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Killer Shrike

HERO Member
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About Killer Shrike

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    HEROphile at large
  • Birthday 10/02/1974

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  • Biography
    Contact me at KillerShrike@killershrike.com
  • Occupation
    Software Developer
  1. Goodbye Balabanto

    RIP, good sir.
  2. Harn Magic

    I don't have a Harn magic conversion. I never played Harn, unfortunately.
  3. Active Point Limit?

    Thanks for the plug! For the OP: Here There Be Monsters is a reboot of an older campaign called Demon Hunter: FBI, expanded to change the focus from FBI agent hunters to bounty based monster hunters ala MHI or other modern takes on the concept. I ran it in 6e, but it is 5e compatible as well. There's a collection of "vignettes" aka adventures, and a goodly amount of material provided for it. To get a quick feel for the setting, here's 45 sample "iconic" aka starting / playable characters that also serve as examples for the kinds of characters that are "in bounds" for HtbM campaigns as we ran it. Other GM's of course could spin things however they like. http://killershrike.com/HereThereBeMonsters/Characters_Iconics.aspx Here's the "Starting" page, with information on how to make a starting character, including point levels: http://killershrike.com/HereThereBeMonsters/Paradigm_Starting.aspx CHARACTER POINT LEVELS This paradigm is expected to be mid powered and to rise into high power as Hunters gain experience. The assumed point level range of Here There Be Monsters is detailed under Assumptions. It is assumed that new characters in this paradigm start with 75 Base Points and up to 50 points from Disadvantages (5e, 75+50), or 125 Base Points and up to 50 points of matching Complications (6e, 125/50). This value can be altered by the GM at will. Rather than the starting levels of Resource Pools being arbitrarily set, Player Characters also get 25 "free" points to seed their Resource Pools with as their players see fit to allocate them. These extra points do not count as part of the character's total points. Hopefully there's something there of interest.
  4. Someone may have posted this already, but paizo picked up a lot of classic books in a store inventory buy out, including a legit collection of classic Hero System / Champions material. Might be worth checking out for collectors. http://paizo.com/store/sale/americanEagles/heroGames
  5. Building a Light spell is harder than I thought

    I'm still attached to the Earth, via the bonds of gravity as well as a certain sentimental fondness for the planet where I still keep all my stuff. I just moved away from the Hero System after the last Here There Be Monsters campaign I ran (which is all 6th edition), and roleplaying in general. This is due mostly to changing life circumstances (kids, job, other hobbies, a sort of pervasive lack of available free time), as well as a shift in appreciation towards more narrative games. I also drifted away from posting on these forums as I was doing increasingly less Hero System related gaming but also because many of the people I enjoyed collaborating or trading posts with also drifted away, though some remain. Also these forums have themselves experienced some vicissitudes over the years and there were times when I would have posted but the site was experiencing difficulties or I could no longer find some old post I wanted to reference and had no desire to rehash old ideas all over again without aid of just referring back to a thread that already covered the same ground. And of course, after the couple hundreth thread on how to model a vancian magic system or quibbling over how to do magic missile or light or whatever, my attention wanders. There is some kind of existential limit on how many times a person can cover the same intellectual ground and remain interested in it; some ideas in this domain have been so often re-tread over the years that I just no longer am inspired to spend energy or time on treading that same ground once more. Jadedness, ennui, operational fatigue, "been there, done that, figured it out, moved beyond it"; call it what you will...I just don't have anything new to say on the subject and don't care to keep repeating myself. I still love the Hero System in general, and I spent more years playing it than any other game system if measured pound for pound, ounce per ounce of games run and time spent...over two decades of time of actively using the rules for a wide variety of genres and campaigns and occasional one offs. As far as 6e vs 5e, the differences in the editions is not very large for the most part. In the large majority of cases taking a 5e effect and simply re-expressing it in 6e terms is simple, and in many cases results in a more or less identical write up. Occasionally there is a more effective 6e way to approach a problem, but the 5e way is still a viable one; after all the Hero System is the way of many ways to model the same idea. The situations where a 5e approach is no longer viable at all and an entirely new 6e way of approaching the problem is required are pretty seldom, but generally easy to navigate when encountered. Pretending that 5e material is irrelevant to the current mores of the system or of no value when looking for ideas that are re-usable or mine-able for a 6e game isn't really warranted, in my opinion. As to the content contributed by others, I don't generally editorialize that material unless invited to. The material presented is intended to be used or not as people see fit; though no one has ever accused me of having insufficient ego, I don't take the position that my material or opinions on how things might be done is more important than that of other Hero System aficionados. Rather I post people's material when asked to as a service to the community. I wouldn't post contributions that I were offended by, or were disinterested in, or that were of low overall quality, or if it would just take me too much time to get it into a format friendly to the site (such as content in the form of word docs). Otherwise if someone has a body of work they want to share and they want to use my site as the platform from which to do it, and it doesn't take more time than I have to give to it, I post it for them. If you or others disagree with a given contributor's material, you are welcome to take it up with them; if they take your feedback to heart and submitted altered versions of their material I would do my best to get their contributions updated and pushed out to the site in a timely fashion. As to eepjr24 specifically, he did a lot of work for the betterment of the site by going through the thousands of hero game effects that were corrupted when my site got hacked by a malicious injection attack some years ago that forced me to purge all of the effect names and notes. This took weeks of labor on his part, and was an amazingly generous thing for him to spend his time on. I did mildly edit some of his material such as his Soldier package to provide an example of a different way to lay out abilities and to offer more configurable options to allow broader re-use, and the magic system write up of his Warlock system (embedded in the package) to tune it up a bit, but by and large I posted it exactly as he submitted it without editorial interference. In all our dealings, eepjr24 struck me as a very reasonable and well-meaning person eager to use the Hero System and still in the honeymoon phase of his enjoyment with the game. Perhaps if you sought him out with constructive criticism, a useful collaboration or positive feedback loop could be established between you, and it is not inconceivable that he might submit updates or new content more to your liking. You are also welcome to provide me with your own versions of things that you feel are more correct or relevant and if we come to an accord I will add your stuff to the site as time allows.
  6. Newbie question: non-killing damage is normal?

    Oh, I forgot to mention, I also suggest some weapon & armor variants as well, beyond just using the system as written. Here they are: http://www.killershrike.com/FantasyHERO/HighFantasyHERO/armamentsNotes.aspx#WEAPONS & ARMOR VARIANTS
  7. Newbie question: non-killing damage is normal?

    The separation between killing and normal damage is one of my favorite parts of the system. However, if you want to run a game where lethality is the typical form of damage (such as D&D style fantasy, for instance), then it can be a bit awkward. The thing to keep in mind with the Hero System however, is that it is a universal toolkit system intended to be used for a variety of genres and tones and it is intended that the GM will dial in options to suit whatever particular feeling they are going for. When it comes to the area of lethality of damage, the system is especially dense with options both official and unofficial to dial in a wide variety of lethality levels from Nerf to instagib. As it happens, I have a set of pages on my site that go into lethality options, and it may be helpful. http://www.killershrike.com/FantasyHERO/HighFantasyHERO/shrikeLethalityOptions.aspx
  8. Swap-in Replacement for D&D 5e?

    This is the way I often run it at the table. It also has the advantage that the players don't need to know the exact DCV they are trying to hit. They say what DCV they hit and I, knowing the current NPC DCV's, tell them if they hit or not. After a few go arounds it becomes pretty obvious what the number are, but it adds a little uncertainty to the first exchanges in a combat.
  9. New Magic System, Inspired by Resource Points

    In the Here There Be Monsters (HtbM) setting, which is HERO System 6e, I set up all of the various special abilities including magic systems to use various special Resource Pools. It is a great leveler of caster / non-caster power creep as it puts exceptional abilities on an even footing. I had originally started using Resource Pools back in the 5e era in the cyberpunk+metahuman setting MetaCyber (http://www.killershrike.com/MetaCyber/MetaCyber.aspx) after Dark Champions was published (where Resource Pools were originally described) and it was hugely successful for actual play, so I knew it would work properly. The special resource pools available for HtbM are described fully here: http://www.killershrike.com/HereThereBeMonsters/Paradigm_Starting.aspx But here's a snippet: Special Pools: Special Pools control a character's access to various sorts of special abilities and unusual gear. A character's Origin unlocks one Special Pool during character creation, but the other Special Pools are attainable as well with extra expenditure and GM permission. Each type of Special Pool is usable for different things, as described below. The Kit and Armory concept does not apply to the Special Pools, and a character can only change out abilities in their Special Pools with GM permission or as a reaction to events that transpire during the game as the campaign unfolds (such as if special gear is lost or destroyed). Mystic Pool: a character pays for enchanted items, spells, mystic powers, and other supernatural abilities they have out of their Mystic Pool. Psychic Pool: a character pays for any psychic items or powers they have out of their Psychic Pool. Believer Pool: a character pays for any relics and / or faith-based abilities they may have out of their Believer Pool. They can also take something ephemeral like a one-time boon granted by a powerful being. Innate Pool: a character pays for any innate Supernatural abilities, such as Lycanthropy or Immortality or other abilities that represent a Supernatural character's normal state of existence from their Innate Pool. Professional Pool: a character pays for any special or one-of-a-kind custom gear and / or signature abilities (i.e. Super Skills) they may have out of their Professional Pool. "Mundane" equipment considered to be Military or Advanced Military in a typical Dark Champions campaign can be taken in a Professional Pool by characters who can justify it with their concept. As to magic systems, there's something like 9 different detailed magic systems and some variants, linked to from the Mystic origin page. Alchemy, several flavors of Hermeticism (Ars Magicka, Ars Mysteria, Ars Mercuria...basically different flavors of wizards with a mix of rituals, artificing, and channeling), Sorcery (Necromancy, Daemonology, Invocation, Elementalism), Occultism, a skill based system for drawing Wards and such that even non-spellcasters can learn to do, and things like that. The various magic systems involved, many of them are simplified or refined versions of magic systems I wrote up for Fantasy HERO, and are usable in a Fantasy context other than the HtbM setting. http://www.killershrike.com/HereThereBeMonsters/Origin_Mystic.aspx There are dozens of sample characters for the setting, including at least one sample character for each origin type and ability set. You can get a good cross section by looking at the "Iconics" which are meant to serve as examples, a way to compare and contract options for relative play balance, to be used in examples across the content of the site, and of course as valid pre-generated starting characters that can be used as is or tweaked for those who don't want to spend time on character creation: http://www.killershrike.com/HereThereBeMonsters/Characters_Iconics.aspx I ran a couple different campaigns using the material, and it has some history behind it as a descendant of a setting I co-created many years ago during the 4e era called Demon Hunter: FBI. That sort of info and the people who contributed to the material are described here: http://www.killershrike.com/HereThereBeMonsters/Credits.aspx There may be some material there you can use or draw inspiration from, or just some interesting stuff to read if you are bored one day.
  10. FATE: What can you tell me about it?

    Glad to be of service.
  11. FATE: What can you tell me about it?

    Well, ok then. I suppose you could do this, and if it is an option for each player there is no intrinsic imbalance. I personally don't care for the idea, but if it works for you and your table I don't see any overt harm. I think the better approach would instead be to lean on the Aspect system and the ability to Create Advantage, which in addition to leveraging one of the best parts of the game and having a positive narrative impact (as situational Aspects greatly enhance a scene), also offer +2 bonuses to relevant rolls when invoked. I allow that sort of thing in Pathfinder Fate Accelerated via Stunts. For instance, Kiroee has that exact ability: http://www.killershrike.com/Fate/Fae/Pathfinder/Characters/Iconics/Kiroee/Kiroee.aspx Attack Attack ATTACK!!!!: Because I am driven to extreme aggression, when I am Forcefully Combative and attack I may add from one to four additional Fate dice to my 4dF attack roll and choose the four best dice as my result. However, until my next exchange whenever I defend I add the same number of Fate dice to my defend rolls and choose the four worst dice as my result. Otaro has a similar ability, though less extreme: http://www.killershrike.com/Fate/Fae/Pathfinder/Characters/Iconics/Otaro/Otaro.aspx Shocking Blade: Because I am able to generate a magical paralyzing shock around my weapon, when I would roll 4dF to attack with my weapon I may instead roll 6dF and choose the four (4) best dice for my result. This is an electric attack and I cannot use this Stunt against opponents who are immune to electricity. There's other Stunts like that here and there in the content, which manipulate dice odds. Here are a couple of more: Better Lucky Than Good: Because I am unusually lucky, whenever I make a 4dF resolution roll and the result is 0 0 0 0 (all blanks) I treat the outcome as if I had rolled + + + + (all pluses). Charmed Existence: Because I lead a charmed existence, whenever I roll - - - - (all minuses) on 4dF I treat it as if I rolled 0 0 0 0 (all blanks).
  12. FATE: What can you tell me about it?

    I don't have the book in front of me, but if Anna the NPC did not concede prior to Landon rolling to attack, and Landon did enough stress to take her out with his attack, Landon's player decides the outcome of the attack. If the GM had Anna concede prior to being taken out, the GM would have had a say in the outcome, and presumably would not agree to "death" for the character. There should be a section in the rule book about conceding / concession that details that concept. EDIT: I remembered the online Fate SRD. This page has the conflict rules, including getting taken out and concessions: https://fate-srd.com/fate-core/conflicts The FAE rules have much less to say on the matter but for completeness sake: https://fate-srd.com/fate-accelerated/ouch-damage-stress-and-consequences
  13. What's up with Warhammer?

    Yeah, I noticed something similar. I recently ( a couple of months ago ) dropped about $300 with shipping factored in to complete my hardcopy set of all published FFG Warhammer Fantasy RPG material. I don't actually expect to get to use it ever again (though, who knows...maybe), but I had most of the material already from when I did run it a few years ago and knew it would forever bother me if I didn't finish out the set for completionary purposes. The last pieces were Gathering Storm, Heroes Call, Lure of Power, and Enemy Within. I paid over retail for some of it, unboxed it, and packed it all away.
  14. FATE: What can you tell me about it?

    On a side note, I had forgotten about it but looking up stuff in the Toolkit just now reminded me. The Deck of Fate ( https://www.amazon.com/The-Deck-of-Fate-Cards/dp/1613170904 ) is also available as an alternative to 4dF. I own a copy, and it is very cool. I don't personally use it in my games because I unashamedly have a dice fetish; I own a LOT of 4dF and I love the sound of dice hitting a table. However, the DoF has a lot of useful secondary benefits as the cards also have a couple of phrases that can serve as suggestions for situational Aspects or Boosts which is a fun and helpful addition. The deck also includes some nicely illustrated "arcana" cards with other uses. All in all a very neat supplement.
  15. FATE: What can you tell me about it?

    Page 66 of the Toolkit describes the following alternatives to 4dF: d6-d6, "connect the dots" (which involves using a sharpie to draw on normal d6's), 3d6 Table (morphs the 3d6 bell to approximate the 4dF bell), and 4d6 grouped (maps 1-6 to -,blank,+ as follows: {1-2: -, 3-4: blank, 5-6: +}; this has the same probability curve as a 4dF) Of those options, the d6-d6 changes the probabilities the most. You mean, each player in the same game chooses their preferred method? That would be intrinsically unbalancing as the probability curves would differ for each player using a different mechanism. The "connect the dots" and 4d6 grouped alternatives have the same probability curve as 4dF, leaving 1d6-1d6, 3d6 Table, and 4dF or equivalent as the modes. Of course if you want to introduce variance or don't care about each character having the same baseline expectations of probability as a frame of reference and underlying parity, then go wild I guess. I don't understand what you mean by this. Are you suggesting that, for instance, Forceful might be 1d6-1d6 while Sneaky might be 3d6 Table, etc? That seems like it would be pretty wonky, to me, if that is what you mean. Since what I value about FAE is its simplicity and the low signal to noise ratio of rules to narrative, I personally wouldn't add more complexity unless it paid for itself in some meaningful way; I speak about this a little bit in the Design Notes ( http://www.killershrike.com/Fate/Fae/Pathfinder/Meta/DesignNotes.aspx ) I wrote up for Pathfinder FAE. But I suppose something like this (again, if that's what you meant) might be interesting at the expense of added mechanical complexity for a group that did not mind the fiddliness of it.