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Showing content with the highest reputation since 12/24/2018 in all areas

  1. 7 points
    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.
  2. 7 points
    Cygnia

    Funny pics

  3. 6 points
    Cygnia

    Funny pics

  4. 6 points
    Cygnia

    Funny pics

  5. 6 points
    First off, I did not write this. KA wrote this many moons ago and published it in a thread right here on this forum. The problem is I doubt I could find it after all these years. However, as I recognized the wisdom he was bestowing on us all, I saved it to my hard drive. I now pass it on to all of you here today. Building a Campaign for Newbies by KA I am basing this on the problems I have had over the years introducing new players to Champions, and some of the solutions that seem to work. They may not work for you, but here they are. 1) Start with comics. If you don't own, and don't want to buy, the kind of comics you hope to recreate in your campaign, check your local library, or the 25 cent bin at the local comics store. Find things that very closely match the kind of world you want to have. (See below for suggestions on that) Insist that the players do their "homework" by reading at least some of these before you even begin to create characters. You will save yourself endless frustration if you and the players are on the same page before you get going. 2) Plan a day with each player to create their character, individually, in private, and run through at least a simple scenario. One player at a time. This will give you much more of a chance to get the player "into" their character. They will also be able to try out powers and see what they do, try out skills etc. My advice would be to come up with a scenario that allows for multiple solutions. A bank robbery with one or two hostages. A kidnapping. Gathering intelligence on a Viper base. You can run each character through the same thing, since you will be doing it one player at a time. This will give them a good idea of what their character can do, and what they might want to change. Be sure to let them know that this is a "simulation" or something, that doesn't count in the actual campaign. The easiest way to kill a new campaign is to have a bunch of players who don't know who their character is supposed to be and what he can do. They all just wander about, either killing everything they meet or doing nothing at all. Or the one "alpha male" Player starts bossing everyone around, and all the rest of the pack establish a pattern of just doing what they are told and never making any decisions. If you let each player get the feel of their character first, without the other players around, they will act more like the teams in the comics do. 3) No matter where you want your campaign to eventually end up, I would try to start out fairly close to Silver Age. Why? Well for one thing, it is not hard to darken a campaign as you go along. The players can find out that Police are corrupt, Friends can't always be trusted, etc. But it is almost impossible to lighten one. Players that aren't used to the Superheroic Genre will often act like they are The Punisher with a better gun. They will see no reason not to just kill anyone who gets in their way. Which means you will quickly have The Authority on your hands. The characters will have done things that no society would accept in the name of "right". The society will react by attempts to capture, incarcerate, or kill the characters, in turn feeding their anger and paranoia, and you will quickly end up in a showdown where the characters will either rule the Earth or be buried under it. You need to let the players get the feel of being Heroes. Give them the chance to actually do some good. Don't taint every victory with some sort of negative side effect. Some campaigns seem to run on the theory that "No good deed goes unpunished." GM: "You know that little girl you rescued from the fire last week? She was actually the clone of Hitler's mother. A neo-Nazi group is going to rapidly age her into a teenager and create a Fourth Reich of genetically enhanced Hitler clones that release hard radiation out of their testicles. Even if you kill all the Radioactive Hitlers, millions of people are going to develop cancer just because they were using the subways to travel around and everything is contaminated." Even if you don't want things to be clean and perky all the time, allow the players to actually help some people and accomplish something in the beginning. For instance, you could have UNTIL gradually become corrupt and/or anti-metahuman over the course of the campaign, due to internal problems, outside influence, etc. rather than having the players start in a world where basically everything was against them. Heroes struggling to do the right thing in an imperfect world, is a lot more interesting than cynical jaded beings with powers, doing morally neutral things, in a cynical jaded world. But if the players start out feeling like "everyone is against them" they will quickly descend into a Rusty Iron Age mentality. "Who cares what we do? Everyone hates us anyway. Let's go steal some weapons from UNTIL and start blowing things up." 4) I would start out with the idea that the team is already formed. Let the players know that they are building a Team Member, not an Individual Hero. You can come up with the background for how and why the team formed after you know who the characters are, but make sure that the players know they are part of a team. For some reason perfectly reasonable people can be utter bastards when it comes to this topic. It is just like the old sitcoms where someone who has never acted before gets a bit part in a movie, and is suddenly demanding to know "What's my motivation?" "You're at an ice-cream stand. You walk up, and say 'Give me a vanilla cone.' How much motivation do you need? You just want an ice cream!" "But why do I want the ice cream? Am I trying to recapture the innocence of my childhood? Do I have an eating disorder? Do I have an oral fixation? Is the ice cream symbolic of the ever-changing state of man's existence?" I have read stories here on the boards of GM's who were never able to get their team together. The players just kept coming up with crap like: "Well, sure, I hear the Police sirens, but why would I follow them? Those things go off all the time. It could just be a car theft or something. I am going to stay where I am and see if the bus station comes under attack by aliens. After all, my character does have Xenophobia as a Psych Lim!" "Why would I tell this person how to contact me? I don't know them. What if it's some kind of trick? They could be an enemy trying to discover my Secret ID. I am going to wait until they are distracted, and then fly into orbit. Then I will follow a random untraceable path to the Paranoia Cave and activate all the defense systems. After that, I am not coming out for six weeks. That way they can't find me." You are much better off just telling the players how the team got to be a team and going from there. If you start up another campaign with these players some day, then you may want to roleplay it out, but with a bunch of newbies, it can be like herding cats. 5) The Inevitable "Loner" Anyone who, during the creation process, starts down the "moody psychotic loner" path, should be asked: a) Why is your character on this team? What does it mean to him? Since he hates all authority figures and won't work with anyone, what in his personality is so overwhelming that he puts up with being on a team? Why did he join in the first place? Expect this to come up in play, often. When your character wants to stalk off into the night, there should be a hook that pulls him back before he is out the door. What is it? Because I am not going to run an individual campaign for you while everyone else sits around and stares at the wall for three hours. You can have that "type" of personality, but there must be a strong reason why, even though you don't like it, you stay with the team and follow orders. Otherwise, come up with a concept that is more of a team player. b) Why would the other team members put up with you? If you are such a foul-tempered, uncontrollable, individualist, why would rational people with powers of their own put up with your crap? Are you just crusty on the outside, with a "heart of gold"? Do you bravely throw your body in the way of attacks that might kill other team members? Are you the guy who "will not leave a team-mate behind" even if you die in the rescue attempt? Why weren't you kicked off the team the first time you opened your mouth? The other players aren't going to come up with reasons to put up with you, you have to come up with reasons you are worth putting up with, and then make sure you live up to them! Anyway, hope this helps. Good Luck!
  6. 5 points
    Pariah

    Third Edition Renaissance

    For the first time in literally decades, I've been looking back at the Third Edition of Champions. It's the version I learned to play on, and there are times when i miss the simplicity--especially as I contemplate teaching new people to play. So I've begun building characters again. And I've got to tell you, here's something really cool about building a character with pencil and paper. I've had to relearn how a few things work, like END (Holy cow! How did my heroes ever stay awake for more than a Turn?!) and proper Elemental Controls, but I'm now able to create a new character in ~30 minutes, start to finish. It's been a lot of fun. Anyway, I've created a handful of characters under the 3rd Ed rules, and I'm going to post a few of them here. Feedback is, of course, welcome.
  7. 5 points
    Starlord

    In other news...

    So when I was young I had heard of the word 'suede' because of the Elvis song Blue Suede Shoes. Then one day I was reading a D&D supplement or module or some such and came across a really cool new monster: the Pseudo-Dragon. For some reason, I decided they were pronounced 'Swaydo-Dragons' and referred to them as such until I was laughed out of a D&D session a few months later. I have to catch myself calling them 'Swaydo-Dragons' to this day. Thanks for letting me get that out, please continue.
  8. 5 points
    Ranxerox

    In other news...

    So, how do you feel about the term pseudo-rapist to describe cat-callers or pseudo-murderers to describe people who sell guns? Because I know people on the left who would be totally down with those terminologies. Using the pseudo- at the front or -like at the back of some really heinous word such as terrorist, rapist, murderer or pedophile is a tactic of demonization. It is saying that this group that you dislike is almost that other horrible group. The idea being that we should punish our newly labeled pseudo-terrorist/pseudo-murderers/pseudo-rapist almost like we punish actual terrorist, murders and rapist despite their not having terrorized murdered or raped. When activist use this tactic they are trying to be inflammatory. When government this tactic they are usually getting ready to do some sort of crack down. Both groups are trying to bend or break the truth in order to achieve an end. What I am saying is Greenpeace either is a terrorist organization or they are not. If they are not, then it is inappropriate to try to paint them as being almost terrorist because the word terrorist is much to loaded to use in that fashion.
  9. 5 points
    mattingly

    MHI Campaign

    I've been playing in a Monster Hunter game for a few months now. After each game, I mock up a book cover to commemorate each of our adventures. And, for the holidays, I figured we'd send Christmas cards to our clients.
  10. 5 points
    BoloOfEarth

    Hero Does It Better

    I remember a conversation with a hobby store employee back in the late 1980s or early 90s, where he proclaimed that GURPS was better than Hero specifically because "it's too hard to kill a player character in Hero." My own opinion was that this was actually a good thing, not a bad thing. (I later learned that this person was a very adversarial GM -- you know, the guy with a Mary Sue GM-PC to show up the PCs -- along with other obnoxiousness.) That said, as GM I've accidentally killed a superhero PC (due to a design flaw in the PC's defenses and other powers), and had to go out of my way to keep other PCs (trained normals, not supers) from getting slaughtered. I'll admit that way back in my early days of D&D gaming, my characters were all cookie-cutter 2D cutouts who existed mainly for churning through dungeon crawls to pick up cool magic items. If one died, another was quickly rolled up and took his place without blinking an eye.
  11. 5 points
    I created an anti-Round Table for my own games, made up of Champions villains with a fantasy-medieval-knight motif. They were led by Black Paladin, but gathered and financed by Brangomar, the Shadow Queen (Champions Villains Vol. 1). Other members were drawn from the CV trilogy, including Morningstar, Hell Rider, Shadowdragon (all from CV Vol. 3 -- I know Shadowdragon comes from a different tradition, but Brangomar would probably find that name appealing); Lightning Man (Champions Worldwide); and Matachin, one of the Sylvestris (briefly described in CV 2, but detailed and game-statted in the old Ultimate Super Mage for 4E Hero). I didn't include Talisman or any other females, due to Brangomar's insane jealousy of any good-looking woman. She might accept Harpy, though, on account of her half-avian form (also in CV3). Because there were six of them, I had them seated at an hexagonal table, and referring to themselves collectively as "the Hexagony." (Word-play intentional.)
  12. 5 points
    Pariah

    Funny pics

  13. 5 points
    Sorry. I'm going into 2019 recovering from surgery. Had a heart ablation this morning to fix atrial fibrillation issues that started about 3 years. Typing this covered in stickers all over the chest and tubes coming out of me. Interestingly, this will probably be the first time in many years I'll be awake for the ball drop. 😊
  14. 5 points
    Cygnia

    Funny pics

  15. 5 points
    Pariah

    Funny pics

    I've seen it so many times....
  16. 5 points
    "Imbecile" refers to lack of intelligence. All of Thanos's other actions and interactions with other characters display his exceptional intellect and cunning. "Delusion" is an idiosyncratic belief or impression that is firmly maintained despite being contradicted by what is generally accepted as reality or rational argument. Thanos has been living his conviction that his plan is the right one for so long, he's incapable of seeing its flaws despite his intelligence. In that he's like a great many real people. His plan, despite the incredible odds against it, actually did work. It won't have the end result he assumes, but he did exactly what he set out to do.
  17. 5 points
    Starlord

    Funny pics

  18. 5 points
    Pariah

    Funny pics

    Oh my....
  19. 5 points
    She-Hulk! Fits in at just about any power level, allows exploration of legal and moral questions around superheroing, awesome role model for green-skinned people, been bouncing around the Marvel universe for decades.
  20. 5 points
    slikmar

    What Have You Watched Recently?

    Just rewatched The Shadow. I may be in the minority, but I really liked Baldwin's Shadow, and the characters in it. John Lone was excellent as the over the top Shiwan Khan, Tim Curry made a great toady. Loved the representation of how he "Knows" whats going on, with informants all over the city feeding him information. Really wish had been popular enough to do more. Now, given he does tv, wish they would do a series. I liked that they didn't make him uber powerful.
  21. 4 points
    Old Man

    Aquaman Spoiler Thread

    I agree. However, I knew going in that a comic book superhero epic that mostly takes place underwater was probably going to have a lot of CGI. In fact, between the CGI and the slightly-over-the-top plot, this felt like the comic-bookiest comic book film I've seen in a long time.
  22. 4 points
    Cygnia

    Funny pics

  23. 4 points
    Duke Bushido

    Third Edition Renaissance

    More! Immediately! Remember..... remember how much more fun you had, back in those simpler times..... Early editions for the win!
  24. 4 points
    Old Man

    Hero Does It Better

    It had, and there was plenty of tension between the Chainmail-era grognards and the new generation of roleplayers. Gygax Himself complained about it in Dragon #102 (1985): One of the things that really set Hero apart was the invention of a mechanic for roleplaying--Disadvantages, particularly psych lims. Though it may have been based in four-color Comics Code inflexible superhero values, it was the first concrete mechanic that forced the character to behave differently than its player would. And even today few games have such a mechanic. D&D5 doesn't. Pathfinder doesn't. Shadowrun doesn't.
  25. 4 points
    Cygnia

    Funny pics

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