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Brian Stanfield

HERO Member
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Everything posted by Brian Stanfield

  1. Brian Stanfield

    Origins 2018

    Have you found anything good to play yet?
  2. Brian Stanfield

    Origins 2018

    Is anyone else at Origins this year?
  3. Brian Stanfield

    WH40K Hero

    Got it. I misunderstood your goal. Still, this sounds like a lot of fun, and I'd like to see what you finally come up with. You should post it when you get it figured out, and maybe write up a documents for the downloads section.
  4. Brian Stanfield

    WH40K Hero

    Its been a looooong time since I played 40k, but one principle that I always liked was the points-balance approach that is similar to HERO. In other words, you can gauge a squad based on the total number of points it has just like you can gauge a super team against a villain team. The weapons were a big part of balancing squads. For example, you could have a single squad of highly equipped space marines against an endless horde of space orcs with crappy weapons, but the points still balance out. My my point in bringing this up is that you'll probably want to include the weapons and equipment in the character builds so that there is still some balance at the squad level. They can all take the Focus Disadvantage, Real Weapon Disadvantage, etc. to make them more affordable, but it'll be easier to maintain a balance between opposing squad combat.
  5. Brian Stanfield

    6e Equipment Guide Character Pack

    I looked through the book for the detailed explanations on the builds, but they are done more like the genre books, offering a lot of possibilities for what can be done in a build, not necessarily what is done in a build. It may be worth getting a .pdf version of the book just to look at the material.
  6. Brian Stanfield

    6e Equipment Guide Character Pack

    By the way, have you compared the stats to the 5e Equipment Guide? They are actually cheaper, so it looks like there's an intentional adjustment in the 6e guide.
  7. Brian Stanfield

    6e Equipment Guide Character Pack

    Hmmm . . . Maybe this is worth asking Steve Long directly to see how he did the builds? Now I'm curious myself . . . .
  8. Brian Stanfield

    6e Equipment Guide Character Pack

    What are some of the numbers problems in the 6e guide? I haven't gone through it very thoroughly since it's basically an exact replica of the 5e Equipment Guide with new stats.
  9. Brian Stanfield

    Sports Betting On Role Playing Games

    The prop bets alone could rake in tons of cash!
  10. Brian Stanfield

    Floating Islands

    Ask this guy, he knows:
  11. I'll add another random thought or two: Modern air traffic has routes regulated at different elevations to avoid mid-air mishaps. You may consider having low altitude "local" traffic, and mid-altitude personal flight devices (or any other sort of flight like wings, for that matter), and higher altitude international and trade routes. You may consider air ports outside of the city limits to cut down on the traffic, or you may have certain air traffic control towers where air travelers are required to check in. Again, at different altitudes to minimize traffic bottlenecks. You may also consider having air ships dock at specific towers, to be offloaded and "parked" elsewhere by some sort of aviation enforcement agency. Air travel could check in at the city, and then have valets or some such folks place the vehicles in dedicated and protected port facilities. I'd think this would have to include pegasūs and dragons, etc., as well, since who wants a dragon hitched outside of the local tavern (see drunkonduty's observation about arson). That's all I've got on my mind for now. This is a great idea! I like the possibilities!
  12. Brian Stanfield

    Lost genre's?

    I don't know if you remember this, but early last year or late 2016 High Rock Press announced plans for an updated Danger International in late 2017. I think the Champions character creation cards are on the front burner at this point (very close to being ready), but perhaps if there's enough buzz we could fast-track the DI reissue.
  13. Brian Stanfield

    Skill-based magic

    Oh no! Not another spell thread! I'm wondering if anyone has had success running a skill-based magic system in Fantasy HERO 6e? I developed a really complex set of rules using Multipowers and VPPs that were intended to keep powers relatively balanced and capped, etc., to be balanced with non-magicians. But it was not very beginner-friendly. So I want to come up with something very simple and more intuitive. But I want it to have some sort of cap so that players don't get too much advantage from magic. I'm looking at some sort of mix of the Arts Arcane and the Azgandian magic systems in Fantasy HERO 6e. Has anyone done something like this? Here's what I've got so far: I'll use the spells from the HERO System Grimoire, along with their different classifications. players will choose Knowledge Skills corresponding to the different schools of magic they want to specialize in, sort of like a weapon familiarity. players will have a Power Skill corresponding to each spell they want to use within a school of magic for which they have the KS. The magic will obviously have a "requires a roll" limitation, with a -1 per 10 Active Points penalty. players may also use the Inventor (Spell Research) Skill to tweak existing spells, or maybe create new spells. I haven't decided all the details on this yet. So far that's all I've brainstormed. Here's what I'm considering and need feedback, or need suggestions: How do I cap the individual spells in a way that is intuitive? I'm thinking of capping spells based on the number of Character Points used in a Skill: there would be a cap on the Real Cost (rather than the Active Points) so that it cannot exceed the amount of points spent on the skill. So if someone has INT 20, a Fireball Skill at 11 + (Int/5), it would have a Real Cost cap of 3 points, and a roll of 15-. Then the cap would go up for each +1 for the skill (+2 Character Points). A Fireball Skill of 20- would have a Real Cost cap of 13. The idea is that the Active Points could be high, but still be very highly Limited in order to keep the cost down, so they couldn't become unbalancingly powerful. Over time, characters can use the Spell Research Skill to modify their Spell Skills by removing Limitations, adding Active Points, or adding advantages in order to represent their experience. The Real Cost cap would also have to be purchased up as these modifications are made. At what point should I allow players to create their own spells? I have no idea on this one, although I'm thinking the threshold would involve some combination of the Spell Research Skill and the Spell Skill, sorta like the cap in Real Points described above. How? I'm not sure yet and could use some suggestions. Because the new Spell Skill does not yet exist, it can't be added to the Spell Research Skill to determine the threshold. Once a new spell is invented, a corresponding skill would have to be purchased. So now I'm stumped. I'm also thinking that it would make sense to allow for Multipowers (or maybe VPP) to allow for different strengths of spells. A fireball could be varied in this way so a wizard isn't always blowing up an entire room. I'm not sure how I'd do this as a skill, and it's beginning to get more complicated like my former spell system was. How can I do spell "levels" in an easy way using the Spell Skills? I think that's it for now. All relevant ideas are most welcome.
  14. Brian Stanfield

    Skill-based magic

    Glen, this is awesome! I had dreams of doing something similar myself, but even more brief than yours. The one thing you most definitely got right is including the package deals at the beginning! I gave my buddy a copy of Fantasy Hero Complete a year ago, and he was overwhelmed (this is why I started that thread at the time). One of the problems is that he was looking for some reference point on how to make a character: what should be included, what sort of skills, what sort of background, etc., but the package deals are buried in the back of the book. You've made them a central part of creating a character for beginners, which is a really useful strategy. You also include the tables showing relative power levels (heroic vs. superheroic, etc.), as well as the starting values for the characteristics. This is not readily obvious when looking at a character sheet in FHC. In fact, as a beginner's book it really seems to assume a lot more player knowledge than should be expected for a beginner. I love what you've done. I plan on, one day, writing something similar but even more brief. More like Xotl's Fantasy Hero Primer, but less directed and more general. I think a quick 30 page document outlining the character building process, including some guidance on package deals, racial and professional packages, etc., along with a general but less detailed discussion of the skills and powers would be useful. In essence, I want to write a companion to Fantasy Hero Complete that will simplify the character creation process, and give a tour of the game along with page references to the book for more details. Although I like the book, it follows the same format that HERO has used for decades, and it's not necessarily intuitive. New, and I mean brand new, players really need something to translate the book for them. The combat stuff is easy to understand, for the most part, so can be summarized really quickly. But I think a rundown of all the different rolls and how they are calculated is a must. A sample combat is also a really useful tool for newbies to get a feel for the game. Anyway, that's the long version of "Awesome! Thanks!"
  15. Brian Stanfield

    POD for 6e1 and 6e2

    That's good news! Thanks for keeping us posted.
  16. Brian Stanfield

    Weapon Types vs. Armor Types

    This isn't so much a specific question as it is a request for feedback on how people have tried to introduce some granularity into armor and weapon selection. I know many of you have more experience with actual medieval weaponry and can offer some great insight. Fantasy Hero 6e offers some ideas on how to offer variety to weapons in a fantasy setting. On p. 205 it says: Bashing damage weapons: weapon automatically has +1 STUN Multiplier (or an additional +1) if the wielder succeeds with a STR (or DEX) Roll when he attacks; leather and plate armors only provide half PD against Bashing weapons Slashing damage weapons: weapon gains +1 DC (which counts as base damage) against targets with no Resistant Defense (or when it hits a Hit Location with no Resistant Defense) if the wielder succeeds with a STR (or DEX) Roll when he attacks; leather armors only provide half PD against Slashing weapons Piercing damage weapons: weapon is automatically Armor Piercing if the wielder succeeds with a STR (or DEX) Roll when he attacks (if weapon is already Armor Piercing, it becomes double AP); chainmail and like armors only provide half PD against Piercing weapons I like the ideas presented here, but I'm wondering how much variation is possible or even desirable when considering weapon types versus armor types. For example, I was always a "sword first" kind of fantasy player. This was D&D conditioning. Daggers and short swords were a stupid waste of time, and polearms were ridiculously awkward. What good was a mace, anyway? Long sword all the way, unless I was strong enough for a two-handed sword. And then all my weapon proficiencies went into that one single weapon. I went into this in a Weapon Speed discussion already. That was thoroughly beaten to death, but with lots of great insight. I'm hoping to get something like that here. I'm looking at this now with the idea that all those different weapons have different purposes. A sword isn't always the right option. Is your foe covered head to toe in plate mail? Clanging away with a sword will only get the sword broken. This is where a mace comes in handy, for instance. Or perhaps an axe, which can focus more chopping power against armor. Or a dagger for getting into the little gaps. Or armor piercing crossbow bolts. There are countless examples, each showing how what I used to think of as "stupid" weapon choices may actually be more reasonable. I'd like to promote more creative weapon specialization in my players, without it simply being an aesthetic/fetishistic choice based on what looks cool. I'm cool with looking cool, but I'd also like to have some incentive for selection of different weapons. For example, the older I get the more handy I realize an axe can be. It's a great tool in a lot of ways, and a pretty darn effective weapon too. Now I'd be more liable to grab an axe than a sword, and I'm actually trained in sword IRL. I suppose a sword can be used to break down doors or fell trees, but the axe is designed to do exactly those things. So by extension, what is it most effective against as a weapon? This then raises all kinds of new questions. Are there more than the 3 damage categories listed above that would be useful without overlapping too much? Is "chopping" different from "slashing"? Is there something a sword is better at than an axe? Is some armor more or less vulnerable to a mace? The converse question, then, is what armor types pair against what damage types? Which armors are more or less vulnerable to each type of damage? Is there really a difference between getting hit fully by an axe versus a sword (I mean really, not just in terms of dice rolled)? Do any of you have some ideas about armor types versus weapon types that have worked, or have you found the 3 categories listed above from Fantasy Hero 6e to be sufficient? I'm curious of your experience and insight.
  17. 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.
  18. Brian Stanfield

    Skill-based magic

    Probably Jason Walters is your guy. I suspect the proprietary content may be an issue, but you never know.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. Brian Stanfield

    Skill-based magic

    Interesting. I like that as a possible talent to add to the list.
  22. 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.
  23. 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!
  24. 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! 😉
  25. Brian Stanfield

    Demo Adventure

    Unfortunately there are no Waffle Houses in Iowa. 😝
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