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Chris Goodwin

GM for players in Portland, Oregon - Champions or Fantasy Hero, any edition [Offline]

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I've been online at Meetup.com and folks have shown interest in a bi-weekly campaign  of Monte Cook's Numenera -- not sure I'd want to convert it to HERO, but it might offer the alternative-fantasy feel I'm looking for...

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What are some fantasy settings you like, and what are some you don't?  Or, rather, I guess what are some settings that you see as generic-Tolkienist, and some that you don't?  Like, D&D is strongly in that camp for me.  

 

I'm pretty firmly in favor of "hard magic" systems and settings that include them.  D&D's magic system would fit into that pretty well, but I'm honestly not the least bit interested in exploring any of the iterations of D&D's magic system, and if I were, I would play D&D.  In fact, I'm pretty strongly opposed to using Fantasy Hero to recreate anything to do with D&D; D&D forces your fantasy gaming into so many pigeonholes; why use Fantasy Hero to pigeonhole yourself?

 

 

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Even though I won't actually play in this game, I would agree that I don't play FH for D&D. I like a separately defined magic system, even if it just the Colleges of Magic 4th edition had to offer. Anything but the D&D "you only get 4 first level spells per day" system. ?

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On 11/1/2018 at 2:25 PM, Chris Goodwin said:

What are some fantasy settings you like, and what are some you don't?  Or, rather, I guess what are some settings that you see as generic-Tolkienist, and some that you don't?  Like, D&D is strongly in that camp for me.  

 

I'm pretty firmly in favor of "hard magic" systems and settings that include them.  D&D's magic system would fit into that pretty well, but I'm honestly not the least bit interested in exploring any of the iterations of D&D's magic system, and if I were, I would play D&D.  In fact, I'm pretty strongly opposed to using Fantasy Hero to recreate anything to do with D&D; D&D forces your fantasy gaming into so many pigeonholes; why use Fantasy Hero to pigeonhole yourself?

 

 

 

Not quite sure what you mean by "hard magic" systems -- given that we're working with the HERO system, I suspect that it will be much more efficient for PC spellcasters to build their characters using VPP's or other Power Frameworks rather than buying each spell as individual powers; but I'd want everything statted out and GM-approved in advance, and only the most powerful wizards would be able to make up new spells on the fly in a combat situation.  New spells would have to be learned either by training with other casters, or laborious research and experimentation undertaken during the PC's down time.

 

As to the setting?  I want to steer away from things that are too predictable and familiar -- I want exploration and discovery of the world the PC's are in to play as much of a part of the campaign as defeating bad guys.  I think that's part of the appeal of the Numenera setting to me -- with the world being so old and influenced by so many different sources and races, pretty much everything is up for grabs, and the stories are limited only by the imaginations of the players and GM.  I've also heard good things about "Skyrealms of Jorune" for creating a fantasy setting with truly alien elements, although I'd need to do some serious boning-up on the setting before I'd feel comfortable adapting it to HERO.

 

Another idea that comes to mind for a "fantasy plus" setting -- something an old friend in Maryland and I had kicked around back in the day -- would be a game based on (or inspired by) the 80's cartoon series "Thundarr The Barbarian".  For those unfamiliar with the show, here's the "elevator pitch":

 

The original show was a mix of "Conan The Barbarian", "John Carter of Mars", and "Star Wars" -- there's very clear delineations between the "white hats" and "black hats", wizards and possessors of "super-science" tech are generally evil and have enslaved the local populations to create their own little fiefdoms, and selflessness & heroism will generally win the day against the forces of evil.  For an RPG I'd want to make things a little more nuanced, with more shades of grey; just how much would depend on what sort of a campaign the players are interested in...

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"Hard magic systems" are those where the rules are well defined.  Most Fantasy Hero magic systems are hard magic systems.  Brandon Sanderson talks about them here.  

 

I guess that beggars can't be choosers, but the kinds of settings I'm looking for are a little more grounded and realistic.  I prefer fantasy worlds that exist on spherical planets orbiting stars in a solar system.  If there's space travel I don't want to see Spelljammer or steampunk style wooden ships in aetherspace; I'd rather it be mages with force fields and air spells. 

 

I quite enjoy Lawrence Watt-Evans' Ethshar stories; Glen Cook's Garrett, PI; Steven Brust's Vlad Taltos series.  I would very much enjoy playing in campaigns that resemble those as well. Less questing to find the plot coupons to save the princess.  

 

Does this make sense?

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I might be willing to participate in (and GM my share of sessions for) a shared campaign; but I already have a steady bi-weekly game that takes up most of my free time.  Wish I could offer you a seat, but I’m already maxed out with six reliable players...

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I edited the post title, so I thought I'd add a post to explain a bit. 

 

I'd like to run a game in the old Champions style.  Everyone sits down in a "session zero" and we talk about what we all want to play.  I want to find the BAM moment that gets everyone (including the GM) excited and ready for session one.  There won't be a big setting bible; part of creating the characters is seeing what comes out of the Disadvantages/Complications and weaving the world together from that.  Revelations and backstory can come out during play, from a world that's hashed out in rough strokes at most.  I'd like to run either Champions or Fantasy Hero this way. 

 

If it's Fantasy Hero, I'm going to disagree with "the GM must design every aspect of the world and magic system!"; if you want to play a wizard, create your wizard!  I might apply some mechanical constraints for the beginning (anyone who's been reading my posts elsewhere on site can probably guess what they are :D ), but once characters are adventuring and gaining experience, those will be relaxed.  

 

I want players to make characters, help design a world, and tell me a story!  

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46 minutes ago, Soleil Noir said:

I'm definitely still interested -- just name a date and time for this "Session Zero"...

 

I'm looking at a Saturday or Sunday sometime between late June and late July to get started.  The second session (session one) hopefully within a few weeks after that.  

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