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RDU Neil

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RDU Neil last won the day on July 12 2018

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About RDU Neil

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  • Birthday 08/04/1967

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  1. And nobody is saying Batman shouldn't be on a super team, either... just not with the likes of Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern, etc. The X-Men are a great example of a team of people who are well-trained humans with a kick ass power, or actually superhuman, but none of them were Superman or WW levels. Not until Phoenix, and I loved when Byrne and Claremont talked about how they really had to do something about Phoenix, because if she was so powerful, what was the point of the rest of the team? Marvel thought about these things (back in the original 25 years of the company). When Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver and Hawkeye were the Avengers with Cap, their were in continuity ramifications that this team was significantly underpowered and it struggled. When the published the Handbook of the Marvel Universe, they clearly detailed power levels that scaled within a somewhat reasonable range, and it was clear that lower end characters were outclassed by higher end characters. Don't get me wrong... I frickin' love the archer and martial arts characters... WAY more than the god-like JLA types. I like the lower level, bronze age Marvel supers (X-Men, Alpha Flight, Avengers even w/Thor who always outclassed the others)... and I truly believe that original Champions was designed to emulate that era and style of comics originally. Silver Age or even post-Crisis Superman was always out of scope (not impossible, but not really the target character type). Can you have a flying strong guy and an archer on a team, sure... but that is much more likely to be Nova and Hawkeye... not Supes and Green Arrow. Again, it is a matter of scale in a quantified RPG. In the comics, the things that destroy verisimilitude are like "one panel, Flash safely evacuates every living thing from Seoul, Korean in the milliseconds between impact and the detonation of a nuclear warhead. If he can do that... no other story concept matters, because he is essentially omnipotent. And FYI... you may have rambled a bit, but you were hardly out of line. No worries, mate.
  2. Yes... I know of all these early takes on "Hero System" but they were separate from Champions, which is what I was basically reflecting upon. And even when we played the original editions, they still had the implications of scaling up from normal. 4th Ed just formalized them. Basically, once you provide clear stats for "real world" substances (doors, cars, etc.) and setting comparable damage levels to guns and knives... you have a baseline for "Just how super Is my character?" Personally, this is one of the main reasons I love Hero System, but as I stated above, because it helps overcome the tropes I dislike about the genre.
  3. Actually, yes, that is exactly it. I always hated the Batman and Green Arrow types hanging with Superman and Wonder Woman and Flash. Not that they can't be in the same world, but c'mon... if Flash was written even 50% consistent and smartly, none of the characters would ever have to do anything, because the god of speed would have taken care of it before the Batmobile left the Bat-cave. It can work only when an author has complete creative control force situations where Batman can somehow do something useful... usually by nerfing Superman in some way or other. In almost every case, the stories are inconsistent and badly written. Even if you accept JLA Bat-God version of Batman (which, though entertaining to read in some comics, is ridiculous in an RPG/PC concept) that character is completely inconsistent with the Batman of Detective Comics. Batman as an iconic literary device can be portrayed in many different ways, but most of the tropes of superhero comics do NOT translate well to RPGs, let alone ones like Hero System where things are defined in very specific, comparable values. Batman's stats don't come close to Superman's... and putting them on the same team would be a nightmare rpg campaign challenge, unless everyone is on board with GM-enforced deus ex machina to somehow make it work. There is an argument from some about why the love the original (up through 3rd Ed) Champs, prior to 4th Ed and it becoming Hero System. This, in many cases, is because the system allowed for more of the "Who cares about concept... everyone is 250 pts and basically the same powerlevel" type of game. Once 4th Ed came out, and the game very clearly defined "normal" and then every character could clearly be analyzed as "how far from normal, and how do you justify that, is s/he?" Hero is a great system for "People with Powers" which is really much more what I've always wanted superhero comics to be (and one of the reasons I love Marvel over DC is that at their height, they had clearly defined power levels between characters and not everyone was equivalent. Daredevil was not up to the Hulk, the Avengers needed their heavy hitters (Thor, Wonder Man, Iron Man) when the real shit hit the fan, etc.) If you want "My character is angry that his parents were killed and he took karate lessons, and now he can hang with Superman" and you accept that... ok for your game, but I'm out.
  4. RDU Neil

    Dowloading Thread Content?

    So manual only... but if there are 365 PAGES of posts that I need to copy... that seems like I'll need to take very long vacation to get it done. But thanks for the response. I was hoping for some bulk download.
  5. RDU Neil

    Dowloading Thread Content?

    Is there any way to download the content of a thread in some basic text file format? I posted a bunch of "actual play" content years ago, and I've now lost the original text files, but would love to just download the thread posts. Is that at all possible? Thanks!
  6. RDU Neil

    Storn's Art & Characters thread.

    Actually her name is Zap-Girl! but that didn't translate in the image. She's the NPC I use when running the game. She's a fun character to play off the others.
  7. RDU Neil

    What Have You Watched Recently?

    The most metal movie you will ever see.
  8. RDU Neil

    How many DCs is your Champions campaign?

    How do you (or do you at all) balance EXP spend with this system? Are the characters required to stay in the range throughout the campaign? (Which could work for a pre-determined, less than 10 session run, or such.) Do you allow EXP to break this? (Hence this balance is only for starting characters) or do you have another defined stage of balance for experienced PCs... like a 60/60/23/6 rule or something?
  9. RDU Neil

    Guns and Ammo

    My understanding, and I'm no expert... while .380 and .38 are nominally the same diameter (for some reason, .38 is.001 wider... .380 is 9mm, .38 is 9.1mm) the design of the bullet and its length is the most notable difference. The .380 (also called 9mm short) is 17mm in length. The .38 Special is 23mm (I think.) The case and thus full cartridge for the .38 is longer, and designed for revolvers, where the .380 is designed for blow back automatics. I'm sure there are other differences, or I didn't get some details right. Pictures help...
  10. RDU Neil

    How many DCs is your Champions campaign?

    Using basically 6th Ed (for non-figured characteristics, the best thing ever) and various house rules... I had to select 15d6, but that is scewed for this particular campaign. I'd say 12-13d6 is more a sweet spot for "feeling super, but not world beaters" at least in my experience, and the game curves around that spot very nicely. I'd have to select 9d6 for the Champs Now beta test we are running... as it is 50% a take back to 3rd Edition days, but with some very different rules.
  11. RDU Neil

    Limitations 2: The singling.

    I was thinking about something similar, in that "only the largest Limitation counts"... in that an OAF, Charges, Beam attack... well, all that fall into the -1 for OAF, since the other limitations are of lesser value. It has its own problems. What you are recommending it something closer to what Ron is talking about in Champions Now as well... essentially "pick the limitation that really reflects how this power plays out, and that you want to actually come up in play. The big difference in thought process around limitation is "1. They are rules used to simulate some real world/pre-determined manifestation." vs. "2. They are story elements used to invite drama into the narrative." The first one has the downstream effect of trying micro-deconstruct every aspect of a power/ability, either toward obsessive but abstract simulationist puritanism, and/or limitation stacking for point savings. The second one has the downstream effect of removing a lot of detail and crunch that certain people like, and can, when done well, add variation and significance to play. I used to argue that Hero was two games. The Character Creation game... usually a mental game of creative "what if" to plumb what "technically" could be done with the rules, in a vacuum. Then there is the "Actual Play" Game at the table, with dice rolled and stories told... and that they are different games, often at odds with each other. Ron specifically states in Champs Now that the first game should not exist, it is not the point, keep PCs simple and get to the table and start rolling dice. Let them develop "in play." There are some fundamental "philosophy of gaming" issues going on here, which makes these questions difficult to answer.
  12. RDU Neil

    Limitations: There should be only one!

    I would honestly find the latter WAY easier than the former. And no... just like any game where OAF -1 has pretty much the same determined level of impact on a game... having two different Laser Pistol -1 is not what I'm talking about. But even if it was, because their character concepts (the truly important thing) are so vastly different that the different Laser Pistols play out differently... well... that is the point of all this. The limitations that are story based should move the story... and if you are saying the latter scenario above is difficult, then how do you keep track of the basics of "What is this player wanting at the table? How is this PC perceived to manifest in the imaginary space? What judgment calls fit the players concepts of fun play, and which don't?" GMs are making (or should be) these kind of constant social dynamic judgment calls all the time. Every decision a GM makes is one... not a mechanical decision... but a judgment call. To have the PCs "play experience" (at least as far as limitations are concerned) encapsulated in a single thing (the overall limitation description and the value of the limitation) is VERY helpful. That really helps me clarify even more. Mechanical limitations are ok as written (for the most part), and those are implemented every time BY THE PLAYER. The Story LImitations, though, are up to the GM, and therefore should reflect "How much can the GM mess with my standard operations?" I think it was Lucius above who also enunciated this as well.
  13. RDU Neil

    Limitations: There should be only one!

    Yes, exactly. One of the motivations for my thinking in this area is not just simplifying, but removing the tendency to stack multiple small limitations because they "make sense" and "are on the approved list" but together provide way more of a point break than they are worth together.
  14. RDU Neil

    Limitations: There should be only one!

    I'd totally be on board with this kind of thing. It would be a very straight forward way to award bennies... you spend them for benefit, and it triggers a disadvantage coming into play in the game, so some such. That is very solid.
  15. RDU Neil

    Fighting Styles Based on Location

    From my POV (and YMMV) the point to having cool, regional fighting styles is as much in "who CAN'T use them" as in who can. That is much campaign rules, rather than mechanics... saying a character must have a reason to know a certain fighting style, and likely denying characters from having multiple styles. For a low level fantasy game, this makes sense, because you are involving culture and heritage and how that plays out in subtle differences of fighting style. That being said, it would probably be necessary to have each style have a clear 'advantage' as well as 'disadvantage' based around play elements as much as mechanics. The Vo-than style of the mountain people is about using rocky and sloping terrain to its advantage The Palean fighters of the great plain states are deadly on fast horses, with sabre and bow! etc. Simplest way is to provide plusses to OCV and DCV that only apply in the terrain/distinct situation they are trained for. It could also be a matter of establishing clear, upfront guidelines on use of Environmental Movement... so the Vo-than have it in the rocky mountains, and those that don't are suffering penalties in combat. I personally LOVE the martial maneuvers as ways to show different fighting styles and to provide tactical choices during play... but it really comes down to "How will I represent a skilled advantage in a certain situation over those who don't have it?"
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