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Brian Stanfield

HERO Member
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About Brian Stanfield

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    Standard Superhero
  • Birthday 08/02/1971

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  1. Brian Stanfield

    Weapon Types vs. Armor Types

    I started looking at historical European martial arts and various other things and quickly discovered how vast that subject is. As you say, it's way beyond what most players want. I just like to ask these sorts of questions as a way to play out the HERO System and see how it would look. I don't expect to use something so complicated, but I'm curious what it would look like. I think Cantriped's Multipowers approach might be the best simulation, but that becomes a whole problem of nesting categories within categories: which attack vs. which armor vs. which Advantages vs. which Limitations, etc. etc. It could be fun as an experiment for one battle, but not as a long-term campaign device.
  2. Brian Stanfield

    Skill-based magic

    Probably Jason Walters is your guy. I suspect the proprietary content may be an issue, but you never know.
  3. Brian Stanfield

    Skill-based magic

    Yes indeed. Thanks, Glen. I loved that thread, but it didn't produce as much as I had hoped. Xotl's Fantasy Hero Primer was a positive result from all of that, but wasn't quite what I had in mind. I'd be curious to see what you're doing with it. FH Basic is more like what I imagined. If you've ever seen the GURPS Lite download, it pretty much goes through all the rules in 35 or so pages IIRC. It's perfect, and I read it and felt like I was ready to play in less than an hour. HERO could really use something like this, I think. Although Fantasy Hero Complete is a good basic book, it's still a bit much for someone totally new. When I told my buddy I'd like to start a campaign using it, he looked at the book and totally melted down. He was ready to learn all the rules, and it's not intuitively laid out for someone used to Pathfinder or D&D to follow: "Where are the classes?" "Where are the weapons charts?" "Is there an equipment list?" The answer to each of these was that I wasn't totally sure and he'd have to dig around to find them. Yeesh. That's partly my fault for not having mastered the book, but it's just not intuitive. The magic system isn't introduced until much, much later in the book, which just seems silly to me. Anyway, I think that I'm looking at setting up a campaign like you describe: a low fantasy/low magic campaign. Wizards won't be as "well-rounded" with lots of skills and things, but since they also don't need a lot of points spent on Characteristics, it frees them up to get more spells. This seems, to me, to be a good way to introduce the game to beginners. A wide open campaign with lots of crazy magic and crypto-magical abilities quickly makes it harder to get a grasp of for beginners.
  4. Brian Stanfield

    Weapon Types vs. Armor Types

    That's some good stuff, and pretty much fits what I was originally considering. I like the Multipower approach. It makes a lot of sense, and is pretty exciting to consider. However, as you say, this is a nightmare of bookkeeping, and would best be saved as an experiment for very experienced players who want to play around with granular combat rules.
  5. Brian Stanfield

    Skill-based magic

    Interesting. I like that as a possible talent to add to the list.
  6. Brian Stanfield

    Skill-based magic

    I think the idea here is to have multiple versions of the same spell without having to pay the full cost for each one. I was going to ask if the "Magic" limitation was still required in the newer version of Fantasy Hero. I think the Dispel example answers that question for me. Things like "detect magic" would, I suppose, require this limitation for each spell in the first place. Thanks for bringing that up. As for what you say about the VPP, that's great stuff, and makes perfect sense. But the problem becomes how to explain all that to someone who's never played any HERO System game before. I suppose I could just build it for them and make modifications as they grow, but I'm trying to find a good way to introduce magic to newbies. VPP is just about the worst case scenario. This is primarily why I tried to find a skill-based approach, although I mucked it up with too many new rules right out of the gate to make it just as daunting for someone unfamiliar with the game mechanics.
  7. Brian Stanfield

    Skill-based magic

    Did you happen to look at drunkonduty's magic system file? He had a great idea of only charging for the difference in cost for a new version of an existing skill. I like that a lot. I mentioned that I had built a Multipower system before, and in that I basically had separate Multipowers for each school of magic someone studied: fire school, necromancy, etc. The MP represented each magic tome, so I had all sorts of limitations set for re-arranging the slots, making new spells, etc., based on OAF, extra time for study, etc. I got hung up on the cost for each MP Reserve, though, and so it got costly too. But I just saw an alternate rule basing the MP slots on Real Cost rather than Active Points, which would allow the Reserve to be smaller. So short story long, I may just go back to that. If I allow new slots to be added by paying the difference in cost of one that exists (like drunkonduty's system) then it can become quite cost effective. This is the crux of the problem, isn't it? I suppose if I'm trying to teach to new people I could just start with the standard Fantasy Hero Complete system to begin with, and pre-gen or highly packaged characters, and not worry about any of these decisions until they decide they want to do more advanced stuff. Yeah, we were discussing roleplaying in this thread and coming up with ways to improve roleplaying interaction. It seems magic is one of those things that should inspire some good narrative fun, but most people just point and shoot without much thought. But I attribute that to "kids these days." Get off my lawn!
  8. Brian Stanfield

    Demo Adventure

    I forgot to bring that up. And highway 80 is Interstate 80, so not a lonely state highway, no matter what anybody says! 😉
  9. Brian Stanfield

    Demo Adventure

    Unfortunately there are no Waffle Houses in Iowa. 😝
  10. Brian Stanfield

    Skill-based magic

    Good point. I may be overthinking things and worrying where there is no need. I always played with Multipowers or VPPs. I've never done a simple "buy the spells as if they are powers" approach because it seems so expensive. But I guess that's why the cost/3 or cost/5 has become so common. In fact, the cost/5 ends out basically being like a Multipower without a Reserve or slots, just the cost savings. Thanks for you input!
  11. Brian Stanfield

    Demo Adventure

    I had fun reading this, and may flat out steal it for my local gaming group! New people at a con take some time to learn the rules (see "HERO in two pages") and get used to each other. If you keep the fire to their feet (remember, the full moon is ONE DAY AWAY!) I think you could get them through in 4 hours. The first zombie encounter could become a time suck for first-time players, so prepare some standard combat maneuvers for them to default to. The sudden call from (insert NPC here) is a great way to move to a new scene if things start dragging. Good of luck and let us know how it goes!
  12. Brian Stanfield

    Skill-based magic

    Hey, drunkonduty, I finally had a chance to look through your magic document. I like it! It's simple and clean and makes good sense. I especially like that sorcerers pay only the difference in cost for an improved spell. I hadn't thought of this at all, and it fits in perfectly with what I was wanting to do with he Spell Research skill but couldn't quite work out. Thanks for sharing it. By the way, what is Fantasy Hero Basic? Is that a beginners document you're working on?
  13. Brian Stanfield

    Skill-based magic

    Great criticisms all around, and well explained, but can you help me out with some solutions? Or at least some ideas to help me move forward? Because right now I feel like I just need to scrap the whole thing. What type of magic do you use in Fantasy Hero?
  14. Brian Stanfield

    Skill-based magic

    Yeah, this is why I hate expendable foci. The Grimoire allows for adjusting the Advantages and Limitations, so it's not a totally lost cause. I like the Grimoire for good ideas, and for showing newbies how a spell is built. This is another good point, and definitely a selling point for me with Fantasy Hero. When I've been saying that the wizards are potentially unbalanced, the obvious solution to limiting their spells is to do as you say and give them some other combat skills. Heck, a wizard with a staff for his OAF could also make that a staff sling, for example, and hurl rocks as hist standard combat maneuver. The flexibility is awesome, and encourages players to think outside of traditional cliches in fantasy gaming.
  15. Brian Stanfield

    Skill-based magic

    This is exactly the sort of thing that made me switch to Fantasy HERO back in the '80s. This is most definitely not D&D stuff. I love the possibilities offered in HERO System.
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