on a mission to find out information, and not bring attention to himself. He failed his will test, and spent a whole six seconds or so re-living the worst moments of his life. Bystanders screamed and ran from him as a ten foot mountain troll screamed out in Japanese for his mother, waving around a gun, his very strange eyes flashing wildly. It was a very vivid scene in my head, made his background not just something that I wrote for shits (which I like to do, nonetheless) but actually an integral part of the game, and really made him and his tragic past real for me.

    I get why they can be a pain in the ass, but I really like complications because you can make your character rounded, imperfect, gritty, and all together very real. This, in turn, makes the game feel more real because characters are actually changed by happenings forever rather than just having a game be static and episodic.

    1. Also? I was the first to comment AND “like” this post! WOOT!SUCKIT!

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