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Showing content with the highest reputation on 01/20/2019 in all areas

  1. 4 points
    Actually the house already sent three reopen the government bills to the Senate. Mitch McConnel has refused to bring them to the floor to be voted on. That's why some of the democrats in the senate have started #Where'sMitch on Twitter CES
  2. 2 points
    Did someone say artist?
  3. 2 points

    In other news...

    Weird Al Yankovic Gets A Star On The Walk Of Fame An old story, but worthy of attention.
  4. 2 points
    Just because you're the smartest person in the room doesn't make everyone else an idiot.
  5. 2 points

    Medal of Honor Scene

    If it's not impossible, it's not surprising for it to happen - once. Out of all the literally millions of occasions in the annals of war where soldiers shot at each other, there are bound to be even stranger and less likely results than this. Lucius Alexander The palindromedary says it would be strange if there were NOT such unlikely events scattered about....
  6. 2 points

    The Turakian Age is Seriously Underrated

    Also crossposted from rpg.net Panorama of a lush rolling plain, scattered groves thick with trees, a river gleaming in the distance. The camera pans around to show a mounted group of typical adventurers who have obviously just come over the crest of a ridge - an obvious female Elf and male Human armed with bow and sword, and a male Dwarf in plate armor with an ax. Narrator: It is a world in many ways comfortably familiar.... Striding uphill behind the group, and soon looming over them, appears the gray and rocky figure of a Stone Giant. The Elf looks back and up and asks "What do you see ahead, and what is the land telling you?" Narrator: Yet holding endless surprises. A world of Dragons ... Cut to a scene of people fleeing a burning town. An enormous green dragon lands right in their path so heavily as to knock them from their feet, before unleashing a blast of flame that conceals and presumably consumes them. Cut back to the Giant and companions. The Giant speaks in a voice deep as a mountain's root, "This land was cut by the plow, long ago, and then fell the heavy tread of a Dragon. We are closer. There is....something else...." Narrator: ...of Dungeons... Cut to a man framed from the waist up, chained to a wall, ghastly pale and unshaven, leeches clinging to his bare chest. His eyes open and focus on someone outside the camera view. "Why don't you let me die?" A cultured voice responds "Very well. Here is a vessel of poison....I am content for you to die now." All that is seen of the speaker is a scarlet sleeve and a pale hand holding an earthenware bottle covered in script resembling insects and crawling worms, presenting it to the lips of the victim, who drinks thirstily, then chokes, gasps, and goes limp as the leeches fall away. His head then begins to melt, before reforming into something slimy and grey and mostly featureless, the mouth becoming a circular and obscenely pulsing sucker. The unseen voice continues "Die...and rise again to feed upon the blood of the living." Cut back to the Giant, still speaking "...in hidden places under the earth, foul things are done. The Dragon, Skarm the Desolator, is not the only evil thing in this land." The Human says "Sounds like we came to the right place. Tell me again why we're here?" The Dwarf answers "Because Dragons always have gold." The Elf responds "Because we're heroes." Narrator: ....and of Demons Cut to the courtyard of a ruined castle. The archers are firing into a looming inky black form with spidery legs and long snaky arms looming at the far end of the courtyard. The arrows simply strike the blackness and vanish into it. "No gold is worth this" declares the Dwarf. "We must be heroes then" answered the Human, drawing a sword and charging, followed by the Dwarf as the Elf continues to ply the bow. The Demon seizes and hurls one of the great stones fallen from the ruined wall, which the Human evades by dropping prone. Black fluid sprays as the Dwarf strikes, then he is seized and held aloft. Close up shows the ropy black tentacles exuding a slime that corrodes the armor and eats right through the ax haft until the ax head falls away. Cut to the Elf apparently whispering to an arrow before nocking and loosing it; there is a burst of light when it strikes, and the Demon shrieks and drops the Dwarf. The head and long sinuous neck of a Dragon - the same one seen earlier - rises over the castle wall to glare at the Demon, which cowers down and then sinks into the ground. The dragon turns its gaze to the adventurers and opens its maw. Dissolve to flame. Title card appears in the flames: TURAKIAN AGE The Desolation of Skarm (Brought to you by Hero System) Lucius Alexander This preview has been approved for all palindromedaries
  7. 2 points
    I logged on this evening to spread appologies all around, and to respectfully ask Hermit or any moderator happening by to strike my posts completely (I will delete the content momentarily) I appologize; I thought some hobby-related social contact would pick me up, but my mind and heart weren't in it. I appologize to all of you.
  8. 2 points

    "Neat" Pictures

    I sadly cannot be there today due to [insert several expletives here about online ticket sales].
  9. 1 point

    "Neat" Pictures

  10. 1 point
    I think personally every player should GM a scenerio or two. Just so the player has the feeling of the other side of the screen. I know since I’ve been a GM, when I’m the player, I do things in game and build things as characters to help the GM. For example I took a DNPC of a Master for my (surprise) martial artist, I could tell the GM wanted him (the Master) to disappear. So I improvised a scene where the Master could leave unnoticed. Another was for my dwarf. I lived away from the group at the time so I made a character that could come and go as needed. Hence he was cursed by the Cult of the Anvil and at various times a fog would come and take him away.
  11. 1 point
    Awful lot of Kryptonite floating around. More common than water........ 😈
  12. 1 point
    Doc Democracy

    Golden Age

    I am working with the players to turn concepts into actual characters. As they are mostly not HERO afficionados, I am looking at ways to get an idea of how they might work in combat. As such I have written a short narrative of an early gathering of the heroes as a group. I am hoping this engages the players to either adopt the narrative or change it and that this will provide me with more information on what needs to be on the character sheet. I thought I should kick it out here too. I might do one or two more before I get to the point of generating and posting the character sheets. Prologue-part 1: A sensational beginning What a disaster. This was supposed to be the first triumphant meeting of Britain’s greatest heroes. It was supposed to provide the broadsheets with a morale boosting story to communicate to the the citizens of the United Kingdom. The Empire might be fading but Britain still wields power and influence in the world. That is what is was supposed to be. Mr Chamberlain promised them that when they signed up, he called them The Union, to represent standing together, joining things, didn’t hurt, in Mr Churchill’s mind, that it also weakened the brand of those upstart socialists who were determined to unravel the fabric of British society and hasten the end of Empire. It should have been easy, Chamberlain’s team had uncovered a plot to subvert the King. The fascists in Europe had found a siren, someone who could bind a man’s heart and twist him round and apparently they were going to use her to bring the King to their cause. All the Union had to do was stop them meeting. They knew how she was coming to the country, she was American and the fascists had got their network over there to provide her with protection, should they be intercepted. The plane she was supposed to be on arrived in London empty, not even a pilot on board, though it flew and landed perfectly. The hunt through London was frustrating. Tank, Robbie and Colonel Mustard were frustrated as the promised opportunity to confront these fascists constantly slipped away, each lead vanishing into the London fog. It was almost as if they knew the Union was coming, knew what they were going to do. The date of the annual Guildhall City of London dinner was fast approaching and the Union had not found where she was being kept or even who was protecting her. The team decided that the leak had to be somewhere in Chamberlain’s office and so, with two days left, the former Army Chaplain, known to his fellows as Charlie Foxtrot, delved into his network of former soldiers, clerics, medics, charity workers and friendly civil servants. It is amazing what this network was able to accomplish or find out. A day later they had a lead, one not being preferred by Chamberlain’s office. A huge man with a strange French accent had been seen somewhere in Brixton, he was accompanied by an albino man who did not speak at all but, when seen in the gloom, his skin seemed to almost glow. They had taken residence in a house over a fortnight previously and recently had friends appear. Plans were drawn up. Charlie would approach them directly. Offer them the chance to go home, the game was up, and while nothing had been done unlawfully, they should take their corrupted woman back to wherever she came from. Charlie would be accompanied by Colonel Mustard as they should be able to get out of trouble as quickly as they got into it. Robbie, Tank and Tam would be stationed close by, ready to intervene if these colonials decided to fight. It was obvious that the big man was puzzled at the appearance of Charlie at his doorstep but the albino behind him was quickest to react. His clothes burned away to reveal a being of light rather than flesh and his skin began to pulse with fascinating colours, making the muscles of both Charlie and the Colonel go slack. Robbie jumped the gun, he went blazing into the house, firing at the light being, The Fascinator as he came to be known. Tank followed up as he heard the sounds of fighting, he crashed through the back entrance. Tam decided to scout, he cast Kelly’s Eye on a large diamond he always carried with him. When placed against his own right eye, the diamond merged and allowed him to see right through walls. The problem was that it also saw through skin and other things. He was able to see that there were three other people in the house, two of them upstairs, one of whom was bound to be the Siren. Tam let Tank know to head upstairs. He reckoned Robbie and the Colonel should be able to keep the muscle busy and while Tank distracted the upstairs guard, he would pop into the house, grab the Siren, and get out of there. He blew on his chanter and imps popped into existence both beside him and 60 feet away within the house across the street. These imps could create a gateway that Tam could just walk through and he waited until the guard was drawn away by Tank to make his move. Charlie came to his senses as everything went to hell in a hand basket again. Robbie was flying past, pouring eldritch fire into the man of light, the Colonel vanished in a burst of speed, heading into the house to engage the big man. There was another figure in a back room lurking, apparently hiding from Tank who had burst through the back door and was heading up the stairs to confront a strange clockwork type figure heading in the opposite direction. When the big man fighting Robbie turned into Gator, Charlie thought things would be fine, that played into Robbie’s strength, he could control reptiles, surely that would make everything easier. Charlie phased into his Sanctuary mode. Most things would now not affect him and he could walk relatively unhindered through the chaos of battle. He strode into the house. The Fascinator had fallen under Robbie’s assault, the Gator was now looking at fighting both Robbie and the Colonel while Tank battled the Clockwork Man, machine guns rattling against rods and pistons while metal muscles creaked as they smashed down on the plates of armour protecting Tank. Where was Tam? On the roof of the adjoining building Tam removed Kelly’s Eye and cast a quick enchantment to provide him with protection against the probable charms of someone called a Siren before trilling a command on the chanter to the imps to create his gateway. He steeped through and faced the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. She sang to him, her music disrupting his control of the imps and, despite his protection, causing him to pause, hesitate and actually consider helping her to escape. It would be easy, the others were occupied and she wasn’t dangerous, just a misunderstood woman being used by these brutes. Charlie passed by Robbie, blessing his reptile control powers to give them a boost, and Robbie tried to get into the mind of Gator. Colonel Mustard threw a trench foot grenade into the room the other person was hiding, it should cover the entire room, causing anyone in there some difficulty in moving or acting against the Union. Tank was gaining the upper hand and he presumed Tam was in the process of taking custody of the Siren. It was there he was probably needed most. The Colonel, acting at his blindingly fastest, had followed up the trenchfoot grenade with one of his glue bombs which even Tank would take time to escape from. He had ignored the potential that the bound opponent might still be a threat. Stupid. He would not have been hindered by those bombs, it had not entered his mind that someone else might be similarly advantaged. As he passes Tank and the Clockwork Man he can hear singing above the noise of the fray and then hears the Colonel swear. Robbie has indeed controlled the big gator man but has sent it crashing into the Colonel, it took him by surprise and how has him in its arms, crushing and biting him. Those jaws have caused massive gashes in the shoulders of the Colonel and are working up to taking his head off. Charlie does not hesitate but rushes back down the stairs and touches the Colonel, granting him Sanctuary, that will keep him safe while his speedy metabolism heals him. In the meantime Robbie has sent the Gator crashing into the back of Tank, swinging that battle back in favour of the bad guys. Charlie begins to help Tank but realises that he needs to address the source of the problem, the shadowy figure trapped in the Colonel’s glue. It is obvious his power is not obstructed by being trapped and Charlie needs to deal with him before he causes this to become the kind of situation he took his name from, an army slang for when everything goes wrong. Tam, with the help of his magical protection, shakes off the influence of the Siren, long enough to switch protection from the effects of the Siren song to not being able to hear it at all. With his hearing blocked he sees just a well-dressed middle class American woman. Not particularly beautiful, nothing special. Nothing threatening. He steps forward to grab her and his head explodes with pain as he is attacked from above. There was another guard! On the stairs Tank wrestles with two opponents. Neither of them are able to beat him individually but together it is a struggle. He reckons if he focuses on the Clockwork Man then he might finish him quickly, allowing him to concentrate on this reptile opponent. It is at that moment that Robbie pours Eldritch fire into him and the addition of a third opponent quickly reduces him to unconsciousness. Charlie sees him collapse and he realises he needs to rescue him, wading through the melee and takes Tank into the Sanctuary before rushing upstairs to find Tam. He arrives just in time to see the Cougar leap from rafters onto Tam’s back. The claws rake down his back exposing bone and muscle from his head to his waist. Charlie does not hesitate, he pulls Tam into the Sanctuary and shouts to Robbie to join him. It is time to retreat. It is obvious they have not worked together before and there was more threat in this house than anticipated. When Robbie arrives, he pulls him into the Sanctuary, steps in himself and closes the door. When he opens the door again it will be to the small church garden in Ely where he first found his vocation after the horrors of the Great War. It always opens there and nowhere else. They will have to pull themselves together and get back to London.
  13. 1 point
    So do I, which is why I voted for the same.
  14. 1 point
    Sure. But I don't think locking out certain character concepts, especially those that are iconic to the average person (Superman, Batman, Spider-Man) is a good example of the tropes we should be avoiding for the game as a whole. A group of players wanting an Avengers or JLA game wants a game where Thor, Cap and Hawkeye, or Superman, Aquaman and Batman, can stand together and each be effective characters. Maybe not every player charact6er should be tactical. All Supers are not combat-trained, and we play out over an hour the actions they take in 12 seconds. The game might be better if we did not allow for, or insist on, taking the time to examine every possible option, measuring distances to each relevant hex (why does anyone buy Absolute Range Sense - in combat, we let everyone have those benefits for free anyway) and required actions like "I will close with ArmorGuy - if I can get there in a half move, I will punch him, otherwise I will do a Move Through" rather than "Oh, ArmorGuy is 2 hexes further away than my half move - I will close on [measures distance to four other opponents on the battlemat, three of which are within a half move] ShieldDude and punch - no, wait, he is not as strong - Grab him. I would also suggest that someone playing Golden Age Captain Marvel would have Complications aligning with his really being a young kid, so he should make mistakes consistent with that reality, those complications and the character he has chosen to play. In my view, the biggest problem arises when the GM makes playing in character a losing proposition. Failure to use the best possible tactics = defeat? Then we will only have tactically-minded characters. Capturing the villains means they escape for next session and murder a busload of people, or maim a DNPC? Then we kill the villains. Striking at less than full power means we get taken out because one wasted hit is the difference between a win and a loss? Then we never show restraint. We train our players on how to play with the consequences of their decisions. Sorry for the topic drift . This is an issue in all editions. Although with campaign guidelines from 4e up to make more consistency between PCs, there's less likelihood of one player showing up with a 90 STR and 40/40 resistant defenses while a second figured 20 STR and a Martial Strike with +2d6, and 10 PD/ED would do the trick.
  15. 1 point
    Crickets: Hearing Group Flash 12d6, Area Of Effect (12m Radius; +3/4) (63 Active Points) I'm just going to assume that silence is agreement. I believe option c (above) is the best. I briefly considered putting the mini columns in alphabetical order (casting time, magic skill, range and AoE, DCV, Mana Cost) but decided that was the OCD Demon and not an actual good idea. I'm pretty happy with that layout and it's pretty close to the one used in AD&D. Because of the conversion to Hero I needed to add a couple of fields, but I think this works. At the end of the day, I don't think it REALLY matters. People who use this will get used to seeing AoE at the bottom of the right column and it won't be strange. I'm just obsessing (partly because I'd prefer to get this locked down before I start filling in fields! :)). I've got the framework (in 2 columns) for the Illusionist spells done and all the description are in. There are only 65 spells (plus the ten magic-user spells) and even a LARGE number of those (eyeballing it says 1/3 to 1/2) are just version of magic-user and a couple of cleric spells. So building should be VERY quick. I've also started to let me brain chew on the classes and how I am going to handle 'levels' in Hero and I think I have found a pretty elegant solution. I think you will like it. See that teaser? It's to make you come back for more!
  16. 1 point
    christopher is right, the comic books are an inspiration, not a rulebook. There are tropes in the comics that cause games real problems, revolving doors on prisons is the one I have eliminated from my games.
  17. 1 point

    In other news...

    Yeah, 220, 221...whatever it takes.
  18. 1 point
    There are limits to what you can reasonbly simulate from the source material in a game. For one thing, you don't have writer's fiat controlling the events, and for another things happen routinely in comics that few players would tolerate (like being knocked out, captured, disabled etc by some stupid ambush or cheap trick just to set up the next plot point). There are some aspects to the comic books that we cannot, and sometimes ought not, try to simulate. That's one of the understandings when you change media: what works in movies may not work in a book or may work better in a game or vice versa. Generally, Player Characters act more intelligently, tactically, and reasonably then comic book characters. Unless they mean to play for laughs, nobody is as dull and easily fooled as Captain Marvel in the golden age, for instance.
  19. 1 point

    Futuristic Sports & Entertainment

    I read a short story called "Animal Lover" by Stephen R. Donaldson (as I recall) that involved a hunting preserve where the animals were genetically engineered to be able to use weapons and hunt you right back.
  20. 1 point

    And now, for your daily dose of cute...

    I saw that pic on twitter! The pitbull refused to be adopted without his chihuahua friend so they got adopted together.
  21. 1 point

    Medal of Honor Scene

    Now the fire rate in his counter-ambush, was clearly increased to Cinematic levels. Hitting 6 targets in 2 seconds tops is just not possible except for pure luck/some multiple hits from over penetration (the rifle should be strong enough for them, especially as no armor was involved). The fire rate shown later when he was defending makes much more sense. In reality that fire rate would not have been needed in the coutner ambush, however: 1) He had surprise. That means he got 1 phase where the enemy: Could not abort Was at 1/2 DCV (without an option to abort or use CSL defensively) Migh even have taken x2 STUN and at 1/2 Hit Location penalties. Getting 2-3 kills is entirely possible at that moment. 2) If he went first by the next phase, the enemy was still outside of cover. Even if they could abort now, they had to dive for cover (literally). 2 More kills. 3) Now at this point the german squad had around 66% casualties. That is the point were every sane person would get the f out of dodge. When they break, they run. When they run, they are at reduced DCV. Shoot in the back. Now you only need 2 Shoots per round at -2 OCV to actually kill all 6. Maybe 3 shoots at -4 in the fist attack. It was not even nessesary to get a kill on the hit. A disable (even being stunned) was enough. As long as they were out, the morale effect was there. While being shoot at, discerning if a ally is killed, disabeled or just playing dead is impossible. If the game was WestEnd D6 Star Wars, I would say he "spend a force point" to actually buff his skill to the level where he could do that. If you are decent to good Heroic shoot there (6D6), double the amount with a Force point and have a strong gun (Blasterifle or Heavy Blaster), there is a decent chance you can kill 6 enemies with 1 shoot each in a single turn. Shadowrun ranks Mooks by Professionality Level, wich includes a "they flee" threshold: 0: Flee at any one losst 1-2: Flee at >25% losses 3-4: >50% losses 3-4 seems to be a reasonable figure for german army guys. And 66% casualties is way past the 50% treshold.
  22. 1 point

    The Turakian Age is Seriously Underrated

    Crossposted from RPG net
  23. 1 point
    I almost snorted my drink out of my nose. Well said and cuts to the heart of what the issue is with Hero.
  24. 1 point
    Cool. Should you ever decide to do so, feel free to hit me up for more observations and suggestions about it.
  25. 1 point

    In other news...

    Electrical buying and selling is very common. German Coal Plants are actually mostly selling the power to France and Belgium. Nuclear Powerplants have the huge downside of a very slow reaction time. Changing the output can take hours to days. Renewable energy is by nature unpredictable. Gas and Coal plants are resonsible for quick reaction adaption . For cases like this.
  26. 1 point
    Duke, with the exception of some of your apologies in the last hour I have deleted your posts for today in this thread as per your request.
  27. 1 point

    Medal of Honor Scene

    I can watch it later. With Warfare I think morale is the most important Stat. In other words: Presence attacks. With each shoot that connected, another Presence attack was made against the germans. Between the phase reduction and OCV penalties, that just was enough to avoid being hit. And the effects compunded too - every one killed without making a hit themself was a additional penalty. A bit less luck at rolling, and he would have died.
  28. 1 point
  29. 1 point
    I voted, but I never responded here. Early series for me, as I think anyone following my posts would have guessed. Including the standalone games; I lean into them for what they do, with the option to house rule anything and everything.
  30. 1 point
    Gnome BODY (important!)

    Thief/Rogue Powers

    Be careful with "behind" in a turn based system, it's very easy to have two people each circling the other for constant backstabbing. Likewise, there's very little a character can do to restrict enemy movement in HERO so you get 1v2s having constant backstabbing. Just to offer an alternative to Lucius's excellent suggestion, you could build the backstab as a Martial Arts maneuver or power with a bunch of extra DCs but a stiff OCV penalty: They would then be encouraged to use it only when they had surprise or some other advantageous circumstances.
  31. 1 point
    Hero has become a game design system, rather than a game. It needs one or more games to sell it in the public. A Champions game with pre-fab powers and abilities, a Fantasy game with pre-fab spells and races, etc. The Big Tome is the master rules, but a stripped-down version, or even a version with power construction hidden in the background of pre-fab abilities, would be a game designed using those rules.
  32. 1 point
  33. 1 point
    Chess is a 2 player sport. P&P RPGS are multiplayer. And boss battles are 4v1's. So the analogy does not work. "Shoveling more points into them" can also mean increasing their SPD - wich gives them extra actions. It can also mean increasing defenses, wich results in them not wasting that many phases on abort. Wich is again extra net actions. And well, "shoveling more points into them" is itself cheating. So you are at best arguing "my way to cheat is better then their way to cheat" To get an analogy that works: It is like black has to fight several chessboards of white pieces. So it did a quick fusion with the black pieces from those other boards.
  34. 1 point
    Duke Bushido

    Personal Omnibus Editions

    The Western HERO PDF is very close to existing. I'm finishing up a few annoyances on the scans before compiling the proof-reading PDF. Just a little longer; I promise. Then on to Horror HERO. Well, on to the Adventurers Club (why is there no apostrophe there?!!) issue 1, loaned to me by rravenwood, then it's a toss-up between CyberHERO, StarHERO (for 3e), and more ACs. Having a hard time deciding. Toddbannister: Stumbled across this when hunting for a book last night; thought it might be something you'd want: a "color" glossary of sorts: https://www.legendsofamerica.com/we-slang/ It doesn't include a couple of my favorites, but no matter: it's extensive enough! (it's also something of a shock how much of this is considered "old timey" when a huge chunk of it is still in use in these parts)
  35. 1 point
    "It's a bargain at twice the price!"
  36. 1 point
    I chose Kovotojas Skydas because I miss the Cold War.
  37. 1 point
    Not a massive fan of Obama, but thought this was funny.
  38. 1 point
    I just use an INT skill. I call it Awareness (having ripped that name off from Legend of the Five Rings.) The skill is all about being "aware" (see what they did there?) of the social situation in which one finds oneself. It can detect lies, emotional states, can read the room for a general sense of a crowd, read facial and body language.
  39. 1 point
    I will bet there is a third edition rule I am using that I have never noticed changing. I play HERO, editions are irrelevant and ephemeral except to give everyone a base to start from. It is us to blame for paragraph long powers, we love to tinker and argue about the minutia - Steve simply tried to make it all clear. That took a LOT of words. Doesn't mean you have to use them. I don't have a favourite edition, I play HERO and I think arguing about details is pointless, especially as you can now download and play any edition you want.
  40. 1 point
    I play 6th end write for 6th. It has lots of ideas and concepts in it that are great and I strongly recommend people who play other editions definitely pick up and use. It has others I don't care for. But 4th is my favorite edition, as an emotional attachment. See, the poll wasn't "which is the best?" or "what do you recommend?" but "which do you like the most?"
  41. 1 point
    The 5th Edition is the ultimate evolution of the greatest RPG Character Creation System.
  42. 1 point
    Fourth edition for me as I primarily played Fantasy Hero and 4th edition Fantasy Hero was SO good. In fact for my current 6e Fantasy Hero game I have retained the weapon, armor and encumbrance charts from 4e as I feel they did a much better job of balancing the effectiveness of gear.
  43. 1 point

    Today's Dumb Criminal Story ...

    'Frosty had the last laugh': Vandal tries to run over giant snowman, hits tree stump instead
  44. 1 point

    Solar System Hero Campaign is a Go!

    I'm assuming all in-system travel involves acceleration to midpoint, and deceleration to the destination. This great chart is from Classic Traveller.
  45. 1 point


    Sitting with my back to the rest of the room. Maybe I was an Old West gunfighter in a prior life, but something about having to sit with my back to the room (because other people grabbed the good chairs) bothers me.
  46. 1 point
    Killer Shrike

    Hero Does It Better

    The Hero System definitely offers more options than most game systems for dialing things up or down to suit a desired outcome, and in the hands of a skilled GM who knows what they want for the campaign they are running that level of control can afford a "better" result than if using a system that does not offer such tunability. However, while I've had a lot of success over the years using the Hero System for a wide variety of genres at a similarly wide variety of power levels and grittiness, I'm also not blind to the cost of the game in my time as the GM or the learning curve for the average player. The question often isn't "does the Hero System do this better?"...to which the answer often is "yes" or at least "maybe". Instead the question more typically is "does this other system do it well enough and are there people who will agree to play it with me?". If time and players were abundant, I would likely still be using the Hero System for everything. But as they aren't, often times I'm looking for the game system I can wring the most amount of fun out of with the least amount of effort. Sad but true.
  47. 1 point

    The stench of death.

    I never google anything that sounds vaguely Japanese but thanks for the info.
  48. 1 point
    More than that: you can detect a person is lying. How much is he lying? Which part is he lying about? Is his body language lying, or are his words lying? If they don't match, one is a lie. Which one? Both? What part of his statement was a lie? The name? The place? The verb tense? It's useful, but-.. Well, I'd like to say that it is nowhere near as effective as people are worried that it will be, I suppose that's going to vary greatly from group to group, as it's almost entirely drama-based, and that's not something all groups make equally important, nor do equally well. If you have skilled dramatic group and a GM who is talented with stories, multiple plots, and cagey bad guys, then Detect:Lies is not only _not_ harmful to the story, it can actually add a bit to the mystery and the fun of the session. If complexity or in-character personal interaction is simplified or unimportant in your group, the Detect:Lies can rip a hole straight to the climax in no time. I wouldn't "stop sign" it out of hat (in truth, not only have I allowed it, but one of my youth group characters currently has it), but I would suggest that you think a bit about the style of games you run before allowing it.
  49. 1 point
    Brian Stanfield


    If you're curious, you can look at the GURPS Lite document for free. It's a very basic introduction to the game in 32 pages, which made me feel like I understood the game in 30 minutes, something I wish HERO would do . . .
  50. 1 point

    Futuristic Sports & Entertainment

    One of the PCs from my Planetary Romance campaign was, I supposed you'd call her, a geisha-assassin. She carried an electronic musical keyboard. Since music was part of her schtick, I thought I should come up with some background about the music of the planet Sard. I tied it in with the planet's pre-human inhabitants, the Monopods. -- DS THE MUSICAL MONOPODS It’s common knowledge that the Monopods were highly musical. Their languages were all tonal: Words changed their meanings depending on changes of pitch. Every time capsule contained lots of Monopod musical scores, and archeologists are quite sure the abstract, contrapuntal music held far greater meaning for Monopods than humans can perceive. The Monopods’ visual art also seems to incorporate musical concepts such as harmonic ratios, syncopation, counterpoint and polyrhythm. Most of the time capsules held copies of a musical collection dubbed the Great Canon. A canon is an instrumental version of a round, like “Row, row, row your boat.” Different voices might play at different pitches or tempos, or the principal theme might be played backwards or inverted so low notes become high and high notes become low. The fugue is a looser form of canon. Fugues and canons were the Monopods’ favorite musical form. As J. S. Bach showed, however, this extremely formal and mathematical form can also be a vehicle for intense and profound emotion. Bach’s supreme explorations of the form, The Art of the Fugue and The Musical Offering, had less than two dozen fugues each and none for more than six voices (the most achieved by any human composer). The Great Canon consists of 64 fugues, including one written for eight voices, a feat no human has equaled. Even more remarkably, the Great Canon shows the Monopods had emotions much like humans (which cannot be said for every alien race). Some sections of the Great Canon leave humans cold: They seem to portray emotional states humans don’t understand. Most parts, however, portray feelings humans can appreciate. The Great Canon seems to be a musical exposition of Monopod life and history. Some of the fugues use a single theme, which remains the same throughout the entire sequence. Fugues with four or more voices add secondary themes. The first eight fugues portray the rise of Monopod civilization. The first canon is entirely for percussion: “Bang the rocks together, guys.” It begins unsteadily, but ends as a confident, three-voice canon with rhythmic tricks that trip up careless players. The next six range from harsh, brutal evocations of war to a courtly dance. The eighth is a musical evocation of a factory assembly line, commemorating the start of industrial technology. Canons nine through 55 vary widely. Some evoke particular emotions. Others seem to be pure exercises in musical structure, though even the most abstract are pleasant enough to hear. The 56th is the high point of the Great Canon, a majestic, eight-voice fugue that evokes the triumph of a great civilization that thinks it can last forever. The last eight fugues portray the Monopods’ doom. The 57th canon takes the grand theme of the 56th and opposes it with a softly ominous theme that grows to overpower it — the approaching death-throes of Omicron(2) Eridani’s companion star. The succeeding fugues evoke the Monopods’ shock, struggle to save themselves, and rage at their failure. The 62nd canon is one of the grimmest musical portrayals of grief and despair known to humanity, while the 63rd is a pitiless funeral march. Tryka’s teachers told her stories of master musicians who used these fugues to drive enemies to suicide. The final canon, however, is a lullaby of infinite gentleness. “Go to sleep,” it seems to say, “You’ve had a long day and it’s time to rest.” Though written for only two voices and melodically spare, some musicians say mastering the Sixty-Fourth is literally the work of a lifetime. Tryka, of course, is completely familiar with the Great Canon and she can play most of them on her keyboard. (Fugues with four or more voices require multiple players, or a pipe organ or other instrument where the musician uses both hands and feet.) She learned the melody of the Sixty-Fourth when she was nine; when she was 16, she became a good enough musician to understand why her teachers said she can only master the Sixty-Fourth when she’s an old woman and has buried people she loved. Most audiences, however, do not ask for the last eight fugues in the Great Canon. Performances of the entire sequence take more than six hours and are understandably rare. Musicologists argue whether the Great Canon had one author or several. The style seems too unified for a collection of works by separate composers, but how could anyone be such a genius as to write all 64? Some musicologists point out, though, that the Monopods placed far less emphasis on the solitary artist than humans have in the last several centuries. Very few Monopod books or works of art have their authors named. These scholars say it’s quite possible that Monopod artists were actually committees whose members merged their individual talents into a collective genius. A few scholars even speculate about psionic gestalt-minds and other exotic possibilities. The truth may never be known: The Monopods couldn’t fit everything about themselves into their time-capsule vaults, and some facts they simply took for granted and didn’t bother explaining — but of course, the Monopods had no experience with aliens. They didn’t know that when dealing with other intelligences, nothing is obvious.
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