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About drunkonduty

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  • Birthday 01/11/1970

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    Button pushin' monkey

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  1. I just use an INT skill. I call it Awareness (having ripped that name off from Legend of the Five Rings.) The skill is all about being "aware" (see what they did there?) of the social situation in which one finds oneself. It can detect lies, emotional states, can read the room for a general sense of a crowd, read facial and body language.
  2. Put me down for India. The place is mad busy. Seriously, the traffic in Mumbai and Delhi scared the crap outta me. But if you can fly then that's not a bother. And the food is fantastic. Yes, one would have to be very careful how one behaved in India as a foreign public figure. But by and large Indian folks are pretty cosmopolitan. Melbourne would be my second choice. I go there a couple of times a year and I think it's a great place. Fantastic cafe scene. I would love to see the reactions of foreign heroes who find themselves there during the AFL finals season. As for where to inspire a team, Egypt. Because I keep meaning to get there. And I will one day.
  3. drunkonduty

    A New Setting

    Romanticized westerns go back as far as the late 19th century. All sorts of cheap dime novels (ie: pulps) were being written and sold in the thousands. If I get more time I'll do a little research and throw it in here. As for a setting I'd like to see... hmmm. Urban Fantasy is good. Complete with the "all myth is real" thing that seems to be the way of urban fantasy.
  4. drunkonduty

    Annual Harry Potter post that most people don't find interesting

    Hmmmm.... Okay, how about this: All wizards have a VPP - Magic. This is the defining trait of wizards. It's a potential only (save in some occasional instances of stress it doesn't really express itself.) How much potential varies. But as with most organs (think of magic as a meta-organ) if you exercise it it gets stronger. Going to school and practising helps increase the amount of potential. So older wizards have more magical potential by dint of just having used magic more than a young wizard. In addition to this not all wizards are created equally. You get squibs at the low end and Tom Riddles at the top end. There seems to be some sort of genetic component.* So someone with great innate potential who also works hard winds up with more potential. In game mechanical terms, they get more XP and put it into their VPPs. "Squib" could be represented by some sort of physical limitation/complication that limits the maximum size of the VPP. But potential by itself ain't worth much. You gotta be able to tap it somehow; to focus it so as to have real world effects. Going to magic school gives a wizard the opportunity to learn different ways of focusing their magical potential. The skills they learn are really just methodologies that help train the mind to be able to make the magic do particular things. This gives you your schools of magic. In game mechanical terms they learn Skills like Transmutation, Defence Against the Dark Arts, Potions, Dark Magic, etc. Each school comes with different spells. Spells are really just specific ways of focusing magic that someone in the past has sat down and worked out and then set into a formula. Maybe these spells are something like zen koans; in and of themselves they aren't worth much, it is the direction in which they take the mind that is important. I'll call these skills codified magic; someone has sat down and come up with exercises that focus the mind in a given way. Theoretically, someone who is clever enough (Dumbledore, Voldey, Grisselwald) may be able to form some sort of Grand Unified Theory of Magic. This theory can be applied with a great amount of freedom, allowing for someone sufficiently clever to make up spells on the fly. These few wizards aren't limited to the existing spell lists, they can do what they want. Maybe call this "open magic" as opposed to codified magic. (As an aside someone who is working on codifying a new spell is touching on the magic GUT. How much they realise this would vary among individuals.) This begs the (meta-game) question why would a player buy any spell skill other than GUT Magic? Perhaps we could limit Skill: GUT Magic to be no higher than the lowest value of one of the codified skills. This requires a character to invest a lot of points in all the codified magic. I'm not really happy with this as an answer. I see GUT as being a new paradigm in magic, something that by its definition bypasses the limits of the codified magic that students begin with. Limiting it to the level of "understanding" codified skills goes counter to the difference between codified and GUT as I'm imagining it. The GUT skill is meant to be the, er, source code of magic. (Sorry for the programming metaphor.) Yes, knowing some codified magic helps a new student get a grasp on the underlying theories, but once the underlying theory is understood the codified stuff is unnecessary. You can re-create the codified spells at your own leisure. It may be easier to crib from someone else's notebook but it isn't necessary. So a wizard goes from a neophyte with some potential, learns how to focus said potential, and in the doing of that builds up that potential until they reach Dumbledorian levels. *The Death Eaters got this much right. But it has nothing to do with the concept of "pure blood" as they use it. In fact, what we see in the books is that most of the truly great wizards are "mud-bloods" and "muggle-born." (Voldey, Snape, Hermione, Harry's mum.) Perhaps it actually has to do with these outsiders coming in without the blinkered beliefs inherited from magical society and they are thus able to think more openly about magic. That or they're just smarter than the pure blood wizards because they aren't suffering from the congenital stupidity caused by generations of inbreeding. But I digress.
  5. drunkonduty

    Superhero vs Fantasy

    I'm not aware of too many old published adventures that actually gave players any real choices. Choosing "Left" or "Right" sums up most of them. The adventure's plot remained what it was regardless of player actions. Many of them gave you an open, sand-boxy wilderness to wander through on the way to the dungeon. But this was an aside that rarely had any effect on the main part of the adventure. I think the reason why TTRPG adventures (both nowadays and in our halcyon youths) look much like CRPG adventures is that both them are created with limited resources. You can't publish an infinite number of adventure options, either for a TTRPG or a CRPG. Of course what TTRPG adventures can give you is the option for the GM to go "off book" when the players want to do something unexpected. But that's as true of adventures today as of adventures yesterday. A TTRPG adventure can also give you the broad outlines of an expanded adventure world and allow the GM to fill in the details during play. As far back as Keep on the Borderlands there were elements of this. The couple of adventure paths I'm familiar with have the possibility to do this too. That is, the writers and or publisher have made an effort to suggest other options, or published expansions to the game world. For example: Age of Worms had (at least) one expansion piece written - for the town in which the adventure started. The GM was given the option of using this to expand the game beyond the mere adventure path. To sum up: there's no significant difference between old adventures and new ones. Except the quality of the product. The new ones are flash. Sexy. Great art. Good quality publication. They are marketed as complete adventures with minimal additional work for the busy modern GM; everyone can just dive in to the fun.
  6. drunkonduty

    Superhero vs Fantasy

    Spence, great post. Really good points about availability, ease of entry to the hobby, and product quality.
  7. drunkonduty

    Superhero vs Fantasy

    Okay, not a survey but a short article that brings up a couple of new points https://www.quora.com/Why-are-medieval-fantasy-RPGs-so-popular-compared-to-other-RPG-genre If you can't be bothered with the link the author's new points are: Escapism. A fantasy world will have fewer emotional l links to the real world than a game world that is ostensibly this one with whatever game elements added. Exploration. It's fun to explore a new world.
  8. drunkonduty

    Superhero vs Fantasy

    Ya know, it occurs to me that this is the sort of thing that could do with good survey. It then occurs to me that maybe this has already been done. Time to google...
  9. drunkonduty

    In Need of Some Examples and Recommendations

    Regards the flavour stuff: I'll be honest I find most of the published fantasy race stuff kinda crap. Cliched rubbish. A lot of it is clearly based on other generic fantasy race stuff from other games, that itself is based on stuff from yet other games, etc. Very little ever goes further back than the stuff that was written early DnD. Laziness is not the only reason it's like this. There's a desire to appeal broadly, to keep everything generic, to avoid specific styles that might only suit some campaigns.I'm guilty of having done it myself in my Fantasy Hero Basic pdf. I find that the amateur stuff you get on world building forums much more imaginative. Not always good, but at least it's different. Re. mechanics: Something that bugs me is how many (not all, but many) designers seem to think that being a given species comes with innate skills like knowing how to use a longbow. I really appreciated how 4th ed. Fantasy Hero broke races up into physical and cultural packages. When it comes to physical traits of a species it occurs to me that, given the nature of HERO, it doesn't really matter if you say Dwarves get +2CON. A player will buy up the CON if they want high CON, or buy it down if they don't. The only reason to include stuff like that is to give an idea of what a generic version of what the species looks like. Other abilities (actual powers) like Light Sleep, Infravision, etc. are much more indicative of a given species' uniqueness. At least to me. Sorry, but I can't really think of any really good examples of this sort of thing.
  10. drunkonduty

    Superhero vs Fantasy

  11. drunkonduty

    Superhero vs Fantasy

    I think a major reason why the fantasy genre has more appeal is because it is already the biggest genre for gaming (by dint of having been the first genre used for gaming) and being the biggest genre has it's own rewards: For new and potential gamers it's the one they think of when they think gaming. It's the genre most gamers get the most opportunity to play. It gets the most media attention. To put it more generally: Fantasy gaming has built up its own cultural momentum and thanks to that it draws more and more to itself, continuing to build more momentum. Simulataneously starving other genres of potential recruits. As to in game universe status quo: yeah I think there is a good point to be had that Supers characters support the status quo. But fantasy characters aren't usually trying to overturn it. Murder hoboing aside, where "let's burn the tavern down because we don't want to pay our bar bill" is frighteningly common, most characters are rescuing royalty. Overthrowing usurpers. Soldiers/spies/wizards for the crown. Being pillars of the Church of Goodness. Stopping the uprising of an evil cult and it's associated evil god. Fighting off those damn pesky orc raiders. All status quo keeping activities. From my own personal observations I would say that most fantasy campaign expectations are that the PCs will be good, which is usually interpreted as supporting the established social order. Yes there are exceptions. There are occasional adventures where the heroes are meant to overthrow a legitimate authority, but they are quite rare. As a sample: there are 24 official Pathfinder adventure paths. AKAIK only 1 of those, Hell's Rebels, has the PCs attempting to overthrow a legitimate authority. That's a pretty small %. It would seem that when heroing in fantasy land you are mostly protecting the status quo. Most supers campaigns have the heroes doing much the same thing as their fantasy counterparts. Yes, maintaining the status quo is backed up by being the usual thing in the non-gaming examples of the genre. But, just as with the fantasy genre, there's no reason a campaign has to do this. Maybe Reed Richards isn't actually useless and all those inventions of his are bringing food the starving, medicine to the sick, opening up travel to the stars, etc. Maybe the heroes will overthrow a legitimate but evil government. It's choice for the campaign. I think that protecting the status quo is a genre expectation of both supers and fantasy. So there is no significant difference in this genre expectation that might lead to players preferencing fantasy over other supers.
  12. drunkonduty

    Idea for an adventure

    This is very similar to what happens in Butcher's backstory in The Boys. I might use it, or be willing to play in a game with it, if the campaign was described from the outset as being very dark. Otherwise I'd sit out the story line. By and large, I play supers for the lighter, funnier side of punching people in the face.
  13. drunkonduty

    Finally got my FHC!

    But at least you have it now.
  14. drunkonduty

    Order of the Stick

    Yeah, but they aren't quitters!
  15. drunkonduty

    Fantasy Race book project...thinking out loud

    Very nice cover art. As for presentation for the hero section - I'd say stick as closely as possible to the one style throughout the pdf. There's no need for separate art for instance. Stat blocks can be presented much the same way throughout. I'd keep the stats relevant to the latest version of the game. You won't boost sales by making a product for a version of the game that's more than 20 years out of date. As for what you charge for it, compare what you're doing to similar things on RPG net and see what others are charging. But keep in mind multi-system booklets are of lower appeal. Most people play one system. Therefore they don't get much value out of multi-system products and are less inclined to part with money for them. NPC stat blocks are always welcome for any system. The more complex the system the more welcome. High level Pathfinder stat blocks are a pain to do up; anything that saves me work is worth it to me. Good luck!