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Perceptions of the game change

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Duke, Mob Rule is very generic and can plugged into any city. It has notes to change the scene of the docks to something else if your city doesn’t have a river.

 

Chistopher Taylor I’ve been saying for a long time that new characters  in 6th should be 300 CP.

 

Spence again you keep saying what a beginning scenario should have. I keep pointing out a said adventure that has all the points PLUS Art too. (Of course we still need to see if we have said rights to both adventure and art.)  Why reinvent when we have something right here?

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3 hours ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

Personally, were I do be the head of such a project, I'd power down things a bit, too.  350 points is plenty for a starting character, and gives them room to grow and add later.  Having converted hundreds of 2nd, 3rd, and 4th edition monsters and  characters into 6th (literally), a 250 point old school character ends up around 300-350 points, depending on concept.  I'm fine with having a higher powered campaign as well, I just don't think that ought to be the default for a base campaign.

There's two problems with that. 

 

The first is that you're a highly experienced player who is surely well versed in efficiency, and thus can easily get more from less.  When you spend 300 points, you get at least 300 points of value.  Someone approaching HERO for the first time is going to have none of that experience available to them.  When an newcomer spends 300 points, they spend inefficiently and inelegantly.  They don't hit breakpoints, they don't apply Advantages and Limitations in efficient ways, they don't use Power Frameworks optimally, etc.  The fact that you can fit a full character in 300 points doesn't indicate 400 is too much, it indicates that you've gotten good at making characters. 

 

The second problem is that starting with a cramped point budget mechanically enforces narrative assumptions.  You suggest that gamers should be fine with starting with inexperienced characters, but setting the default point value there means that every campaign that starts at the recommended values therefore must start with inexperienced heroes.  And when people unpack a game for the first time, they will most certainly be starting at the default "level 1" point unless the GM is a person of rare daring.  Low point games are fine, but my experience is that people generally don't want to be mediocreheroes when the GM said superheroes. 

 

Though, I imagine a decent part of this is just me being old and bitter about all those campaigns that never got past level 3. 

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instead of lower  the starting CP from 400pts to 300pts
why not just lower the AP/DC caps from 75 active/12 DCs to 60 active/10 DCs?
this should give plenty of extra points to round out beginning characters w/skills, perks and talents

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49 minutes ago, Beast said:

instead of lower  the starting CP from 400pts to 300pts
why not just lower the AP/DC caps from 75 active/12 DCs to 60 active/10 DCs?
this should give plenty of extra points to round out beginning characters w/skills, perks and talents

 

That's potentially a lot of skills, perks and talents. More than I would care to have to keep track of. Too much for starting GMs, too, I suspect.

 

I'd rather go with 300 points and 75 active/12 DC caps.

 

Or, better yet, just go with 400 points, standard caps and useful guidelines on how to build initial characters. 2e and 3e had some that could serve as a model.

 

Something like:

200 points worth of characteristics (providing a base set of characteristics, plus a few options for customization.)

50-75 points of offensive powers, with examples/suggestions. (Includes Str, Martial Arts, naturally.)

50-75 points of defensive powers, as above.

10-50 points of movement powers.

0-50 points of skills (Everyman skills are adequate for characters that are civilians that have just got their powers.)

0-90 points of miscellaneous powers.

 

(I picked these numbers because they give reasonably playable characters without the use of limitations or cheese.)

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1 hour ago, Gnome BODY (important!) said:

There's two problems with that. 

 

The first is that you're a highly experienced player who is surely well versed in efficiency, and thus can easily get more from less.  When you spend 300 points, you get at least 300 points of value.  Someone approaching HERO for the first time is going to have none of that experience available to them.  When an newcomer spends 300 points, they spend inefficiently and inelegantly.  They don't hit breakpoints, they don't apply Advantages and Limitations in efficient ways, they don't use Power Frameworks optimally, etc.  The fact that you can fit a full character in 300 points doesn't indicate 400 is too much, it indicates that you've gotten good at making characters. 

 

The second problem is that starting with a cramped point budget mechanically enforces narrative assumptions.  You suggest that gamers should be fine with starting with inexperienced characters, but setting the default point value there means that every campaign that starts at the recommended values therefore must start with inexperienced heroes.  And when people unpack a game for the first time, they will most certainly be starting at the default "level 1" point unless the GM is a person of rare daring.  Low point games are fine, but my experience is that people generally don't want to be mediocreheroes when the GM said superheroes. 

 

Though, I imagine a decent part of this is just me being old and bitter about all those campaigns that never got past level 3. 

Somehow players were fine with the old builds which when converted roughly are 300 CP. your logic just doesn’t follow. The 400 CP sample builds in CC are too complex.

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1 hour ago, Ninja-Bear said:

Somehow players were fine with the old builds which when converted roughly are 300 CP. your logic just doesn’t follow. The 400 CP sample builds in CC are too complex.

I can't speak to what it was like before FRED.  I can't speak to anything outside my FRED group. 

But I can say that I just opened Hero Designer and threw together a 6th edition character at what I'd consider standard combat proficiency and it came out to around 315 points before I even considered skills or utility powers. 

And I can say that I'm looking at Champions 6e's writeup of Sapphire right now and wondering where in the world you'd shave 100 CP off.  35 if you ditch the Multipower for a standard Blast, sure.  But where do you rip the remaining 65 from?  Is there even anything mechanically interesting to the character after you've gutted it, or is it just a combat statline with some flavor text stapled to it? 

 

I don't think you can reasonably cut a quarter of the construction budget without also correspondingly reducing the combat-numbers, and neither you nor Christopher R Taylor have suggested that in the same post as slashing the budget.  And I don't think that putting people in a points crunch at chargen and forcing them to choose between being decent in a fight and having fun things to do outside combat is good design. 

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A lot of D and D's current popularity can be attributed to shows like Critical Role.  Gamers these days seem to love to watch other gamers play.  Starter sets are great if you have an audience that is interested in buying them in the first place.  If there was an official (or semi-official) HERO actual play twitch/youtube/podcast show using the current rules that highlighted the game, it might generate enough interest to make the production of a starter set and adventures feasible.  

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1 hour ago, Gnome BODY (important!) said:

I can't speak to what it was like before FRED.  I can't speak to anything outside my FRED group. 

But I can say that I just opened Hero Designer and threw together a 6th edition character at what I'd consider standard combat proficiency and it came out to around 315 points before I even considered skills or utility powers. 

And I can say that I'm looking at Champions 6e's writeup of Sapphire right now and wondering where in the world you'd shave 100 CP off.  35 if you ditch the Multipower for a standard Blast, sure.  But where do you rip the remaining 65 from?  Is there even anything mechanically interesting to the character after you've gutted it, or is it just a combat statline with some flavor text stapled to it? 

 

I don't think you can reasonably cut a quarter of the construction budget without also correspondingly reducing the combat-numbers, and neither you nor Christopher R Taylor have suggested that in the same post as slashing the budget.  And I don't think that putting people in a points crunch at chargen and forcing them to choose between being decent in a fight and having fun things to do outside combat is good design. 

Ok first, (not sure about CT) I translated several characters from 4th directly as possible in 6th with adjusting stats and for the most part they end up around 300 CP. I mean I didn’t lower CV or DeX or STR just as is. Second yes I would remove some multi powers or limit them as needed. Look at Green Dragon in CC with his Stances multi power. Honestly as a new player coming in with all his other stuff, is the player going to grind all that? The player is already adjusting due to martial arts then add Stances? Or a new GM is going to remember each slot Arrowhead has and his separate throwing stuff MP? Now add skills or rather subtract them or maybe combine them. Not at the book right now but I’m sure you can roll several KS for example into a bigger one. And CSLs can be reduced and combined.  

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I do think podcasts of Champions play would help a lot (so would getting famous or semi-famous people to play.  D&D's 4th edition gained a lot of attention by giving advance copies and  teaching poplar geek culture webcomic and other podcast people to play it).  Its a question of getting the team together with people who are going to draw interest and get noticed.  A podcast of some random dudes nobody sees or know about wouldn't help.

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15 hours ago, Spence said:

If you say D&D,

 

Even this is fairly open-ended.  Do you mean Greyhawk?  Forgotten Realms?  Dark Sun?  Ravenloft? etc.

 

Hell, they even have 5th Edition books for the Lord of the Rings setting now.

 

But the HERO system is completely gone from nearly all gaming stores now.  We need something to keep the brand alive.

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7 hours ago, Ninja-Bear said:

Duke, Mob Rule is very generic and can plugged into any city. It has notes to change the scene of the docks to something else if your city doesn’t have a river.

Can Mob Rule be adapted to a space based game?

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My last comment reminds me, our setting has to support almost everything. Magic. Hi-Tech. Aliens. Magical Girls, Boys, Boys Who Turn Into Girls, Etc. Cyborgs. Androids. Cyberspace. Ghost. Zombies. Psychic Doubles (Stands/Personas). Mentalist. You name it.

 

We even have to support stuff we haven't thought up yet.

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Actually an Enemies book is the wrong, current, primary approach. At first the NPCs and enemies should be tied to a specific adventure as an illustration on HOW such characters tend to be used in one’s game. Separate Enemies books come later. 

 

As to “The Champions Universe”, due to rights and copyright issues between Champions and the City of Heroes situation, we may have to start from nearly scratch. No history besides some vague mention, and no re-use of old material. Because it’s Champions, most of the old material would remain compatible, but in terms of publishing for a new audience, I would suggest something new, and vaguely MCU flavored as that now is the primary mental image of superheroes, today. We would probably still need VIPER, and PRIMUS, or even new analogues, but pretty much everything else would have to be fresh. 

 

As to writing adventures, I would suggest either setting them in real cities, or pick one city like San Angelo, or San Angelo itself If Mark is willing as a basis. 

 

So do we follow the Paizo Adventure path formula of serial publications following a single plot (like the MCU’s whole Thanos Plot), or do we publish a couple/three adventures per book?  Probably the former would work best. 

 

Collaborative projects often turn turn out like college group projects, where one person does most of the work, and the rest coast (especially for unpaid work), so it would be necessary to set up a structure of editors for dealing with this. 

 

If if we do follow the Paizo method, it can’t look half-assed or cheaply produced. Making PDFs would be cheaper though, but produced with an eye towards possible color POD or actual printing at some point. 

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4 hours ago, MK Blackout said:

A lot of D and D's current popularity can be attributed to shows like Critical Role.  Gamers these days seem to love to watch other gamers play.  Starter sets are great if you have an audience that is interested in buying them in the first place.  If there was an official (or semi-official) HERO actual play twitch/youtube/podcast show using the current rules that highlighted the game, it might generate enough interest to make the production of a starter set and adventures feasible.  

I still think a robust and easy to use Hero implementation on Roll20 would do wonders for resurrecting the Herosystem. 

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5 minutes ago, Scott Ruggels said:

I still think a robust and easy to use Hero implementation on Roll20 would do wonders for resurrecting the Herosystem. 

I think Roll20 watered down for cell phones would be good, but that is beyond the scope of this thread. I do have mRPG on my phone, but I don't see much Hero there, let alone Champions.

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19 hours ago, steriaca said:

So, we need to jetisen all the years of hard work and detail, and start with "superheroes day one"? 

 

I would think so; yes. 

 

It's not that I simply want to "dismiss" what has gone before.  It is simply that the constant updating builds on mythos and techniques of which the new user has _no_ prior knowledge does nothing more than demonstrate a ludicrous power level and complexity he doesn't really need to see just yet: why turn him off when you're trying turn him on?  And honestly, unless you folks are already in the habit of  resetting your worlds with each new addition, I can't imagine that Dr. Destroyer is still a big deal after 40 years.  I mean, he might be, I suppose, but in 40 years, you think someone would have just enlisted all the supers in the country to deal with him once and for all. 

 

For us, I think we revived Mechanon _one final time_ when we saw the 4e version (who can say "no" to such a sweet Jack Kirby hat?!), but after three or four resurfacings of the 2e version, it lost its charm even faster than Ultron the Undying did (and it didn't take long for that, either.  I _detest_ the idea of a foe you can _never_ vanquish.  Why even make characters?  Just have your players line up once a month, bitch slap each one with your ring hand, and remind them to come back in four weeks to get slapped all over again.) 

 

At any rate, what I think we need is "start kind of simple.". Do NOT confuse this with "dumbed down." We need simple villains with simple(ish) motives and easy-to-digest builds: we need a learning tool. 

 

Yeah, there are two hundred AMGs on this board, and frankly they likely represent the core of HERO's vanishing fan club.  They flat get their rocks off on number crunch and complication, and each edition caters more and more to that. 

 

And each edition has less and less public awareness. 

 

At the risk of offending anyone (which is not my goal here), the surface evidence suggests that catering to this niche is _not_ a winning strategy for the company. 

 

To be clear, I'm not suggesting replacing that, either.  I am suggesting an into-level "fresh start" that can be picked up, digested, and ready to play in under a week by almost anyone.  Something to put the taste in the mouths of potential new players. 

 

If they want to move on and dive into all forty-six pounds of blue-backed books afterwards, then _great_!  It'll be new to them anyway., right? If they don't, also great, because adventures will keep rolling out for them. 

 

In video games, the fans complain mightily about "filthy casuals." We would all be wise to notice that it is these "casuals" who represent the bulk of purchases.  I have little doubt that RPGs are much the same.  Give them something they can digest in the time they have available, and an adventure they can break into two-to-four two-hour sessions. 

 

Give them rules they can read and learn in a week.  Give them a box full of playable game and get them looking in this direction. 

 

18 hours ago, Spence said:

 

With emphasis! NO NEW RULES

 

Hero has already pretty much done everything it can with rules. 

 

Good Lord, yes.  No new rules! 

 

Given that all the arguments still exist, and the balance complaints still exist, and you still can't build a power mimic or the Taskmaster without a VPP that turns every use of their powers into a game-halting "character generation revisited" session, I can't one-hundred-percent say that the new rules are nearly as helpful as they were meant to be anyway. 

 

Peel of some of the more exotic options, if we must.  Give them something they can use _right now_. 

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Re thinkings...

 

A VIPER analog...Skull? A criminal organization lead by the mastermind Skull (aragant guy, naming the group after himself). He is still 'minor league', but his final goal is world domination. His org is small, but big enough to cause problems with the local police. And hi-tech enough to cause problems with the local police.

 

Skull's current goal is complete control of the city. He has hiered some supervillains for muscle. His first step is to isolate the city. How? I'm open for suggestions, but dropping a dome on the city should be the final step in his isolation plan.

 

In fact, "Dome City" could be a nice micro-setting. Imagine wakeing up one day, and everyone in your city is trapped inside, with no way out.

 

 

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"Dome City" is a nice excuse for a closed world campaign, litterly. The first few senerios should deal with life trapped in the city, and how certain factions are copeing. Note that the "Dome" doesn't have to be a physical barrier. Prehaps the edges teleport people back inside the city in a safe way. 

 

Stage two is to discover why and why it is happening. How did Skull get such technology anyways? How are they able to bypass the "wall" to get to there outside headquarters and to put supplys inside the city? (The supplys are rewards for obaying him to the public inside the city.) Finally, stage three is the raid upon Skull HQ and tge removal of the "wall", so the city can rejoin the world.

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9 minutes ago, steriaca said:

Prehaps the edges teleport people back inside the city in a safe way.

 

Or vaporizes them in horrific fashion making people unwilling to approach the barrier.  In time the villains outside the Dome can switch small areas of it to safe-mode to pass inside for whatever nefarious reasons they have. 

 

Later still the populace having seen several people and things annihilated on contact avoid the Dome and fail to realize that there are several safe areas to pass in and out of the Dome.

 

Then a double-agent gets spotted using a safe spot.  Then the witness has to be squashed.  Then conspiracy theories and paranoia within the Dome that some (possibly many) are working with Skull.

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2 hours ago, steriaca said:

Can Mob Rule be adapted to a space based game?

It had suggestions to be a Dark Champions game before that term was used and as a comedy game. Depending on what you mean as Space Based, I don’t see why not. IOW  if you mean sci-fi like cyberpunk, yeah. Sword and Planet? maybe not.

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13 minutes ago, Ninja-Bear said:

It had suggestions to be a Dark Champions game before that term was used and as a comedy game. Depending on what you mean as Space Based, I don’t see why not. IOW  if you mean sci-fi like cyberpunk, yeah. Sword and Planet? maybe not.

If we are talking "street" level space superheroes (who need a spaceship to get off planet), it could work. But the way "space superheroes" are in modern age (planetary threats, villains who can vaporize planets), then no.

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I agree with the fresh start approach for a new setting. For villains I have the Troublemakers- Roughneck, Breakneck and  Rubberneck. I have Muck man ( a man turned into a ooze type monster and Jotun -an archeologist who has an amulet which grants him growth and other power and is stealing Norse artifacts.

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A throwback version of Champions would work fine, the MMOG has been pretty cool about licensing and using Champions for products so far.  I bet you could just reboot the champions universe to early on and just use the old villains without any of the storyline or baggage.

 

But I agree, no villain books at first.  They are good, but you need several intro adventures and a campaign, then you can start putting out books to flesh it out and let GMs have more tools at their disposal.

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Gnome Body (!) do you have Hero Designer? I would share some of the updated characters I did so you can see what I’m talking about.  Plus a major point of like to say is that experience should be given in larger quantity say 5 CP minimum until you reach 400 CP.. 

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