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Experiences teaching people Hero Game system


bluesguy
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.....so... a couple of people on the first  page (bigdamnhero being one I believe) mentioned simplified character sheets for new players.

 

Does anyone have examples of easy to read PC sheets that hide most of the mechanics? Will happily download from the store if you can name a version there that you liked.

 

Personally, I JUST discovered that the only way to get the "classic" back of the book sheet is to... export it via the PDF option. It's not a template in the Export file types, which was completely counterintuitive to me. I didn't even know there was a PDF option! That's so far my personal favorite in terms of being concise and showing the most relevant things.

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I am just trying to get a handle on what I want my 6th edition Golden Age character sheets to look like, will post an early draft in this post when it is ready.

 

EDIT: not going to get this finished.  This is some of the detail for Colonel Mustard, I am still in the process of agreeing characters and this one is too effective and might be breaking some rules but you can see how the character sheet is beginning to come together...

https://1drv.ms/b/s!Air1KSKvgXqLiOBCfkgdCmOttkGqpg 

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Usually, if I was looking to start a group from scratch, I would either join an existing group playing a more mainstream game or start such a campaign myself. While playing that game over the course of some number of sessions, I would also slowly introduce the Hero System but not directly or overtly. If the game was happening at my house, the book case behind my GM'ing stuff groaning under the weight of Hero books was a useful icebreaker. I'd also work on Hero System characters or page thru a Hero book before a game or during a break. 

 

Eventually one or more people would express interest. "Oh, that? The Hero System? No, you wouldn't be interested in that. It's too hardcore for you; its a serious game system. Deep waters, not for the casual gamer. Yeah, it's my favorite game system, but I really don't think you'd get into it."

 

More determined folks who objected to being classified as "casual" would persist, or might browse the books themselves. Rather than trying to push it on them, they would first have to generate interest themselves and want to find out more.

 

But I still don't strike yet. Let it simmer a bit.

 

After the idea had crept into the zeitgeist of the group, I'd eventually mention I was interested in running some campaign, which I'd pitch and have some pre-production hooks for. I never talk system at this point, just big ideas. I'm pretty good at hooking a room, or at least enough to carry the motion. I get them to start throwing around character ideas. I want the players who get into it and feel the groove. If at least three players seem ready to go, set a date and commit; "Yeah, these are cool ideas; I'm definitely going to include them. I think I'll be ready to start running this next week if anyone wants to play". People usually do; my campaigns tend to be memorable, and I tend to be a polarizing figure...people who are not put off by my shtick like to hang around and be entertained. 

 

I don't commit to the game system at this stage; "Maybe [some other system], the Hero System, or [some other system].".

 

Choice of game system is a divisive factor. People have preconceived notions and they get in the way of having fun.  As soon as you lock in a game system verbally, you've lost at least one player who actually probably would have had fun if they had overcome their resistance to trying something new to them and given it a try. 

 

I collect emails of the interested parties and strike up email conversations with each re: character. I get them to flesh out in general terms what kind of character each wants to play. I make Hero System characters for each based upon what they've said is important to them; I focus on fundamentals rather than technical virtuosity. I don't share the characters yet.

 

Those who want to participate in the campaign self select. This is the important bit. 

___

 

First session each player's seat at the table has 3D6, a printed out version of their initial character sheet, a sheet with bullet points from each player's emails and a blurb noting things on their character sheet that address each bullet point, and a copy of Hero System #500 or Sidekick or Basic depending on the era.

 

I have a intro session already set up and ready to go on the table as well. 

 

Ok, go. I like to start in medias res. There's a situation, and the PC's need to deal with it. I help the players figure out what they want to do and how to do it. 

 

That's the first 2/3rds of the first session. After its over, it is possible that the players did not enjoy it, but usually most or all do. Then I go around the table and tell each player my favorite part of what their character did during the session and elicit them to tell me what they thought was cool and what irritated them or talk about any shortcomings of their characters they want to address. After that, I commit to the next session, which will be the first real session, and then say that if people want to tweak their character (or make a different one) they can either hang around after the session or we can do it via email as they prefer.

 

The #500 / Sidekick / Basic book is theirs to take home if they want it to check it out. 

 

That last part is the clincher; if someone doesn't want to take the book they probably won't return for the second session. If they take it, there's better than average odds they'll come back. 

___

 

I did some variation of this 4 times in the 4e era, 2 times in the 5e era, and 1 times in the 6e era, going from 1 or 0 players to a full group each time. Though some individual players weren't hooked, it never failed entirely. It also spawned several other new Hero GM's who went on to run at least one campaign of their own using the system.

 

At other times I had a group, and was just looking for one or two players. Those would usually come in either via "LFG" posts at game stores or by word of mouth via the existing players' social networks. In those cases, I'd just have a prospective player that did not know the system come in and I'd have them sit next to me at the GM side of the table, and give them a character to play, maybe an NPC, maybe a pregen, whatever. If they got stuck, I'd just suggest a couple of options and help them get unstuck. 

 

The important bit was to not bog them down with rules and just get them engaged with the game and feeling welcome. If they want to come back, we then talk about what kind of character they might like to play, which I always start at the bullet point level and always write down. "Should be good at X" or "Like [character from fiction] but with [some variation]" or whatever the player says. Never bog down their creative process by dragging mechanics into it. After they've got enough concept down to make a character around, ask if they want to make the character with you and tell them "it could take an hour or so" or however long you think it will take...don't claim it will take 15 minutes if it wont...OR you can just do a rough draft for them and then tweak it with them before the next session, their choice. 

 

One final note is, it is also important to manage your own expectations as the GM trawling for players. Not every potential player is interested, and you have to be ok with that; don't push. And not every player who wants to play is right for your group; just having a pulse is not enough; sometimes you run into lumps who can't seem to come up with a character or don't seem to know what they want or have any personal spark...you probably don't want those players (I certainly don't). When fishing, sometimes you catch nothing, and sometimes you have to toss a few fish back. Getting frustrated or giving up in the face of lackluster initial interest wont help.

 

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11 hours ago, Killer Shrike said:

The important bit was to not bog them down with rules and just get them engaged with the game and feeling welcome. If they want to come back, we then talk about what kind of character they might like to play, which I always start at the bullet point level and always write down. "Should be good at X" or "Like [character from fiction] but with [some variation]" or whatever the player says. Never bog down their creative process by dragging mechanics into it. After they've got enough concept down to make a character around, ask if they want to make the character with you and tell them "it could take an hour or so" or however long you think it will take...don't claim it will take 15 minutes if it wont...OR you can just do a rough draft for them and then tweak it with them before the next session, their choice.

 

Pulled to highlight one element of a great overall post.

 

I'm amazed how often gamers (in any game) wonder why there are no new players.  When a new player sits down, with a limited grasp of the rules, the grognards mercilessly mock them, their questions are dismissed because "stupid newbie", their characters are humilated, maimed or killed, and when the player doesn't come back after enduring that for a game session or two, we again wonder why new players never work out.

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For myself, trying to teach someone the Hero System, specifically Champions, when they've come from a D&D background is somewhat difficult. They're used to the idea that a 10th lvl character will almost always be better than a 2nd lvl character. This is not the case in Champions. Someone who has 600 xp can work with someone who has 2 XP.  Yes, the 600 xp hero can do alot more, generally has more powers, and so on, but the 2 xp hero can assist as well and be of great help.

 

My experience is that post-D&D players want to build combat monsters. I'm sorry but +10 DCV levels defined as 'swinging your sword around threateningly' just won't cut it, excuse the pun. Yes, someone had that, running around at DCV 18 regularly. There are villains out there who simply aren't afraid of your sword, or even you hitting them with your sword. They want to just right into combat, and forget roleplaying for the most part, and get bored when things go into a subdued tone because a different player is roleplaying his detective skills. My last attempt still has a bad taste in my mouth. Again, this is my experience. I hope others have had better experiences.

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23 minutes ago, Hugh Neilson said:

If the players want to play a high-combat, low RP/Investigation game, that is not a system problem.  d20 has interaction skills and characters can investigate mysteries rather than dungeon crawl.  The same players will be just as unhappy with such a game in D&D as in Hero.

 

Didn't say it was a system problem, just stating my experience.

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How I learned hero was  being handed a pre-generated character, and sat down in front of a map, and talked to people on my left and right, and just followed the instructions< However my RPG Experience at the time was D&D First edition, Bushido, Advanced Melee/Wizard, and some Traveller, so I was not a total Neophyte.

I think  having a choice of pre-generated characters / NPCs where all the creation work is done, and simplified, until people feel comfortable with the basic system. Simple simple adventures, and resources, and only lkeep the points and constructions in an appendix (Do you want to know more...?) First off it needs to be a fun game. THEN you introduce the complexity.

 

 

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4 hours ago, Tech said:

For myself, trying to teach someone the Hero System, specifically Champions, when they've come from a D&D background is somewhat difficult...

 

My experience is that post-D&D players want to build combat monsters. I'm sorry but +10 DCV levels defined as 'swinging your sword around threateningly' just won't cut it, excuse the pun. Yes, someone had that, running around at DCV 18 regularly. There are villains out there who simply aren't afraid of your sword, or even you hitting them with your sword. They want to just right into combat, and forget roleplaying for the most part, and get bored when things go into a subdued tone because a different player is roleplaying his detective skills. My last attempt still has a bad taste in my mouth. Again, this is my experience. I hope others have had better experiences.

 

I've had similar experiences with my weekly group.  My group fluctuates between 4 and 6 players and for the past several years, we've generally been playing D&D or Pathfinder with the occasional foray into Call of Cthulu, Pendragon, Alternity, and my rare attempts to run HERO (I've tried running Fantasy HERO and Champions). 

 

Generally speaking, the forays into HERO have not gone well.  Only one of the players in my group seems to want to expend any effort on character backgrounds.  Since most of our games with other systems (which I don't run) have been "canned" adventures, they don't think about backgrounds and complications as ways to craft story.  With canned adventures, your characters goals and motivations don't matter much.  The story is X, and regardless of anything you do, the story WILL BE X.  So, from their perspective, complications don't *really* matter, they're just a way to get some extra points.  In the Champions game I ran, one player built a rock-monster brick (similar to the Thing from the Fantastic 4) named Rocky.  I kept asking for background material, and from this player about all I got to work with was the following:

 

1.  Character has amnesia following his "creation" event.  (player chose to sell back intelligence points at creation so was starting off with an INT around 6)

2.  Character remembers he used to be a cop.  In fact, his parents were both cops (though he didn't remember their names).

3.  He was running in the park when a chemical truck over-turned and he was caught in the spill and sucked into the ground.  A few hours later he emerged as what he was.

 

That's it...so, I told my group if they didn't come up with backgrounds, I'd create backgrounds for them.  Over the course of play, this character gradually had some of his memories return.  He remembers he used to have a partner...That partner never let him drive the car.  Sometimes, the partner was a real jerk and made him ride in the back seat...on and on...Ultimately, the big reveal:  he had been the dog in a K-9 unit.  That part, at least, was fun for the group.  If you got a player with a sense of humor, I highly recommend having some fun with any amnesiac characters they create if they're willing to play along.  Unraveling that little mystery was fun for me, and the players.

 

And YES, they do tend to want to build combat monsters.  I didn't have the 18 DCV character in my game -- mine was a DCV 14 character who got there through a combination of CSLs and combat maneuvers.  As a relatively green GM (and I still consider myself green), I didn't spot the problem until I encountered it in play (when implementing "effectiveness caps" I didn't know everything that I should include in that calculation...an area that's still a little muddy for me).  I tried to talk to the player about toning it down a bit (campaign average was supposed to be about 5 for OCV and DCV with a max of 7 IIRC), and he staunchly refused to modify the character.  (Rough quote:  "I'm not going to make it easy for you to hit my character!"...didn't want it to be easy, just wanted it to be possible without having to resort to AoE attacks or building opponents specifically to deal with his character -- which would pretty much mow down everyone else in the group.)

 

I think the key is figuring out the effectiveness caps you want and making sure you know everything that goes into them and where you're willing to make trade-offs.  For example, are you willing to have a character exceed the DCV cap by one or two in exchange for reduced OCV or damage on the same character?  The risk here, is that you KNOW the players are going to buy up whatever they traded off as soon as they get some XPs.

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14 hours ago, Tech said:

For myself, trying to teach someone the Hero System, specifically Champions, when they've come from a D&D background is somewhat difficult. They're used to the idea that a 10th lvl character will almost always be better than a 2nd lvl character. This is not the case in Champions. Someone who has 600 xp can work with someone who has 2 XP.  Yes, the 600 xp hero can do alot more, generally has more powers, and so on, but the 2 xp hero can assist as well and be of great help.

 

I agree that it is a common expectation of a D&D only player coming to a point based game that the relationship between a high point character and a low point character is the same as the relationship between a high level character and a low level character. I encountered that many times. 

 

For that reason, I would always make sure to point that out and reinforce it up front. If they just weren't getting it, I had a combat scenario I would trot out of the "75 point Orc" or "75 point Agent" depending on genre, cheesed as a glass cannon, and I would demonstrate the effect on a squishy (but not the most squishy) PC as an object lesson. 

 

It was not a barrier to entry, and players adjusted their thinking quickly.

 

Like many things in life, it comes down to communication and managing expectations.

 

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My experience is that post-D&D players want to build combat monsters. I'm sorry but +10 DCV levels defined as 'swinging your sword around threateningly' just won't cut it, excuse the pun.

 

Players coming from a linear probability game as their only experience don't have a frame of reference for a bell curve.

 

I had a chart comparing the two, and pointed out frequently that the most significant +1 is the first +1 more than your opponent.

 

When players want to buy up excessive levels to hit, they are communicating "it is important to me that my character not be incompetent at their job, which mostly consists of hitting things, and I'm willing to pay for that". 

 

That's a useful mindset in a point based build your own system (knowing what is important to you, and being willing to pay to be good at it). Engaging the player on this facet allows a discussion into how they envision their character, what is important to them, and then guide them into a more sophisticated way to accomplish it beyond just "buy moar of thing".

 

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Yes, someone had that, running around at DCV 18 regularly.

 

Isn't that more the fault of the GM who allowed it than the player or the system? (Assuming it was a problem; in some campaigns it might be in the range of acceptable values).

 

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There are villains out there who simply aren't afraid of your sword, or even you hitting them with your sword. They want to just right into combat, and forget roleplaying for the most part, and get bored when things go into a subdued tone because a different player is roleplaying his detective skills.

 

Yeah, some players are just not interested in anything other than killing things and taking their stuffs. As the GM you can choose to include them in your group or not. Personally, I generally don't unless I see some potential and am trying to mold them into more capable roleplayers (vs rollplayers which they might be very competent at being), or occasionally because they came as part of a set of players and I want to retain the other players and a part of the social contract is I have to make allowances for their friend.

 

In the end it comes down to engagement. If a player is willing to engage with the campaign and with me as the GM, then I will meet them halfway. If the player is not willing to engage with either, then it isn't going to work out. It has to be reciprocal. You can lead a rollplayer to plot and story but you can't make them care.

 

True story, the gamer I ended up having in the most total games over my "career" and is now actually the person I've known the longest in my life (my parents are long dead and I used to move around a lot and most of my friends were military or students who all come and go), was such a gamer. He's outlasted 2 wives, many gaming groups, and various vicissitudes. But when I met him, he was one of the most extreme rollplayers I have ever encountered, and had obnoxious habits such as breaking into spontaneous beavis and butthead routines in the middle of game sessions. I wanted to get rid of him in the worst way, but his best friend was a great roleplayer who I definitely wanted in the group and it was both or neither. I rolled up my sleeves, and mercilessly, relentless worked on the "problem player" and he slowly but surely improved into a very capable and dependable roleplayer. Long after the "good player" left to go back east, the "problem player" contributed to campaign after campaign. He also saved my life on two occasions, but that's a different story...

 

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My last attempt still has a bad taste in my mouth. Again, this is my experience. I hope others have had better experiences.

 

I think most of us have had "that experience". I recommend that you embrace the damage, learn from it, and try again.

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4 minutes ago, Killer Shrike said:

For that reason, I would always make sure to point that out and reinforce it up front. If they just weren't getting it, I had a combat scenario I would trot out of the "75 point Orc" or "75 point Agent" depending on genre, cheesed as a glass cannon, and I would demonstrate the effect on a squishy (but not the least squishy) PC as an object lesson. 

 

One of my friends was averse to running a game as he said the heroes in the campaign were too powerful and it would be too difficult to challenge them.

 

In my next game session the scenario started with the heroes being captured by a mad robotocist.  Each hero was attacked by a single robot, just one winked out to specifically defeat the hero in question.  Each one was built on 125 points.  I made the point that the real task of the GM is not to challenge the characters (that is easy), it is to challenge and entertain the players.

 

Doc

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10 hours ago, Tech said:

For myself, trying to teach someone the Hero System, specifically Champions, when they've come from a D&D background is somewhat difficult. They're used to the idea that a 10th lvl character will almost always be better than a 2nd lvl character. This is not the case in Champions. Someone who has 600 xp can work with someone who has 2 XP.  Yes, the 600 xp hero can do alot more, generally has more powers, and so on, but the 2 xp hero can assist as well and be of great help.

 

My experience is that post-D&D players want to build combat monsters. I'm sorry but +10 DCV levels defined as 'swinging your sword around threateningly' just won't cut it, excuse the pun. Yes, someone had that, running around at DCV 18 regularly. There are villains out there who simply aren't afraid of your sword, or even you hitting them with your sword. They want to just right into combat, and forget roleplaying for the most part, and get bored when things go into a subdued tone because a different player is roleplaying his detective skills. My last attempt still has a bad taste in my mouth. Again, this is my experience. I hope others have had better experiences.

D&D is a system on a treadmill.  Every 'free' +1 is matched by a opposing +1 and the only way to get ahead is to jealously horde those tiny bonuses until they accumulate enough to matter.  It's a system where one bad defense roll can mean sitting out the rest of the combat, the rest of the session, having a permanent penalty, or even having to totally recreate your character.  Its a system where three to six hoboes wander into a murderous hole in the ground, then emerge only to find another, deadlier hole to risk themselves in.  D&D breeds combat monster makers because D&D is a game of combats and monsters. 

A D&Der who shows up and makes a combat monster isn't doing anything wrong.  They're doing exactly what they've been taught to do, and they just haven't realized the game's changed. 

 

Related note, but if somebody's building crazy combat monsters, figure out if they actually realize what they've made.  Subtraction based defenses and bell-curve accuracy are a distant cry from D&D's linear accuracy and generally flat damage.  The realization that 12d6-20 ~= 6d6 doesn't come instantly, and it can take a startlingly long time for somebody to actually grok what 15 DCV means in a world of 6-10 OCV. 

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19 minutes ago, Gnome BODY (important!) said:

D&D is a system on a treadmill.  Every 'free' +1 is matched by a opposing +1 and the only way to get ahead is to jealously horde those tiny bonuses until they accumulate enough to matter.  It's a system where one bad defense roll can mean sitting out the rest of the combat, the rest of the session, having a permanent penalty, or even having to totally recreate your character.  Its a system where three to six hoboes wander into a murderous hole in the ground, then emerge only to find another, deadlier hole to risk themselves in. 

 

D&D breeds combat monster makers because D&D is a game of combats and monsters. 

 

Great line, love it.

 

19 minutes ago, Gnome BODY (important!) said:

A D&Der who shows up and makes a combat monster isn't doing anything wrong.  They're doing exactly what they've been taught to do, and they just haven't realized the game's changed. 

 

Yes, this. They are products of their environment, and doing what was successful in that environment in a new environment.

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3 hours ago, Hugh Neilson said:

You can role play, investigate and negotiate in a d20 game, and you can build a dungeon crawl/combat centric game in Hero.  That's not a system issue.

 

Agreed with both statements. 

 

However, outside of the game systems, being such a large demographic in the hobby, D&D gamers come in a baskin robbins like variety. 

 

The ecology of the player base for D&D includes a noticeable subset of gamers who's experience with gaming is at or near 100% D&D related and who's style of play is consistent with what @Gnome BODY (important!) describes. They're out there, I've encountered various groups in the wild on the east coast and the west coast and overseas.

 

There are also people who use d20 based games to run terrific campaigns with roleplaying as good as you'll find anywhere else. I've found them to be more uncommon in my experience, but they definitely exist and I've encountered, played in, and I hope not too immodestly to claim that I've GM'd for such groups.

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10 hours ago, Pegasus40218 said:

 

I've had similar experiences with my weekly group.  My group fluctuates between 4 and 6 players and for the past several years, we've generally been playing D&D or Pathfinder with the occasional foray into Call of Cthulu, Pendragon, Alternity, and my rare attempts to run HERO (I've tried running Fantasy HERO and Champions). 

 

Generally speaking, the forays into HERO have not gone well.  Only one of the players in my group seems to want to expend any effort on character backgrounds.  Since most of our games with other systems (which I don't run) have been "canned" adventures, they don't think about backgrounds and complications as ways to craft story.  With canned adventures, your characters goals and motivations don't matter much.  The story is X, and regardless of anything you do, the story WILL BE X. 

 

Episodic vs serial.

 

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So, from their perspective, complications don't *really* matter, they're just a way to get some extra points. 

 

You didn't ask for advice, but that's never stopped me from giving it. So here:

 

Lets say you were going to run a X point game, with up to Y points of complications. For starters, characters don't have to take any complications. For seconders, just tell players to spend the X points and they get 0 points from complications. 

 

If one or more players protest,  appear to relent a little and say that if they can make a really strong case for why their character should have a particular complication due to their background or concept, you might grudgingly allow it. 

 

Don't allow any "soft" complications such as distinctive features or psychological lims, only "hard" complications such as vulnerability / susceptibility, physical lim.

 

After game play starts, while you are running the campaign, pay attention to how the players portray their characters. If a player displays something or extemporaneously starts to develop some backstory, etc...things that would translate into a complication then at the end of the session along with any xp award tell them to write down the complication you've extruded from their gameplay, and they gain a commensurate # of cp to grow their character with. This will also incentivize the other players to start trying to play their characters in a similar way, if for nothing else to keep up.

 

Don't let up-front lack of engagement interfere with getting the players playing the game. If the big design up front mode of character creation isn't working, flip it around into an incremental.

 

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In the Champions game I ran, one player built a rock-monster brick (similar to the Thing from the Fantastic 4) named Rocky.  I kept asking for background material, and from this player about all I got to work with was the following:

 

1.  Character has amnesia following his "creation" event.  (player chose to sell back intelligence points at creation so was starting off with an INT around 6)

2.  Character remembers he used to be a cop.  In fact, his parents were both cops (though he didn't remember their names).

3.  He was running in the park when a chemical truck over-turned and he was caught in the spill and sucked into the ground.  A few hours later he emerged as what he was.

 

That's it...so, I told my group if they didn't come up with backgrounds, I'd create backgrounds for them.  Over the course of play, this character gradually had some of his memories return.  He remembers he used to have a partner...That partner never let him drive the car.  Sometimes, the partner was a real jerk and made him ride in the back seat...on and on...Ultimately, the big reveal:  he had been the dog in a K-9 unit.  That part, at least, was fun for the group.  If you got a player with a sense of humor, I highly recommend having some fun with any amnesiac characters they create if they're willing to play along.  Unraveling that little mystery was fun for me, and the players.

 

I like that. Good spin.

 

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And YES, they do tend to want to build combat monsters.  I didn't have the 18 DCV character in my game -- mine was a DCV 14 character who got there through a combination of CSLs and combat maneuvers.  As a relatively green GM (and I still consider myself green), I didn't spot the problem until I encountered it in play (when implementing "effectiveness caps" I didn't know everything that I should include in that calculation...an area that's still a little muddy for me).  I tried to talk to the player about toning it down a bit (campaign average was supposed to be about 5 for OCV and DCV with a max of 7 IIRC), and he staunchly refused to modify the character.  (Rough quote:  "I'm not going to make it easy for you to hit my character!"...didn't want it to be easy, just wanted it to be possible without having to resort to AoE attacks or building opponents specifically to deal with his character -- which would pretty much mow down everyone else in the group.)

 

If your player is determined to play that character and you've already allowed them to enter play, just make that their special thing...they have ridiculous DCV for the campaign. Close that door (don't let it into the game again) but don't sweat it. Tell each other player that they can pick one thing for their character that can be a couple of steps above campaign norms, and that's their protected space. Make it a feature of the campaign. Next campaign, be a little more careful up front.

 

As you note, there are lots of ways to still challenge a high DCV character. 

 

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I think the key is figuring out the effectiveness caps you want and making sure you know everything that goes into them and where you're willing to make trade-offs.  For example, are you willing to have a character exceed the DCV cap by one or two in exchange for reduced OCV or damage on the same character?  The risk here, is that you KNOW the players are going to buy up whatever they traded off as soon as they get some XPs.

 

This is my desktop wallpaper:

 

image.thumb.png.0ec5fe0b61e3e255b898e87893a85a62.png

 

In this case, don't fight human nature. If you are worried your players are going to creep your campaign above a level you want it to be, just step everything down 2 steps up front. There will still be power creep, but the first half of it will just bring them up to where you wanted them to be in the first place.

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12 hours ago, Killer Shrike said:

Players coming from a linear probability game as their only experience don't have a frame of reference for a bell curve.

 

I had a chart comparing the two, and pointed out frequently that the most significant +1 is the first +1 more than your opponent.

 

When players want to buy up excessive levels to hit, they are communicating "it is important to me that my character not be incompetent at their job, which mostly consists of hitting things, and I'm willing to pay for that". 

 

That's a useful mindset in a point based build your own system (knowing what is important to you, and being willing to pay to be good at it). Engaging the player on this facet allows a discussion into how they envision their character, what is important to them, and then guide them into a more sophisticated way to accomplish it beyond just "buy moar of thing".

 

12 hours ago, Killer Shrike said:
Quote

Yes, someone had that, running around at DCV 18 regularly.

 

Isn't that more the fault of the GM who allowed it than the player or the system? (Assuming it was a problem; in some campaigns it might be in the range of acceptable values).

 

As assumption here on both points, which I will clarify. I didn't say I was GM'ing this, nor was it allowed. Someone wanted to add their character from a different campaign, the player having played D&D. Simply put: I was giving bits & pieces of an experience which was a little complicated.

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  • 4 months later...

I can't say how well it will work until later tonight, but I thought of a way to logically explain why rolling high is good for damage and low for everything else: "Just remember that when you roll the dice, you're always asking 'What could go wrong?' Of course you don't want much to go wrong for you, and a lot for the enemy."

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17 hours ago, dialNforNinja said:

I can't say how well it will work until later tonight, but I thought of a way to logically explain why rolling high is good for damage and low for everything else: "Just remember that when you roll the dice, you're always asking 'What could go wrong?' Of course you don't want much to go wrong for you, and a lot for the enemy."

 

I've never really understood the mental hurdle some people seem to have with roll high for effect, low for resolution.

 

However, the 3d6 roll under scheme can be flipped around to a 3d6 roll over; the distribution is the same on either side. So, for instance, an 8- familiarity is the same odds as a 13+ familiarity (2.9 : 1 odds). An 11- is the same as a 10+. A 14- is the same as a 7+. Just flip everything around.

 

Where it gets semantically weird is that bonuses lower the roll and penalties increase the roll...+1 OCV would take a 8+ to 7+ and a -1 penalty would take a 8+ to a 9+. This is probably why the original designers opted for 3d6 roll under...to keep bonuses expressed in +'s and penalties expressed in -'s. But, it's not insurmountable if you want a roll high all the  time model.

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20 hours ago, Killer Shrike said:

Where it gets semantically weird is that bonuses lower the roll and penalties increase the roll...+1 OCV would take a 8+ to 7+ and a -1 penalty would take a 8+ to a 9+. This is probably why the original designers opted for 3d6 roll under...to keep bonuses expressed in +'s and penalties expressed in -'s. But, it's not insurmountable if you want a roll high all the  time model.

 

Why not add the bonus, or subtract the penalty, from the roll in that case?  +1 OCV becomes +1 to the roll, which means you roll a 7, plus 1 is 8.  A -1 penalty reduces a roll of 9 to an 8.

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