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RDU Neil

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RDU Neil last won the day on February 10 2006

RDU Neil had the most liked content!

About RDU Neil

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    Double Millennial Master
  • Birthday 08/04/1967

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  1. I do enjoy Supergirl as well, as the flip side of the more serious/mature drama I prefer. Supergirl owns its cheesy-ness and has the sincerity and heart in the acting to make the soap opera characters really enjoyable... despite the terribly inconsistent use of high level powers that plague it and Flash. I did get a kick out of last week's Legion Flight Rings (haven't watched this week, yet.) I think I will always resent Agents of SHIELD for removing one of the most memorable and impactful "deaths" from canon. Coulson's death in The Avengers was perfect. Bringing him back ruined it. (But then same could be said for Phoenix and Flash in the comics. etc.) Marvel's unwillingness to put meaningful death into their movies is the only major downside, IMO, of the MCU. Even when they truly do kill of a bunch of named characters in Ragnarock, they made a joke out of it, which is my only real gripe with that otherwise hilarious movie.
  2. Episode 1, Season 1... even with some of the Joss Whedon humor/dialogue (in the first episode only) the show has been a disappointment since the beginning. I'm much more of a Netflix Marvel fan. (And the new Black Lightning! First episode was a very strong, written for adults, kind of superhero show... unlike most of the CW.)
  3. Let’s get Darren an award

    I went back to check, and it knew me and I couldn't vote again. Obviously, could sign in from another IP and do it, but no, I didn't. We are currently winning, 130 to 109, it appears. Cool!
  4. Let’s get Darren an award

    Voted... got us withing 7 of the lead!
  5. Heroic Level Combat Vet

    Oh... I'd already found John Wick... thank you! While over-powered (as any lone action star carrying an entire movie often is) for PCs, I tweaked this build just a little and kept it as what the "best-of the best-of the best" would possibly look like in my Secret Worlds campaign. (note: I finally saw JW2, and while an abysmal action movie, it was a stunning art film from a cinematography and choreography, POV. If the next movie follows this trajectory, JW3 might lack not just a plot and substance, but even dialogue and character... the whole thing becoming a 2 hour, kaleidoscopic dance routine with guns.) And thank you, IndianaJoe... I did find those 5th Edition skill lists for special forces, etc. It was a good start, but I guess I'll have to build my own. I always liked the old books, that had things like full write-ups for "low level ninja, medium level ninja, god-like ninja" as reference. I'd really hoped to find something like that... "realistic SAS vet, cinematic SAS vet, super-heroic SAS vet" or whatever.
  6. Dealing with equipement and cost

    Doc said... "It also draws narrative attention." Again... this. Ultimately, IMO, any rule/mechanic/etc. is judged by how it affects the story. In this case, how does the accumulation or loss of equipment affect the shared imaginary space/storyline/game that is being created by the group at the table? As bluesguy noted above, from a simulationist/world building point, the zombie-killing tank is feasible but will suffer all kinds of environmental challenges. Doc was looking at it from a plot based "zombie killing tank attracts dramatic attention" POV. You could even take it in a narrative/thematic direction... the player of Zombie Killing Tank Driver!! (the name of my next band, by the way) could enjoy wrestling with the dilemma that his tank driving has created a relative safe zone, and survivors are flocking to him, looking for leadership and safety, taxing supplies and creating a moral refugee problem... Bits of all three, and now you are 'effing Role Playing, baby! I feel, and I could be wrong, that a lot of this equipment issue is a carry over from video games. In those games, gaining equipment is how your character advances. You get better loot drops, you are more powerful, and being powerful enough to fight bigger monsters is the whole point. Those players can bring the mindset of writing down that cool gun from the list in the book, or statting out a zombie killing tank on my sheet... that is "winning" the game. Heck, if you like that kind of thing, run that kind of game... but then you DO need hard fast rules, because the game has become a competition of "who has the best stuff." Not my jam, but there you go.
  7. 13 Things about Superhero gaming

    Interesting... some I very much agree with, others not so much... While #13 is very true... #12 and #11 are the complete opposite for me. The fights can take a while, but done right are incredibly cinematic and dramatic. Maybe it is the system (M&M) but I've heard the same complaints from Hero games. I think it is an issue of focusing too much on the mechanics and not enough on what is happening in the fight. If your players are "rolling to hit" and not "I leap at Dr. Zort and come blazing out of the sky with an overhead hammer fist!" you are doing it wrong. Players and the GM should be responding to the imaginative description of the fight, not the application of game mechanics. No system is interesting if that is the case. My biggest issue is with #7 - Denial. I think the worst thing a GM can do is deny the players from getting the kind of scene/interaction/challenge that they want. Complications are great, but obstacles are not. Give 'em what they want, just throw a dramatic twist in there and make them feel that the scene/interaction/challenge they wanted was actually important in moving the game forward. I think the biggest thing missing from this list, especially for supers, is "Let them be SUPER!" The players have highly competent, very powerful characters... and that should show. Give them fights that are dramatic but let them shine and stand out. Before you give them the villains that are hard to beat, give them the gang brawl or bar fight or fire rescue or low level villain that lets them show what badasses they can be. The biggest problems with almost every RPG scenario is often to provide failure after failure with the expectation that the players will just keep grinding until they "level up" enough to beat the baddy. There is like the sadistic tendency that good GMing is about making the players miserable to teach them some kind of lesson or something. I find players get way more invested in the world, NPCs, plot and events if they know they have the chance to be competent and cool as often as they will have to bear down and suck up a tough fight.
  8. Dealing with equipement and cost

    Yes to all of this. For all intents and purposes, "reasonable" equipment was free for every campaign, Heroic or Superheroic. It never made sense to me why it was ok for heroic (much more normal) characters to have access to high powered assault rifles for free, in such games where they were WAY more effective than Supers, where the same gun in a Supers campaign might be 150 points and not really be all that effective since opponents are bullet proof or whatever. Why do we "trust" players to handle free equipment in a Heroic game, but can't "trust" them in a Supers game? To Doc's comments above, it is all about GM, and more importantly, the social contract of the play group. The group understands that equipment is zero points, thus easy come, easy go... and they don't get to expect they always have what they want when they want it. If you pay points for something... and this is axiomatic of Hero... it is essentially the Player paying for director stance on that particular item/functionality. The more you pay (full price) the more you control when and where you get to use it. Pay nothing, GM ruling and the ebbs and tides of the game will limit what you have access to. Equipment breaks and is subject to "realism" rulings... paid for, even with Foci, get away with a lot more. This all evolved over decades of play, where we mostly got sick of detailing point counts on "reasonable equipment" that often never came into play, etc. Ultimately it was about drama and good story. If it made sense for the scene/plot/story... ok, you have the equipment... if it doesn't, you don't. Essentially it allowed us to hand-wave extensive equipment lists, and ignore micro-over-engineered power pools, and focus "points spent" on "things that matter for theme and story for my character." Hero has a wonderful combat resolution system effectively intertwined with stats and universal power effects, which is the reason I still run in it... but the tendency to over-engineering of every power, ability, device and piece of pocket lint is the darkside, and to be avoided, IMO. The "Have to pay points for that!" reflex is like the appendix of game design. An ancient remnant of old design, no longer necessary in a more evolved world of RPG design, narrative mechanics and thematic play. tl;dr = "Handwave the equipment lists and just get back to playing!"
  9. Heroic Level Combat Vet

    Can anyone point me to a write-up/character sheet for a combat vet, ex-military, private security, trained PMC type of character? I'm just looking for alternative takes on the kind of stats and skill sets one might expect to see... of if there is a certain 6th Ed Hero product that has those write-ups in it? Thanks!
  10. Yeah... I'd consider any "muscle powered weapon" as closer to a thrown object than a firearm and treat them as such... at least that would be my opinion on it for this scenario.
  11. Actually, this is exactly what I was considering... the idea that Ranged combat shouldn't be vs. different DCVs, but that every target is a base 3. This involves several things I'd need to consider with range combat: Size modifiers, cover modifiers, range modifiers, hit location mods, etc., come into play more often and are more meaningful. I'd likely be going back to original, Danger International era Range Mods that were a lot more punishing (and IMO, more realistic). Things are harder to hit at a distance, and that distance doesn't need to be great. Failing to brace and set, half moving before firing, or having to purchase martial gun training to know how to move steadily and braced, or the shooter is at half OCV, or other minuses... Perhaps "Dodging" a ranged attack takes on a different meaning, as it means actually applying your DCV to the attack... actively moving erratically to be harder to hit based on a specific attack you know is coming. Probably all of these considerations make things "more realistic" but they might also not be worth the effort in play and how it would change character creation, etc. Ultimately, DCV (and OCV) is a "game stat" that doesn't really reflect anything in reality. It is a meta-stat, and necessary to the basic flow of Hero. Where things get weird is when maneuvers, skills, etc. that are designed to "reflect a real world action or skill" are represented in a shift of this meta stat, i.e. Dodge; a real world concept simplified and reflected in a shift in a meta-stat, DCV. 90% of the time, this works just fine, but those 1 out of 10 times where it makes things feel "That's not right" I'm going with the "Levels only apply to HtH or Ranged based on how they are bought"... leaving Dodge and DCV alone. In that case, I'd even allow those HtH levels to apply to a point blank firing situation. I like this idea for Point Blank firing of any thing that isn't a "thrown weapon." That point blank (adjacent hex at most) eliminates increased DCV in the stat, but dodging and maneuver DCVs, even blocking would come into play. This might actually make for some cool edge cases, where the gun guy gets up close to the martial artist, both gaining a certain advantage, but likely more risky for the gun guy... which supports the reality of ten to twelve feet away being the optimum firing distance (just outside point blank range). Hmmm... that could be good...
  12. I've considered the "levels only affect what they are bought for" and that might be a solution, yes. And yes, a moving target is harder to hit, but whether that is a jab or a roundhouse, wouldn't matter to the hunter... and in fact, a jab, which is staying in tight, not over extending, keeping body control to avoid a counter-punch, is actually about moving "less" than moving more... thus the exact opposite of someone flailing around like a madman. It is more likely that Haymaker would make you harder to hit at range than a Defensive Strike, in that case. Again... applying reality to Hero (or any gaming system) is going to leave us wanting. Most of the time, things just move along without a hiccup, but sometimes the game mechanics pull you out of the verisimilitude with a "Wait, that doesn't seem right..." kind of moment. A guy drawing a sword and "Now I'm harder to shoot!" is one of those moments. So, I guess another question is... if there is now the concept of HtH Martial Arts vs. Ranged Martial Arts... and I can't buy "Fast Strike" one time and count it for both... I have to buy Fast Strike as a Snap Punch and separately as Quick Shot (or whatever) to use it for ranged... does this now imply that you have to buy Martial Dodge separately for HtH and separately for Ranged? That seems to be consistent, as the new rules of Ranged Martial Arts were never really part of design consideration when Martial Dodge was originally created.
  13. I'm pretty sure that in 6th Ed (don't have book at work) levels with MA are 5pts, but levels with HtH are 8pts. I could be wrong. As I said, if this was a supers game, I'd not be worrying about this at all. It is supposed to be over the top and ridiculous. Playing something closer to the bone, more realistic even if cinematic, I start to have problems in certain situations. A boxing jab (defensive strike) does nothing in real life to make that boxer harder to hit with a gun... but it plays out that way in Hero. Active defense in any kind of "realistic" combat is directed at avoiding a specific attack... not making yourself "generally harder to hit"... I mean, what would that even look like in real life? Yes... a Spider-Man type character can "sproing!" in such a way that everyone misses him with bullets and crowbars and electro-blasts... but that is completely unrealistic for characters who are nominally human. For example: Jason Bourne gets in some hairy gunfights, but his avoidance is usually more "dive for cover" or a higher SPD letting him get out of the way BEFORE the opponent gets a bead on him or pulls the trigger... vs. Neo from the Matrix is actively "I can dodge bullets?" after they are already fired at him. VERY different feel between the two, and Hero's Dodge/Martial Dodge is reflective of the latter, but not the former. Maybe I'm answering my own question here, where the Dodge/Martial Dodge maneuver is verging on a super-power, and may need limitations/nerfing for a more "realistic" campaign. I wonder if the simplest answer is a house rule for this game that a Dodge is only effective vs. HtH or Ranged attacks, but not both at the same time. I declare "Dodge vs. HtH" and it doesn't make me harder to hit with range, but does vs. HtH and even point blank attacks... while if I'm going all "Serpentine Shel, Serpentine!" it does nothing to help avoid punches and kicks up close. hmmm... good conversation...
  14. "As a GM I would also be very wary of allowing huge numbers of levels being built up - indeed, I have had one game where I ruled that levels could not exceed the base OCV (or DCV depending on what they were being used for). That means that your bog standard CV3 person could not acquire an OCV or DCV greater than 6 (though they could get to both if they had bought that many skills and acquired that many bonuses)." Yes... skill level stacking has always been a problem in Hero. Totally agree. I'm intrigued by this nice house-rule. Very clean, and works well with the non-figured characteristics of 6th Ed (where OCV and DCV as stats are basically "built in" skill levels.) I'm going to test run that. The only thing I hesitate on is that I like the idea of a character with basically normal stats, but is so well trained he can go toe-to-toe with a higher Stat character. That aside, this house-rule might be a nice, clean catch-all to keep Skill Levels in check. Thanks! Oh, and yes, it this scenario... the PC has the Martial Art of Kenjutsu, with sword weapon element and open hand element, and it totally makes sense he gets better with sword in hand than not... for HtH combat. It really makes no sense that drawing the sword would make him harder to hit with guns. This is a cinematic/Jason Bourne/John Wickish kind of game, toned down a bit from that, so deflecting bullets is not a thing.
  15. A question for interpretation vs. RAW: How do you rule on Martial Dodge vs. multiple different kinds of attacks? For example: Scenario 1: Character has Martial Dodge, uses it, gets +5 vs. all attacks until his next action. Ok... pretty typical. Whether being shot at, electrified, punched... his DCV is +5 with dodge. Scenario 2: Character has Martial Dodge AND +3 levels with Martial Arts. Uses dodge, gets +8 vs. all attacks until his next action. Hmmm... really? How are levels with Martial Arts helping with avoiding bullets and energy blasts? But maybe... Scenario 3: Character has Martial Dodge AND +3 levels with HtH Combat. Uses dodge, gets +8 vs. all attacks... or wait... these are HtH levels, so only vs. HtH attacks? This is weird... because HtH levels cost more than levels with Martial Arts, but wouldn't give as much benefit to Dodge? That seems wrong. But it also seems wrong to have levels with HtH be effective against Ranged Attacks, right? So... what this seems to be indicating is that either Martial Dodge was, all along, ONLY supposed to be vs. HtH attacks and I've been interpreting it wrong all along... but that seems incorrect, because the basic Dodge maneuver is flat +3 vs. all attacks, so why would Martial Dodge be worse? New Scenario 1: character has Martial dodge, +3 with Martial Arts and +2 with swords (3 pt levels). Uses dodge without sword in hand, gets +8 DCV... draws sword and dodges, gets +10 DCV... hmmm... weird... - now, in a HtH fight, having the sword out and using to help deflect or keep distance from HtH attackers totally makes sense, so I could see the extra +2 DCV. Having the sword out vs. guns and energy blasts... I don't see how that should help? - so... do 3pt levels used for Defense only count for either HtH or Ranged? Do you have to define such when you buy them? Essentially, when playing supers, most of this doesn't matter as much, but for more "realistic" Danger International level games, it makes no sense why a samurai is suddenly harder to hit with a machine gun when he has his sword in hand. And yes, I've been playing Hero since 1st Edition and I get the basic rules, but changes in 5th and 6th Ed, especially around the whole "ranged Martial arts" vs. "hth martial arts" starts to confuse the issue... so I'm more interested in how people interpret/rule on these things in their games... not just the RAW interpretation. Thanks