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  1. 9 points
  2. 6 points
  3. 6 points
    It doesn't "have to be" (those are your words and show up nowhere in the article) but it is certainly a reason to be considered. The merit of an artistic work is as much the message it is conveying as the technique and craftsmanship in producing the message as well sa the artfulness and effectiveness of presenting that message. How that art transforms (the whole point of art) is absolutely worth considering.
  4. 6 points
    The moron who wrote that article whines at length about Larson's hatred of white males, because of a comment she made about being interviewed mostly by white males. Here's what she actually said: She's clearly out of control.
  5. 5 points
    I have a sneaking fondness for The Sword and the Sorcerer. Not that good, but some cool visual moments, and that sword could have been designed by Q.
  6. 5 points
    dmjalund

    Funny Pics II: The Revenge

    I didn't expect that
  7. 5 points
    "It's not about you." --Ancient One, Doctor Strange
  8. 5 points
    RDU Neil

    Multipowers

    Totally off topic, but I always hated this "dig" at LotR because it was very obvious that the Giant Eagles or any openly moving force, could not make any headway into Mordor while THE EYE was still blazing. The entire trilogy is rife with examples of "any time we do anything open and obvious the Eye sees it and plans are crushed, we must sneak and hide and ultimately distract the Eye if we have any chance." The Eagle assault would have never worked, or even been considered under these clearly known circumstances. It was a bad internet meme that became a bad critique.
  9. 5 points
    Logan.1179

    Funny Pics II: The Revenge

    Chewie's Angels
  10. 5 points
  11. 5 points
    Killer Shrike

    Multipowers

    I say this with affection; as long as Duke is around no one can accuse me of being the worst offender in the category of extreme verbosity.
  12. 5 points
    Hope I remember how to do this right.
  13. 4 points
  14. 4 points
    Chris Goodwin

    GMing Danger Sense

    If you look at Danger Sense as being an Enhanced Sense and thus falling under Perception and so on and so forth... like Duke said, a cobble. And all the extras and Adders and whatnot are leading us to this discussion. I'd just go back to basics. What is the effect? If you make the roll, you get the feeling of being in danger; if you react, you get full DCV against it. If you make it by half or more, then you know the true nature and position of the danger and can act at full OCV. Done. I agree that the rest of the stuff opens up a can of worms and needs all the GM interpretation, and I agree that that seems to be why the warning symbol was added.
  15. 4 points
    mallet

    GMing Danger Sense

    Re-reading Danger Sense (6th Ed.) I believe that the danger sense roll is not effected or modified by range, darkness, or any other modifiers that normally apply to PER rolls. You just make your roll at whatever you have it at (11-, 12-, or whatever). The only limit at the "base level" of it is that it is something that could be detected by your normal senses. A sniper could be seen with normal eye sight (even if this sniper is super far away on a building roof top) but an invisible, odorless gas wouldn't trigger danger sense (at base level) because the character couldn't see or smell it even if he/she was already engulfed by it. I think this because : That clearly states that PER Roll penalties or even darkness or blindness do not affect your Danger Sense roll. The stuff later about using Danger Sense at a range (to cover different sized areas) just include the "no range penalties" bit, to make it clear that they are not needed even when using the power to cover a greater range, it doesn't mean that lower levels of the power suffer range penalties. It is written in the most clearest terms, no. Is it still very expensive for what you get, well that is up to the player and GM to decide. It would depend on how often the GM uses Surprise attacks against his players. Only once every 6-7 sessions, then no, definitely not worth the cost. If they happen 2-3 times a session then yes, it is probably worth it.
  16. 4 points
  17. 4 points
    Duke Bushido

    GMing Danger Sense

    Neither. I am running an older version of the game; I use a pre-cobble version of Danger Sense that has the gall to have its own mechanic. It has nothing to do with a perception roll. See above The push for uniformity is robbing the core of a lot of flavor.
  18. 4 points
    RDU Neil

    Combat luck and armor

    When you peel it apart it does look like a cobble, but our group loves Combat Luck, even with armor, but because it fits the cinematic action. It lets them have a modicum of comfort when being blasted with automatic gunfire that one lucky shot won't completely take them out. It does make hits to armor (less common/less coverage in modern action than fantasy) much less likely to penetrate, but in a game where taking any Body damage is serious, it just allows them to have more confidence in combat. As I've said elsewhere, if it was a more traditional Danger International (spies and private eyes, not action movies) I'd disallow or further nerf Combat Luck (like only damage resistance and doesn't stack). Edit: Combat Luck is something, in my experience, that looks like a horrible cobble/cludge on paper, but ACTUAL PLAY it works very simply and elegantly and affects play in a way that feels right. Ugly in construction, elegant in execution.
  19. 3 points
    Lucius

    Shooting With Intent to Miss

    You are working against yourself. You want, at the same time, to both nerf guns and have gunslingers be viable characters. I won't say you can't do that and succeed. But I will point out that when you have two contradictory intentions you can expect friction. Lucius Alexander The palindromedary approves of what you're trying to do and says to embrace the friction
  20. 3 points
  21. 3 points
    Cygnia

    In other news...

    The Jim Henson Company and Neil Gaiman Are Bringing Back The Storyteller
  22. 3 points
  23. 3 points
    Lord Liaden

    Funny Pics II: The Revenge

    Josie and the Wookiecats.
  24. 3 points
    Wait until you see the blipverts, they'll really make your head explode!
  25. 3 points
    Lucius

    Multipowers

    After Gandalf's speech there was a brief silence, and then the King of Eagles spoke. "Gandalf, I and my people hold you in high regard and greatly esteem your wisdom. But what you ask of me now seems the greatest folly. I am no wizard but I am not wholly without lore, and I know something of this Ring you speak of. It I were to bear it aloft into the sky, it would blaze like a beacon to the Eye of Sauron; within three beats of my wings he would know where it is, and if he bent his powers to beguile me, I cannot say I would not bear you and your small friend and the Ring straight to his doorstep. If he chose to blast rather than to beguile, or set his own winged servants upon us, I would not expect to reach the borders of Mordor alive. Indeed, it would likely cost my life to try to pass that border even if I did so alone and without carrying that treasure he would stop at nothing to reclaim. One does not simply fly into Mordor!" Lucius Alexander One does not simply ride a palindromedary into Mordor either.
  26. 3 points
    Lucius

    GMing Danger Sense

    Danger is constant, but by the very fact of being constant, sort of fades into the background - like a buzz so constant you stop hearing it. It becomes noticeable when the danger is physically close, or very large, i.e. if there are a large number of people in danger from a single cause. Probably by concentrating on it a character could know where is the closest person in serious danger, or by concentrating on a specific individual know if they're safe. They might also know if someone personally important to them is in danger...or at least have an uneasy feeling of SOMETHING WRONG even if they can't know their DNPC just got abducted by VIPER. Lucius Alexander Of course that's just my opinion and even the palindromedary ignores my opinion sometimes.
  27. 3 points
    massey

    Multipowers

    Summon Giant Eagles is also one of those campaign breakers. Gandalf's player tried to use it, and the GM flipped the table over and started ranting about how much time he'd spent prepping the game. "I even wrote a damn language for the elves!" he said. Finally he was like "you can't do that!" "I can too! I paid the points for it!" "No you can't! Because.... because... because the Nazgul have these like, big ass flying dinosaur things!" Then the GM reminded Gandalf that he hadn't chipped in for pizza for the last couple months, and Gandalf decided they'd just walk to Mordor.
  28. 3 points
    Schroedinger's edition? The Heisenberg Edition Uncertainty Principle? Frankenstein Hero? I dub it "Schroedenbergenstein's Edition"
  29. 3 points
    "The filmmakers behind “Black Panther” were intent on creating a vibrant Afrocentric world, and to bringing a culture Hollywood has habitually ignored or denigrated to glorious notice." While the above may be true, I don't think that is a reason to give the movie a Best Picture Oscar. It is a reason to give it a Socio-Political Awareness Award, if Hollywood ever invents one, but not a Best Picture Oscar. I feel that in the race to turn everything political, including all of our entertainment, Hollywood is forgetting that the vast majority of the time movies are simply that: entertainment, and not some grand platform for social change. If a movie has to be the celluloid equivalent of a Nelson Mandela to win an Oscar, then the entire industry is headed for a crash worthy of the Daytona 500.
  30. 3 points
    When I am working on a campaign (as I currently am) I give the kind of average, everyday level of things. I then have a straw man based on those numbers that I can compare characters to. So if the straw man has a 12D6 attack, CV8, DEF 20 (10 of that resistant), MCV 4, SPD 5, STUN 45 then I can work out how much damage, toe to toe the character might take and dish out. If the straw man fought the straw man I would see an average of 42 STUN and 12 BODY being fired at 20 DEF five times a round, that is 22 STUN through defences 62.5% of the time, five times a round or 13.75 STUN * 5 = 69 STUN a turn. These are short combats if folk just stand and whale at each other. It is a rough and ready reckoner but useful in that it shows what the baseline combat is and changes to the attacks/defences and SPD all contribute. I can also see where that leaves the combatants with regard to END (my straw men dont have such a consideration). I can quickly spot someone dishing out/taking far more than the campaign average and someone dishing out/taking far less than the campaign average and see whether that fits with the rest of the character. My preference is for attacks to be far superior to defences at baseline with characters able to ramp up defence and/or CV with corresponding compromises in offence or END use or something to begin to get a more dynamic combat. I have found that if defences dominate then it gets very boring. I want my characters to be worried about a big hit that takes them out and to work to deliver a big hit to take out an opponent. Obviously there will be the odd character that does have bigger defences (just to mix things up) and they tend to anchor combats for each side. Doc
  31. 3 points
    Chris Goodwin

    Free Equipment - Pros & Cons

    Wizards can teleport. Wizards can have 15rDEF without suffering horrific DCV penalties and END usage due to encumbrance. Wizards can throw lightning bolts or fireballs or ice blasts. Wizards can fly. Wizards don't have to count ammunition. Wizards can cause the plants and vines to come to life and grab their targets. This is why I'm never worried about free equipment. Wizards can also learn how to use swords and bows and so on, for that matter.
  32. 3 points
    Ha! Grandad!! congratulations...hope mother and child are doing well.
  33. 3 points
    I very much appreciate that. As for a system for quantifying Wisdom, well, that is probably what honest obituaries are for. I so want to put a smiley face in there, but, again, I'm not going to. I could probably build something in Hero to make me look wiser, but it would almost definitely involve Mental Illusions. No need to apologise to me: it wouldn't be half as much fun if we couldn't have a frank and honest discussion or were worried overly much whether out opinions and way of expressing them might offend anyone. It's been a weird week: I became a grandfather. Normal service will be resumed soon.
  34. 3 points
    Hugh Neilson

    Multipowers

    Something as simple as building a "not very tough" concept who is stunned by an average attack (and lacks compensations like high DCV so he is not often hit) or ignoring PRE because he's pretty nondescript, then discovering that most combats in this game/group start with a 6d6+ PRE attack, can crater a character pretty easily. The build needs to meet group standards to be effective, and stay within them to not be inordinately effective. Different groups also have different tolerances for variance in power level. I see comments on line about "PC X has ability Y and the other players are griping that he is 'too effective". In my group, the players would more likely look at Player X and note "ability Y is really effective - what can the rest of us do to help Player X do that more often, and synergise with it?", as they tend to play a team game, not a bunch of little solo games. Simple example - first 3e d20 game, it took a bit to realize that new Sneak Attack was pretty effective. At about L5 or L6, the fighter realized his job was to move around, suck up some hits if needed, but get the Rogue into flanking position. Those "character tax" combat expertise, mobility and spring attack feats on the way to Whirlwind Attack were actually way more useful than expected...
  35. 3 points
    Duke Bushido

    Multipowers

    Yes. That is precisely what I am saying. in regards to published characters: Outside of the Champions rule book (2e), I had _no_ published anything for many years. I had access to 1e, as it's what my first Champions GM used, and what I first learned to play. I have posted this repeatedly, but will, for the sake of this discussion, re-post it here: I never cared for pre-printed adventures. There is a laundry list of reasons, but let's go with the single biggest one: they are tied to the main published setting, which poses two almost-immediate problems: either they are static forever, without regard for what your PCs have done to effect change in the universe or 2) they change in ways that make absolutely no sense in regard to the direction your game went. Considering also at the time that most of us were in or just finishing college, money wasn't the sort of thing we were intimately familiar with, so any excuse not to have to hunt up some was valid. Thus, no: we had _no_ published material. Shortly before BBB hit the stands, I picked up a discounted copy of Champs II and a used copy of Champs III. I read into them just enough to discover that there were _not_ actually newer versions of the game, so I immediately logged them as "supplemental stuff tied to a game universe I don't need or care about,"relegated them to a bookshelf, where they would remain for well over a decade. They would not get read cover-to-cover until the internet became a thing and, when I finally got curious enough to pop in one of those AOL disks (after buying a modem) that paved the streets at that time. BBB came out. I bought it and the brown paper cover "HERO System," assuming it to be something different from Champions. Read it. Saw some of the character samples and thought "these people are smoking crack!", particularly in light of the section in there discussing the "types of players" and how obviously these were being designed by whatever it was they were calling the munchkin (I don't remember anymore). As you well know, as I only very recently posted it, I rather liked 4e. The campaign stuff was useless to me, but the rest of it I rather liked. Never moved into it because my players at the time weren't interested, realistically we had a few house rules in play here and there that already did what most of the stuff I was interested in did. Players weren't interested in learning anything new, so we cribbed a few things here and there and my wonderful 4e, to my dismay, became a coloring book for player's children, and a few players. I gave the brown soft cover away up realizing that it was the same as BBB, but will less stuff. Most importantly, it didn't say Champions. So at that point, I had Champions 2e, Champs 2 and 3, still unfinished, and BBB, ready twice, popped my eyes at how radically different the characters were from what we had been playing. I had the owner of my favorite game shop tell me that there was going to be a Western "game" using Champions rules. I got really pumped. I had let the other genre books slide (not really understanding that they were more than just "theme" books: there were some interesting rules ideas, adventure ideas, etc--- but I didn't know all that. I just thought "eh" and let them pass. By that point, I owned Star HERO (the original), Champions 2e (though I was on like my second replacement for that), Champs II and III, still never finished, and the original Fantasy HERO, which I had read once to convince myself I wouldn't like it. I didn't manage to convince myself of that, and was a bit surprised. I waffled over picking up a new game, since Champions had been my de-facto running gear for every genre for many, many years at that point. It just didn't seem necessary. I waffled over it for a couple of months, but on launch day, I picked it up: to this day, it remains the _only_ "reference book" I have ever bought new, and I kicked my butt all up and down the street at the "waste" of money that could have been better-spent on groceries. But I _loved_ that book. That book became soft, fat, ratty, and filthy with use. It became our new backbone for non-supers games. Yes; it was just Champions, which we were doing anyway, but there was so much "normal guy" stuff in there that it just about _lived_ on the table. But I digress, which I really was trying to make a point of not doing. One day it hit me that the internet might have one of those "chat room things" where other gamers hung out. I might be able to meet other hero gamers (they had gotten thin in my area at that time, and I had been getting my fix at a D&D table rented at the game store. All the other tables were filled with Magic: the Marketing games. I learned that I don't care for CCGs by trying to learn a little bit. The game store owner, of course, loved them: they were paying his rent. At any rate, I had heard all the dangers or the internet, and how many freaks and weirdoes were out there. Well surely that included _my_ kind of freaks and weirdoes, and against my budget, my "good judgement" based on popular opinion of the day, and the protestations of my wife about how we would catch a computer virus that burn the house down, I popped in one of those AOL disks and started looking for other players. Two weeks later I found contact information for four of them. The only thing eventful to come from that was that I "met" Derrick Hiemforth (apologies for any misspellings there) right after hatching a plan to collect favorite house rules from other players, bundle them, and exchange them. You see, I _really_ had no idea how the internet worked. I thought that was something that would be useful! Derrick, ascertaining that I was completely out of touch with the internet, mentioned to me there was no reason for this project to continue, as there were a million sites where people put up and shared their house rules already, and he pointed me to the Circle of Heroes and the old Red October board. And all this time, every published book I had owned could be counted on one hand, and two of them I had never finished reading. There began to circulate news that a guy who had written stuff for HERO "way back when" had bought the copyright and was looking to put forth a new edition. That news led me to this board-- well, a much older version of it, but this board, nonetheless. I discovered eBay while looking around for book finders, which were still a thing then, but well on their way out. I had learned of all kinds of books like Western HERO from the internet, and I wanted to read them all! (unfortunately, i had started with the best one, so it was a bit of a disappointment when I finally did manage to secure Cyber HERO and Horror HERO. (I ended up getting them from a book finder service; i got burned the very first time I tried eBay, which did little to change my mind about the horrors of the internet. I trusted no one without a physical address and a phone number. Still have problems with that, but I'm getting better). In the meanwhile, I had located more HERO players, and lost interest in the internet: I had done what I needed to do with it, after all. They were playing Fantasy, using this gorgeous book called "Fantasy HERO," but it looked _nothing_ like mine. They had that one, too, mind you, but they also a book very much like Western HERO, only for Fantasy. They also had Fantasy HERO Companion II, which I _did_ read, simply because Western HERO had been great, and Fantasy HERO had a lot of interesting "new" stuff in it. FHC II was, in my opinion at the time, useless. No more than the GM looked at it, I don't think he had a great opinion of it, either. I don't know what to call the first Fantasy HERO-- I am told it was 3e rules, but that was the only rules book they had on the table. I didn't care, because it was pretty much the system I loved. After playing with them for about a year, I ended up back in the GM seat and ran fantasy for a bit before tempting them with other genres. This was where my Western occult game went down. It started out as Western, but it was clear that the players were missing the magic and mystery they got from fantasy, so I worked it in, with a few angles and twists not common to Fantasy. It was almost Voodoo. They loved it, and that game went on for nearly four years. This was the point at which I decided I really wanted to pen a supplement to Western HERO, and bought a couple of sourcebooks from the clearance rack at the game store to use as guides for how to format, how to layout, and most importantly for me: how to _edit_ so that the extraneous did not fill the body of the work. One of the books in the bin was "Old West," and I took that as a shoe-in, since it would likely have a reference list to get me started on my own research. I read Old West (GURPS 3e) and decided I couldn't do better than that if I _prayed_ for talent. I kept that book. Still have it. Recently picked up a second copy for PDF-ing purposes. During that time, some interesting things happened: Near the end of that game, 5e came out. At the mid-point of that game, the father of my first Champions GM had died. Between these two events, his mother had a fatal stroke. He came back to Georgia to settle family affairs, and I helped him clean out the house and donate what was worthy of donation and to discard what wasn't. There were two bedrooms _filled_ with his old comic book collection. He took it to the local comic store and simply gave it to them. He took his gaming stuff (which was _far_ more substantial a collection than I had remembered) to the game store a few towns away (our favorite one) and simply gave them all of that. He gave me his HERO-related stuff. I protested that he should keep it, and he simply said "Duke, I haven't looked at it in twenty years. My kids are into video games and dont care about gaming and my brother thinks he outgrew it. And mostly, I don't want a damned thing from out of that house. I just couldn't look at it." There was.... well, I hate to say it, but there was pretty much _everything_ from first edition all the way through third, except for the first edition box set of rules, which he had taken to Nevada with him when he finally found a post-college job. I looked through it. I kept the two versions of 3e, because they were Champions. There was the glue bound book and there were the contents of the boxed set (no box, no dice, but yet another map). I never read them, either. Partly because I didn't like the covers (nothing against the art itself: I make no secret that I really enjoy William's particular style), but there was something in the composition of that picture that was off-putting. That freaky add on the back cover just made it worse. I thumbed through them, saw the layout, and for some reason thought "Oh; it's a re-packaged Champions III. I don't need that." (the bound "campaign book" struck me as evidence that I had been right, and Champions II and II were simply more published adventures and the rules on how to make cars, which we didn't need, either). I mean never read them. As in to this moment: 2:41 AM eastern, February 17, 2019, I have never read them. Closest I've been to reading them is thumbing through them. I have laid the map out with the three other maps from my various 2e sets bought over the years to create a large map, but that's not really reading the books, is it? I bought 5e and Sidekick (liked Sidekick better) and based on the recommendations of many people on the internet had my 5e bullet-stopper spiral bound. I have regretted very few things more than I regretted that. I've promised myself not to do that to anything, ever again. I would _like_ to replace it with another bound copy, but it's a really low priority. As I was saying, I was going through Jim's old books and noticed that everything that wasn't the 3e rules books were either Villains books or published adventures. I had no want of any of them, and never bothered reading them. I spent the next few months giving them away to players or trading them for other 4e genre books. I bought Tuala Morn because I liked the lettering on the cover. Fortunately, I enjoyed the contents. That was the first 5e book I bought outside the rule book. I began to wonder if it was possible for me to scan my 2e book, which was succumbing to abuse the way the first two had. I didn't want to pull it apart in case the project failed, so I offered up Champs III for the experiment. Besides, it could stand some repair: years and years of being slid off the shelf by the gaming table to be used as a coaster were taking their toll on the cover. I won't say that the project was a staggering success, but it was successful enough for me to keep going. I also have three "brand new" Champions III books with wrongly-repair cover art and spots of noise here and there (there are three because of some confusion on the part of the printer). They are also printed on the wrong paper: they're on glossy magazine-type paper. I began a serious campaign to collect up the 4e books. I _like_ 4e. My old GM set the precedent for me, and I didn't even realize it: he never used those books he had, but he collected them for some personal reason anyway. I don't know why, exactly, unless it was the same issue I had been expecting: after a few games, your setting and the published setting don't mesh anymore. And why use someone else's villains when making them was so much fun? Recently-- very recently, in fact: mid-July of last year, I found myself with a slightly expanded budget (at the cost of considerably less free time). That is when I sat down in earnest to collect (and in the case of what my GM had given me, "re-collect") the books I don't have. Even then, it's not so i can read them. It's simply so I can make sure that they are somehow preserved for everyone, for any future HERO fans who might just want "catch 'em all." Did I have to tell you _all_ this? No. But I tell it to you and to anyone else who might still be paying attention so that you will know where I have been coming from on all those occasions I stated clearly that i never picked up published material, always viewing it as "too little, too late" or "out of touch with my own games." And mostly, so will know where I am coming from when I state, yet again, and with complete honesty: NO! No, I did _NOT_ see those examples of bizarrely-inflated characteristics. _NO_; I did not have access to published material in any useful form. _YES_, it is entirely possible to play, enjoy, and downright _love_ the game without having to buy every single scrap of paper related to it. _NO_, those published characters clearly aren't necessary. _NO_, you don't even need "examples" of how to build a character to get a game going, just rules on how to do it. _NO_, there is absolutely no need to use the work of a complete stranger as some kind of benchmark for your builds. _YES_, even officially-liscenced, written-by-brand-name-guy-X, published-by-the-guys-who-made-the-rules supplemental material _is_ _supplemental_, and totally unnecessary in every way, shape and form to the playing of them game-- and I don't even know what else. Those are the high spots: No; never saw that crap. No; never needed that crap. No; never wanted that crap, until very recently, and even then only as a source for creating a digital archive of those things for which there are not already available PDFs. The only things I want are 4 and 5e genre books (because, while I didn't like Dark Champions, I _do_ like Steve's setting books. The man has wicked crazy research skills) and any stand-alone games from 5 and 6. I think I have all three from 6 (there are only 3, right?) and Basic, which I got because-- hey, one thin book. Last week I got my revised Sidekick- because, again: one thin book with all the rules you need. And it looks nice next to my Sidekick. 1) _YES_, every time I sit down to play. 2) You have my sympathy. Again, YES! Buying up figureds because it was appropriate to what was in the player's mind when he made the character, or my mind when I made the NPC. Did you even read any of the conversations I thought we'd had in the past on this and similar subjects? Or have I just been having extensive non-versations with myself while answering your questions? We have had this _exact_ bit of information exchanged between us, and on more than one occasion. You know what's funny? You do things like your teachers. I was taught "get an idea, then make the sheet match that idea!" It was fresh and it was _so_ exciting, particularly coming from my previous gaming experience, _all_ of which was "roll these dice and that's your guy." Worse, Traveller (which I still love, for the record): Uhm.... my guy died. I haven't even played him yet. Why can he die before he gets played?! "Well, that's to add a gamble to keep you from going to crazy trying to gain another couple of skills or mustering out bennies. Makes you not want to be as old when you start adventuring, too! It's a _great_ idea!" But he's dead! I've been working on him for twenty minutes, and now I have to start over because the rules include spontaneous abortion?! What the Hell, Man?! So I played the game the way I was taught. And when I taught other people how to play, guess how I taught them? The way I was taught. Guess how they play? And it's not a unique thing: I've joined into groups as a player that play very much the same way: concept-first. And conversations like this lead me to wonder just how much their creativity or desired conceptions were hampered by the extra money they could afford to spend. As to the points-efficiency of published characters: I don't doubt it. Of late, I have seen it, now that, at 58, I can _finally_ afford to pick up some of that stuff from the past. Partly due to a slight rise in budget, and mostly due to a considerable drop in cover price. But it's just like this board: The people that are that deeply involved in a hobby are going to exchange lots of information, and eventually get really damned judgmental about what's the "right" way to have fun. There are people that will simply kowtow and start doing things your way. But there are a few people who will tell you that I've got plenty of milk, and don't need you pissing in my corn flakes; thanks all the same.
  36. 3 points
    Sure. The Dreyfus model of skill acquisition speaks to this tendency. In that model the move from Competent to Proficient to Expert is characterized by a shift in explicit, implicit, and tacit knowledge. Other competing theories of skill acquisition have different spins, but it is fairly well accepted that intuition, chunking, and understanding of nuance are common characteristics of mastery in many fields. I started playing in 4e, but I self-bootstrapped and spread the game to others. I didn't encounter another person who already played the Hero System for a handful of years. I proceeded from what the rulebook said and made things with it. What I found later when I began to interact with other players outside the circle of those I introduced the system to is that a large part of how many other people used the game was apocryphal or based on tradition rather than rules based. I noticed a tendency towards a certain cookie-cutter approach for character and campaign designs, a self-gimping of the systems capabilities, a straightjacket of convention restraining creativity. I speak of course largely of campaign caps. Initially, I thought...well...maybe the way I've been doing it was wrong. Maybe these people know something I don't know. So I gave it a go. I used "recommended" point caps, tried various versions, DC and DEF, or AP, or RC, or some combination, or various "Rule of X" schemes. No matter what approach is used, there will be at least one number and as soon as there is a hard number, it becomes the defacto minimum value for most players, and ways to sneakily exceed that number begin to creep into character builds. Character design stopped being about modeling a cool character, and started becoming an exercise of building to the allowed maximums and bending a character around whatever is left. Characteristics inflated across the board. Players sat down to make a new character, and just started assigning values to well known characteristics sweet spots, resistant defenses, an attack of XD6 where X is the max, and oh yeah what was this character's shtick again? Add some stuff for that. Good to go. The definition of what's appropriate to a campaign as expressed entirely in combat effective values for attack and defense immediately puts players into the mode of metagaming for combat effectiveness instead of character concept mode. Hard limits on AP or RC cause defining abilities with powers to become a metagame exercise to work within the caps rather than an attempt to model the character's concept as accurately as possible. Rules of X vary, but whatever characteristics or values are used within a given Rule of X become the target of min maxing to work within. Just, meh, no thank you. After a bit I just went back to doing it the way I started out doing it, holistically. All was well and character building returned to being about expressing the character first, and the cookie-cutterness effect diminished quickly. Agreed. This is the sort of "cookie cutter" narrow approach to the game that I refer to on occasion. Gamist and unimaginative and uninteresting, in my opinion. Yes. And that brings me to a point that I've raised in the past, only to get mostly blank looks and crickets. The Hero System naturally has a hard cap on character abilities, and that is character points themselves. As soon as the GM chooses the number to determine how many cp characters will get in an upcoming campaign, they have put a hard cap on all of those character's capabilities. It is a very effective cap unto itself. Furthermore (in my opinion, obviously), the wonderfulness of the Hero System is its nearly boundless capabilities, its flexibility, its open endedness. I have been made to realize over the years that many people are uncomfortable with that sort of open sandboxy freedom and prefer to limit and restrict and confine their options to something they feel more comfortable dealing with. And that's fine, I guess, for people who prefer smaller surface areas of possibility. However, there is much to be gained by unclenching a little and allowing more diversity in character capabilities within a campaign. The game is robust; it can handle it.
  37. 3 points
    Cygnia

    "Neat" Pictures

  38. 3 points
    Duke Bushido

    Multipowers

    Hugh: With all sincerity and all respect, you know I _love_ discussing just about anything with you. But we are not going to be able too discuss this. Our experiences with the game have been too different. You can't accept, for whatever reason; presumably your own experience with the game, that there are a shocking number of us who play this game and don't give a rat's runny crap about "what the math says" in terms of X better than Y because two steps from now, and when you factor in-- and on and on. If I got my joy from that-- well, I got my first RPG (Traveller) at a book store. They had calculus text books, too. I didn't leave with one of those, though. I am not math ignorant. I don't even find math particularly difficult. But fun? As far as fun, I'd put it somewhere around having a colonoscopy done with a golf umbrella that had to be opened before extraction. I spend, like a lot of other people, the best part of my working day juggling numbers, running math, etc. And the reason I get _paid_ to do it is because it is not fun, which makes it hard to find volunteers. When I have a bit of time to relax, you can damned well bet "doing math" isn't on my list of things I might do. And I'm not alone in that. I'm not even a minority in that. According to stories you stumble across now and again on the news and on the net, I live in a country _dominated_ by a general dislike of recreational math (why do you think the most common complaint against HERO is "it's so.... Mathy..."?) Do I ignore the math? No. It has to be tracked so you can get your totals or what-have-you. It has to be figured so when a proposed Limitation or Advantage pops up you can get a good idea just how much discount or additional charge is being suggested; all that "let's get our concepts down on paper and start the game" stuff. Am I going to diddle around with it so I can see which power has the best chance of inflicting an extra pip of BODY every four uses? Frack no; I ain't. And there are those of you to whom that is part of the fun, or in some sense of "more fair" becomes important, and is broached with introductions that suggest your lack of understanding of how a large number of us play concept-first: things like "but you'll be hobbled against the other players" or "voluntarily being the least powerful at the table" or "outclassed by your teammates..." You don't seem to really appreciate that this is not happening because _none_ of us are interested in points effectiveness, splitting and round overs, squeezing out another pip every seventh shot, making sure we spend every single character point we are allotted, spiking up dead to the campaign limits, or any of that other "but the math is the best part!" stuff. None of us. Not one single player. You can't get your heads around that any more than we can understand why the hell you _would_ waste all your play time trying to figure it all out. In short: it's not you. It's not us, either. It's the simple fact that we are so far away from each other (semi-formal plural, of course, meaning the two "camps" of play style) that we can't understand each other enough to discuss what the rules "need" or the "proper use" of a mechanic or the "perfection" of a system or even the validity of a character construct in any meaningful way.
  39. 3 points
    Duke Bushido

    Multipowers

    Not a mechanical problem. "Concept" and "permissiveness" are always going to require interpretation and judgement. Mechanics can't do that for you. Even at that, it all boils down to faulty logic: EC= bad while "Pool" = totally valid. While there was a great discount for powers in an EC, you still had to, even at a discount, buy the things, and individually. The discount makes it wrong. Fine. I'll just buy _one_ big power, and turn it into any stinkin' power I want. Okay. That's acceptable. There's a flaw here, Sir. A big one. That flaw is "hey! This has a specific mechanic, so it's A-okay by default. Plus, they don't have to have the same SFX: it can be flight via rocket boots, and energy blast by manipulation of his bio-electic field, and armor via the skin of a werewolf. But it's okay, because there's a mechanic that specifically says it is. Since it completely cuts the GM and his feeble mind out of the process, it's more perfecter. I used to care, because I'm not about making stirring a pot for no reason, but I don't care anymore if anyone grasps this, but YES! Not only _have_ I seen it, I see it _a lot_. Partly because I haven't seen (in a supers game) a Killing Attack in _years_! I just recently concluded one game (I mentioned looking forward to it closing, as I really wanted more time for my scanning project), but I'm still involved in two others, and I flat do not _care_ if anyone else understands it or accepts it anymore, but point-blank: These take-advantage-the-rules pinch-penny loophole-raping buy-in-perfect-multiples-and-multipliers-to-skin-a-point players are creatures of *)_&**^&%%^ FICTION for my own experience the last couple of decades. I have run into _one_ serious rules-rapist, over thirty years ago, and it was such a phenomenal departure from the norm that I still remember him and call him by name even on this board (just in case you lurk here, Davien!). My groups aren't isolated. I've moved several times and pick up new groups. I travel considerable distances to play in other groups (I believe I've talked about that, too). Without any sort of exaggeration, I can easily say that since I really picked up the hobby I have been fortunate enough to play with over two hundred different people, at one time or another. I have met _ONE_ player who actually is the guy everyone is so damned terrified of that the rules have to be changed to eliminated the millions and millions of him that are so clearly crawling all through this hobby. Yet every week, someone on this board posts yet another reason the rules need further tweaking and further breaking down and further departure-- it's all become micro-micro-micro-micromanagement, and the only people I see posing an actual threat to breaking the game under any rules sets _are_ the people advocating for this stuff. Why? because apparently they are the only ones who are interested enough in or have the free time to study just how it can be done. Everyone else wants to build a character and have an adventure- -explore some jungle ruins, defend a frontier town, broker peace with another galaxy, end the vampire menace, or swoop in from the skies, bouncing bullets from their chests to save the helpless citizens from some sinister plot of Doctor Twisted. Granted, I totally understand that there is a group of people who get just as much fun by not actually playing the game, and just docking around with the rules (damn you, autocorrect!) looking for the Snipe of "perfect balance." The only place I find those people, though, is _here_. Online. (not like: Here, on this board-- though I'm sure there are probably one or two here, too. I mean "here" as in "when I go looking for people interested in the game as a hobby, I find those people online more than I _ever_ have in real life. Sorry for the long clarification: I want it to be clear that I'm not calling out anyone nor am I interested in picking a fight. I seriously don't care enough anymore.) I have to wonder what would have happened to the rules if Steve had decided to compose his sounding board group of people who actually played the game and were interested _only_ in how to make the final experience: actually _playing the game_... more rewarding. Thank you. Thank you for supporting my point from some weeks ago: There are those people who are simply unable to make a character without putting point maximizing as the priority. For Supers, I have _never_ had a Killing Attack. Not under _any_ edition, ever. My favorite archetype, in the early years, was the brick (not being a comic-book savvy young man, I found the brick to be the easiest to get behind. Fortunately, my play groups over the years would add to my comics knowledge and appreciation, but that would be years to come. Even then, I _still_ don't do Killing Attacks for Supers of _any_ type. I don't disallow them, mind you, but I don't do them myself for player characters.) And you have also supported-- not proven, mind you: you are only one person, and I'm not unscientific enough to accept that as a reasonable sample-- but you have supported my developing hypothesis that, even though I value conversations with you personally, Hugh, and many, many others on this board, it is simply _not possible_ to reconcile the extremes at which we play the game. I have to assume-- as it makes perfect sense: you've been playing a long time, after all-- that in your experience, the Welfare Man rules-rapist players are, if not _normal_, certainly very common. Within my experience, all but one single individual (the one who tried to hand me a character with "the Elemental Control of being hard to hurt"), has been concept-first from day one. We (not you and me, but "the types of players you are familiar with" and "they types of players I am familiar with" get very different rewards from the game, and thus have very different needs from the rules. Unfortunately for the people on my end of the spectrum, every step of the rules that takes it further and further from "do what you want" to "do it this way" makes it of less and less use, and therefore appeal, to this of us on this end. At this point, I don't truly believe that we can really hit a well-rounded middle ground simply because that's where we _started_, many editions ago, back when we had enough in common to understand each other. As it is, in the interest of _not_ wanting to start yet another conversation on the same topic ("points effectiveness, perfectness of rules, need for more mechanics"), and in the interest of preserving the civility of things thus far, and in large part out of my respect for you and others who feel as you do, I will take my "stupid," non-KA-using self out of this conversation. It's not like I've got a lot of interest invested in the last two editions where so many things were "fixed" anyway. Fine. I get it. I'm stupid. The people I have played with since adopting Champions / HERO are all stupid. Damn us for fools, we thought building the character we want would give us a sense of investment in the game and we built to make the concept in spite of the clearly inferior flaw of leaving points on the table or pouring them down a drain. We were stupid. Stupid or not, the point is that we _did_ it. And as many groups as I've drifted in and out of, I have seen many, many other people do it, too. Majority? Doubt it. One tiny, statistically-irrelevant fractional percentage of all the people who ever played? Doubt that, too, but it's possible. The only players in all of human history to do it? Oh man, do I doubt that! Enough to suggest that maybe people who really wanted to build to concept did it, without tweaks and twirps and a complete remodeling of the rules? Yes, I think so. But keep in mind that may not matter, because the math guys have formulaically proven our intellectual inferiority for being willing to do this, when it so clearly marks us as stupid. Clearly. Either the correct, split and shave every point way, or the stupid way. We've established that. I still do this. I think a lot of us do, really: it's a great balance between the inherent inequality of concepts. While we strive to give every player equal screen time, en masse, it's difficult to manage things so that every single character is just as important or just as vital to every part of the scene. So we include bits here and there. When the flying energy projectors are protecting the doomsday machine's power generators until it's fully charged, and there aren't enough of them on your side to keep them engaged, perhaps the Martial Artist can block and deflect attacks away from the telekineticist long enough for her to push her TK Smash high enough to damage the machine...... Beyond that, it tends to work well for players. In the early days, I thought everyone would want to be "_the_" something; I thought it might be vital to ensure a more solid team. I was wrong. There are those players who _don't_ want to be a specialist. They want to dabble in everything. Well when Greased Lightning has been incapacitated, sometimes it's nice to have a "pretty fast" guy to help take up the slack, and perhaps he can get creative with his other abilities to temporarily make up for what he lacks in speed next to ol' GL. That being said, I think it's more than reasonably character building, I think it's important for the group of players as a whole. There are two ways I allow Multipowers. I hit on both of them above, detailing one a bit; the other I don't think needs it. Anything beyond those two justifications is just the EC points-grab, all over again, only this time it's okay because there's a better mechanic. I am sure there is some sort of math that proves me wrong, completely and totally, but being stupid, I'm used to it.
  40. 3 points
    I think I got sloppy about clarity somewhere in the reply chain. Let me be more formal. Assume: Defenses are generally bought relative to attacks such that a NND attack against a "normal" opponent and a blast of the same AP have roughly equal STUN output. Based on the guidelines in FRED and the characters I have seen made by my group, posted on the forum, and in published materials, I believe this to be a reasonable assumption for superheroic play. Let character A have a pair of N point attack powers that are able to be used in a multiple power attack. Let character B have a single N point reserve multipower with N points spent on ultra slots containing attacks. Omit consideration of other powers A or B may have. Observation: A can multiple power attack, B cannot. Observation: B can flexibly change the defense they are targeting, A cannot. Conclusion: A will have greater raw output, but be highly susceptible to variation caused by their target's characteristics. B will experience the inverse, with a stable but lower output.
  41. 3 points
  42. 3 points
    Cygnia

    "Neat" Pictures

  43. 3 points
    Doc Democracy

    Free Equipment - Pros & Cons

    In almost every game I play now I have dispensed with equipment lists and resources. It is too much trouble for me and harshes the buzz of the game. Sometimes, when access to equipment might be an issue I ask the players to write down the things they currently have in their possession based on their character descriptions. The police officer guy will have a gun as well as a radio without any explanation, the physicist might actually be carrying a geiger counter (though I might make him explain why) and the rock star will not be allowed to have that axe until I realise he was talking about his guitar... I am open to players having the things that they think their characters would have because it helps them better visualise the character in the game. Most players do not then seek to push the boundaries and they are usually better policed by the other players than by me. In HERO, all this kit is fine to be available without a single point spent, just like it is in other games. I get the players to spend their points on the things that make their character stand out. I have moved in a more narrative direction as I got older. Doc
  44. 3 points
    Hmm. I'm not sure I can get behind the idea that any power that is more than you need is surplus to requirements, at least if you mean what you seem to mean. Very few actual characters built by players are ever going to buy a NND as their only major attack: it is going in a MP. You also almost never see an Entangle outside a MP, or a Flash. There are many other examples. The problem with MPs is not the mechanic, as such, but the way it seems to be habitually used - to cover a wide range of bases to make characters effective in a wide range of situations because that is play-efficient rather than because that realises a concept. A lot of example characters I have seen are guilty of that. You get powers with really complex builds that are there for synergy rather than anything else or powers that are situational. You'd never splash out on that particular power if you were paying full points. Well, almost never. Remember Starburst (I think that was his name, could have been Opal Fruit) from 1eChampions? He had a MP with an attack, defence and movement power in it, IIRC. He was damn interesting to run.
  45. 3 points
    I thought Psylocke's costume worked great onscreen, but the obvious fanservice doesn't set a great example.
  46. 2 points
    Just in case someone thought this was real and the spokesperson was just being metaphorical, I should point out that site has "UK Spoof News and Satire" emblazoned at the top. Though honestly, if that's what it takes to keep her from announcing her candidacy, I'll contribute the chair and sock. Heck, I'll even be nice and make it a nice clean sock.
  47. 2 points
  48. 2 points
    IndianaJoe3

    Genre-crossover nightmares

    Citizen Kong
  49. 2 points
    Like all of his moves as President, this one is calculated to please his base of support and the conservative pundits he listens to. Even if it ultimately fails, he'll be able to claim he did everything he could to make his wall happen. And then most likely blame Democrats, disloyal Republicans, the news media, and anyone else he can think of, as he has before.
  50. 2 points
    Powder of Portal Perception: (Total: 7 Active Cost, 1 Real Cost) Access (Hidden (-2 to Skill Rolls)) (7 Active Points); OAF Expendable (Very Difficult to obtain new Focus; -1 1/2), 3 Charges (-1 1/4), Gestures (Requires both hands; -1/2), Incantations (-1/4) (Real Cost: 1) Lucius Alexander Did a palindromedary eat my tagline?
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