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RDU Neil

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RDU Neil last won the day on February 10 2006

RDU Neil had the most liked content!

About RDU Neil

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    Double Millennial Master
  • Birthday 08/04/1967

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  1. RDU Neil

    What Have You Watched Recently?

    Agreed... Peaky Blinders is one of the best things on TV in the past five years.
  2. I'd never watched House of Cards before. I began the first season yesterday. It seems so... tame.
  3. RDU Neil

    What Have You Watched Recently?

    Binge watched the final season of Bosch on HBO. If you enjoy top quality acting, drama, excellent plotting, and great character development, I recommend it. A very excellent police procedural. I'm also more than half way through Swiss Family Robinson, as something going on in the background while I clean the house and do laundry, etc. It is basically the kind of show that would have been must see family TV in some earlier era, so while more diverse and better special effects, the writing feels like something from the late '70s. Isle of Dogs was both genius, and tone deaf in some ways. Really enjoyed it, absolutely beautiful craftsmanship, but in this day and age, you got to wonder about the cultural representation bit. And Quantum of Solace is my second favorite Bond, after Casino Royale, in that it is basically the second half of that movie. It has the most brutal killing by Bond ever portrayed on film, and manages the exotic, remote set-piece final battle in a way that felt almost believable. What it lacked was any real interpersonal connections whatsoever, being a highly internal revenge flick that only makes sense, emotionally, if you have just watched Casino Royale. The villain basically being a faceless organization of the super-rich, also kept them from being emotionally engaging... with the cathartic moment at the end being again tied to events in Casino. Watch them back to back, and it is an excellent, bleak, violent revenge chapter.
  4. RDU Neil

    Today's Dumb Criminal Story ...

    Wait... seriously... "The scene was so volatile that authorities barred the rest of the apartment building’s residents from re-entering their homes, and burned the entire building to the ground in a 1,600-degree controlled blaze overseen by 100 firefighters. Residents left their valuables inside." ???? 😬
  5. RDU Neil

    Things not covered/addressed in Hero

    Ah... I get you. Thanks for the explanation. As for drama dice, remember I was literally making up the idea as I typed, so I'm sure there are plenty of tweaks needed to keep it balanced and playable. I can always post my "Luck Chit" rules that I use for my game as well, since it is very much the Nar mechanic I layered on top of Hero. It works well and has been play tested for years, so I know where the balance is and where it tends to break. (Like any rule, it can be misused or break in certain circumstances, etc.) One thing I personally have noticed is that Nar mechanics can heavily shift the play style of a group. It may not seem like much, but simply having a chance to re-roll once or twice a game can heavily influence how sessions play out, and the more players you have the more people can use their narrative power, etc. Missed activation or skill rolls, or even a missed attack when it really matters... now you have that "nope... reroll" chance, and things tend to reduce those outlier bad moments. My experience is that it gives players more confidence in their characters, because it lowers the "feels bad man" moments that pure dice rolls can generate. This is a plus for our gaming group, but is certainly up to each, depending on play styles.
  6. RDU Neil

    Things not covered/addressed in Hero

    No... just no... I use these Narrative mechanics with people I've been playing with for 35 years in places. These mechanics are not training wheels, they are as integral to making the game work as having mechanics for resolving whether a punch lands or misses. "If you are mature role players you don't need rules for that. You should just be able to role play the fight without mechanics." They guide the group and provide structure for group interaction. Not at all. The mechanics make the game. Mechanics matter to what kind of imaginative additions can be brought in, under what circumstances, etc.
  7. RDU Neil

    Things not covered/addressed in Hero

    Yes... Advantage Gained vs. Dramatic Challenge. As a kind of hamfisted example... say, the player, when they get the advantage (adding extra dice to an attack, or guaranteeing a skill roll, whatever) the GM (or even better ,the play group as a whole) get a chit or something symbolizing "Drama!" which will force a challenging, dramatic shift when played. So... now, the PC, having just gotten the bonus to make a really difficult stealth role, sneaks into the base... GM asks, "Ok... any ideas on the drama challenge?" and one of the other players says, "I have an idea... how about this... we see PC Lad sneaking into the base, but cut scene, not far behind him, dressed in black with a look of determination on her face, is LL Smith, Roving Reporter and PC Lad's DNPC, who'd followed him up to Storm Mountain in the hopes of a big story! She follows PC Lad's path, and thinks she's made it when out of nowhere, a net falls on her followed by six ninjas! She's captured!" So now the PC's DNPC has been invoked, providing dramatic challenge, and it was a group decision and interaction that brought it into play, not just the GM "screwing with" the player. Suddenly the game becomes really fun and engaging storytelling. You'll get players debating whether it is good or necessary to risk further challenge for a benefit now. You can limit the number of times you can invoke the benefit, making it a special, powerful moment in the story, etc. Sure, if you have min-max munchkins in the group where they only want to demonstrate rule mastery and that they are 'better' at the game than others... well, they aren't going to buy into this. But if people want story and drama and character development and such, this kind of thing can give a structure to pulling them out of the group imagination, rather than just hoping people are all on the same page and engaged.
  8. RDU Neil

    Things not covered/addressed in Hero

    This is old school RPG thinking, where the players are poised against the GM, and anything other than min-maxing task resolution/combat actions are considered a "mistake" by the players to be punished. Original CoC was taking a stab at narrative mechanics with this insanity enforcement, but it was long before that kind of game development hit its stride. It felt punitive to that old school mindset. For a CoC game, or any such, you really need to be thinking narratively, as a player, and not "protagonizing" your PC... because it isn't about the PC gaining points and getting more mechanically powerful over time, it is about the PC as a vehicle to role play madness and obsession and isolation to evoke that feeling in the playgroup. The player doesn't lose agency, it is about granting them the agency to role play that descent into dissolution in a way that is an enjoyable experience. To say mechanics don't matter to role playing is wrong. Just expecting players to "get it" and all have the same experiential reference will never really work, not even with long standing, similar style players. Providing a structure is important. Hero "rewards" players who want to be good at punching things by giving them a clear system and interactive mechanics for them to demonstrate effective punching. The same is for many different task resolutions, combat or no. To get to Brian Stanfield's question... there are many different Narrative Mechanics that layer very nicely over Hero's Task Resolution mechanics, so you can get the best of both worlds. Try a "bennies" system or an "advantage/threat" system like in the current Star Wars RPG. Usually some mechanic that allows a level of director stance to players, works with intent not just action resolution ("You hit him, but what did you want to happen as a result of you hitting him?") Hero has traditionally not addressed (back to this thread's origins) Narrative mechanics, coming out of the old school, vanilla role playing concepts (mechanics help you fight, everything else is based on whether the player is just "good at it") though it has some attempts at this... the original Presence Attack was a step toward this, as it helped encourage intent "After I punch the guy's lights out, I want the others realizing they are outclassed and maybe giving up!" which was a great thing. It was limited in its applications, and was still about losing agency if the effect was turned on the PCs. If you want to encourage role playing, maybe something like "Drama Dice" (which I'm making up as I type)... say PCs have a pool of dice, separated (by color?) from their other dice. They can choose to add these dice to a damage roll, or have the subtracted from a skill roll, but the number of dice, or amount rolled on them would result in some kind of challenge or dramatic shift appropriate to the story... and the PLAYERS get to help come up with this outcome, not just the GM... so "We are getting smacked down by the Doominator! I go all in on this blast, 'cause we have to take him out! (Rolls big dice pool with Drama Dice added... gets big numbers!) YES! Got him! But oh boy, look at all those drama dice... something... let me think... oh, I got it, you mentioned that school bus earlier! Well my blast was so powerful, it cracked the bridge struts, and suddenly it is starting to collapse out from under that bus! We have to save 'em!" When the PLAYERS are encouraged to create these kind of drama bits... even if just by adding the dice to the pool and letting the GM come up with the drama issue afterwards... they are much more invested in the scene, theme story, than just reacting to every decision being implemented by the GM. This kind of mechanic encourages player involvement in the drama, provides an ingame reward, as well as encourages metagame dynamics... and some very small aspects of this (again, easily layered on to basic Hero task resolution mechanics) can go a long way toward encouraging the kind of experiential role playing that otherwise is just left up to undefined "good role playing" and whatever the heck that might mean for that particular group.
  9. RDU Neil

    Showing "Likes" Not working?

    As of today, I seem to be able to see the reactions on my own posts, again. They were not there yesterday, but I can see them (well, at least in this thread, since that is all I've checked) as of today. Fixed? Thanks! Watchman... i liked your post above, so see if you can see it.
  10. RDU Neil

    Sniping a scope.

    Yeah, as they've indicated, start with -8 for headshot, and add more minuses as you see fit (including minuses for range unless fully offset by the attacker's scope). The bigger question I'd ask is "If you miss the scope, do you still hit the guy?" Hero rules generally assumes a miss means no effect... so you'd have to have house rules for that kind of thing, if you are tracking every missed shot for possible collateral effect. (I tend to dramatically describe misses as well as hits, and sometimes the miss will be in such circumstances as it can add drama to a scene as well... but that is far beyond your question here.)
  11. RDU Neil

    In other news...

    Ok... I tried to follow the link you provided... https://ucr.fbi.gov/leoka Following through, I'm assuming you are using the numbers of Officers Feloniously Killed information (taking out accidental deaths)? https://ucr.fbi.gov/leoka/2016/officers-feloniously-killed/felonious_topic_page_-2016
  12. Question... where is the thread discussing this new DC TV thing... and does anyone know anything about it? This looks fun... and DC has always done TV better than movies. https://www.cbr.com/titans-tv-costumes-beast-boy-raven/
  13. The write assumes the original (ugh) Secret Wars, and not the most recent version (quite good) by Hickman. If this is more than speculation, then going cosmic (with GotG3 and Captain Marvel, etc.) would fit perfectly with the influx of Fox properties and a Hickman style Secret Wars. That would be fun.
  14. RDU Neil

    In other news...

    Am I reading this correctly, that minimal gun control and higher # of guns per household correlate strongly with increased number of both police deaths and deaths by police shooting? Nice work on this all the way around, but just checking to see if I'm interpreting it correctly.
  15. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/apr/11/mark-zuckerbergs-facebook-hearing-sham An excellent summarization... but of course, Trump will just shoot some missiles and distract everybody.