(Note: This is the FAQ as is appeared on the original site.)
FAQ – Last Updated July 3, 2003
This FAQ (frequently asked questions) list covers this site, not the DCU game in general. For questions on how specific powers and such work, please consult the information found at the official West End Games [formerly http://www.westendgames.com/dcu/html/indexdcu.html, site gone] site. Question 7 was updated most recently.
- 1. Who are you?
- My name is Barry Reese and I’ve been an avid roleplayer for over 19 years. My first exposure to rpgs was with the Dungeons & Dragons Basic Set, back in the days when TSR offered boxed versions of the game. I liked it, but it wasn’t until TSR released the Marvel Super Heroes RPG that I really fell in love with gaming. From there, I drifted into the DC Heroes game from Mayfair. Since then, I’ve played numerous systems, but found myself enjoying the D6 system used in West End Games’ Star Wars RPG the most. The DCU game uses a variant of that system, which pleases me to no end.
- 2. Do you work for WEG?
- I wish! No, I have no affiliation with West End Games. I do this site because I like the game and want to encourage others to play it. Some of these writeups I use in my own games, but most of them are just done because I enjoy doing the stats. All of my stats are completely unofficial.
- 3. Why don’t you use the Flight, Know-How or Pilot (self) skills in your writeups?
- I just felt they added one level too many. Our games aren’t combat-centered and, when in combat, we want something that moves as fast as possible. To me, if you have the Flight power, you use the Flight power. You don’t use pilot (self) or a flight skill to determine your success with it. You’ve already paid for the Flight power once and I think it’s unfair to then require the player to buy a skill to go along with the power. I understand how and why WEG (and many players) like the various know-how and flight skills. I just don’t care for them myself. In my game, if a player has Microwave Projection 4D and Marksmanship 7D, I would allow him to use marksmanship as the governing skill — but if he had Microwave Projection 7D and Marksmanship 4D, I’d allow him to roll 7D for his attack. Yes, it tilts things to the advantage of the player, but it’s easier for us and that’s the important thing. I do understand those situations where a character may have a tremendously powerful ability, with only minimal control over it. A good example would be the current portrayal of Firestorm, where he’s as powerful as ever — but his lack of understanding of chemistry limits his abilities. In that case, rather than giving him a low Know-How (Matter Manipulation), I’d just give Limitations to the power. I’d do something like Matter Manipulation 15D (Limitation : Firestorm’s understanding of chemistry is lacking at this time, increasing the Difficulty of complicated transformations). I love Limitations. 🙂
- 4. How come some of your writeups seem slightly different from others?
- Mainly, this is because the DCU system evolved over time. For instance, when I started doing my writeups, we had the Contact advantage, which covered everything from the hero group your character was a part of to the police agency he sometimes turns to for info. Then, in the Gotham Sourcebook, WEG added Ally as an advantage. Now, you could have Allies (people who would do legwork or actual fighting on your behalf) and Contacts (people you could turn to for information, but who wouldn’t risk their lives for you). So my newer writeups use both Allies and Contacts, while the older ones have just Contact. I’ll try to revise them in time, but it’s a rather minor detail.
- 5. Can I contribute to your site?
- Heck, yeah! Send me your writeups, new powers, rules revisions, etc. I’d love to host them here, and will give you full credit for authoring the information. Just email it to [removed aric_dacia’s email; see the contact page for the current address].
- 6. You know, these writeups look nothing like the ones I remember using in the 1980s… What’s up?
- It’s important to remember that this site supports the DC Universe RPG, produced by West End Games. The old DC Heroes RPG published by Mayfair Games in the late ’80s and early ’90s is no longer available. The old DC Heroes system is still being used, but in a new game called Blood of Heroes. It’s published by Pulsar Games (archive) and is a fine rpg in its own right. If you feel more comfortable with the old system (called MEGS these days), you may want to look into the Blood of Heroes game. I’d recommend sticking with the West End version, but that’s my own bias. 🙂
- 7. How come you don’t have stats for the non-Elseworlds Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash etc.?
- Good question. The main reason is because most of the mainstream DC heroes and villains are covered in the sourcebooks published by West End. For me to reproduce their stats here would infringe upon their copyright. I do include stats for Elseworld’s versions of various heroes — but my stats for Batman of Earth-72, for instance, are different from the published stats for the DCU’s Batman. They’re world-specific. Once the game line was cancelled by WEG, I emailed several folks there about the possibility of me reproducing the published writeups on this site — I was told this fine as long as their were significant differences (like the revised Kyle Rayner or Hourman writeups). You’ll see more of those as time passes.
- 8. Some of those writeups suck! How can character x be rated at 22D while character y on your site is only 18D?
- Thanks for stopping by — see you on the way out. Just kidding! I post most of the writeups just as I receive them. If I see major errors (like incorrectly calculated PDVs or BDVs, or completly missing powers that I know should be there), I might make corrections but I don’t send back writeups with a note saying “I’m sorry, but Joe’s writeup says Commander X has a Physique of 28D, so his sidekick Chucky P must have at least a Physique of 26D.” I think that everyone has their own ideas about various heroes’ levels and my opinion isn’t any better than anyone else’s. Maybe I think that Colossus is 18D in Physique, instead of 20D. It’s not that big of a deal. In my campaign, I change it if I disagree. Feel free to ignore, change or use any of the writeups you see on this site. But do remember that it’s just a game. Repeat that to yourself often. 🙂
- 9. I heard the DCU game has been cancelled — is that true?
- Sadly, the rights to the DC characters have reverted once more to DC Comics, Inc. This means that no more products will be coming out for WEG’s version of the game. While this is terrible news, this site will continue to bring you the best writeups possible so that your own campaigns can continue. Don’t let this dissuade you from finding a copy of the game, if you haven’t already! Check out WEG’s site or Ebay or one of your local (or online) game shop distributors. DCU was (and is) a lot of fun, so stick with it.