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Duke Bushido

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Duke Bushido last won the day on November 23 2018

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About Duke Bushido

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    underground thinker

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    http://www.rebel250.com is dead and gone. 2o years. What a ride.

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    Hero fan since my mimeograph of 1st ed! Thought 2nd ed was perfect. Still do ;)
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    inane and boring. Thank God I have a family!

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  1. Duke Bushido

    Early editions: House rules?

    What makes you think I wasn't just flirting with your double-edged camel, anyway?
  2. Duke Bushido

    Improving Intimidation

    Thanks, Hugh. I'll try to check it out when I get home tonight. Duke
  3. Duke Bushido

    Early editions: House rules?

    Yes; it appears it did. I'm not entirely sure it even speaks the same language that I do. Duke
  4. Duke Bushido

    Early editions: House rules?

    Sorry, Luscius. I am on a touchscreen with an autocorrect that is beyond deranged. When originally typed, the initials "NPC" were in bold. I was trying to get around having to delete and re-type Npc four time to get it to stay I all caps (what you see just then is what it does to all-caps: it un-caps everything but the first letter. The only curw I have found is to retype it _four_ times, and it does get old. I had hoped using bold initials would escape its notice.
  5. Duke Bushido

    Improving Intimidation

    I know the OP referred specifically to intimidation, but it has always bugged me that the rules seem to think that " him scary dude" is the only kind of "presence" a character can have. Presence is essentially the force and impact of personality. I recall in older edition s that particularly charming people (and politicians) had abive-average presence. What if I want to use my bold, steady-as-a-rock personality to reassure a group of citizens trapped in the elevator of a burning building? I don't think punching a hole through the wall and screaming is going to help at all. Or if my high Presence represents a warm and unflappable grace: why do I have to buy "mind control, single command: you like this guy" or "this is a good man" or whatever? Beyond that, how is cranking my flaming aura to maximum while letting my 12D6 plasma blast melt away the ceiling possibly going to _add_ to that effect? No: I am not going to make the statement that "Presence is broken.". For one, I'm not mathy enough to prove it without setting down with a pencil and paper. For two, I don't think it is. I _do_, however, feel like accepting that the only use for an aura of personality is to scare other people is something that could have been addressed at any point since the first edition, and never was. Well, at least not through published rules. Just one simple 'frinstance (wife and kids are on computer tonight, and I'm on a phone, and the guy who decided that touch screen was the input device of the future can eat a whole great big bag of them) : Superman is, ostensibly, one of (the) most powerful characters in his universe. So powerful that any rational being should be absolutely Terrified that he exists: he could kill _thousands_ of people completely on accident (folks, please forgive me for this; I do not make light of it or offer it casually or in bad taste) in a Twin Towers sort of scenario. But NO ONE thinks like that. They _love_ him. Why? His personality: confident, warm, friendly, helpful-- the man is the world's most amazing boyscout, and that's what people take away when they are in his presence. I'm pretty sure that casually knocking over a building is going to work _against_ the way Superman uses his PRE. more on this (at some point when I regain a keyboard) in Chris Goodwin's "early editions house rules thread, coming to a forum near you. TOUCH SCREENS! I meant touch screens, as in" eat a big ol' bag of glass. " My daughter is reading over my shoulder ( big phone) and has just informed me that when kids today say" eat a bag of something, " there is apparently a very specific something that is implied. Oops. Duke
  6. Duke Bushido

    Early editions: House rules?

    You know, I was thinking on that earlier today. And I actually can understand it, seeing as how many of my first characters were bricks or had fire-themed powers. So it took me a couple of decades, but I realize know that had I thought about more, I likely would have understood it then, too. But that name? Killer Watt? Okay, fine: othing wrong with the name, either. Not the first time. Actually kind of funny coincidence the second time. But three or more, and you can't help but feel like you missed out on a joke somewhere. I don't know; I've never considered it that way. Honestly, in my games, it's just how the world works (since the home port of SF2, anyway). If you can't get through the DEF with a blow, we'll that energy has to go somewhere.... Essentially, the idea is to prevent normal people (or even lightly-supered people) from punching anvils into pieces, one pip at a time, or poking their way through prison walls (take that, Joker!). I guess you could say in my usage of it (I can't speak for LL, of course) it's not even a limitation: it's a core definition of the universe. There are simple enough ways around it, and I let them slide for "having fun" reasons: a martial artist might have protective gloves to keep him from breaking his knuckles, or a short baton, or something like that (though breakable foci for that extra die or two of damage.... Well, this might break them). A bit of hardened PD or Resistant PD? Cool. You don't hurt yourself if you can't punch through it. And of course, this plays to granularizing bricks: either he is strong enough to punch a hole through a steel beam, or he isn't. I don't know (though I can still guarantee) if anyone here can lay hands on a Spiderman write up, but using the straight-up dealing damage rules as-presented, there's a good chance he can destroy through pummeling a number of things that don't make sense. I find this little rule evens that out a bit. Oh! Sorry; I was rereading to make sure I hadn't screwed up my post, and noticed that I failed to mention that in Supers games, I usually only apply this rule if someone wants to attack something that would qualify as resistant. In heroic (and low level supers) , it's anything that could you could break your hand trying to punch through. If I were to consider it as a Disadvantage, though, (and I've been thinking on it while typing this), it would come down to one of two posibilities: Either it would be a - 0 everyman limitation: every normal human (if I really wanted to push an extra gap between them and supers, that is. Otherwise, -_everyone_ takes it, and you buy it off using something like the examples I gave (so I guess this is exactly what I'm doing now :lol:) Or: I allow either a very low Disadvantage or a 1/8 (oh yeah: another house rule: 1/8 power advantages and limitations. They aren't handed out like candy, mind you: if I think it's a - 0 and you think it isn't, and you can present a compelling case (one built on reason as opposed to way-out-there individual examples, and I find your case reasonable, but still don't think it's worth much, (doesn't work under a full moon, for example, but your character - is- nocturnal) it might be allowed a 1/8.) Sorry about that. As I was saying, I would think that doing it the other way: allowing it as a Disadvantage that a character can select or not opens another problem: Right now, I don't think there is a GM in the world who would consider letting Neil Patrick Collins walk out of his 9-5 job at the accounting firm, walk over to his boss's car, and beat it into foil with his bare hands (and a lot of time). By defining this as a specific per-case Disadvantage is essentially allowing every normal who doesn't elect to take the Disadvantage catre Blanche to do exactly that: flatten cars bare-handed. And why not? They didn't take the Limiation that says they can't. Depending on the nature of the campaign this may actually work out for you. UT for most games, I would think that can of worms is best left sealed.
  7. Duke Bushido

    How do you draw an X?

    How did you manage to misspell 8 so badly?
  8. Duke Bushido

    what would you call this skill?

    Obviously, you need to go with something that suits you, even if that means building a custom skill. Personally, I've done it two ways: If the players aren't comfortable with extensive role-playing, or aren't really knowledgeable enough (the players) to know just what it is that the character would actually do, I let Detective Work cover it. If the group is more comfortable, I use a Persuasion roll. Why persuasion? As others have pointed out, "Interrogation" has a certain connotation. Persuasion, however, is simply gentle guidance to get the results you want. Extra time (i.e., longer conversation) and preparation (i.e., comfortable setting for the interviewee, perhaps with a "moral supporter" by his side, etc) get bonuses. Essentially, it's a Charisma-based skill, which HERO doesn't do well. Thus, I base it on INT (the understanding of _how_ to guide the interviewee) with modifiers for Comeliness (I know; I know-- but I still use it) and PRE, particularly if there is a "good guy" type rep for the character. Batman-style "intimidating Presence" takes a negative modifier. In this case, I'm using the "force of personality" angle of Presence. I hope you find something that world for you. Duke
  9. Duke Bushido

    Help Me With This Magic System Fiddly Bit

    Doc has an excellent suggestion. Something that occurred to me a bit ago is simply pricing your "can be burnt out" focus along the lines of a breakable focus. I would think in the long run the drawbacks would be similar enough to at least start from that point, and tweak it a bit until you get the flavor you feel is right. Duke
  10. Duke Bushido

    Help Me With This Magic System Fiddly Bit

    Oh; I see what you're after: Just to clarify: You would like suggestions for the value of a sort of "consumable focus;" is that correct?
  11. Duke Bushido

    Early editions: House rules?

    Okay, Chris: As promised, I'm going to give this a shot. Problem is that I have a lot of them, and I don't want to type all that any more than anyone wants to read all that. Like you, I'm a fan of "named powers." I don't require it, but I do suggest it. Usually mentioning that it helps to individualize your power from someone else's similar power, and that it can help you get a better feel for your character does the trick. Sometimes, the player just has to get comfortable with the idea that this is, for our groups, "normal." Also like you, i tend toward the +/- notations as well. This, however, I adopted because I noticed it was easier for new players to grasp the Advantages / Limitations concepts when they viewed them as "distinctly" positive or negative. But neither of those are rules, so let's move on: First, because I feel I am in positively esteemed company, I use the "break it completely or break your hand" rule (I tend to name house rules, too, but mostly because it makes them easier for players to remember for those who don't think they need to write stuff down ) similar to LL above. This came about when Street Fighter came to the Sega Genesis. Everyone remembers that bonus round, I know. When players start discussing how much END or how many punches kicks, etc, it takes to break a Lexus, well... you just try to head that off before it becomes an issue. I admit that I tend to let it slide a bit when PCs are fighting villains in power armor, for dramatic reasons. However, even then there is some downside for the bare-knuckled brawler without enough PD to absorb his own damage in that regard (it's just not much when they are actually fighting the bad guy. Who wants to discourage that?! ) I have found this one also let's the energy projectors appreciate their value even in close-quarters combat. But that's just a feeling, and could be completely wrong. Your first player character cannot have electrical powers. You're first villain cannot have electrical powers. Yes; this a real house rule. I have no stinking _clue_ how it happened, but we went through a period of lots of new players drifting in and out of the session during the 4e Renaissance, and I swear to you, we and no less than six different people across a period of a year all create electrically-themed characters, and every one of them wanted to use the name "KillerWatt." Was there a movie or something? And that brings us to the related house rule: No joke characters. Seriously. We've all done it at some point. We've come up with a great pun or a comical theme, or whatever. The problem comes up when you actually start to _like_ the way the character is shaping up. You start taking him seriously, and wanting to do more with his development, etc. But you gave him that one extra little power to create ladders from thin air and called him The Panty Raider. No. Just no. Don't get me wrong: I don't run a grim and dark game. I don't even run a hardcore game. Hell, I don't run an _especially_ serious game, but it _is_ serious enough that we have believable (comic-book wise) stories, plots, and characters. Sometimes, we might do a light-hearted and humorous game to break tension or before starting a new campaign. Use your joke guy then. Those have yet to go more than three sessions, and they're for blowing off steam anyway. For the most part: no joke characters. Sit down at the table _knowing_ that you _want_ to be teamed up with the other players; your character _wants_ and _enjoys_, for whatever reason, the knowledge that his teammates can rely on him as much he is able to rely on them. Leave that lone gun crap for the choose-your-own-adventure books. This is a co-operative game, and if you don't want to cooperate, there's no reason for you to be here. But these aren't really rules modifications, are they? These are house rules, but they don't relate much to play. Problem is I don't know which ones I've already discussed on the board. There are no special vehicle rules. You want a vehicle, you grab a character sheet and you build it. If you don't want certain traits-- EGO, INT, etc, (handy for computers, AI, the Ship who Sang, etc) you can sell them down to zero and spend the points elsewhere.. Size is emulated by Size Powers, mass by Mass Powers. Movement is emulated with Movement Powers. Defenses, etc: there is already a really great system for building anything, so we didn't see the need for special rules for vehicles when they came about. As a result, when they came about, we ignored them. We _did_ adapt the pricing though, for those characters who wanted to be assured that they wouldn't occasionally be deprived of them (for anyone else, it's still a big 'ol Focus, and since you're not paying points for it, it's not always handy). This rule came about, honest-to-Pete, the third session we played Champions. One of the characters had no movement powers of his own, and decided he wanted a motorcycle so that he could rush to the scene without being carried by the flying telekinetic. There were.... no rules for building a motorcycle. He, a people is a roughly motorcycle-sized. Let's use one of those people sheets and see what happens. Works great. Team bases are a plot device, period. There is too much obsession over them if the players use points to build them, and too much temptation on me to simply wring out a quick dungeon crawl on those nights when I've got little prepared. If your team wants a base, you got it: simple forensics lab; simple science labs appropriate to the skills on the team (plus 2 if you do your thing in your lab, plus more if you put some prep work and take your time), sleeping quarters, semi-private baths (two-rooms share the bath between them), conference room, lounging area, and a ping pong table for the speedsters to show off at. One lonely spire high above the roof for the Batmunch clone to hang out on. It's always dark there. It can be anywhere you want, so long as it's accessible by every member of the team using whatever movement powers they have at their disposal. It can look like whatever you want, too. This has worked out _way_ better for us in the long run, as people aren't obsessed about which points should go where, and who gets first crack and what, and who is going to hang back and guard the joint, etc, etc, etc. No one has picked out furniture or designed a floor plan since we instituted this, and I couldn't be happier. making a called shot (hit location charts are not used with supers, but periodically with heroic. I try to discourage it, but when someone needs to snipe someone or something....). If you make your roll, check the amount by which you made your shot. That amount can be used as a negative modifier for any armor activation rolls, if your target is wearing armor with an activation. Called shots again: If you missed your called shot, but your "to hit" roll would have succeeded as an uncalled shot, roll your location. The difference by which you made the shot can be used to "walk" that shot that many steps up or down the chart to your selected location. Sometimes you make it anyway. Killing Attack is not Stunning Attack (name of house rule). Killing Attacks have a default Stun Multiplier of 1. You can buy it up to 2. "real" guns, etc, are exceptions to this. I let them go to a multiplier of 3. After being presented an _extremely_ well-thought-out and well-researched argument many years ago, I also allow Killing Attack: Does not Stun. Evidently, the perfect samurai sword was able to remove a limb without the opponent suffering any pain. I didn't know that at the time. Ego Defense (MD) and Presence Defense (FD) are base-zero characteristics. It makes for a cleaner sheet, and it's easier for newer players to grasp than is ripping a characteristic in half and building it as a power. T-port can take a -0 Limitation: only to transport between dimensions. Dimensions are represented by Locations: ten fixed locations means ten dimensions. Floating locations are allowable for this, but you must first have a fixed location somewhere in that dimension to represent your familiarity with said dimension. "Mis-ports" can mean you go to a dimension you've never been to, or somewhere you've never been in a dimension you usually have access to anyway, or to the wrong fixed or floating location in your target dimension, depending on how badly you flubbed your roll. Desolidification isn't Invulnerability. Players are expected to define a reasonably common type of attack (special effects, usually) that will affect them, or a short list of unusual things that will affect them. If it's appropriate, other things may effect them as well (I don't abuse this, and everyone is aware of it before they make a character with this power). Mental powers will almost always affect Desolid characters. However, there are some desolid SFX that aren't affected by mental powers, too. Characters with Deslidification who have a vulnerability will suffer those attacks as normal while Desolid, unless their SFX makes it inappropriate. Which leads to: SFX trump mechanics. This is what I tend to call a 60/40 rule. Regardless of raw mechanics (I am vibrating so fast I can pass through solid matter, which means I am invulnerable! Fine. Solid objects pass right through you. KillerWatt is still going to stun the crap out of you, though, as is Professor Solar and his heat ray). In the interest of fairness, and as a nod to the mechanics, I don't usually allow full damage, and almost never allow BODY against a Desolid character if the SFX is not of those he chose to affect his intangible self. Does it depend on it, or is it linked to it? Linked caused some issued when later editions came out: Linked, for us, had always been a way to create a brand new power (and it was specified as such in the rules book). Thus, when you used one power, you used the other, period. After all, it was a single unified new power. Then later editions featured "Linked" between two powers that did _not_ have to be used together. That is, you could use one power by itself, but you could only use the second power if you were using the first power. Then there were the weapon examples (machine gun with a grenade launcher, if I remember right-- and I probably don't) that could use either power by itself or both together. Honestly, I think these could have been better handled as multipowers, so that's how I handled them, for a while. Then we added "Dependent." If you can use power 1 by itself, but can't use power 2 without power 1, then power 2 is Dependent on power 1. If you can't use one without the other, you have a whole new and unique power (if you want to define it as such. You can also say it's a machine gun with a flame thrower attachment; whatever) that you create with Linked. Equal portions. To keep things easier on me, you, and the assigned "check man" (the guy who keeps us both in line), if both powers in a Linked are attacks, they must have equal DCs. Thus, when you use it at "half power" or anything below full strength, there's a crap load less mathing and arguing about math. Equal portions here, too. If they are not both attack powers, then they must each cost equal END, and for the same math reasons. Shot clock. Yes; I actually use one. Well, a stop watch. Well, it was a stop watch; now it's an app. I don't use this one when there are new players, and I don't use it in small groups, and i don't use it when we don't have a wide variation in SPD scores (unless we're in a large group). There are nine players in my Brunswick group, so I use it there a _lot_. When it's your "go" (Your phase, your dex), you have fifteen seconds to announce your moves, or your considered to be "surveying the scene" for options. This has made combat _so_ much faster and easier. I don't feel bad about it, either. Fact is, the player has _plenty_ of time to study and do his tactics while everyone else is having their actions. There is only one reason that he shouldn't be ready to announce his actions when it's his go, and that is a question for the GM. If he has one, I will answer it, and then he has ten second. If he has two questions, or five, he still gets ten seconds. (Yes; that's less seconds, but rarely does the player not already know what he's going to do based on my answers). Monologues and PRE attacks: all you want, if there's four or less of you. If there's five or more, you can get one on your go and one other during the Turn. Continuing a PRE attack does not count against this, nor does continuing a monologue. Other players will continue to act during your monologue. Don't worry; in a well-disciplined group, I _can_ hear both of you. There are many, many more, but I feel like I have fairly contributed to your thread. If not, let me know, and I'll get some more up here. Oh-- almost forgot. I've recently been using Killer Shrike's idea of advancing Skills by assigning dedicated Eps for characters who roll "3" on a skill check, but I have modified it so that it has to occur and a particularly dramatic moment or on a particularly difficult Skill check. I include here even though it's not a rule of my own devising, it's right that I acknowledge the use of someone else's idea, i think. Good night, all. Duke
  12. Duke Bushido

    Help Me With This Magic System Fiddly Bit

    I don't know if it's a _good_ idea, but it's an idea. Unfortunately, it's a lot of up-front work for the GM. I'm thinking "cookbook" magic: every spell has a recipe of "ingredients" that are the specific items required for that spell. Problem is you will have to create that recipe. Going in a slightly different direction with that same root idea is something not unlike certain primitive medicine men used: Everything (well, for us, we won't do _everything_, but let's say everything related to making magic in your world) had innate magical qualities. Feathers from one particular bird granted celerity; feathers from another granted fierce fighting prowess. A strip of skin from a particular animal wrapped 'round the wrist heightened your pain threshold, etc, etc. Only the shaman knew how to unlock or utilize these abilities, and often there was a great deal of ceremony involved. But before I digress--- Working with that, prepare a short list (say, for starters, a dozen. Don't worry: if this works for you, you'll have a list of fifty before you know it) of items in your world that have magic properties. Give each item say.. I don't know.... four magic properties. These do _not_ have to be the only "magic properties" in your magic system. In fact, I would encourage you to have more than four; perhaps a dozen or even more, but no one item should have more than a small subset of those traits. Assign each of those properties a strength rating. Not too extreme, of course. Let's use one to four again. One of the properties could be (if you're interested) "doubles the effectiveness of X," where X is either a particular magic property, or to keep it nice and esoteric, a particular ingredient. You might even have a few items here and there that have only one or two traits, but at spectacularly high levels (the eye teeth of a blood enemy, or running water dipped from under an eclipse or something). Assume that, as-is, only four (I seem to be stuck here) ingredients can be used to create a magic spell / magic effect. Now build some spells. How about everyone's favorite example: Fireball. Let's say that you decide Fireball requires two properties: Fire and Wind (no; I'm not suggesting elemental effects; that was just a real easy example. I'll try harder next time ). So your magician has to build a focus / poultice / medicine bag / burnt offering-- whatever-- that is predominantly composed of Fire and Wind attributes. How much and how many? (No point in me deciding what kind or how rare, because that's the GM's department, and will depend on just how available you want magic to be ). Suppose, as an example, that each "attribute score" represents the number of AP that ingredient can contribute to a spell. If you happen to have four items-- say two with Wind attributes of 4 and two with Fire attributes of 4, you can build a 16 AP fireball. Not spectacular.... But let's say you have four items, and three of them have Fire 4, one of them has Wind 4, and two of them have Fire 3? 22 AP. Better. Nowhere near great, but better. Now let's say that one of them has "doubles the effect of Wind? Now you're at 26 AP. Suppose another had the trait "doubles the effect of Salamander mucous, which you happen to be using as two of the Fire 4 ingredients.... Now you're at 34 AP. You can, of course, rate an item as high as you want. You can require certain AP levels of individual traits. You can require only one trait, or you can require six. This is just a bare-bones, seat-of-the-pants answer. You could raise the number of ingredients allowed per sack of magic, or you could even have items that allow the addition of up to X number of additional items, or even X number of additional items with a particular trait.... Look; I could go on with this all day, because shamanistic magic plays to a personal strength: it's one of the magic concepts I enjoy most, and have used quite a bit in low fantasy settings, and even a couple of western campaigns where I wanted get a bit eerie with the old west. You think the crazy old medicine man is joke? Probably because you've never seen him in his bear form..... Now as I said: it's not necessarily a good idea, for your purposes (though it's kind of fun seeing your magic-reliant party members track inventory, consult books, select ingredients and discard others, etc), but it is an idea. There may be _something_ there you can use. Duke
  13. Duke Bushido

    Cold Weather Survival - Vehicle

    Presuming there is an ample depth of snow about, and you are able to brave it, build a reasonably thick berm of snow under the vehicle to prevent wind blowing under it. If possible, bank snow up next to the car and even on top of it. Snow has some insulation value. Not much, but much better than thin sheet metal. Further, wind passing along that thin sheet metal makes a super-effective heat sink. Again, presuming you have the material to do, use an attention-getting device like a red flag or something else while you prepare to wait out the night. Never go for help in the dark, even on a beach in the summer. Even when the daylight returns, unless your condition is grim, don't go for help unless you _know_ it's damned close, and in which direction.
  14. Duke Bushido

    "Neat" Pictures

    According to the hype on the weather channel, this is what I should wake up to tomorrow.
  15. My thanks to both of you. I will be back in a couple of days. Enjoy the regularly scheduled civil discussion. Duke