FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Please Note: If your question is not covered, please feel free to ask.

Q: Is there a fee to use your site or download materials?

A: No, there is no monetary fee to use my site or download my materials. I do ask that you please send me feedback, though. Send me an e-mail, sign the guestbook, drop me a line on the Yahoo Message Board, just do something – anything – to let me know that my work is appreciated.  I spend a huge amount of time and effort (and a bit of money) working on these materials and keeping this site up-to-date and freely available to the general public. All I ask in return is that you leave me some feedback.

Q: Do you have any official Marvel character stats on your site? Will you ever?

A: No, to both. I don’t mind providing original and unofficial information, but I am making a concentrated effort to avoid anything which might even remotely resemble copyright infringement. Just because the game is out of print, dead, and didn’t even make money when it was available doesn’t mean that the companies involved will not sue for so-called “damages.” I am, however, hoping to provide unofficial character stats for official Marvel characters, pending approval as a Marvel Fan Site.

Q: Are you an official Marvel Fan Site? Will you ever become one?

A: No, I am not currently an official Marvel Fan Site, but I have finally found out how to send in an application to become one. Sadly, gathering the information on how to become an official fansite is like pulling teeth. I’ve seen mazes easier to navigate than Marvel’s webpage. In fact, I couldn’t navigate it well enough to find the information on their site by itself. I had to use a search engine to find the page and followed that link directly to the correct page on Marvel’s site. That was a bit annoying. But, at least I have found it, now. As soon as I get the bulk of the materials up, I’ll send in the application. I’ll keep you posted about this process on the News page.

Q: Do you have any stats for the Classic Marvel game? Will you ever?

A: Sorry, but no. There are many other people out there that can do that job much better than I could. I played the Classic version for a bit, and I have enough knowledge to do decent conversion, but I’ll just stick to the SAGA version when it comes to new materials. I will be putting up some Classic links in the Links section, though.

Q: Do you have any stats for [insert other game here]?

A: No. While I’m always on the lookout for stats to use for conversion, I do not – and will not – have any of those stats posted on this site or available for download.

Q: Do you have any stats for [insert character name here]?

A: What you see is what you get. If there is a specific character (or an entire roster book) that you’d like to see done that isn’t already posted, drop me a line and I’ll see what I can do, but chances are if it’s not up, it’s not planned. Probably because I don’t know enough about the source material to do it justice.

Q: A lot of your stuff is just descriptions – it doesn’t link to anything. How do I access those files?

A: I post links to the materials as soon as they are completed. If a project is listed on the site but doesn’t link to anything yet, that probably means that the project is incomplete and therefore not yet available. I always have literally dozens of projects going and just work on whatever strikes my fancy. I’m sorry, but that’s just the way my mind works. I felt it better to go ahead and put descriptions of what the projects will be rather than waiting until they are done to say anything about them. I figured at least this way you could see what will be available eventually.

Q: Where did you get the statistics for your modeled characters?

A: Modeled characters are exactly that: modeled after someone else. Modeled characters are not always perfectly accurate, but are usually close enough to allow for enjoyable game play. There are three different methods I tend to use for modeling a character; Comparative, Landmark, and True Figures. Each method has its own strengths and weaknesses, but all will get you ‘close enough for government work.’ You can even mix and match the methods to get closer, if you so choose. Regardless of the method, you’ll be on your own to decide Edge (the vast majority of heroes should have an edge of 2, with a fair few having 3, and only the best of the best getting a 4) based upon the sum of the character’s experience and raw talent. The same applies to skills and power stunts. You’ll just have to scour the character’s history to see what the character can and cannot do.

When it comes to skills, keep in mind that just because a character can do something, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the character has the related skill. The game mechanics allow for the possibility that anyone can attempt nearly any action at their natural relevant ability score. For the most part, skills simply make performing the action easier. For example, nearly anybody can attempt to drive a car (Agility), work out an equation (Intellect), fire a weapon (Agility), or swing a club (Strength). Skills simply make it easier to operate the vehicle (Driving), find the correct answer (appropriate science skill), or hit the target (Marksmanship & Clubs), respectively. The exceptions to this rule are skills that allow a character an ability that a person normally does not have (for example, Hyper-Breath and Sonic Slam spring immediately to mind). No matter how strong he is, a hero cannot create a seismic shockwave with that Strength unless he has the Sonic Slam skill. Sure, he can smack the ground really hard, but unless he knows the proper technique, all he’ll do is make a fair-sized crater.

The Comparative method means taking a similar character whose stats you know and adjusting the scores up or down to get the new character’s stats. The process of modeling a character via the Comparative method might go something like this: I have official stats for Pontoon Man, but not for his sidekick, Flotation Lad. I know that Flotation Lads statistics will be similar to Pontoon Man’s, but a little lower. So I take Pontoon Man’s statistics and shave off 1-3 points from everything, and give him a one edge (he is a rookie, after all). Voila! Instant Flotation Lad.

The Landmark method means taking powers or intensities from several other characters whose stats you do know and mix them together until you’ve created your character. (Sort of like a patchwork quilt.) This method is much easier if you know the comparative values right off the top of your head and don’t have to look them up. So, for example, if I know that Bug-Boy has roughly the same level of Agility as the Amazing Arachnid-Man, then I don’t need to search through several years/decades worth of comics to try to find a Landmark. I can simply take AAM’s Agility score and give it to BB. The next paragraph gives a more detailed description of the Landmark method, if you understand, please feel free to skip the next paragraph.

A more in-depth look at the Landmark process might go something like this: I have the Super Energy People Roster Book and an unhealthy level of knowledge about their comics. Amazingly, Super Energy Girl has been left out! What’s a Super Energy lovin’ guy to do? Well, thanks to the hero on hero grudge match in Super Energy People #22, I happen to know that Super Energy Girl is ‘physically equal to’ Super Energy Boy, so I can take his Strength and Agility scores and apply them to Super Energy Girl. We know from Super Energy People #88 that Super Energy Man and Super Energy Girl slugged it out in earnest (because of the evil Very Bad Man’s mind control device). During that battle, Super Energy Man says ‘She’s not holding back, and her energy blast is as powerful as my own’ and we also know from issue # 144 that her blasts can dent Impervium, an ultra-hard metal thought to be damaged only by her father’s blasts. Well, that tells us that we can pretty safely apply his Energy Blast intensity to her. And you continue to do this, scouring the comics in question for Landmark battles and contests until you’ve covered all of her powers and abilities. Look to races to determine flight or lightning speed, battles to determine physical stats and skills, a battle of wits to determine Intellect and a battle of wills to determine Willpower. Anytime that you see two people coming up equal in some way (particularly if its repeatedly), then you’ve found your benchmark, and can apply it to your character. Try to get confirmation whenever you can (from two different authors is especially helpful), but if you only have one instance to go on, it will still be close enough for fun game play.

The True Figures method means that you know the exact measurements of a character’s abilities in actual (real-world) terms, but you don’t have them in game terms. What you do then is take a chart and compare the quantitative figures to the chart to get the equivalent in game terms. For example, I know that Fast-Man can run at a top speed of 240 miles per hour, bench press 220 lbs, and has a level of agility comparable to an Olympic gymnast. So, checking my handy charts (available elsewhere on this website), I see that 240 mph gives him a Lightning Speed intensity of 7, bench pressing 220 lbs. gives him a Strength of 6, and his gymnastic ability lands him an Agility 9. I would then continue to go through, comparing relevant stats – IQ for intellect, etc. – until I had all the game stats that I needed. Any stats that I can’t get via this method, I would then go back and gather using one of the other two methods.

There is also a fast method of modeling, which I call Quick Stats, but I don’t care much for it, since it seems to yield the most unreliable results. I blame this on the fact that it is based pretty much solely on an opinion and in the comics worlds you tend to either like or dislike a character and that could influence your decision big time. Basically, you would make a chart of various iconographic characters for each power and ability using what official statistics you can find. Ideally, you would have a couple of examples for each score or intensity (check out the MSHAG Game Book, pages 97, 98, and 102 to see what I mean). You would then use that chart to gauge the overall power of your character. You would simply go through with each ability and compare your character to the characters on the chart. So, for Strength, you’d go through each level and say “Okay, my character is stronger than him.” and continue to go down the list of characters until you reach somebody that you say “No, my character isn’t as strong as him.” When you get to that point, you give your character the next lowest score. So if you reach the level where all the characters have 17 Strength and you’re coming up short against most or all of the examples, your character should have a 16 Strength. If you’re character is coming up even against most of them, it’s time to quit at the current level and give him 17. As you can see, this method is pretty fast, and it doesn’t require much more than a general knowledge of the characters involved, but it does allow for a large margin of error.

For more information on modeling characters from unusual sources, check out the chapter entitled “Adaptation” on pages 96-111 of the MSHAG Game Book. See also “Appendix 3: Creating Your Own Hero” on pages 192-199 and “Appendix 4: Conversions” on pages 200-205 of the MSHAG Game Book.

Q: Where did you get these names? Super Energy Man? Flotation Lad? Very Bad Man? Sounds like you got ’em off a cereal box.

A: I made them up (Duh!). Give a guy a break, will ya? All of my examples use cheesy, made-up names so as to avoid copyright infringement against an established character. Sorry, but them’s the breaks, pal.

Q: Haven’t I seen you somewhere before?

A: Possibly. I’ve been around the internet for awhile. I frequent the MSHAG Yahoo Group, and I hang around at a bunch of various message boards, newsgroups, and the like.

In the past, you may have seen me at one of my previous writing gigs. I used to write for a web-magazine called TeenWeb, but it is no longer with us. I wrote for the Editorial, Sports, and Entertainment sections. I also used to write and draw for a now-defunct X-Men fan site called “X-Rising.” If you’ve been around the Marvel fan site scene very long, you’ll probably remember it. It was a very popular site, and featured staff interviews with comics writers, such as Fabian Nicieza and Scott Lobdell. It also had fan art, fan fiction, reviews, and loads of other comics-related content. It was a wonderful project and one of the favorite things I’ve done during my life. It truly is a pity that the project went by the wayside.

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