1. PUBLISHING & ERRATA
When putting together a large project like TRUTH & JUSTICE, it's easy to make mistakes. Atomic Sock Monkey Press is no different. However, the Monkey King has resolved to do what he can to correct problems on an ongoing basis.
The Plan (tm): Collect all errata into a single place (TJ-Errata.pdf, found on the ASMP website at http://www.atomicsockmonkey.com/freebies/tj/TJ-Errata.pdf and publish it on a regular monthly schedule. Permission is granted to print it for personal and non-commercial use. After a few months, ASMP will republish a corrected version of the PDF file. This "new printing" — and the link to the Errata sheet — will be provided to all purchasers of the PDF of T&J for free.
For PDF customers of both RPGNow and e23, the systems in place should support this. For customers who bought a Print on Demand (PoD) copy, things are slightly different. Since everyone who purchased a PoD from RPGNow already also gets the PDF, everyone should get a copy of the "new" PDF and link to the Errata sheet. However, they will not receive a totally new copy of the PoD book.
If you find any errors in Truth & Justice not listed on the Errata sheet, feel free to drop ASMP an email. Please place the tag [ERRATA] in the Subject line, and give us the Chapter, Page, and Section where the error occurs — and the error itself. Errata can be sent to the following address: moc.yeknomkcoscimota|gnikyeknom#moc.yeknomkcoscimota|gnikyeknom
2. GAME MECHANICS
Q: One of my players doesn't like the lack of a critical success or failure mechanic. I pointed out that superheroes like Spider-man and Captain America never really fumble in the comics, but he thought there should be a way to have a surprise and spectacular result.
A: I think rolling 2d6 and getting a 12 when your opponent gets a 2 is effectively a critical, and the reverse is effectively a fumble.
You might want to "add effects/cool stuff" depending upon the margin of success/damage — you can relate them to the TN chart: 5 damage is a Poor critical; 7 is an Average; 9 is a Good; and so forth. Maybe that will satisfy him.
Q: What is the reason for ranks above Master adding 1d6 rather than continuing to use their modifiers, anyway?
A: Frankly, when you're Upshifting that much, you're probably going to succeed at whatever you're trying — a typical roll of 2d6+6 is something like 13. So, why shouldn't the player also get a handful of dice to throw? Very visceral. This also enables the optional TN ranks (p. 18).
Q: I have a character who has Ninja Master [+6] and Katana Master [+6]. I think the roll would be 5d6+6, if I'm reading the upshift rules correctly: maximum of 2d6+6, plus 1d6 for every upshift. So, with an additional Master added, that would be 3 upshifts (6 divided by 3). Is that correct?
A: There are two ways to do this:
- Typically, MODs add together. Therefore, a roll with two Master [+6] abilities would be using 2d6+12.
- Or, the second Master [+6] ability could be treated as 3 Upshifts to the first Master [+6] ability; as per the rule on T&J, p. 22, each of these would add a 1d instead of bonuses or 5d6+6.
Whichever method GMs choose for their game is kosher, but they should strive to maintain some sort of consistency across the game.
2.2 NORMAL SCALE & SUPER-SCALE
Q: When someone attacks with a super-scale attack, is the attack still considered Super-Scale for the purposes of defense even if he doesn't do super-scale damage?
A: Correct. If a Super-Strong guy punches a normal hero, and decides to "pull his punch" (not use the TN bonus for super- vs. normal-scale), the punch is still "super-scale". (Invulnerability won't block it).
Q: Would someone with Luck Control (such as Red Rabbit from the example on page 44) get the scaling bonus when trying to manipulate normal-scale rolls?
A: Yes, they could — if the situation falls under the Power's penumbra and the GM permits. This scaling bonus (adding Rank TN to successes) can hold true for any Power applied to unliving, normal-scale things. So, if Pyromeister (Average [+0] Fire Control) wants to figure out if an accelerant was used to start the orphanage fire, he could add the TN of his Power (Average ) to his successful roll, provided the GM thinks it fits Pyromeister's Power's penumbra and wishes to allow it.
See also section 3, POWERS — GENERAL.
3. POWERS — GENERAL
Q: I understand what the penumbra of a Quality is — it is the range of activities and situations that the Quality applies to, as well as the knowledge and social effects. But what is the penumbra of a Power?
A: The same. This means that one could use one's Power of Lightning Bolt to answer questions about meteorology or Flight to know FAA regs. (Think of the old "Flash Facts!" in DC Comics' THE FLASH.)
See also 2.2, NORMAL-SCALE & SUPER-SCALE.
3.1 SPECIFIC POWERS
3.1.1 LUCK CONTROL
Q: Can any provide me with a more detailed explanation of how Luck Control works? I couldn't discern from the write-up how many Upshifts or Downshifts Luck Control allows a character to apply against successful rolls. The write-up makes a reference to "a number" of 'Shifts, but it doesn't elaborate.
A: Luck Control permits a number of Upshifts or Downshifts, or lucky or unlucky events (used like a free Detect & Discover or Luck Be A Lady; see T&J, p. 32), per Scene equal to MOD. These 'Shifts or events can be mixed and matched (Good [+2] Luck Control can generate 2 'Shifts, 2 events, or 1 'Shift and 1 Event), used all at once on a single action, or spaced out throughout the Scene.
Q: What exactly is the difference between a regular Power and a Meta-Power?
A: Meta-Power is really just a power that has additional disparate items included that would otherwise be outside the Penumbra. Electricity Control power is simple and straightforward. An Electricity Control Meta-Power might include Superintelligence, magnetic force filed and/or Lightning Speed (with GM approval, of course). The Electricity Control Meta-Power does all the same things as the Electricity Control Power in addition to the additional sub-Powers.
If having a Meta-Power with the same name as a regular Power is confusing to the players or GM, or causes any sort of debate about what a Meta-Power can do, consider renaming the Meta-Power to something similar, such as renaming our example Meta-Power "Electricity Control" to "Lightning Elemental."
Q: Does a Meta-Power allow any abilities at Meta-Power Rank, or are all the abilities included within a Meta-Power just Stunts?
A: You can use the Meta-Power at Rank for a number of things, especially knowledge and social effects and such. If one builds a Meta-Power like Lightning Elemental (with sub-Powers under it), you would use that Meta-Power to Control Electricity.
With a Meta-Power like Magic Ring, I'd allow the Magic Ring's Meta-Power Rank to be used for the number or size or duration of ring-energy constructs, even if other specific effects (Blasts, Force Fields, Flight) were treated as sub-Powers.
I'd use a Meta-Power like Martian to deal with all sorts of alien-related history and knowledge, even if Super-Strength and Invulnerability counted as sub-Powers.
Indirect effects are easily based off of the main Meta-Power; direct effects are best figured as a sub-Power.
The main benefit of Meta-Powers is getting a *lot* of Powers (at -2 Ranks) related by a backstory.
If a GM wishes to permit the use of all sub-Powers of a Meta-Power at Meta-Power Rank in their game, feel free — but be aware that this makes characters with Meta-Powers *vastly* more powerful than characters without.
See also 3.2.3, META-POWERS — STUNTS.
Q: The book says that Meta-Powers have an extremely broad or idiosyncratic penumbra, and then specifies that numerous powers can be taken as predefined sub-Powers of the Meta-Power. Does the penumbra of a Power mean the same thing as the penumbra of a Quality, or does the penumbra of a Power simply define the range of possible sub-Powers and Stunts?
A: The former. Meta-Powers are for those things that bring with them a predefined package of abilities: Vampire, Martian, Atlantean, Magic Ring, Sorcery, and so forth.
Q: //From my understanding, you rarely end up rolling the actual rank of a Meta- Power. For most Meta-Powers, you usually end up rolling the rank for the sub-Powers or abilities granted. The Meta-Power rank essentially just gives you a base for determining HP cost and rolls for any abilities derived from it. //
A: Correct. However, the Meta-Power can still be rolled for things. Recall that Qualities and Powers in T&J cover a lot of ground. Hyperguy could use his Martian Meta-Power to read or speak the language used on the slopes of Olympus Mons, use Martian technology, impress the local Insterstellar Cops, and so forth. Dracula could roll against Vampire for all sorts of stuff that aren't exactly Powers (having lived through a lot of history and met famous people, remembering where a long-demolished tavern once stood, whatever).
Q: One of my players has a Master [+6] Force Manipulation Meta-Power, like Green Lantern, which gives Flight, Force Field, etc. Would he roll at Master when creating energy constructs?
A: If the force construct isn't already covered by a particular sub-Power, sure — that's the way I'd do it, especially if the Meta-Power is envisioned "Force Constructs".
That is, the guy can make and manipulate objects out of force at Master Rank, no problem — but I'd be careful if he wants to hit folks with them or use them to block an attack. (Personally, I'd probably allow attack and defense at Master Rank with a Force Construct Meta-Power, so long as the force construct was used… This is why we see big green boxing gloves or green brick walls from GL. If he just wanted to Blast somebody directly or throw up a Force Field, that's a sub-Power or a Stunt.
You could go the other way, and define the Meta-Power as "Green Energy Control", where the direct Blast and Force Field are used at the Meta-Power Rank, but the ability to generate force constructs is a sub-Power.
However, if the Meta-Power is "Magic Ring", I'd probably make nearly most of these things into sub-Powers. The only abilities at Meta-Power Rank would be those directly involving the Ring… distant ring control, using the Ring for translation, access to GL archives, dominating other rings, that sort of thing.
This really depends on how you and the GM view the power. Use whichever perspective works best for you.
3.2.1 META-POWERS & SUB-POWERS
Q: Are the sub-Powers of a Meta-Power normally required to be predefined as either Spin-Off Stunts or Signature Stunts?
A: Neither. Sub-Powers are their own thing. (Note that they *are* mechanically closer in use to Spin-offs than Signatures in that you roll only vs. the sub-Power Rank, not Meta-Power Rank + sub-Power Rank.)
Q: Can you improve a Meta-Power's sub-Powers using MAX? If so, would the cost be the same as a standard Power?
A: Yes, you can, at the same cost as improving a standard Power. If this is done, make a note on the character sheet to better keep track of this. Unlike most sub-Powers, improved sub-Powers can be reduced separately from the Meta-Power in conflict down to the base Rank.
See also 3.2.2, META-POWERS — DAMAGE.
Q: Can sub-Powers be improved by the use of Hero Points? If so, would the cost be the same as regular Stunts, or something else?
A: When using Hero Points to boost the Rank of a Meta-Power's sub-Power, you can either treat the sub-Power as a Stunt (using the Stunt Chart on p. 56) or as simply a Power (and use the costs on p. 32 as a guideline), at the GM's option.
3.2.2 META-POWERS — DAMAGE
Q: If you took damage to the Meta-Power, does it affect all the sub-Power in the Meta-Power?
Example: Alucard is a Master [+6] Vampire, with several sub-Powers of Good [+2] Rank like Dominate, Shapeshift, and Invulnerability (Limitation & Vulnerability: Not against, wood, light, or fire). If he takes 2 Ranks of damage on Vampire in conflict, his Rank will drop to Good [+2], and all of his sub-Powers will be at Poor [-2].
Q: How would improved sub-Powers work for damage?
A: You can apply Damage and Failure Ranks to the improved sub-Power alone, but only to lower it to the base Rank it would have under the Meta-Power. Applying Damage and Failure Ranks to the Meta-Power would still reduce everything at once, as normal.
Example: Alucard is a Master [+6] Vampire, with several sub-Powers of Good [+2] Rank; he has also spent MAX to improve his Dominate sub-Power to Expert [+4] Rank. If he takes 2 Ranks of damage in conflict, he can take one of them on his improved sub-Power of Dominate, dropping it to Good [+2]; it can be dropped no further separately. If he applies the other point of damage to his Vampire Rank, it will drop to Expert [+4], and all of his sub-Powers will be at Average .
See also 3.2.1, META-POWERS & SUB-POWERS.
Q: One of the sub-Powers on my Meta-Power is Intense Training, used to raise a number of Qualities. How does damage to the Meta-Power affect those Qualities?
A: The best way to work this is to keep any Intense Training sub-Power of a Meta-Power separate on the sheet. So, don't bump the Quality Ranks up, but under Powers have something like "+4 or 2 Upshifts to Penmanship Quality".
3.2.3 META-POWERS — STUNTS
Q: Can you Stunt from the sub-Power of a Meta-Power?
Q: Are Stunt Ranks based off of Meta-Power, or the sub-Power within the Meta-Power?
A: The sub-Power.
Q: Is this okay: a Master [+6] Martian Meta-Power hero decides to make his Super-Strength an Expert [+4] Signature Stunt from Martian instead of a sub-Power, thus giving him +6 for Martian and +4 for the Super-Strength, for a cost of 1 Hero Point?
A: No. This is not a viable Stunt under the rules as written: it's a transparent grab for more power when already using one of the most powerful rules in the game. Meta-Powers grant a whole bunch of unrelated sub-Powers under one umbrella — really, more than any of the starting packages. This is balanced by Meta-Power characters suffering from all unimproved sub-Powers being easily reduced by downshifting the single main Meta-Power, and the need to have built-in Limitations & Vulnerabilities.
That being said: if you like building the inherent abilities of Meta-Powers as Signature Stunts rather than sub-Powers, feel free to run it that way. This seems like it'd be expensive in Hero Points and provide many more MOD plusses than the rule as written. That could be a positive for your particular game.
See also 3.2, META-POWERS.
Q: Say our Master [+6] Martian Meta-Power hero, with Super-Strength as a Good [+2] Ranked sub-Power, wanted to do a Shockwave Spin-off Stunt effect similar to the one American Ranger (p. 30) has in the T&J rule book? Would that be a Stunt off of Super-Strength, or would it be based off Martian?
A: Off of the Good [+2] Super-Strength sub-Power, so for no Hero Points, the Shockwave would be at Poor [-2] Rank, 1 Hero Point would grant Average  Rank, 2 Hero Points would permit a Good [+2] Shockwave, and so forth, as per the Stunt Cost Chart on p. 56.
Q: Take our Master [+6] Martian Meta-Power hero again. Can he do a Signature Stunt from his sub-Power of Super-Strength, like a Sonic Boom attack caused by clapping his hands together really hard?
A: Yes. A Sonic Boom Signature Stunt, based off of Good [+2] Super-Strength, would cost 1 Hero Point for a Stunt Rank of Average .
Q: What's the mechanical difference between a Spin-off Stunt and a Signature Stunt?
A: When using a Spin-off Stunt, you roll 2d6 plus the MOD of the Stunt Rank. When using a Signature Stunt, you spend at least one Hero Point and roll 2d6 plus the MOD of the base Power and the MOD of the Stunt Rank.
Q: The way I understood it, a Signature Stunt is worked out exactly the same as a Spin-off Stunt, except that you must spend 1 or more Hero Points on it. Is this correct?
A: Yes. This means that while a Spin-off Stunt starts at a Rank of (Power Rank-2 Ranks), the initial Rank of a Signature Stunt must be at least (Power Rank-1 Rank).
Q: I understand that Signature Stunts require at least 1 HP to be spent when used, but is it possible to spend more to increase Stunt Ranks as with Spin-Off Stunts? If so, would it be possible to do it any time, or would that be the sort of thing that would be locked in when the Signature Stunt is created?
A: Yes. You can do it at any time. The 1 Hero Point cost is a minimum, not a maximum.
Q: Why do some the example characters in the book have Signature Stunts at 1 HP, and others at 2 HP? Is this because you can't spend extra HP to boost the level?
A: No. This is because some characters have Good [+2] or lower Ranked Powers, and any Signature Stunt they'd do at -1 Rank would end up being either no change (or even a penalty!) to their roll.
For example, a Good [+2] Power generates an Average  Signature Stunt, and an Average  Power generates a Poor [-2] Signature Stunt.
Since I personally feel Signature Stunts should be impressive, the example characters are generally statted to produce a positive MOD for their Signature stunt. See also T&J, p. 56, the Stunting in Play textbox.
Q: There are rules for creating a group HQ, but in my campaign my players have individual sanctums. How would that work with the HQ rules?
A: You could do this one of two ways:
- Allow each of them to have two Good level Qualities for free to assign to individual HQs, the same as they would have to assign to a group HQ, with the understanding that if they later decide to move out and form a group HQ they can turn those levels in for levels in the group HQ. This is best if every character is assumed to have a personal base.
- Adapt the mechanics already in place for Vehicles and Super-Vehicles for their Secret Sanctum, Fortress of (Something), or (Something) Cave — if you wanted to have players use a slot for a personal HQ. This is best if every character is not assumed to have a personal base.