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RDU Neil

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RDU Neil last won the day on March 22

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About RDU Neil

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  • Birthday 08/04/1967

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  1. Civil War, Ragnarok and Spider-Man were quite good. Infinity War was a let down. Ragnarok managed some real, rock-em-sock em stuff that was the right level of over-the-top... while Spider-Man and Civil War do stand up well (but in most cases, that is because they do more traditional fight scenes "turned up a notch" i.e. the stairwell fight scene or the tunnel car motorcycle chase scene, which are both genius). Infinity War and Captain Marvel were major let-downs. Too CGI and plastic an lacking any grounding.
  2. Yes, yes and yes. I've found that Marvel has really dropped considerably since Avengers (the first movie) in doing super-strength well. Every blow from Thanos and the hulk should have had concussive blasts knocking others around. Every shot should have been an area effect attack to those around it. They've turned so many "super punches" into regular punches that just happen to hurt tough guys. The whole fight vs. Thanos on Titan was the same. It felt like Thanos was just some big, brawny lug. One of the best ways to show real power, is that the side-effects of that power are practically attacks in and of themselves, and that normal stuff gets casually trashed as a by-product. They just don't do that well any more... where like Ant-Man and the Wasp did it better than Infinity War or Captain Marvel. (The photon blast vs. juke box really pissed me off... 1) she first a photon blast that clearly has impact mass and heat about six inches from Fury and it doesn't scorch or singe him, but has enough impact to cave in the machine... oh, and 2) they just casually laugh off blowing up the juke box and no one takes issue with it? A separate problem, but exactly the kind of stupid show-off scene that Marvel has never stooped to, but for some reason decided taking Captain Marvel back 20 plus years in terms of action movie sophistication was thought to be a good idea.)
  3. This is the classic example of HERO in headache mode. Something that is simple in concept and basically more flavor than functional is going to require complex over-engineering to make possible. Old school... go with STR, Indirect, call it good... which would handle 99% of all actual game play uses. currently... some kind of frankenstein MP for an astronomical cost and wast of time over-engineering it. Or... go new school with old school... it is STR with a Custom Advantage: Ghost Limb... and come up with what you think your description... "Extremity is sometimes a bit out of phase with the real world. Like if he's gesturing broadly, his fingertips might pass through a desk or a wall but so quickly that the people he's talking to aren't quite sure if they actually saw what they saw. In game terms, the extremity can reach an arm (or another limb) through something and manipulate things on the other side with X STR. Character can do stuff like open a locked door or window, flip on the lights, adjust the display inside a jewelry case, feel what's in someone's pockets, feel what's inside a lock-box, drop candy from a vending machine without paying for it, pick up a piece of paper on a desk and bring it close to the window to read, etc. Anything you could do with your arm or leg, he can do with whatever length of limb the character has stuck through to the other side. He can't see through the barrier unless the barrier is normally transparent. If someone grabs his arm while it's pushed through something, he can only exert X STR when trying to pull his arm back through. The arm physically exists in the intervening space so if, for example, he accidentally pushes his arm into the power cable going to a light switch, he could electrocute himself. And he can feel the difference between various substances so he can feel the difference between empty space, studs, nails, Sheetrock, etc. when sticking his hands through a wall." So... how much is that worth? It really comes down to "Can't bypass defenses, but could bypass barriers with attacks. Can bypass barriers to manipulate objects on the other side." I guess my only question comes down to the consistency of your description. 1. I'm not sure why it would hurt the guy if he pushed his hand through a power cable, but doesn't hurt going through a wall of razor glass? Just seems odd, unless you are say, "Ghost limb can't pass though energy or energy barriers" which is cool. Just include that. 2. If someone grabs it, why can't he just ghost away and pull back? Clearly no one could grab his hand while ghosting through the wall, and he has to "unghost" the hand to manipulate things, but pulling it back he'd have to ghost it again... so why can't he just "reghost" his hand if someone grabs it? Work those two kinks out and Me... I'd rule +3/4... it is more than just indirect, but less than double the STR cost. Seems fair... good to go. I honestly think HERO works WAY better in cases where, instead of over-engineering a bunch of effects into a gross kludge, you just come up with a ruling and base the cost on comparison of value to what is already defined.
  4. THIS! I mean... MCU movies have been this smart in the past. They've had writers who understood that even a small measure of subtlety and misdirection can turn something simplistic into something resonant. You can take a scene and layer it... the surface layer of what is happening, the 4th wall layer of what the audience sees that the characters don't, the subtext layer of what it thematically represents... hell the inuendo or double meaning layer, where a joke for the kids means something else for the adults... whatever... there are so many ways good writers can create depth in a film... ... and Capt. Marvel hand none of them. It existed entirely in the literal surface layer. This is what I meant by "dumbed down".
  5. Because "to hit" in HERO is a defined matter of OCV vs. DCV or OCV vs. OCV... not a matter of skill roll modifiers. If I'm supposed to be adding modifiers to the OCV vs. OCV of a Missile Deflect effectively I'm saying "Has X OCV to hit, but X+Y OCV for avoiding block" which has NEVER been how Block is defined. You never say, "You are going to Block? Ok... roll to hit an 19 OCV?" And the players are like, "He has a 19 OCV?" and you reply, "Oh, no, he has an 8 OCV, but I'm giving him +11 vs. being blocked because his fist is really small and fast and hard to see... oh, and do you have gauntlets on, 'cause you can't block unless you have gauntlets on"... ... that would never be the case with Block... but that is exactly how Missile Deflect is being handled now, in an attempt to make it "more consistent"with Block. If one PC is going to have difficulty blocking an opponent, it isn't a matter of situational modifiers... it is because that opponent has a much better OCV. yes... environmental modifiers can occur, but they are minor changes and/or not often called into play. With Missile Deflect the way it is, you are saying that every use of it requires massive environmental modifiers that don't apply elsewhere. Now this raises the question: "Well, if those modifiers apply to Missile Deflect, what about when the martial artist just blocks Zippy the Shrinking Man who flies really fast and does a lot of move-throughs... he is small and hard to see and moves fast... shouldn't the Block have massive modifiers?" And now you are in dangerous territory, because you applied "realistic modifiers" that essentially, to be fair, just gave the shrinking and flying guy a bunch of OCV bonuses for free, which is definitely not the intent of the game. At minimum you've opened the door to the GM being expected to apply environmental and other modifiers to every single "to hit" scenario, some subtle and some massive in their effect on resolution. There is a whole can of worms opened with this. Let's look at it from the POV of a character who is a superhero type who SHOULD be able to Missile Deflect with relative ease. In the past, Ninja-Star only needed to buy the level of Deflect that she felt appropriate... then in those situations, she gets a straight up OCV vs. OCV roll. Simple. Under 6th, Ninja-Star has to say, "Hey, GM... what is the max possible minuses you'd give me to deflect arrows, missiles, bullets..." and assuming the GM could provide an answer, she'd have to buy Skill Levels enough to offset the max possible penalties in order to make her character concept work? And she HAS to have a focus of some sort now? Again, by saying it is "realistic" to allow it for everyone, you are by default making what used to be a simple, very common superheroic ability much more difficult and crunchy and arbitrary.
  6. I said "shieldless fighters" so read the damn post. Nothing I'm saying has anything to do with the use of shields. I covered that above. You are putting words in my mouth about what I want or not. And the realism argument is the worst. You are suddenly going to say Joe Schmoe has an improbably chance, but should get that chance... when a) the worst odds Joe Schmoe has are 1 in 216 which is unrealistically high... and b) you ignore other "realisms" for the sake of one very improbably realism... i.e. the realism of "even if he did get his hand in the way, it would still likely blow through, or it was too fast, big, heavy to stop, etc." By assuming one "realism" of "he should have a chance" you've opened up the glaring unrealism of it all, which again defeats the axiomatic action adventure basis here. It would be much easier to do as I said above, have certain itesm (shields, whatever)... grant Joe Schmoe the base level of Missile Deflection... because that's what a shield was for. If Joe doens't have WF: Shield, he is at -3 to do it. Just like a tennis racket grants Missile Deflection/Reflection, only vs. tennis ball like objects... and requires a Weapon Fam: Tennis Racket or at -3 to attempt. hell... there are so many better ways to use already existing mechanics in 4th Ed to exemplify what you want to simulate... the new ruling just made it way more complex and variable and subject to arbitrary decisions.
  7. I'm not pining for 'effing charts, I'm saying that the game should not require a GM to have to consider special modifiers or special ephemera (do you have a silver platter) whenever an "everyman" maneuver is used. I don't want Rolemaster or Aftermath! or any of that. With Block it is just an OCV vs. OCV deal. Suddenly with Missile Deflect the GM has to adjudicate modifiers based on the attack, the scenario and ephemera in play for what is supposedly an "everyman" maneuver that otherwise had a nice, simple, grokkable rule set in place but was just chucked for... whatever. It is pure bad design to take out something that worked and adjudicated success in a simple way, and replace it with "GM judgment, you make it up" no matter how detailed or seat-of-the-pants that judgment is.
  8. But here again... look at the source material that is axiomatic to HERO. You don't see every grunt on the field knocking arrows out of the air, let alone trying. You never see the shieldless fighters under a hail of arrow waving their swords around trying to swat them aside. The only ones who do it are the big, badass named characters WHO PAID POINTS FOR THE ABILITY because that is what sets them apart. Right... and now we have all these caveats that don't apply elsewhere, because making this seemingly "consistent" change opens up a huge can of worms. The new ruling doesn't match source material, it doesn't match reality and it makes play more complicated and GMing more difficult. Pure... bad... design.
  9. Yes, but the game doesn't provide me with a rule/mechanic when it used to, and that is crap design for a system created to simulate action adventure. And again... I'm supposed to do all the work to come up with a massive chart that calculates, speed, size, angle of attack, etc., so that I can use it for every ranged attack? Now that is utter crap, and such a set of calculations should be created and provided with such a system expectation, not expected to be part of a GMs prep. If they want to go this route then they have to do a lot more of the work... and any chart of size/velocity/angle of attack should be applicable to ALL attacks, not just ranged (a fist at your face is really only different from a bullet at your face in that it is usually slower and more obvious)... I mean... do we now have to calculate the velocity times mass for all attacks in order to resolve them? This is just ridiculous. What if there was a simple chart that broke down the basic categories of likely attack that were progressively more and more difficult to deflect... you know... LIKE THE ONE THAT USED TO BE IN THE GAME! This whole deal is just one of the clearest examples of the mindset that tossed out playability for that of intricate thought problem consistency. The simple fact is that everyone grokked "block as everyman skill" and they also grokked "missile deflect as special ability" without any consternation. It only became an issue with the over-thinking/over-engineering of later editions. (Heck, if you want to over-engineer, I'd much prefer if they took out Block as an everyman ability. Anyone with even a passing partaking of hand-to-hand combat (sport or real) knows that most "blocks" are really just "taking the shot on a less vulnerable location, like the forearm or shoulder, and a real 'block' tends to be punching/kicking away an attack, thus you have to be able to move/hurt that attack for it to work. Make block a graduated skill/ability similar to 4th Ed Missile Deflection. Level 1 - block any barehanded attack of the same relative STR, speed and size or less, Level 2 - block hand attacks up to twice the STR, speed and size, Level 3 - Block up to 5x STR, Level 4 - block all Hth... whatever. That would be way better than current standing. )
  10. The Thing isn't missile deflecting, he is creating a barrier out of the environment. In almost every example, the beam is one of those "constant attacks" that has already struck, and he is pulling up the ground to put a barrier in between him and it. In no way does Ben see the energy blast coming and THEN bend over, rip up the road, and somehow get it in front of the beam before it ever reaches him. Ben doesn't have Missile Deflection, he is either "just using the environment" like picking up a bus to hit someone doesn't require special powers on the sheet... more maybe Ben's player does have a "Strength Tricks" power pool that allows for impromptu Barrier use. Either way, this isn't Missile Deflection. You've obviously never played competitive doubles. This argument makes no sense. By this standard, Aunt May could also roll a 3 and Missile Deflect Cyclop's Eye-beams. Giving every character missile deflection by default only exacerbates this problem.
  11. I think shields, in my mind... do three things... and the GM and player have to decide which one applies for each attack. A shield can a) Deflect a hand to hand attack (stop all damage) thus provide plusses to Block, b) Give a character the Missile Deflect power against defined attacks (thrown objects, arrow, of a certain mass or less), or c) Give a character "Cover" in terms of increased DCV... but that cover can be subject to "blow through" For each attack, the best option is chosen (against a sword strock, plusses to Block, vs. an arrow fusillade, Missile Deflect... against an arrow targeted specifically at them by a highly skilled archer, maybe "Cover" is better) ... and against some attacks, the shield is essentially useless (that tactical plasma rifle... COVER... but blow through means your head is gone anyway).
  12. You are hitting on one of my major peeves about 6th Edition. This "everyone can missile deflect" rule is a classic example of "logical internal extrapolation at the expense of actual good game play." For most of the life of HERO in all its forms, Missile Deflection as a Skill, Power or whatever never raised an eyebrow. Everyone had a base chance to Block a HtH attack, but not everyone had a base chance to block a ranged attack. Somewhat illogical when you state it like that... but NOBODY thought it was a problem. Why? Because any MEANINGFUL use of missile deflection by a character was truly a skill/ability/power beyond that of a "normal person." It made sense that it was "special and needed a special ability on the sheet." Example: I played a lot of tennis in my life. For all intents and purposes, most racket sports are "missile deflection sports" to a great extent. A projectile comes at you and you have to maneuver to knock it away... in fact, you have to learn "Missile REFLECTION" to do well, because you aren't just knocking the ball away, you are sending it back at a specific target on the other side of the net. Especially when you are "at the net" and you aren't stroking the ball, but punching it with short, deflective strikes. So... you could argue that "well, anyone can play tennis, so anyone SHOULD be able to missile deflect... right?" To this I say... no, not at all. For multiple reasons. 1. Anyone CAN try to throw up their hand and knock a tennis ball away as it heads for their face at speed. BUT... only someone who practices a LOT and develops techniques, would be able to actually do it at all reliably, and it would be highly difficult. i.e. They'd have points spent on a skill or ability. 2. Anyone CAN take a tennis racket at try to knock a tennis ball away as it heads for their face at speed. BUT... only someone who practices a LOT and develops techniques, would be able to actually do it at all reliably, even though the racket might make it easier. i.e. They'd have points spent on a skill or ability. 3. And this shows a lack of focus on the axioms of HERO. Rules and mechanics are sometimes based on "This is mechanically, internally consistent" and other times seem to be based on, "This is trying to reflect a part of reality we assume is baseline in the game." In the case of Missile Deflection (or the lack thereof) they seem to be picking "internally consistent with Block on a mechanical front" vs. "does this reflect reality"... but at the same time, neither of these is what should be the deciding factor. Axiomatic of HERO is simulating/building action adventure characters and game play scenarios... and the only MEANINGFUL missile deflection in that milieu is a special ability. Nobody cares if you can play tennis in action adventure scenarios, what matters is whether you can effectively deflect or reflect an otherwise dangerous projectile/beam attack that demonstrates why you are special and a HERO. 4. Hell, sticking with the tennis example... even if I was a top level tennis pro... if I was "at the net" and instead of a tennis ball, my opponent was drilling a golf ball at me... well *&^%!! that! I'd be lucky if I could get my racket in place in time, and if I was at all aware, I'd be hitting the deck (Dodge) and not even trying to deflect. One... it is a lot harder to hit a smaller (just a bit smaller) faster (just a bit faster) projectile. My "Tennis Ball blocking skill!" I paid points for is not at all appropriate for this new, only slightly different scenario. Now... with time, and potentially a lot of brain damage, I might be able to learn a skill of "Deflect Golf Ball with Tennis Racket!" but no human would be very good at that except in extremis, and Missile Reflection, like actually placing the return shot... highly unlikely. We haven't even gotten to thrown rocks or hard hit balls in dangerous, random combat scenarios... let alone arrows or bullets, yet... and we are at the very edge of human ability. And even in those scenarios where a human somehow learned this, it would still be an extreme skill that should be reflected as a significant point expenditure and defined the rules. 5. Ultimately, the only MEANINGFUL missile deflections in the game are as above... deflecting ATTACKS (without being damaged) that are too small and fast and coming from range that most people can't see them, or react in time... thus someone who CAN do this is beyond normal... they have a ability/power/talent that should be called out... so put the damn power back in the book.
  13. I didn't find this man-bashing... just a tired, cliched, "saw it coming a mile away" joke just like most of them. That was my main problem with the movie is that it wasn't remotely funny or clever at all. everything was so predictable, even the jokes were canned and stiff. It felt like a bad episode of a 90s TV show that went on too long. It was severely dumbed down, which I find shocking. Even if I found Infinity War to be bad, they were at least trying to up-end audience expectations and do something different with their story telling. The writing on Captain Marvel felt like what I expected Iron Man to be, eleven years ago... safe, cliched, predictable and bland. For all the faults, no Marvel movie has been this until now, which is why I was so appalled.
  14. I'm probably echoing what Pegasus said, but... 1. what do you think is the best genre for teaching the 6e rules? Purely IMO, but I'd say grab Champions Complete and keep rule use to that book. The other option is to run a heroic genre that your players like... Low Fantasy or Zombie Apocalypse or something that is very resonant. Most importantly, you as the GM should enjoy it 2. Is it best to start with pre-gen characters? Without a doubt, for two reasons. You want you players to "play the game" not "work the system" right off the bat... and two, your character designs will go a long way toward setting the standard for games going forward. They will look at these characters as examplars and tend to follow them. Teach your players to play HERO the way YOU want them to play HERO. 3. Which parts of the rules are most important to teach first? To me, HERO is about task resolution (bellcurve 3d6) and simulating action adventure combats. That is what the SYSTEM is designed to do. Note that it isn't enough to create a game. A game requires the reason/purpose for playing in the first place, goals for what you want to achieve in play, etc. With HERO you are creating the game you want, so you need to be clear on those. "I want this game to simulate great episodes of a zombie apocalypse show, where it is about disparate people banding together to survive and maybe, maybe rebuild!" which is very different from, "I want this game to simulate Fallout 4, so you all feel like a group of Vault Dwellers exploring the surface!" which is very differnet from, "I want to play a D&D like game, but with HERO rules" which is altogether different and sets different expectations. 4. What's the best way to start playing? If you have pre-gens, and I again suggest that, one thing I like is to leave a couple things open... like "Important Contact" and "Important Person (DNPC) and have the players come up with those things, knowing they will be immediately part of the game... that the player is creating part of the world by inventing people who are meaningful. Then I like to do a "shared story telling" session designed to set the groundwork on how the PCs all know each other and why they are together. Do NOT role play out the difficult, awkward, grinding of getting the PCs together. The game starts once they are all "on the team" so to speak. I like to have each player come up with a very short, three sentence origin. Lots of details left open. "Major Magma was a mutant whose powers were really dangerous. He almost ended up in prison or dead, but the Army approached his parents with a training and powers support program. He has excelled in the Army and become one of a select few military supers." Then go around and have the next PC do the same. Once done... go back and go around again, asking leading questions. "OK... how did Major Magma become a well known hero during the California earthquake?" And give each PC a scenario. Then go around with, "How did Major Magma get assisted by Quiet Fury during the gang war?" and each player makes up a story that connects their charcter with another. By this time, most players are using other stories to feed their own. End with, "What brought you together four months ago, and why have you continued to team up?" or whatever is appropriate. The players get to tell stories and therefore make up part of the world and are bought into "being a team" and that doesn't have to become a grind of the early sessions. 5. What's the best way to introduce combat? IMO, the very first scene of the very first game should be "in medius res" and start with, "The zombie stumbles from the alley with a snarl reaching for you with rotted, grasping hands. What do you do?" or whatever is important. Put them right into a very descriptive, action scene against enemies they should do well against... and let them react to it. IMO, I always tell players, "Don't look through the book for rules on what you can do... put yourself in your charcters shoes and react accordingly, and we'll find the rule that best simulates that. You are a ex-truck driver with a sawed off shotgun and a machete, scrounging for food... a zombie is coming for your brains. What do you do!" As they describe it, you can apply the appropriate ruling. "I go for an all out swing, trying to cave the things head in with my machete!" (Great, that's an attack, targeting the head, here's how we do that...) or "I jump back, trying to get way, (Cool, we'll call that a dodge, here's how we do that...) etc. 6. What sort of handouts? eh... I'd keep these minimal. Character sheets, maybe a quick guide to key stats/numbers on the sheet. I'm not a big handout guy. 7. Have you ever tried teaching 6e using the 3e games? I don't think of it this way... more of a larger concept, "HERO enables all kinds of action adventure characters to be built with a base set of rules. Not all rules/powers/abilities/skills etc., apply to all games, but are there IF they are applicable for the kind of characters, genre we want to play. The idea is to use the parts of HERO we all feel best create the game we all want to play. (I'm personally really big on everything being group oriented and integrated, to avoid players coming to the table with their individual expectations already baked into their character, rather than building up those expectations together with the group.)
  15. Ronin, the first Bourne, Heat... anything by Michael Mann really, even his bad stuff... pretty much my milieu. The fact that Netflix will produce a high quality bit of action/drama like Triple Frontier makes me very happy.
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