#1 Posted by Kyle_Dornez (260 posts) - - Show Bio

I think everyone heard that at some point - "Meh, that just a C-grade supervillain dude, nothing to worry about", of "What are you C-listers thinking trying to fight Ultron?"

Little doubt that Captain America and Avengers are A-list superheroes, hell, "A" might as well stand for an "Avenger" here. However when I was asked to define B- and C-league heroes\villains, I got a bit stumped. The best I could come up with is "B-grade are guys, who are not Avengers", and "C-grade are dudes, who're not only not Avengers, but have no respect because of that."

However this division is evidently flawed - take Moon Knight for example. Dude is hardly ever can be solidly put in A-list, yet Cap trusts him to be an Avenger. Or Livewires. So I've got a question - are there a way, or a list, of classifying characters to this grades, without resorting to obvious popularity ratings?

#2 Posted by satyrgod (2115 posts) - - Show Bio

It's always gonna be subjective. Like the omega-level mutant; "omega" to whom, precisely? I'd venture that the better question would be, why implement a divisive classification system in the first place? We all have our favorites, including the writers who will pen a given character as they evidently see them, with all the strengths, flaws and limitations pertanent to the story and within the context of the author's imagination.

#3 Posted by serpent222 (319 posts) - - Show Bio

Whether or not a character is an A, B, or C lister is largely determined by two big factors: Notoriety and threat. If a character is weak and obscure, they are going to be C list or lower. A B-lister is a character that is more moderate on both counts. A-Listers are obviously the powerful ones that everyone knows. The issue, of course, is that it is all subjective to everyone.

To answer your question, no you cannot come up with a classification of this without resorting to popularity. The idea of them being graded like that is based on the idea of a "B-list" movie and the like, which is contingent MOSTLY on its popularity and how successful it is, mixed in with the quality of the movie itself. The only way that you could classify heroes and villains like that without factoring popularity would be to rank them solely on their powers and importance. And like @satyrgod: mentioned, if it gets to that point, why implement the system in the first place?

#4 Posted by Kyle_Dornez (260 posts) - - Show Bio

@serpent222 said:

To answer your question, no you cannot come up with a classification of this without resorting to popularity.

And like @satyrgod: mentioned, if it gets to that point, why implement the system in the first place?

Ah, but I do have a reason. For weeks already I'm suffering under horrible yoke of game mastering a Marvel Heroic RP-Game. As I prefer non-canon custom characters in my games, I had to set some levels, so I said "Meh, do some B- or C-lister, all A-grade is too busy beating the crap out of each other in Civil War." So two of PC decided to play it safe and took Hawkeye and Taskmaster - and that was fine. Others though... Basically, one dude wanted to play an unkillable undead alien sorcerer, with invulnerability AND healing factor, teleport and other stuff. Second dude looked at that, made a wall of bricks behind himself, and upped his technopath into ghost-tech-using digital gremlin god. For Great Justice.

That's kinda stretchig the definition of "B-list". Now, by popularity definition they both are C-grade, as noone knows a custom character, beyond their A.I.M. cell. However one is Godlike-Stamina d12 zombie with shadow sorcery and other can switch off Iron Man with a snap of his fingers. Mainly this is my fault of course, for almost encouraging them go mad with character creation, so I'm saddled now with picking their opponents and enviroments veery carefully...

The question still stands, though, and it was formulated to me as "How the hell is THAT a C-list character?"

#5 Posted by Markus_Langbourn (387 posts) - - Show Bio

I think you're overlooking how many Avengers there are. Unless you consider Rage an A-Grader.

#6 Posted by serpent222 (319 posts) - - Show Bio

If you're creating custom characters, you'd need to come up with your own custom parameters to determine what listing each one was. There's no objective way to do that. I'd propose something specific, but I know nothing of that game.