Why Victory Points are Vital


I recently discovered a podcast called Jay and Miles X-Plain the X-Men, which can be found at:


In episode 11, they discuss the way Nightcrawler escapes from a death trap Doctor Doom has put him in. It’s basically an unlit cell, with no doors or windows. Nightcrawler has no idea where he is in the castle, or if he’s in a dungeon. How does he escape? He decided to teleport as high as he’s ever done before (2-3 miles!) and it nearly kills him. Which only opened up another issue of having to skydive back to ground, but that’s another dangerous discussion.

The point is, there’s not much of any sort of game mechanic that can handle this sort of thing. Nightcrawler doesn’t teleport 2-3 miles usually; he’s normally lucky to make really distant line-of-sight translocations. Yet he did it here because it was his only way out. Unlike an excuse to explain an increase in his power of teleportation, he doesn’t do it again for quite some time if ever. I stopped reading X-Men around issue 210 or so and thus can’t attest one way or the other.

So, he does this once and never again for a long time. How do you explain that sort of one-time extended use of a power? Victory points, of course! A one-use of a power far beyond its normal range, thus guaranteeing success. Without it, such an act is (in game mechanics) unlikely to the point of near-impossibility without giving a player’s character a power boost that they will be sure to use again at every opportunity.


Genteel Magistrate

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