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Vondy last won the day on April 11 2016

Vondy had the most liked content!

About Vondy

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    One With The Force
  • Birthday 07/13/1972

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    Jerusalem, Israel

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  1. Describe a rpg mechanic you love.

    Jovian Chronicles: has options for a sliding scale of realism. Reality Distortion Levels: three settings changing how you tally successes from the dice pool - gritty, adventurous, and cinematic. Cast Rating: tied to RDLs, defines who, based on cast rating, gets what adjustments and fudges - and how system shock, etc, are handled. Archvillians followed by heroes / henchmen followed by supporting cast, followed by mooks. WOO Factor: weapons out of ordinance. Inspired by the endless stream of rockets in anime, and in handguns in John Woo films. The character rolls to see if they can keep firing even if the weapon should be empty. Existential Angst: when the narrative gives the hero personal trauma and loss, they can drop their psyche score to -3 and boost another stat or skill to +3 until the angst is resolved.
  2. STAR TREK: Discovery

    Hippy-dippy boomer woo-woo utopian pipe dreams has never done much for me. Oddly, the boomers who produced TOS created a show that was less of that than this one is claiming to be. I have seen every episode of trek prior to this series, but will happily skip this one. We've had 28 seasons of Trek prior to this, not including TAS. The only way we'd ever need more would be if it were actually good. The only new Trek I'm interested in at this stage is the reboot films
  3. Is your Fantasy gaming stuck in time?

    If you are running a multi-generational campaign that spans a significant period of time, then advancing the technological timeline makes sense. If you are running a game that covers a specific set of characters careers, then it probably doesn't make a lot of sense to have many technological advances. You could showcase one or two important things during that period - the novel invention, as it were - and make it a plot related thing, of course. I guess you could have magic progress like high-tech and move at a breakneck pace the way our generation has seen it move. But, for most of human history, that was not the case. Our perspective of fast-paced technological change is actually highly unusual. But, overall, I prefer my fantasy games have a more discrete time scale - and approach them the way REH did the Conan. The chronicler was telling tales about the life and times of a legendary king, conan, so it didn't matter how there were - they all fall within one man's lifetime. I like to tell stories about characters and their careers, not about worlds. This may just be because I'm not a Tolkein fan. He was a far better world builder than storyteller. For me, unless the technological change is relevant to the plot I'm not going to be much inspired by it because its change for its own sake and not even about the characters.
  4. Name a RPG system you can't stand.

    I look at the points paid for complications as variable complication pool. Over the course of a protagonist's career those may change change, but protagonist's always have problems. In most cases that should be the result of events in narrative and character growth, but it could also be the result of necessary meta-reasons. The complication may be getting in the way of the bigger story, or it may have grown stale, or it may have proven less fun than expected, or the player and GM may have understood it in very different terms, or the other players may hate it, or.... Things happen. The key is that whatever is on the sheet should make sense, enhance fun, and help the story along. As a result, I've always treated complications as being fairly fluid. Key defining elements of a character should remain fairly static, but other things can - and probably should - change after character creation.
  5. Name a RPG system you can't stand.

    Now, you see, we have different perspectives on this. I've found Hero characters are often more defined by their "cool fiddly mechanics" than who they are as "theoretical people." With 5e I see much the same thing. The kewl powers and abilities are what make the character, rather than any actual character they possess. Now, it's true that on a mechanical level old-school D&D characters often looked much the same. And it wasn't uncommon to find players who defined their characters based on their "stuff" or their "spell lists." However, in my experience, the mechanical brevity and strong archetypes actually freed you focus on the character. The difference between two 9th level fighters, for instance, was rooted in the aesthetics, personality, and choices they made. Your mileage clearly varies, but for me, I prefer fewer niddly rules-definitions and more character and narrative.
  6. Name a RPG system you can't stand.

    That can work well, and one of my favorite super-heroic archetypes are martial artists and super-soldiers... lots of MAs. These days, however, I want fewer run-time variables!
  7. Name a RPG system you can't stand.

    And, here is Ritz. Potions and Rites to follow. Edit: I removed "scabrous dogs" (his crew) in favor of "astrid" (his first mate). The crew are really more in the "hirelings" line than genuine followers. Ritzdjamar.pdf
  8. Name a RPG system you can't stand.

    I'm 99% pleased with it and I would call it a successful experiment. I agree about "old school" D&D stat blocks. They were a shorthand for information that was already in the book and common to all characters of a common type. You can't really accomplish that with Hero. You're right, I wasn't trying to replace the stat block. I just prefer characters be "elegant and succinct" with as little notation and formula as possible I also prefer the underlying design be much the same way. I am going to try to build her paramour, Ritz, next. I think the only way to do that one simply is to do his magical abilities as skills "brew potion," "read magic," and "do rituals." I will post him when he's done. Probably over the weekend. I'm having a busy week. I think Hero can handle a "less spell based magic" very easily. I find I still shy away from the D&D / high fantasy style magic system because the doom mantra of "work, work, work..." pops into my head.
  9. Name a RPG system you can't stand.

    I did have fun with it, but found I had to make an effort not to add more mechanical detail. As I thought about it, I realized this is due to how 5e and 6e were written. Steve had a brilliant take on what you could do with hero, but his personal style is definitively "baroque." 4e and earlier designs tended to be simpler. That said, I'm 99% pleased with it and I would call it a "successful experiment." I do see one element I forgot. Elves in our game were an alpine and arctic race and she could have "safe environment: cold." And one word I should remove. I would play her. My only very-mild concern is that this is a "high-level" character and relies on a big sink into combat values, evasion, and overall levels to avoid having to buy martial arts (I find MAs inspired and fiddly all at once), etc. If I were to build a starting character they might suffer for it.
  10. Name a RPG system you can't stand.

    To this end, I decided to experiment with converting one of my iconic AD&D characters to 6e. She was created when I was 13 and was the first female character I ever played (under protest). There are posts about that on these very boards. The operative rule was "keep it simple." No Martial Arts, No Power Builds, Broadly Defined Skills, Etc. I wanted her to be one column of one-line items. Her D&D Stat Block: Elf Ftr-13; 12-18-12-12-9-18; 63-hp. Yes, that's it. Clodya was an elvish foundling raised by a dwarf-lord who went on to a storied career as a swashbuckling sword & sorcery style hero. Her paramour, Ritzdjamar ("Ritz") was a the dread half-orc captain of the Black Tide an delver into "hidden lore" (he could brew potions, read scrolls, use items, and do rituals). He and his predominantly goblin and half-orc crew were eventually tolerated by her dwarven kin and came to their aid, protected their trade, etc, more than once. Clodya slew an elf protecting her dwarvish kinfolk and doesn't get on with her "birthfolk." She speaks with a burred dwarvish brogue and prefers short, stout, strong, bearded folk and strong ale! My stab at her is attached in .pdf format. Clodya Fyrhaer.pdf
  11. A Thread for Random Musings

    I was recently told I'm "pithy." I was initially offended, but then looked it up. I am pithy. Even when you possess a vast and rococo vocabulary there are words you need to learn.
  12. Favorite Moments from "Babylon 5"

    I prefer to remember as little of the 90s as possible!
  13. Name a RPG system you can't stand.

    Thanks. It's been a couple of years. I took a break.
  14. Name a RPG system you can't stand.

    CC trimmed a lot of legalistic exposition, but it did not trim a lot vis-a-vis rules or 6th ed. assumptions about laboriously detailing stats, talents, super-skills, powers, etc, in order to model characters. Aside from some power pool related rules, it's all still there and is still presented as a modelling tool. Not a modelled game, mind you. A tool to model games with. I have a copy and it's a much easier to reference and read version of the 6th ed. ruleset (hallelujah!), but it does nothing to fix the "you must engineer what you are trying to simulate yourself" blues that is a part and parcel of the Hero experience. If you want to model the force, blood pools for vampires, exotic creatures, magic systems, sundry relics and artifacts, super-powers, etc. you have to sit down and write the shell-script to make it happen one effect at a time. And, if it's a vehicle rich setting, God help you. I know it's not popular to say so, but the Hero vehicle rules are lackluster at best. I would never run Star Wars, Star Trek, or even a pirates or Age of Sail game in Hero for that reason alone. I sat down to make the Enterprise once... you end up with pages of detailed emulation and the execution is still wonky. Now, it's true: the grimoire, super-powers book, martial arts book, pulp book, fantasy book, and dark champions books all go a long way towards modelling things for you, but they are also shining examples of the increasingly baroque mechanical assumptions, and demands, the system now runs on. They only help because someone else did the work (and you'll end up having to hack their work, too)! I got to the point where I would only run heroic settings where I didn't have to reference the power rules and did spells, if any, as rituals and skills. That, in of itself, became delimiting. It's a lifestyle issue. When I didn't have a wife, children, commute, mortgage, etc I didn't mind spending all that time modelling exactly what I wanted. Today I do have those things so I do mind. I do occasionally look at my Hero books and think "You know what I could do..." but that has yet to bear fruit. I only have so many hours in a day.
  15. Favorite Moments from "Babylon 5"

    Bab5? I enjoyed watching it, but remember almost nothing about it. Is that bad?