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Showing content with the highest reputation since 01/17/2019 in all areas

  1. 5 points

    Today's Dumb Criminal Story ...

    'Frosty had the last laugh': Vandal tries to run over giant snowman, hits tree stump instead
  2. 4 points

    Funny pics

  3. 4 points

    Funny pics

  4. 4 points

    Funny pics

  5. 4 points
  6. 4 points
    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.
  7. 4 points

    Campaign Prompts

    I started a campaign once where I asked the players to come up with some common origin for their characters. What they ultimately came up with was this: They were all VIPER agents that the organization considered troublesome and/or expendable and left to die in a major multi-Nest operation, only they all got super powers instead. The first adventure involved them deciding to rob a bank, only when they got there, another super villain group was already robbing it. So they beat down the other villains, and everybody assumed that they were heroes. So they decided to try being heroes. It was a fun dynamic.
  8. 4 points
    Thanks for bumping this, GMGM-- I never knew this thread existed, or I might have made a more "formal" return to the boards (I tend to come and go as 'real life' demands increase or relax). So here we go: How did you come up with your 'handle' (forum name)? I almost wish I used my actual name, like so many others, just so I could reply with "My parents picked it out." I wasn't clever enough to invent a code or thematically-minded enough to do the clever thing and use a favorite character's name, though I really wished I had after seeing so many people doing it!). My name actually is Duke, like every third bird dog around these parts. The Bushido part comes from what I'd like to say is a really long story so let's skip it, but the fact is it's not a too-terribly long story, I'm just tired of telling it. Suffice it to say that owing to a vast number of opinions my friends have held of me, combined with the conversations held while we consoled a (then) recently-divorced and (possibly still) drunken comrade, I got tagged with then name "Bushido." It came and went, depending on how amusing it was for them to toss it out. A few years later, we're playing Boot Hill, fairly straight to the genre. As the campaign concludes, the GM pitches ideas for a new one, stating he'd like to do something a bit more cinematic, over-the-top-- something quirky, but still Western. I figured this was yet _another_ chance for me to pitch HERO at them (well, it was still Champions then), and they were curious enough to bite this time. So I introduced one group of three to our Champions group of four and pitched the idea to my then-GM (Jim), who loved it. My Boot Hill compatriots, though, needed convincing. How would changing systems make the game any different? "Well," I began, you can just go nuts: you can make _anything_ you want, so long as it's cool with Jim. You want a different old west? You could make a samurai gunman!" to which someone instantly quipped: "Yeah! And you could call him Duke Bushido!" And that was the end of that. "Bushido" had occasional comedic properties. But that one quip.... Well, "Duke Bushido" stuck, and it stuck real good.... So good, that the avatar on my posts was made by a friend some years later. I no longer have the original large image, but it's something of a merger of a stylized Japanese flag and a sunrise over a western clay desert, with a figure dressed in what appears to be jeans, a buckskin jacket, and a cowboy hat, holding a drawn katana. That's one of my bikes in the background (I still have that one, actually. I really like it). Now you know. Well, enough, anyway. What was the first tabletop RPG you played? Like so many other people, I started at some point in the mid-seventies. I can't tell you which was first, though. I can tell you it was either Traveller or D&D, as we did both pretty heavily. (The only way to know for certain would be to look up which came out first, but honestly, it doesn't matter to me enough to do it: who cares when a memory was made, so long as you get to keep it?). We did both back and forth. Not being a Tolkien guy and _really_ not liking the way D&D worked, I was always happiest with Traveller games. We tried other games as they caught our eyes and wallets, and fortunately, did not stick with D&D too long after some real variety started to pop up. What was the first tabletop RPG you GMed? Metamorphosis Alpha. I had to actually _buy_ it, but I was willing to do _anything_ to give D&D a smaller slot in our rotation. Terrible game, by the way; I don't get the nostalgia associated with it. Sure, it was pretty much D&D, mechanics-wise, but at least there wasn't any Tolkien in it. Tried Gamma World when it came out, but it was straight-up Dungeons and Mutants; couldn't even pretend otherwise. Stumbled across Daredevils and had a great time running that. Bought a boxed set of Champions 2e (my GM picked up 1e when it hit the shelves, but the game store never got another one), which my GM devoured and we promptly upgraded. When he was ready to split GM responsibilities, I became a Champions GM, but even then, I didn't consider myself one: I was just helping Jim, ya know? I _loved_ the system Champions was using, and it wasn't too long before we were using it for Daredevils and made a stab at Traveller. I didn't _dislike_ supers as a genre; I just didn't have a lot of appreciation for it. I mean, it's easy to be a brave hero when you're bullet-proof, right? And there were no comic books in my childhood, nor televised cartoons (you'd need to have had a TV, which would have been useless without electricity). Besides, Sci-Fi was my addiction at that time, and we were all familiar with Traveller, even though we hadn't played it in a couple of years at that point.' The Traveller HERO failure wasn't the system; by that point, it was just the wrong setting / theme for our group of players (which by then had swollen to nine players, hence Jim needing some relief). Best of all, though, it proved our theory that Champions was universal! Found a boxed set of Justice Inc, noticed the HERO Games tag, and immediately thought "They know it, too!" From that point on, any game I like enough to start an actual campaign in found it's guts replaced with the Champions drive train. And while it's not relevant, I'd like to add, specifically to you Super Hero fans, that I have, in the last few years, developed an appreciation for the genre. You can blame my kids for that. They got into super heroes, and I'm into spending time with them. Supers make more sense, looking at them through the kid's eyes. What are you currently playing/GMing? Everything is on HERO guts, regardless of genre. Mostly it's 2e, modified with a few things from 4e, and a ruling or two-- a couple of Power Modifiers, anyway-- from 5e. I am currently running a Supers game for some kids that I've been referring to as "my youth group." I also run space opera weekly-- or, _mostly_ weekly, on the far end of ninety miles from here. Once a month, I play in an occult-themed thriller, but that's about to wind down, freeing me up a bit of time. And that's it. That's the overly-informative basics.
  9. 3 points
    I love the setting and was curious if there's anyone else on these boards who do too? Steve did and amazing job with the book and I think it deserves more supplements. Although the base book is very detailed in terms of races, geography, theology, etc, I think there's tons of room to expand on. The setting has such good bones that it feels criminal to not expand on it. Also, an update to 6th edition would be fantastic although strictly not necessary.
  10. 3 points
    TA is my go-to fantasy game setting: Recognizably "generic" yet with a number of distinctive elements; broad and detailed but with plenty of room to elaborate; almost every location having plot seeds ripe for development. Admittedly, I've made a large number of modifications to the history and geopolitics of Ambrethel to suit my own priorities and preferences, but I couldn't and wouldn't have done so without having been given such a solid frame to hang them on. Previously I posted to the forums what I would suggest if I were a GM (or writer) looking to further develop a place in the Turakian Age world as home base for my campaigns. I would look for a spot with plenty of story hooks built in, but also lots of unspecified room to expand upon. I'd want the home base to be large enough to be interesting, but small enough to be manageable. I would prefer it to be able to support a variety of adventure styles without going very far afield: wilderness exploration, city skulking, dungeon crawling, monster fights, political intrigue, military conflicts, etc. But I'd also like there to be ready potential for PCs to travel to other interesting places, as their abilities and ambitions grow. On the largest continent of Arduna there are two enormous bodies of water which are the centers of vast geographic regions, with multiple kingdoms on their shores engaging in trade and political interactions: the inland Sea of Mhorec, and Lake Beralka. These two bodies are linked by the long Shaanda River, navigable along its entire length, making it one of the most heavily trafficked trade routes in the world, potentially bringing people from almost anywhere. There is no single state dominating the Shaanda; pairs of rival kingdoms are at each end, but the central stretch contains several independent small cities and large towns. The largest of these cities, Ishthac, is smack-dab at the middle of the river (according to the included map). One would expect the larger kingdoms at the ends of the Shaanda to vie for control over the strategic central river. One of those kingdoms, Valicia, is ruled by a powerful wizard with ambitions of conquering the whole region (and who makes for a fine "big bad" for a campaign). But the cities of the Shaanda are described as too independent and clever to be ruled. To me this implies that they probably cooperate to defend themselves and play the kingdoms against each other; but that doesn't preclude rivalry among the cities themselves. Otherwise the Shaanda cities are given little further definition -- nothing about city layout, population, society, government, or the like. Ishthac lies at the south-western edge of the huge, rugged Valician Hills region, said to be populated by "monsters" which sometimes raid the river settlements; as well as independent-minded "hill folk" with only a few other clues as to their nature. The Valician Hills also rest above one of the largest regions of the "Sunless Realms" (TA's analogue to D&D's Underdark). Somewhere within the hills is a hidden coven of powerful witches whose agenda is unknown. Chonath, a large ancient ruined city once the home of mighty magicians, and now monster-infested, is perhaps a hundred and fifty miles west of Ishthac. Traveling a couple hundred miles along the Shaanda River in either direction from Ishthac will take you into the territory of the larger kingdoms, and the dangers and intrigues they feature. From there it's a relatively short trip to the Sea of Mhorec or Lake Beralka, and ready transport to half the continent. I also previously posted a set of plot seeds set in one area of Ambrethel which IMO is particularly well suited to a campaign inspired by A Song of Fire and Ice/ Game of Thrones, emphasizing politics and diplomacy more than fighting and looting: Besruhan Intrigues.
  11. 3 points
  12. 3 points
    Old Man

    Funny pics

  13. 3 points

    Funny pics

  14. 3 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!
  15. 3 points
  16. 2 points

    Maxima and Other Things

    First of all: if you're talking about Normal Characteristic Maxima, that is, the idea of charging double cost for anything over a certain limit, this is simply a bad idea and should be abandoned, period. It's a flintmobile. Just set hard caps and floors for Characteristics based on type, so you don't get a 30 STR Pixie or a STR 3 Ogre, and don't worry too much about "balancing" them. The Pixie has to pay for the Flight Power, but shouldn't have to pay extra for "access" to the Flight Power. If Human max DEX is 20 and Elf max dex is 23, and a Human and an Elf both have DEX 18, they should both pay the exact same points - because in point of fact they have the exact same DEX! Trying to impose costs for changed maxima will lead to violating one of the principles of Hero, that you get what you pay for and pay for what you get. " If you're still not convinced and still want to find some way to measure and assign points to "Potential" characteristics, I can only point you to the prior editions' use of the the Age Disadvantages. If you do the math, you can find out what each age category's total Maxima difference was, and divide that by the point value of the Disadvantage. I once did this and seem to recall that it consistently came to a 1 to 7 ratio. Lucius Alexander The palindromedary says seriously, though, you're better off ditching Normal Characteristic Maxima. Or you could get that 30 STR Pixie showing up, and it would be perfectly legal.
  17. 2 points

    Quote of the Week From My Life.

    Wrong time of year, but.... Someone was going over a passage that stated the "no white after Labor Day" rule was invented by the old money families to differentiate themselves from the nouveau riche. Me: No white after Labor Day? What if I have to use my stormtrooper outfit?
  18. 2 points
    The Complete Pringles And Wine Pairing Guide
  19. 2 points

    Funny pics

  20. 2 points
    Not a massive fan of Obama, but thought this was funny.
  21. 2 points
    Doc Democracy

    Campaign Prompts

    Useful, I tend to make this a problem for the players rather than me. I ask that each character has a reason why they would want to team up/ help at least two other members of the group and I do not allow a closed loop of three players. This would help them think about ties that would work for two or more characters in the team.
  22. 2 points
  23. 2 points
    How did you come up with your 'handle' (forum name)? Around 1995 I made a Shadow Knight in Everquest roughly themed after the god of disease (Bertoxxulus) so I shortened it to Toxxus. What was the first tabletop RPG you played? D&D when it still came in pastel colored cardboard boxes (Basic and Expert) What was the first tabletop RPG you GMed? D&D basic followed shortly by Boot Hill What are you currently playing/GMing? I'm playing Fantasy Hero using Pathfinder adventure paths for content. My Saturday group (mostly D&D 5e'ers) is enjoying the new system though I admit I'm enjoying it more as it comes with 30 years of nostalgia for me. When did you start to play Hero? Right around 1980 when I picked up a softcover edition that came in a cardboard box (they all did back then). Played Fantasy Hero extensively in high school and college.
  24. 2 points
    Well, I GM a lot and my first name is Joe. Plus, back in the early 70s, I loved playing with my GI Joes -- especially the one with Kung Fu grip and the one with the grappling hook! I GM'd before I played. The first tabletop RPG I played was AD&D 1e. But, really, we were playing RPGs without knowing it back when we would play with Micronaughts, Star Wars figures, etc. Before that, we were RPGing with Hot Wheels. My friends and I would build elaborate cities for them out back during summer, giving the cars' occupants personalities and acting out stories. In the winter, we'd use Lego to build the cities indoors. B/X D&D (the Moldvay/Cook Basic and Expert sets). I'm GMing a street-level supers campaign using HERO System 4e. I picked up Champions 2e at my FLGS in 1983, brought it home, read it, and it blew my mind. I began running it the next weekend. HERO has been my favorite game system ever since.
  25. 2 points
    Looks solid. I'd personally also mention that a Champions character starts strong and gets minor improvements whereas as D&D character generally starts weak and gets significant improvements. What you start with matters, since you'll be using it for the character's lifespan. This is also a significant part of why a Champions character takes longer to make: It's like starting at high level. I'd also suggest setting up your tone. If you're going Silver Age, things like "Fights aren't to the death. Killing people is bad and wrong and not heroic. Heroes knock the villain out and arrest them, not shoot them and dump their body at the police office." in the introductory document can go a long way towards establishing the tone you want. There's a bunch of takes on superhero out there, the last thing you want is somebody bringing The Gunisher to your idealistic Justice League-esq game.