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Showing content with the highest reputation since 01/24/2020 in all areas

  1. 10 points
  2. 9 points
  3. 8 points
    This is more a complaint for fantasy artwork, and video games, but: Giant weapons for human-sized fighters. Seven-foot swords. Hundred-pound hammers. Axes as broad as a car door. All of the insecurity-overcompensating, penis-substituting, power-fantasizing behemoth bodkins that even Conan couldn't swing in a fight.
  4. 8 points
  5. 8 points

    "Neat" Pictures

  6. 8 points
    Followup! Today's ATC reports that Pompeo reacted to Mary-Louise Kelly's interview, and report on his subsequent meltdown, by accusing her of lying: That she hadn't really told his staff she'd ask about Ukraine, and that she had actually agreed to talk with him, alone, off the record. (He did not dispute her account of his profanity-laced rant, though.) And of course he said it was just one more case of the media's psychotic hatred of the Trump administration. So the ATC newsroom invited NPR's CEO, John Lansing, to respond to Pompeo. Mr. Lansing expressed full confidence in Ms. Kelly as one of the country's most respected and professional journalists, Oh, and that she has the email chain with Pompeo's staff, setting up the interview, in which she says and they agree that she will ask about Ukraine. This is all a bit familiar to me from my late father's stories about his work as an investigative reporter for the Tacoma News Tribune. More than once, he offended locally prominent people who threatened to sue him and the paper for libel. His response was always the same: "Go ahead." They never did, or at least they never won. The threats never stopped him, or the TNT, from running a story. So if Mr. Pompeo believes Mary-Louise Kelly lied, twice, on air, about him and his office... he should sue. Proving in court that a major news organization lied through its teeth would certainly be feather in the Trump administration's cap. But he won't, just like the Trump administration has never sued for libel despite all their proclamations that the news media are lying. Because they know they will lose. Dean Shomshak
  7. 8 points
    Duke Bushido

    Attacking for presence attack

    Honestly, for thirty years now, I have assumed that this was the definition of the "violent action" bonus.
  8. 7 points

    Funny Pics II: The Revenge

  9. 7 points
    Scott Ruggels

    Grade the 1980's

    Graduated High school in 1982. Flunked out of college in 1984, and worked a series of dead end jobs. At this point school didn't matter, other than to learn graphics, and animation skills, because... I went to Dance clubs. I played a huge amount of games. Got involved in a whole slew of gaming fanzines. Got invited to play with the Hero games folks, and got my first paid illustration gigs. Worked in Comic books. Worked the stands as an usher during the 84 Olympics, and saw Brazil beat Italy decisively in soccer. I started collecting the music I ran across in Clubs, collecting orange crates full of 12 in. Dance singles and Motion Picture soundtracks. Lots of great action movies, and delectable Trash Cinema (The Sword & The Sorcerer), and I was healthy enough to eat anything (Jack in The Box Ultimate Cheese burgers, with a side of Bacon Cheddar Potato wedges.). Ronald Reagan broke the back of the Soviet union, and it collapsed 6 months after he left office. (Victory over Communism!) Went through three cars. Started to travel to big conventions, like WorldCon, Gencon, and Comic-con. For me, the 80's were a grand, young person's Adventure, so I have to Grade it as an A!
  10. 7 points

    Birds of Prey (2020)

    Is it just me, or is Harley Quin rapidly going the way of Wolverine, Gambit, and Deadpool before her: Overhyped, overexposed, and when it comes right down to it, frankly not that interesting a character? Oh, and we can throw Batman himself in what that lot too, as far as I'm concerned.
  11. 7 points
    Gnome BODY (important!)

    Realism vs Fantasy

    What this fine fellow said. And more than that, I don't actually want realism. I want verisimilitude. I want that genre-appropriate veneer of realism, but without all the headaches that accompany actually being realistic. Faux-realism, if you will. I don't care what the relationship between volume and jumping height is, I want halflings to jump worse than humans. Yes, I know that cats are much smaller than but easily outjump humans I don't care. Bilbo can't bunnyhop. I don't care if assault rifle shots should be able to penetrate that brick wall we're hiding behind. I've seen enough action movies to know that what should happen is the wall trembling and chips flying as the heroes figure out how to deal with the situation. I don't care what sort of fuel efficiency my spaceship gets or what transfer orbit makes the most sense or how the engine works. I just want to know how much I have to pay for enough space-fuel to get from Earth to Mars. The physics aren't important to the story, we just need a consistent number.
  12. 7 points
    I'd like to take this moment to repeat that, in my opinion as an IT and cybersecurity professional, elections should be paper and ink only. No hackable voting machines, no badly written caucus apps, no easily deleted centralized databases. Ever. The mere existence of these opaque technologies can only reduce the perceived legitimacy of any election.
  13. 6 points
  14. 6 points
    Speaking of worlds on turtles... I've enjoyed many of the Diskworld novels. Often funny, often pointed in its satire. But for me at least, hardly ever immersive. No matter how much I enjoy the story, I am fully aware this world "exists" to comment on other stories or aspects of RL. It's never a world that feels like it could exist in its own right. Again, at least not for me. Dean Shomshak
  15. 6 points

    Funny Pics II: The Revenge

    It's kind of crazy how widely accepted Botox has become. I mean, just a few years ago, it was considered pretty out there. Now you mention Botox and nobody raises an eyebrow.
  16. 6 points
  17. 6 points
    I would assign more faith in setting, if- well: Millennium City Vibora Bay That college Steve has up in the store Atlantean Age Valdorian Age Turakian Age Tuala Morn Hidden Lands Stronghold Terran Empire Meriquai Falls Johlros Hell's Half Acre Kazei 5 Widening Gyre Monster Island The Mystic World Hudson City Worlds of Empire And I can't remember how many other setting books from even further back- Had attracted an audience larger than _us_. By that I mean people already big into HERO. A setting is a picture of a place that you use as a backdrop for your story. Yes; you need one. But you don't need two-hundred-odd pages of a setting to sit down and play a game, or to even be interested in playing. I started playing Traveller with the little black box. There really wasn't much in there for setting. I started playing D&D with box whose color I don't remember, but I remember that the rules were thinner than the 1e Champions book (though it would be a year or two before I learned that), and the highest level listed in the book was _three_. Yep. Third level. It didn't have _crap_ for setting, not even the vague inferences that having to join a service made about the Traveller universe. The closest thing we had to "setting" for D&D was pencil and ink lines on graph paper. The list goes on, or course: Star Frontiers: we don't like these worm-looking guys. Have fun. Gamma World: there was an appoclypse, maybe nuclear, not sure. Anyway, mutants. Aftermath: something really horrible has happened that has brought about the end of the world. You decide what it was. Twilight 2000: the war's over, and you're stranded in Poland. No; there are no maps. You don't have orders anymore, so.... Well, it's Poland. Do what you ordinarily do in Poland, but with guns and maybe a Humvee. A green one. Seriously. And some of those games have launched legacies. Even Champions-- the game that we come here regularly to celebrate and discuss, had _no_ setting. First edition was published in '81. Seriously, damned near all of it: rules, Enemies 1, Escape from Stronghold (Hillariously subtitled "Adventure #1 for Champions" ) , and Island of Doctor Destroyer. That was.... Setting, I guess? Even wieder was that all the published adventures throughout 2 and 3e were totally unrelated to each other. I think Circle and M.E.T.E appeared in the same book, but had no relation to each other. Same with Blood and Dr. McQuark: neither was filled out enough to make a 24 page book on thier own, UT if we combine them..... Scourge From the Deep was just _nuts_ if you wanted to work it into any cohesive setting (though it did give us the drowning rules). To be honest, that campaign book that came with Justice, Inc? Dude, that was positively _decadent_ in terms of setting for the games then. But we still play it. It was forty years ago, and we are still in love, so I'm thinking that "setting is nice" might be more appropriate. The problem with setting is best illustrated with the current HERO books, and that classic example of setring: World of Darkness (or Vampire, for those looking for a short handle). Yes, it blew up _tremendously_ huge, and some of that can be contributed to setting. Timing and topic had a lot to do with it, but the setting was undeniably very popular. There was tons of it! The just kept pumping it out. Hell, why add new races and new monsters? Think of a monster? Build a damned game around it and toss it in World of Darkness! But it's gone now. Sure: there are, just like HERO, some diehards still plugging along. But for the most part, it's just as dead as HERO. But how, with that amazing setting? Too damned much of it. Too much setting, too much restriction imposed by the setting, too much sameness. In short, people gobbled up every little thing they could read about it, and after the information overload, they just got tired of it. Why was Lugosi the best Dracula? You didn't see anything! You knew there was the monster. You _saw_ the monster as he stalked his victim. Then there was a close up on his grotesque and lurid grin, he hunched and dove-- And the scene cut, or his cape obscured eveything- his directors knew that nothing was better than what the audience would invent in their own minds. There was enough setting to get you moving, and nowhere near enough to mire you down. Complete? Give me an adventure, or enough setting that I can make something appropriate to what's been give. Don't give me two hundred pages of an entire world: the party isn't going to walk too terribly far from the starting point, anyway, not for months. Don't bother me with what I don't need. The most popular setting book of all time, according to some, was Greyhawk. I owned it, as I am sure many of you did. What was that little miniature staple-bound book, anyway? Maybe 40 pages? Sure, it grew, but it grew over time; it didn't beat the zeal out of me with six chapters on political intrigue and four more on tax-funded infrastructure. I don't want to play Phantom Menace; I'll call you if I get bored. A setting is a backdrop for your adventures; it's nice scenery, and names for the places in the distance. Other than that, at least for the first few months, it's an oil painting. Stunning, if done well. But no matter how well it's done, you can't play it. Not even a little bit. So: nice, but _almost_ optional.
  18. 6 points
    Old Man

    Funny Pics II: The Revenge

  19. 6 points

    Funny Pics II: The Revenge

    Creepy Pics thread is over there.
  20. 6 points
    Steve Long

    6E Core Rulebook Errata

    Back by popular demand! This file, which is also available for free from the Hero Games Online Store, contains all the errata known to me as of today. If you find an errata in the core rulebook which isn't listed here, please PM me to inform me about it. Please don't post it here, because I may not see it. Sending it to me directly ensures that I won't overlook it. 6E Errata 2020-02-09.pdf
  21. 6 points
    Bean-counting administrators Imbecile deans who demand Annual Performance Review forms by Friday, even though they'll ignore them for three months until they're sure there's not even enough money to give COLA raises to anyone but themselves this year Service committee chairs who ask for edits on some d----d draft of a new rule proposal which has no relevance to you or anyone you know Utterly clueless lumps of nonsapient fecal protoplasm that overflowed some toilet over in Liberal Arts and have taken up residence in rhe Grants and Contracts Office who cannot understand that no matter how many degrees in English or Philosophy they have, they DO NOT get to send the mandatory official grant forms back to the National Science Foundation and demand a more aesthetically pleasing grammatical construction Physical Plant, who seem to think that it's OK to have the offices on one side of the hall be 89 F at all times, and the offices on the other side of the hall be 47 F at all times, because the hallway then is a nice 69 F at all times DFUA IT support cretins, who ram "upgrades" into your working machine that break all kinds of important functionality that IT support didn't take into account because they can't understand it Bean-counting administrators again, who want to increase all class sizes to 38 students per so they can lay off one poor part-time adjunct making $7000 a quarter, even though there are no classrooms on campus that can actually seat 38 students at the same time The Fire Marshal, who barges in without warning and declares the lab unsafe because there's too much stuff in it Los Federales, who send you a nastygram requiring you to do the re-up FERPA regulation training before the end of the month DFUA IT support cretins again, since the nearest printer that actually works is over in the East Camelhumping Building, to which you have no access Did I mention bean-counting administrators who think they can solve the $8 million per year deficit in the budget they have f-----d up by cutting off all six scientific support staff, each of whom makes $22,000 a year or less? Some reptile-sodomizing textbook publisher rep who wants you adopt a new edition of their crap book, when the changes made in it are (1) dumbing it down, (2) pushing some utterly unworkable on-line homework system onto students for no justifyable pedagogical benefit, and (3) bumping the price up another $55 a copy Idiot drone underlings of bean-counting administrators who send you crap emails to get you to contribute to the Annual Fund Drive Campaign For Fatter Administration Paychecks Imbecile deans again who want you to serve on the Performance Review Form Revision Committee because imbecile deans can't admit it's all a F------ WASTE OF EVERYONE'S TIME AND ALWAYS WILL BE ... Sigh, too many adversaries for one draft, I'm afraid.
  22. 6 points
    Senator Romney is going to catch seven different kinds of Hell for this, and he knows it. He did it anyway. That's not nothing.
  23. 6 points
    Duke Bushido

    Realism vs Fantasy

    What genre and theme? That makes a _huge_ difference, at least for me. I like my supers and my space opera to be like the comics of the the sixties and eighties, with a bit more drama but supers-are-super. I like my westerns to be realistically lethal- everything short of hit locations is on the table, and nobody catches three bullets and keeps running. My cyberpunk and pulp are action movie, and the rest of my space-related sci-fi is either Traveller or Atomic Age. My fantasy swings from gruesome to action movie, depending on the campaign in question. Everything else falls into the cracks. Honestly, it depends on the tropes we want to play with at the time. As you can probably tell from that, I have very little problems picking and choosing the rules I am using and the ones I am ignoring.
  24. 6 points
  25. 6 points
  26. 6 points
  27. 5 points
  28. 5 points
    What types of things that might come up in a fantasy game* ruin the immersive experience for you? I'm not asking you to come up with just anything that *would* ruin it, but what actually has ruined it. What have you actually encountered in play that disrupted your willful suspension of disbelief? *And you can also include things outside of games, such as fantasy literature or movies or TV shows, etc. For me, the main one is anachronisms - which is a very broad category. It includes all of the following: * Injection of sci-fi elements (Expedition to the Barrier Peaks, anyone?) I don't like ray guns and robots mixed with my rapiers and rakshasas. * Magic items and spells that are simply modern-day technologies with a fantasy-colored coat of paint: Dragon-powered railroads, a magic spell that fills the roll of a cell phone, a "magic item" that is essentially a mechanical armored tank, complete with a 105 mm mounted "wand of fireballs". * Modern-day sensibilities and memes. In societal structure, government, religion, philosophy, etc. * Anachronistic words and expressions. I remember an episode of MST3K, "Quest of the Delta Knights" in which a character says, "This book is a blueprint for the future!" To which, the other character should have said, "What the heck is a 'blueprint'?" I've seen another fantasy setting that included a particular type of wizard specializing in mental manipulation called a "Mesmer", as if the word means "a person who mesmerizes others". When actually "Mesmer" is the name of a 18-19th century doctor whose work led to hypnotism. His name is where we get the word "mesmerize" - a word which should not exist in a fantasy world where this person never existed. * References to modern-day scientific knowledge that people in the quasi-historical fantasy setting wouldn't have, such as the germ theory of disease, the fundamental laws of physics, cosmology, etc. * Evidence of a lost civilization that had modern-day, or future technology. Of course, anachronisms aren't the only category of immersion disruptors, but for me, it covers about 99% of the cases. What are the immersion disruptors for you? Anachronistic ones, or otherwise. What things spoil the "fantasy feel"?
  29. 5 points
  30. 5 points
    I'm not sold that the goal was, or should be, significant differences between our Powered by Hero game and the Hero rules. This is doubly so with Brian's stated goal to get them interested enough in the source code to buy the Hero System. This makes sense to me, as it only pares away some of the Teleport rules, but does not change them. Making movement "per turn divided by SPD" means a major disconnect when our Action Hero group buys the 2 volumes of source code. Sure. Because it is a staple of horror movies that the solution to a ghost is a bigger gun. I have an even easier answer for Action Hero - it does not need Desolid at all. Let me suggest what was actually stupid. The stupid GM reading the character sheet, seeing the description Immune to Fire with the desolid build, stupidly not discussing that build with the player, but rather letting him pay the points for a build the GM considered not to achieve the desired result, then even more stupidly building an adversary specifically to override the player's concept. NOTE: I am charitably assuming stupidity here. It could be that the GM is not stupid, but is instead deliberately setting out to show the player who the boss is, and you don't get to rely on your character concept working as planned, or me telling you I am going to override your concept, in advance. That's a different type of stupid most commonly described with reference to the end result of the digestive system. Worse, the player is likely to blame the failure to obtain "the character he imagined" as a failing of the Hero System, not an incompetent or adversarial GM. To a lot of the other elements, I think we can easily remove AP, Penetrating, Hardened, etc. Not so gung ho about merging PD and ED. Removal of martial arts? No issue. Making them "something else"? Less enthusiastic. That's not to say we could not redesign elements for our "Powered by Hero Game", but that it's not a great idea if the goal is to draw them into the big overall system. If we are making that kind of major change, it also needs a sidebar or similar to tell experienced Hero gamers we're deviating from the standard. One of the biggest Champions competitors did a great job modifying the whole d20 damage system, so massive changes can work. But recognize that they are massive changes which will create compatability issues with the Hero System overall.
  31. 5 points
    Gods, Religions, and Religious institutions as unimportant and lacking any power or purpose save as healing shops. It's such a waste of material to use it that way. And it often throws me off. Even if the gods don't feel chatty, religious leaders can still exert enough influence and power to hobble or raise up rulers, they can direct codes as strong as any secular set of laws. And, unless one is speaking of 'chaching, the God of #$#You, Payme!', their entire purpose should never be confined to just taking gold and then curing that STD you got at Madame Stonegate's House of Dwarven pleasures. Not meaning any disrespect to anyone who follows Chaching And I always appreciate when the not priestly types still have a spiritual side, and pay a bit of respect to the gods. NPCs who are farmers, bartenders, or the like who tip their hat to the local holy man, or pray for good weather etc are small touches, but it shows off nicely. Heck, even creative ways of using a god's name in anger can reflect wel. But when a fantasy village seems to be entirely secular to a man, unless there's an in setting reason, it kind of jars me a bit. I don't expect Hozanas and Psalms all the time, but the idea of "Who do these god people think they are anyway?" Should not be the norm unless you're going for a Monty python skit But that's just me.. just sort of makes me roll my eyes and disrupts my immersion a bit.
  32. 5 points

    Funny Pics II: The Revenge

    It's okay, they can digitally erase it in post.
  33. 5 points
  34. 5 points

    Breaking Universes

    Just don't allow a Star Wars captain to end your universe by letting her be the first person to ram an enemy vessel at hyperspeed. Because then all capital ships are a waste of resources as they get annihilated by droid-operated ramming drones just large enough to have a hyperspeed drive. Or Force Lightening. Palpatine: Hi guys, I'm back in town for a couple of weeks. GM: Hey, good to see you. Still got your Dark Lord of the Sith character from before? Palpatine: Sure do. The DM where I live now runs a higher point campaign, but I'm sure I can make it work. . . Two Session later . . Palpatine: Rebel fleet is advancing on my temple? I'll show them. I use Force Lightning! GM: On who? Rey or Kylo? Palpatine: No, the Rebel Fleet. I raised my Force Lightning to 10d6 RKA - Cone - AoE. From here I can hit everything between low orbit and where I'm standing. GM: . . .
  35. 5 points
    For a long term campaign, setting is king. I'll give you that. If all I have is a rulebook (assume Champions Complete for the sake of argument) and an adventure, I can get started playing. If all I have is a rulebook and a setting, I still need an adventure. If I have a rulebook and a couple of adventures, I can start a campaign. Personal experience here. I tried to run a Champions campaign. I had players, I had characters, I had villains, I had setting. I didn't have an adventure. I bombed. I didn't turn them in to Champions players. This was the group I'd been playing D&D with for two years, starting with the D&D 5th edition Starter Set and the 5e Players Handbook. True, the Starter Set assumes the Forgotten Realms, but it gives about a page of countryside map, not much setting other than the actual areas the adventure takes place in, monsters, spells, the minimal rules needed to play characters up from 1st level to 5th. To me, that is a complete game. This is not me saying what I think is needed. This me saying what experience, successful and not, has shown me is needed. The D&D 5th edition Starter Set is a complete game, IMO. In order to get a successful product line, we need more people playing the game. Period.
  36. 5 points
    When I say starter set I'm also not referring to a beginner's set. The D&D Starter Kit happens to use the D&D 5th edition Basic Rules, but when I played through it we used the full D&D 5e ruleset. The existing Fantasy Hero Complete "starter set" (electronic supplemental material) uses the full Fantasy Hero Complete rules. There's no reason there can't be "complete game" sets that include everything but the rules; I'm fine if "complete game" includes the rulebook, even the full toolkit, as a separate book or books. Good question. Danger International is self contained and limited. It assumes not just genre but a particular play style (i.e. no powers, agent-level, gritty). In theory, yes, we could reproduce that, as long as we're assuming a genre and play style. No, it's not the toolkit -- and that's a feature, not a bug. Everything about the full HERO System toolkit ecosystem assumes everything is wide open, and that GMs and players will have full access to it. It's kind of hard to reconcile that with a pregenerated world, power sets, power systems (magic systems, psionics, etc.), source material (monsters, villains, spells, gadgets, etc.). Believe me, I've been told a number of times that what I want is "dumbing down" the system -- no, I don't. I want something that I can open up and be playing in an hour. There's no reason a complete game has to dumb anything down. "Starter set" doesn't have to mean for beginners! Pregenerated source material doesn't have to be "dumb".
  37. 5 points

    Birds of Prey (2020)

    The desperate bid to change the movie's fortune by calling it Harley Quinn and the Birds of Prey has failed, prompting the studio to change it yet again. It will now be known as Marvel's Harley Quinn and the Birds of Prey. When asked about violating Marvels copyright a studio spokesman said "Copyright, Smopyright!"
  38. 5 points
    You remind me of an anecdote: I got into roleplaying quite by accident. I love dice. I mean I _love_ dice. I had a rather extensive dice collection at one time (no; not just the pillow sack full; I mean an actual collection: dice whittle from bone certified back to the 1700s; iron dice cast and beaten into shape, actual bone "dice" from hip bones of deer, etc. They appear in every culture, every period. Surely no one person travelled the globe and introduced them to everyone else. There is something that draws us instinctively to the randomness of dice. I guess it's the "randomizing" element of dice that... well, Hell; I'm too damned old to care what anyone thinks of me at this point, I never cared much at any other point, so let me just say it: there is something mysterious about dice. We can predict and average and graph, but we can't tell what any individual throw is going to do. Combine that with the history of dice-- dice-based fortune telling and even gambling seem to predate recorded history-- and you get people deciding their fortunes-- even their fates-- on one unguessable roll. On purpose! People who have made a decision to let the random action of the universe decide what their lives will be--- It's... well, it's more than "romantic;" it's _haunting_. I've been fascinated with them since I was just a little kid-- I mean that first board game with the colored die: move to the next space with that color. It was spellbinding-- I controlled everything. I could pick the die up-- I could pick it up the same exact way every time; shake it the same exact way every time. Throw it onto the board and it was _different_. Nothing I could do would control the result. I had complete control of everything right up until I tossed it into the air and the universe took over.... I never got away from it. To this day, rolling dice is just the greatest mystery, and as an adult, and understanding the math-- the averages, the graphs, the potentials, the tilt of this and that and the angle or roundness of the vertices and weight and size of the die---- and knowing that when I throw them, it's all meaningless. When I think about it too hard, it's scary, in a humbling "we are but specks in an infinite cosmos" sort of way. When I just enjoy waiting for the next roll, guessing what it will be, and waiting-- over and over again-- until I'm right.... There's a childish joy; my joy, from the child in me that still remembers how exciting that first colored die was--- and I _love_ it. At any rate, I had a rather extensive dice collection by the time 77 or 78 rolled about. I had moved, made new friends, and had dice randomly displayed here and there. "Oh, cool! You must really love games!" Well, I like dice. "Dude, you have a _lot_ of dice! Have you ever role played?" I did a couple of stage productions in school. "No; I mean like where you and your friends-- have you ever heard of Dungeons and Dragons?" Ehhh... _sort of_....? Nothing great. I don't really think that's my thing. I'm not really into hobbits and elves and crap. "No; I mean the way you play: you make up a character and act out like what that character would do or say of how he would react; have you ever done that?" I did a couple of stage productions in school. "No; Dude; you are not getting this. It's like making up an adventure movie, only you come up with your own lines and stuff as you go." So... like a party game? "Kinda; yeah. But then you want to do something, right? So you can't just decide that you _do_ it; you just say you _want_ to do it, then you check your skill level" My what, now? "You have like skill levels and things that tell you kinda how good you are at stuff. If something is sort of easy, then you get bonuses; if it's hard, then you get penalties." Penalties? You lost me. If I'm good at it, why are there penalties? "Because you need a target number." And what's that? "Well you have to roll that number or better on the dice--" Dice? "Right. When you want to try to do something, you roll the dice, and they will tell you if you can do it or not." The dice decide? "Right. You take your target number and your bonuses or penalties and then you let the dice decide---" Tell me more. No; wait! _Show_ me...... "Sure! My buddies Kevin and Jim have been itching to get a Traveller game up, but we haven't finished the D&D module yet--- Hey! Do you like science fiction? Like spaceships and aliens and stuff?" And that did it. Right there. I didn't sit down because I wanted to be the next Conan or Legolas; I didn't want to be the next Magic Space Wizard. I wanted to let the dice decide my fate..... And I've never regretted it. Now over the years-- between friends, family, nieces and nephews, moving, giving things away, -- life in general, very little of my once-prized dice collection remains (I have a couple of hammered iron dice, a couple of antler dice, and a very few others still left), but it's amazing how many _more_ dice I have now than ever before! I just _love_ dice. This only seems to apply to dice, though. Card games suck the blue ones on a donkey. >:( They freakin' _wish_ they were dice! Dude, I am _really_ sorry about that. I may have to erase all of it and just start here, at the actual anecdote: I once had (and still have most of) a set of about two-dozen bright yellow dice with oversized black pips. When I was teaching new players, I would insist they use these dice, as they were _much_ easier to read, meaning that I or any of the other players could help them determine their successes and failures until they got the hang of it. One player jokingly referred to these dice arranged in a neat rectangle as "the school bus," and the name has just stuck, given that they were used mostly for the purposes of education (no one picked them on purpose: they were called "the school bus;" that should tell you immediately just how damned unpleasant they were to look at! ). I had a problem player many years ago-- you may have heard me mention Davien a time or two. It was absolutely _astounding_ how phenomenally well he rolled, and how his success always seemed to be proportionally to both the smallness of his dice and his distance away from other players. (Weird, right?!). I got sick to death of it, and one day I stumbled across a set of twelve dice in "school bus" colors--- 30mm dice. "Here, Davien. You wanna play; you use these dice. Period." It took about fifteen minutes before someone coined the phrase "the short bus." {EDIT}: Thread Tax: What makes a game "complete?" Damned if I know. But I know when it ain't! seriously though: having everything you need to play a game: An understanding of the world-- mood, attitude, grimness--- Look at HERO 6e: all the talk about having a hundred dials and switches you can throw and twist and boom! Instant game! Well a "complete game" is one that has _done_ that already: It has all the switches thrown and dials set to create a defined world and a defined tone and gives you enough setting and background to place yourself _in_ that world, at least enough to feel like you are a part of it. There is enough "here is how the world works" to get you going (I really don't need every single detail; just give me enough to get the feel for it; I can wing the rest), preferably some sample characters and information on them; enough NPCs to people at least one adventure, and ... well, _at least one adventure_. Two or three is better, even if they are short and simple, because they tend to reinforce what the world is. Sure, if there's only one adventure, it's better to be a bit more detailed, and preferably open-ended so I can just sort of bump along continuing it until I can get something together on my own. Instead of fifteen optional ways to do something, I want something that says "in this world, it's done this way." Less generic; more specific. If HERO core rules get any more "universal and generic," they won't need cover art; they will need a white cover with black letters that says "Game Rules." Package it in white box labeled "Game; boxed set" and include a 36x48 sheet of white paper that says "Map" and white-covered book of Mad Libs that says "Scenario."
  39. 5 points
  40. 5 points
  41. 5 points

    2019-2020 NFL Thread

    So, a year from now Minnesota will be 0-5 in Super Bowls
  42. 5 points
    Chris Goodwin

    Realism vs Fantasy

    Whatever game I'm playing in, whatever the genre, I want it to feel like the sort of media that contains the same genre of stories. I want the characters to do, and to be able to do, the kinds of things the characters in those stories do, with the same rationales and for the same motivations. Besides genre, there's also tone and feel. I don't need or want all of my games to have the same tone and feel. With Hero, I know they don't need to, because I've played in Hero games with tone and feel covering the entire range of the poll options. I can't therefore chose any single option. I vote "Any and all of the above."
  43. 5 points
    Gnome BODY (important!)

    Breaking Universes

    Both approaches are correct and any given group should do what works for them. It's their game, not George Lucas's.
  44. 5 points
    I'm pretty much in line with Phi: I am thinking Mind Scan with limitations like "target must be within eyeshot of a mirrror;" caster must be looking into a mirror. " Call it done. Want more details? You can use mind scan to target someone with a mental power (one you have their location). So you can use that to nail the mirror you are seeing them through as a location to pin your clairsentience. Add" only through mirrors" to keep with your shtick and you're done. There's no reason, I don't believe, to really over think this, since there are out-of-the-book constructs for doing precisely what you want.
  45. 5 points
    And as the envelope is opened, the Oscar for best Superdraft Kingdom Casting goes to... Adele Dazeem with La La land...*Double checks* AHEM... I mean, Assault, with A Most Serene Republic Congratulations, Assault! Here is your Oscar SO many runner ups, Five of them in fact! And it is worth noting everyone got at least two votes, which means everyone's effort was someone's favorite!
  46. 5 points

    Batman (2021)

    Keaton won a Golden Globe and Critic's Choice and was nominated for an academy award as best actor only a few years ago...as well as playing a damn good Vulture recently. He's doing just fine IMO.
  47. 5 points
  48. 5 points
    when it comes down to it, I dont think that Boris is either arrogant or stupid. I think he considered Scotland a political problem that would exist regardless of his actions, he is not loved there and the bumbling Englishman act does not play as well for that audience. I do not think that he wants to be the Prime Minister that presides over the break-up of the UK but I do think he underestimates the strength of opinion that is growing in Scotland and the way his NI solution will drive the nationalist agenda over there. He had a Brexit tiger by the tail and he could see a majority in Westminster waiting as long as he kept hold (with all of the collateral damage that might entail). I think Boris' decisions as far as Scotland and NI go, have been made with an eye to that Brexit base (which does not care about either). I think he believes he can hold things together until he is not as dependent on that constituency and then resolve some of the issues. The problem is that, to me, the independence momentum in Scotland is looking very much like the Brexit momentum where rational arguments about meta-level trade decisions and how much it might cost are becoming less and less relevant. Boris will use the once in a generation vote for as long as he can. It will be interesting to see whether the momentum for independence builds up to a level it cannot be ignored or Boris manages to break it down. He is fighting against the Scottish Labour Party (unionist instincts) deciding that independence, regardless of the cost, would not only get rid of the Tories in Westminster but also shoot the SNP fox (what do they stand for when Scotland is independent, what is their raison d'etre?). That is my perspective (not just as UK, not just as a very interested observer in the House of Commons, but also as a Scot). 🙂 Doc
  49. 5 points
    By the next day, the departing Samaritans had loaded up and prepped to go to Port Cascade, but I have to say it was nice that some of them took time to take to hang out with me. In fact, they all had something to say. "Relax, you got this," Arctic Fox said, "Much as I had to admit it, your instincts are usually good. You saw through my ex," She made a face. "Well, that might have been because he was hoping to get ride of me personally to create a spot on the team," I admitted. "So was I," Fox said, "Look, you're a good guy. Annoying, but good. But the fact you and Lady Obsidian have caught the same things at the same time more than once is probably how she knows you've got the stuff. You have similarities where it counts, and enough difference that you're not some mini-she." "Thanks," I said with a smile. "Besides, Ariana will probably do the bulk of the work," She said. "Hey? Lady Obsidian said 'co captains'," I reminded. "I'll do my share." "Yes, but you and I weren't partials, we weren't always stuck at 'good enough to be a side show but not a superhero'," Arctic Fox said casually, almost callously. "Ariana is a hero," I said, "She was taking risks even before-" "Peace, Lover-boy," She held up a hand, "She was a friend of mine before she was your girlfriend. Of course she was a hero, but it's the super part I'm talking about. She was minor league, not because of a character flaw, but because she just didn't have the power level. But watch out, for once a government super soldier program kind of sort of didn't lead to doom, our leader improved it, and suddenly there's a way over that wall. Partials can hang with us. The one percent is now the five percent, and while none of us really think much of it, Ariana is leading that wave. She's the one who has been there in the minors, made it to the majors. She earned her spot, but she still had to work for it. You mark my words, she's going to be the hard ass, not you. " "Right," I chuckled. My girlfriend was one of the most understanding, sweetest woman I'd ever met, playful sure, and brave and bad-ass, but R.Lee Emery she was not. "Fine, don't believe me," Arctic Fox said with a shrug. "This old foes of yours?" I said changing the subject, or trying to, "The three you said old dance partners, one of them you gave a pretty hard look at. Personal business?" "Meaning you're hoping it's not so you can nose in?" She arched a brow. "Yeah," I confessed. "Ice Queen, not only is her name too on the nose for my liking, we're so evenly matched it can lead to some long frustrating drawn out battles. She's like evil opposite with the same shtick." "She's evil but modest, open, and non-judgmental?" I said in a surprised tone. "Why Ariana likes you I am still not sure, but perhaps she just decided to bite a bullet to save the rest of womankind," Her eyes narrowed. At least three responses came to mind, on a bit dirty, one a bit smug, and another probably not as clever as I thought it was. However, as I had already thrown myself into a hole here, socially speaking, I took the fourth option and gave a 'who knows?' shrug. Now, Valentino giving me advice was a sure thing. He'd been the first of the team to actually befriend me, and while my dating his niece had cause some protective hackles on his part to rise, they'd smoothed over pretty quickly. To my surprise, the nature of his counsel had very little to do with Ariana. **** "You've got to get them to know the city, man," he said as we walked plains clothes through a food market of sorts, a bazaar might be a better word. With Mabel detatched, he'd volunteered for some shopping, "you need to give them an appreciation for the cultures, have them spread their patrols through the neighborhoods, meet and greet folks, get to know our fellow citizens." There was a pause as he motioned to a bag of oranges and spoke in Spanish too rapid for me to follow with an older man regarding price. The haggling that followed seemed to have the older man accusing Tino of being some kind of highwayman robbing from him, and Tino rattling off that if he wanted to be ripped off he could go to a grocery store. It was all very dramatic sounding. I wanted to cut in and tell Tino to just pay the asked for price so we could move on, but I admit I was too tickled. I'd seen Tornado bantering with supervillains with less intensity back and forth than this. Valentino gestured and make some comment about one of the oranges being oddly shaped, the gent selling it countered something about flavor and I think texture? I really do know Spanish now, but as fast as they were flying (Figuratively, not literally) I wouldn't just need subtitles, I'd need to slow down the speed of play on this particular bit. Finally, it seemed Tino found a price he could abide. The transaction was made and with bag of fruit in hand, we went on. Once I was sure no one could overhear I had to say it, "Is the world safe for reasonable rates on food produce once more, or will the dark shadow of its threat rise again should we neglect vigilance?" "Macho talk from a guy who once needed help fighting poultry," He shot back good-naturedly, neglecting the part where said chicken was fifty foot tall and superpowered! Before I could think of a clever rejoinder (Hey, a minute or two and I could have come up with something) he said, "But seriously, Caleb, you need to get them in touch with the people." "Tino," I said, "They're not staying in Costa Sagrado beyond maybe a month. It's train em, then then wish them well." "Don't be so sure, besides, this is an important lesson period, it's not about the city, it's about appreciating where you are and who you're fighting for. You know how it is for some supers, they live in some secret base on the moon, or at the South Pole, and have enough resources to avoid the Nine to Five rat race that swallows most folks up. For some of those lucky bastards, it becomes all about the next fight, the next villain. Some superheroes get so caught up in 'the struggle of good versus evil', 'us against them', 'white cape dukes it out with black mask' and so on, that they neglect being a part of who they're fighting for," Tino said, "You need to drive home to these rookies that it's not a villain hero only world." "I'm pretty sure any superhero wants to protect the innocents," I raised a brow, "I mean, it's one of the reasons I'm a superhero and not an act at Sea World." He smiled at that, but then shook his head, "It's not enough, man. Look, Lady Obsidian likes us to have places to live outside the base. She told you why, right?" A light dawned, "Right, so we could remember we're part of the population, not above them." "Exactly," He said, "Same thing. You need to get the rookies to appreciate the breadth of humanity, and hold onto it. Too many folks with power, even outside of superheroes, assume that their position as guardian excuses them acting like jackasses, or bullies. There is a danger in being so focused on protecting your fellow humans that you forget you are one." As if to empahasise his last point, he spread out his free hand to the crowds in the distance, "They need to be able to relate to all this, wherever they go, not to be better crime fighters, but so they'll be better people." It was not entirely new advice, but it was damn good advice, and timely, "Thanks, TIno," Then I thought of something, "You ever see some hero forget this lesson personally?" A frown crossed his features, and he seemed ,troubled, "Angels fall, Sheep Dogs can turn on the flock, and the path from zealous do-gooder to delusional villain is not a hard one to find if your'e not looking where you're going." That was a bit more poetic an answer than I was used to, and I was tempted to ask for details if details there were, but by that time? He was already haggling for avocados..
  50. 5 points
    I'm currently running a Galactic Champions game, so our space battles also include flying spandex people punching spaceships. We mostly use standard Hero vehicle combat (6ed), but I wanted to use a vector-based movement system with at least a passing resemblance to how objects actually move in zero G instead of looking like the usual WWII dogfight. (Basic concept swiped from the minis game Full Thrust.) We've only had one space combat so far, but it worked really well: the players found it easy to understand after just a couple moves, it played quickly, and really gave the battle a unique feel. No hexes: freeform movement measured using rulers or measuring tapes. The exact scale is handwaved, but 1 “movement unit” = 1cm on the map. (You could use 1m = 1” but you’ll need a big playing space!) We ignored the Z axis and just did everything in 2D. In my experience/opinion, trying to simulate 3D on the tabletop is way more trouble than it's worth. A ship’s Flight is how fast it can accelerate; there is no maximum velocity. (I mean theoretically there is, but I’m pretty sure you’ll run out of table long before you approach 1 C!) Ships can move NCM if they want, with the usual effects on CV. For each ship you need to keep track of three things: - FACING is the direction the ship is pointing – indicated by the miniature’s facing - COURSE is the direction the ship is moving, which may not be the same as its facing – indicated by arrow on a disk or a counter - VELOCITY is how fast the ship is currently moving – we tracked velocity using 2d10s (ie a velocity of 24 is reflected with a 2 on one die and a 4 on another) Ships move and act on their Phases as normal. Movement is a 4-step process: - The ship drifts in the direction of its current Course for its current Velocity in cm. Leave the Course arrow in place to mark the ship’s starting position. - From its drift location, the ship can then move normally up to its full Flight move in cm. There is no Turn Mode, and rotation is “free” so basically they can move wherever they want up to their full movement. The new Facing is in line from the drift point to its final location, to reflect the direction the ship was applying thrust. - Measure the distance from the starting position (the arrow) to the final location (the mini); the distance in cm is the new Velocity. - The new Course is in line from the starting location to the final location; move the course arrow up to the final location. Combat is handled normally after movement. For simplicity, I let ships & character do a full move and attack at one additional range band (ie -2 OCV). Movement Example: A ship with 24m of Flight is currently moving towards the right, which we’ll call 3 o’clock; its current Facing and Course are the same and its current Velocity is 10. The ship wants to accelerate. First the ship’s mini drifts 10cm towards 3 o’clock, and the arrow is left in place. The ship then moves normally, and decides to move 24cm straight ahead. The distance from start to finish is 34cm, so that is the ship’s new Velocity. Its Facing and Course are unchanged. Move the arrow counter up to the final location. Note that for linear examples like this you could’ve just added 10+24 and moved the ship forward 34cm. The next Phase I took pictures! Ship’s Course and Facing are both still towards 3 o'clock, Velocity 34. (The arrow is on the disk under the ship counter, but you don’t need to see it until you move anyway.) Say the ship wants to turn to port/left. First, the mini drifts 34cm to 3 o'clock, leaving the arrow in place. From there the ship moves its full 24cm to 12 o'clock. The ship’s facing is now towards 12 because it was applying thrust in that direction. Measure the distance between the starting and end locations, which comes out to around 42cm – that’s the ship’s new Velocity. The angle from start location to finish is the new Course; move the arrow up. (I left the arrow on top so you could see it.) Looking at this pic it looks like the ship counter got bumped out of alignment, but it should still be facing straight towards 12 o'clock. On it’s next Phase say the ship wants to stop. First the mini drifts 42cm along its current course (call it 2 o'clock). Then the ship moves 42cm (using NCM) back towards 8 o'clock, ending up where it started. Velocity is 0; new facing is towards 8 o'clock, and the Heading counter is removed (or ignored).
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