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Hugh Neilson

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Hugh Neilson last won the day on July 24

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About Hugh Neilson

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    SETAC Gadfly
  • Birthday 01/15/1966

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    Chartered Professional Accountant/Tax Consultant

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  1. Hugh Neilson

    Dealing with Killer Characters

    I meant that, while the character will sometimes compromise Law for Good (which I did not state), he will also sometimes sacrifice Good for Law. Lawful Good is driven by both Lawful and Good. In some cases, either will be compromised for the other. A Neutral Good character is driven entirely by the tenets of "Good", while a Lawful Neutral character is driven entirely by the tenets of "Law". A Lawful Good character is driven by both, not by one in constant priority over the other. Different Paladins will prioritize differently, and can disagree legitimately. None would condone evil acts, but some may be more willing that others to accept, say, a death penalty for capital offenses. They will not all think in tandem. The tenets, in order, are listed as: You must never willingly commit an evil act, such as murder, torture, or casting an evil spell. You must not take actions that you know will harm an innocent, or through inaction cause an innocent to come to immediate harm when you knew your action could reasonably prevent it. This tenet doesn't force you to take action against possible harm to innocents or to sacrifice your life and future potential in an attempt to protect an innocent. You must act with honor, never cheating, lying, or taking advantage of others. You must respect the lawful authority of the legitimate ruler or leadership in whichever land you may be, following their laws unless they violate a higher tenet. The first is irrelevant to freeing, or not freeing, the slaves. The second depends on the context. Are the slaves at risk? Are they innocents? Are they convicted criminals whose sentence includes enforced servitude? Are they prisoners of war, with enforced work being the alternative to executing prisoners that the society cannot support? Will a Paladin reject a draft in times of war, or does he expect citizens to dutifully discharge their responsibility to their country? The third seems irrelevant as well. The fourth respects legitimate authority, which may include slavery under some legal codes. Note that " He believes in goodness and right but has little use for laws and regulations. He hates it when people try to intimidate others and tell them what to do. He follows his own moral compass, which, although good, may not agree with that of society. " is the description of a chaotic good character, not a lawful good character.
  2. Hugh Neilson

    Dealing with Killer Characters

    A person for whom Good is the sole guide would not be Lawful Good. but Neutral Good. A Lawful Good character will compromise Good for Law in some instances. One simple rule would solve a lot of Paladin Dilemma issues. If there is no right answer (i.e. whatever the Paladin does will violate a tenet of Good or Law), then there can be no wrong answer (the Paladin can choose which beliefs must be compromised in this tragic situation). I do, however, like the approach which Pathfinder is taking for its second edition (https://paizo.com/community/blog/v5748dyo5lkrq?Paladin-Class-Preview). Briefly: THIS - exactly It's amazing how often Hero players will scoff at alignment because we can't agree on what a given alignment means, then engage in a protracted debate over what Overconfidence, a C vs K, etc. mean in the Hero system. There is a lot of room for variations on the theme, whether within a D&D alignment or a Hero Psych. One True Wayism damages both systems.
  3. Hugh Neilson

    Dealing with Killer Characters

    I'd want to discuss "campaign reality" before making normals more fragile, but once that campaign reality is established, then making falling damage more lethal does not seem unreasonable. As well, even an Impairing (non-disabling) hit could reasonably leave lasting injury that simple Healing does not cure, such as broken bones. How much Healing does he have? Is the cap applied? 4d6 Healing rolls 14 on average, so 7 BOD. He has to beat that roll to heal more within the re-use time (an especially likely issue if he has charges). I'd call falling "no hit location" general damage, but a hit location to determine the impact of an impairing or disabling hit seems reasonable.. Also, normals have 8 BOD - heroic normals have 10. Dropped from a building? As Doc raises, what does he land on? Concrete? Impaled on a spiked wall? Dropped into traffic? A glass sun room belonging to the restaurant on the ground floor? A baby's stroller? I agree with the many comments above that treating the NPCs as scenery instead of people reflects poor role playing.
  4. Hugh Neilson

    Dealing with Killer Characters

    I see the issue for CvK Supers. However, when we pull out an NND KA, I question whether this is still a "strict silver age game" as far as killing goes. Would the DA have similarly charged a police officer who discharged his firearm at a person possessing, and using, lethal poisonous gas? Would he have been locked up in maximum security? It feels like the ground rules of a Silver Age Boy Scout Supers game were violated, and I can see players reacting with a refusal to follow the campaign ground rules if the campaign itself fails to honour them.
  5. https://www.herogames.com/forums/topic/97655-dukes-scans/?page=2&tab=comments#comment-2684413
  6. Actually not taking the complication on the basis that the complication is not to impede the character in-game is a means by which players define their characters. From 6e v1 p 414 This player is sending a message to the GM that the only aspect of this character's missing limb which should arise in-game is that he is recognizable. He is not physically impeded. His choice of a DF for this complication is perfectly legitimate within the game context, and this is a means by which the player can define his character. A further thought - the "one armed man who only looks distinctive, but can achieve anything a two-armed man could do" can be viewed as having the Complication "only has one arm" and having spent the points from that complication on "penalty skill levels - offset all penalties that would apply for having only one arm". This is an extension of the logic cited a few times above of buying extra STR only to offset the STR reduction for a one-armed grab. Another approach is "only has one arm" offset by "extra limbs" (defined as using other parts of his body to offset the missing arm, such that he effectively does have two arms). "Missing a limb" offset by "extra limbs" is an example specifically provided in the 6e rules (legs in that case) of a complication which should not be allowed. The combination of the power and the complication offset each other, so there should neither be a power purchased nor a complication obtained. The two leave the character exactly as capable as a baseline character - no more, and no less - so there is no impact on character points.
  7. So the one handed man cannot achieve a task that would be impossible for a two handed man? That does not seem to differ from what the player is asking. "My character can do anything a two-armed character of similar skills and abilities can do" appears to be the ask. How would he salute? With his left hand. That would be noticable. That is what a Distinctive Feature (the complication the player wants to take) is for, isn't it? If not saluting with the right hand (however impossible) means the character is to be lined up against the wall and shot, it sounds like his DF causes extreme reactions, and should be worth more points in your setting. Clearly, he would not perform a complex voodoo ritual that requires two hands. But shouldn't he get a higher limitation for one-handed gestures, if that means he (unlike anyone else in the game) can't do anything with his "off hand"? If the game setting requires two hands for magical rituals, then we have a clash between the desired character and the game setting which needs to be resolved. As I consider the "complex magic which requires two hands", I am reminded of the Dr. Strange movie. He can't cast his spell because his hands are disabled. Yet Hamir can manage with only one hand - it is not the limbs, but the will. Should we also decide that female characters have a lower Normal STR maximum (remember how well received that was in early editions of AD&D)? Maybe redheads are cursed, so we kill them on sight. OK, in this world, red hair comes with a lot of mandatory complications. But none of the roadblocks you are frantically inventing appear to be issues in the campaign the OP is running, does it? You can imperil any NPC you like. As has been pointed out, however, the player is not obligated to protect these NPCs as they are not DNPCs. Perhaps he has washed his hands of his family. Let me toss out another possibility, however. He also did not pay points for Contacts, Favours, Followers, etc. from his family members. Will those also just happen because it is logical in the campaign, whether or not points were paid? Or do you only impose complications, and not perks and benefits? After all, no one should think that I as GM am prohibited from having those family members befriend one or more of the PCs as part of a larger plotline, even coming along on an adventure and fighting in combats alongside the PCs, right? Or is it only OK to impose drawbacks for which no points are received as compensation, and never to provide a benefit which was not paid for in full? Either points govern the abilities of the characters or they do not. By neither paying points for benefits nor taking points for complications, the player has declined to impose any constraints on how those NPCs might be used in the campaign. By making them DNPC's, he has made them more troublesome than helpful. Taking them as Contacts or Followers makes them more beneficial than problematic. Without one or the other, the family members are added to the bystanders of the campaign. You could make members of his family the campaign villains, the patrons of the PCs, or whatever else you want - just as you could use NPCs with no connection at all in those roles. But the player has not committed to treat these NPCs differently from any other NPC in the campaign, whatever role you place them in. He is not required to allow familial bonds to influence his actions, positively or negatively, in any way. From your comments, it seems like it might be best if you just wrote all the characters for your campaign so that no one can violate your inherent sense of the One True Way to represent any given character attribute. I suspect that is not how your games actually run, but that is definitely how you are coming across here. Exactly. I can also give everyone in game ED 5 points higher than PD to screw the Wizard who uses energy attacks as compared to the melee characters, or have the major campaign religion include tenets that the disabled must be afforded special privileges so it is the two armed characters who face relative drawbacks in game. If these issues were part of the setting dogma, presumably that would have been communicated to the players before the game started, and it would have been clear that having one arm would be a more severe distinctive feature, and perhaps also a social complication, than would be the case in a typical game. Just like I would expect to know that, in this setting, dwarves are pariahs in the Human Kingdoms, to be slain on sight, before I chose to play a dwarf.
  8. Hugh Neilson

    Build this power

    Which is fine...however, I would suggest that a mental entangle tends to be much more similar to other mental powers than a physical entangle is to physically damaging attacks, so I, at least, would allow the Damage Negation to function. YMMV
  9. Would you set the bar at a similar level for the two handed character's player to explain precisely how he achieves the same feat? Because I certainly don't know how to do it - but then, I do not have an 11- in Climbing, much less a heroic or legendary skill. In fairness, the real world isn't all that realistic, now is it? And therein lies the key - the one armed character is a one armed cinematic hero, not a one armed couch potato who slings dice every so often with friends imagining cinematic heroics. So, I will accept the counteroffer once someone shows me that a one-arm'ed gamer is not as able to roll dice as a two armed gamer
  10. Hugh Neilson

    Build this power

    Damage Negation, Mental, Only Mental Entangles (limit as low as the scarcity of the power mandates).
  11. I possess the intelligence to agree with Doc, but not the wisdom to bow out. Trimmed down to the issue at hand (I don[t believe I have changed your meaning). In a typical Fantasy game, we dfon't just have magic. We have Legolas-class archers, sheer wall scaling rogues and warriors whose skill and strength at arms allows them to battle a dragon. We accept an amazing number of special abilities as a consequence of skill and training. Your fixation on "a one armed man must face physical limitations that are impossible to overcome", compared to those characters and in spite of examples like the one-armed target shooter and Duke's acquaintance baffles me. Common sense tells some of us that a lack of complication points means a lack of complications. To others, it absolutely requires these complications, points or no points. Common sense is not all that common, nor is there a consensus on what it actually might look like. Exactly this. I don't have to share the player's vision to accept it. He does not strain the bounds of possibility to a greater extent than hundreds of other abilities in a fantasy game. That he can still achieve all that he previously could with one arm (except shaking hands with that hand) is no different than Duke's acquaintance who copes with his own loss of limbs. [Duke, I won't say "pics or it didn't happen" - you have always posted with objectivity and examined all sides of the issue - you're not going to make up a story to win an online argument). There seems no need for zslane to discuss with his player - the OP seemed to lean to allowing his player's vision, and zslane's players have not, to my knowledge, asked. But I agree a good GM will look for a way to allow the player to play the character he envisions. In extreme cases, that's not possible (game-breaking characters; Buck Rogers in LoTR, what have you). This is not an extreme case. The player does not want an unfair advantage, or an out of genre character. So I'd be looking to make it happen. even if it is not the character I would envision or play. Perhaps especially so - those are the ones that broaden the campaign, even the game. If you can accept it only as magic, then keep that in the back of your mind. No one knows, nor will ever know, that the Patron Saint of Disabilities has gifted the character with a Guardian Angel Appendage. To all in game, he's a one armed man who copes so well that he can do anything a two armed man can (and, being PC material, probably more than most). You know it's magic. The players don't, but life is full of mysteries and unknowns.
  12. While I agree with maintaining the campaign level of realism, I find your example problematic. If an expert climber with two arms can make the climb without special equipment, how is it a quantum leap to imagine that a similarly expert climber who has lost an arm, but has developed coping mechanisms which result in his loss of a limb not impeding him, could not make the climb. To me, the most significant suspension of disbelief, by far, is the ability to scale a sheer cliff face without special equipment at all, regardless of having one or two arms. Using good equipment is already a bonus to the skill roll, while lacking the appropriate equipment imposes a penalty. I also question where the problem actually rests. You are focusing solely on the character having only one arm. Would you let a two-armed character scale that cliff face with no equipment if he has an 8- climb skill? What if he has an 11-, or a 14-? Does he need an 18-, 21- or 26- (enough to soak up -10 in penalties for difficulty and lack of equipment and still be pretty likely to succeed)? Are skill levels that high realistic (within the parameters of realism permitted in the campaign)? If we cannot imagine them, should they also be disallowed? Maybe it's the combination - the one-armed man should not be allowed to buy a Climbing skill of 18-, 21-, 26-, or whatever because it just doesn't feel right for the character. If the player has not bought a huge Climb skill, but just left that 8- Everyman, or even bought a DEX-based roll, is that an issue, or is that just consistent with coping with the missing limb? Let's say the Wizard casts Mass Spider Climb, giving every character +15 Climb skill (or Clinging). Is that forbidden to work on the one armed man when it works just fine on everyone else (pretty sure a spider with 7 legs still climbs pretty easily). And I second Doc's comment - I listed quite a few "replacement arms" that are impossible in the real world but we would probably accept in a typical fantasy world, but someone who succeeds by personal skill and determination, rather than magical assistance, we simply can't suspend our disbelief for. It is a common comment on other fantasy games that muggles can't have nice abilities. Sorry to see that dragged into any Hero game.
  13. Would that be the common sense that tells us that a player who takes One Arm as a DF only is not disadvantaged by having only one arm, other than his memorable appearance caused by that missing appendage? Or are you referring to the common sense that tells us of the many drawbacks which accompany a missing limb, such that a player clearly cannot just say his character is missing an arm, but that this provides no drawbacks other than his memorable appearance?
  14. "GM approval" is a slippery thing. It's quite fine, IMO, for the GM to deny approval for things that are game-breaking (DCs and defenses, etc., outside campaign maximums, for example, or telepathy in a real-world police procedural), things inappropriate to the genre (there's that telepathy in a police procedural again; a sci fi raygon in an Old West game) and things inappropriate to the campaign (that Legacy Super suggested above when the game is set around superpowers emerging for the very first time). GM Approval of whether your character has blonde hair and blue eyes; whether his parents are alive or dead; whether he had siblings? We're digging deeper into the agency of the players again. Saying "your one-armed character can't be as competent as a two armed character" where that laundry list of other options I set out above would be accepted, in a game where Legolas style archery would be a reasonable character ability? Not so much. GM approval should, to use a common legal phrasing, not be unreasonably withheld.
  15. So, does that mean the player also cannot choose who his character's parents, siblings, friends, relatives, mentors , etc. were? Sorry, it turns out that your parents were actually Trolls in disguise infiltraring gnomish society, so your character is not actually a gnome, but an Orc. Here is your actual character sheet. All that magic your character thought he learned was all delusional, but the good news is that your character is much stronger and tougher than he thought, and can regenerate. OK, let's play! Extreme example none of us would ever consider, of course. However, the reality is that the players and the GM must reach a consensus on both the PCs and the world they live in.