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Showing content with the highest reputation on 06/17/2019 in all areas

  1. 2 points
    The big advantage a fantasy setting has over a superhero setting is simplicity. Modern life is complicated, add super tech and it becomes even more so. Fantasy settings are in a simpler time which makes it easier to imagine and easier to craft stories for, and if you even need to invoke deus ex machina you just call it magic. Culturally, fantasy settings have existed for thousands of years, much of that time as a 'real' part of the world, while superheroes have always existed in a parallel universe which is harder to conceive. Both settings can tell great stories, but the bar is higher for superheroes. I think another reason that the popularity of superhero movies doesn't translate into RPG interest is that superhero movies typically have the same cast of characters (multiple reboots of Spiderman, Batman, & Superman for instance). That makes the universe seem closed - the only heroes available have already been laid out. (The mutants in the X-men would be something of an exception, but even the core X-men are relatively fixed). Conversely, there are lots of different fantasy settings and characters so you could more easily imagine a character that is unique to you and not predefined.
  2. 2 points
    Duke Bushido

    Sell me on Hero System

    I'm glad someone mentioned that. Yes, one of the big appeals of Champions (and later HERO), at least to me, was that you could be a skilled combatant (if you wished) without having to also be a mass-murderer or serial killer. In other words, traveling the countryside thwarting villains and monsters did not automatically turn your party into yet another pack of murder-hobos, which greatly enhanced the odds of finding players who wanted to be-- well, something _more_ than just murderous hobos.
  3. 2 points

    Sell me on Hero System

    Switching to Champions (from AD&D back in the day) was a no-brainer for me because of two major aspects of the Hero System that I was immediately drawn to: 1. The character building system was logical and extremely flexible. I am a "builder" by nature, and so this system not only made sense to me logically and mathematically, it appealed to the engineer/designer in me. The notion that everything could be expressed in terms of Character Points was a total game changer. A further consequence of the point-build system was that the simplistic and rigid "level" system of D&D was replaced with a more user-directed and granular character progression paradigm, which was a welcome change to me. 2. The combat system, along with the separation of BODY and STUN (and the use of END to power, well, powers) was so much more logical to me than THAC0, hit points, and saving throws. The awkward way that AD&D tried to incorporate the concept of knocking an opponent out (rather than killing them) never really worked right with the concept of hit points, and the BODY/STUN paradigm solved this problem elegantly. Basically, anyone who has played D&D for a while and has become frustrated by its over-simplifications, awkward combat mechanics, and rigid leveling system could do a lot worse than to look at the Hero System as a remedy for all those woes.
  4. 1 point

    Champions Links

    Sorry, here's the actual Character Creation video Part 2:
  5. 1 point
  6. 1 point
    Anyone at all? I guess it's possible to buy temporary rights to a piece of art. Who knew?
  7. 1 point
    I wouldn't necessarily say that magic is more common in Ambrethel than many other fantasy locations, as far as when and how the average person interacts with it. However, magic does seem to be integrated into the social fabric of that world to a greater extent than in most other fantasy RPG settings. There are quite a few well-known and respected schools of magic across the known world, often focusing on distinctive styles of spell. There are also at least two mageocratic nations, Arutha and Kurum-Sathiri. Powerful individual wizards also seem to have had an unusually prominent role in shaping the (extensively detailed) history of the Turakian Age. A particularly distinctive element of TA is how religion is handled. While most fantasy RPGs confine themselves to little more than lists of gods in pantheons, with their powers and "spheres of influence," and what abilities they grant to their priests; TA delves more into the theology of the major religions, what their doctrines are, their hierarchies, their politics, and the practices their adherents follow which shape how they live their lives. If the main continent of Arduna adapts many of the familiar conventions of D&D and its imitators, the smaller continent of Mitharia is where those conventions are often subverted. There you can find surface-dwelling Dwarves, demon-worshiping Elves, civilized Orcs, rugged outdoorsy Halflings, a benevolent Lich. The Drakine (dragon-men), a people long in decline on Arduna, rule the most powerful realm of Mitharia. Mitharia also holds civilizations of Men not connected to and predating the oldest legends of the Men of Arduna; civilizations inspired by real ones from Earth which have rarely been adapted to games like these. As the common designation of this setting implies, Kal-Turak is the dominant figure of his era. His intentions are feared by all. The "GM's Vault" info in the TA source book describes his hidden machinations to weaken the world as prelude to his campaign of conquest. Yet it's surprisingly easy to run the setting completely excising Kal-Turak and his realm. Turakia is located far to the north of Arduna, well beyond the territories of any other peoples. It conducts no trade or diplomatic relations with other nations. While the Ravager of Men has covertly meddled in global affairs for centuries, many of his described schemes occurred long before the default start date for a Turakian Age campaign, and have had little to no lasting effect on the "present day" world. For other more recent events where Kal-Turak's involvement isn't suspected, the public frequently have their own explanations for them, which a GM can choose the make the "correct" explanations. The few that don't fall into either category are not hard to rationalize without the Ravager, or to just ignore. Excluding Kal-Turak still leaves a number of major foes which could become the focus of a campaign, from such world-shaking menaces as Vashkoran holy war, the freeing of the gods of Thun, or the imperial expansion of Orumbar; to more regional threats like the Yellow King of Valicia, the Vampire Lord of Dragosani, or the Seven Sorcerers of Vuran.
  8. 1 point

    Superhero Cosplayers

    Nah, that's Zack Snyder's Space Ghost.
  9. 1 point
    Old Man

    Happy Father's Day!

  10. 1 point

    The Non Sequitor Thread

    It was another night of opera and absinthe last night. This time, I added grilled octopus to the mix.
  11. 1 point
    Old Man

    Happy Father's Day!

    Happy Father’s Day back! Took the kids to the beach this morning and then remembered that I am in fact an old man.
  12. 1 point

    Help modeling an unusual solar system

    Yes, it very often is! Re: Elves: I don't dislike elves, but then I've never had the "Legolas Problem" with players. We've had a few elf PCs in the D&D games I've been in recently, but that's been from players calculating advantages for various race/class combinations; i.e., "This character is DEX-based, and elves give a DEX bonus. I don't give a rat's ass about the rest." But we also have fairly broad tastes in Fantasy, so nobody expects Tolkien, Tolkien, Nothing But Tolkien. I don't dislike Tolkien, either; LoTR is the mountain-tall standard by which all epic fantasy shall be judged, for a long time to come. But ye gods, I hate the Tolkien rip-offs by writers (and gamers) who never look beyond the surface of his work and trot out endless copycat dwarves, elves, dragons, magic swords, quests and Dark Lords. They're literary vampires, feeding on his creativity without even trying to add anything of their own. Dean Shomshak
  13. 1 point
  14. 1 point

    Sell me on Hero System

    If none of the strengths of hero are a draw; well, you know what - I can't help you. D&D is a box, it's not even a particularly creative box. You choose from cut outs, you play cut outs, and you fight cut outs. Heck, some editions of D&D barely encourage roleplaying in any sense, non-combat aspects had to be (badly) stapled into AD&D2E. D&D4E (still my favorite edition, really) is basically a board game. It comes right out and even tells you "you need these elements in a party. deviating will make the game not work." Hero's strength is flexibility, versatility, and yep, does require some up front work to get going. You have to know what flavor of game you want to play, without that it's just a book full of words. If you want a grab & go system, there's bunches out there.
  15. 1 point
    Brian Stanfield

    Sell me on Hero System

    So here are a couple of observation from Origins this week, where I was in a couple of sessions with complete beginners: They can’t understand the character sheets. Don’t try to sell them on HERO with the character sheets! I actually liked the layout of a couple of the HD templates, but I knew what I was looking at. What really helped was a separate page that explained, in plain language, what their powers could do. Emphasize this kind of simplicity. Sell them on the ease of the skill system. It’s wide open, and one set of skills is not dependent on another set of skills, so none of those meta-gamey skill trees are needed, thank you very much. Totally emphasize he flexibility of combat! It’s way cool, as long as you help them understand the core concepts (OCV, DCV, and the effects of maneuvers to these). One dice roll resolves most of it. But please, Please, PLEASE do not teach them this: 11 + OCV - dice roll= DCV you can hit. NOBODY understood what the hell this means! Seriously. I watched it happen in real time. They were able to calculate stuff and make the dice roll, but they didn’t intuitively understand why they were doing it. Teach them the pre-6th way: 11 + OCV - DCV = the roll you need to make. People get it when you are subtracting the opponent’s DCV from your OCV. It makes intuitive sense. Who cares if they know the opponent’s DCV while they are learning the game. That sort of meta-game knowledge may actually help them understand the interaction of the parts better. You can always unload the 6e formula on hem later if you want to hide the DCV. I can’t emphasize this enough. It was a deal breaker for a couple of the new folks, who never quite got the math. When players simply sit back while you calculate everything for their roll, it’s a good indicator that they’ve pretty much tuned out. While it may take getting used to, it’s exciting to roll a handful of dice for damage! People often cheer at a good die roll, but they go nuts for a good 10d6 roll! Just a few observations from the field. God bless all you GMs who run these convention games! I couldn’t do it.
  16. 1 point
    I have never played Fantasy HERO where it felt like I was playing D&D. I run D&D to get a certain vibe (possibly purely nostalgia) but I enjoy that and never get that same feel running Fantasy HERO. That said, if I had a very specific campaign I wanted to run, I would be happier capturing that using HERO than D&D. I reckon that Al Quadim and Dark Sun would have rocked using HERO but (for me) the D&D ruleset overwhelmed the different character of those campaigns. Doc
  17. 1 point
    Hugh Neilson

    Sell me on Hero System

    I can't disagree with Massey. There are things D&D does not do well, but there are also things it does well. D&D is prepackaged - Hero requires more work. As has been set out well above, Hero provides more options and greater flexibility. WIth this comes an unavoidable increase in complexity. If the players are happy with their elves, dwarves, wizards, clerics, fighters, rogues, etc. all advancing on pre-designed paths, selecting from pre-designed feats, paths and spells, etc., then there is no reason to change. If the players are asking why their Dwarf can't be more skilled in woodcraft than mining (he's just a dwarf raised in the forest) or their wizard can't wear heavy armor, or their fighter can't know three spells (a first level, a third level and a seventh level) and no more magic, or they can't attempt to trip, or block those incoming attacks, or Dive for Cover to avoid that dragon's breath - if they are looking for greater flexibility - then a change merits consideration.
  18. 1 point

    Sell me on Hero System

    This'll be unpopular, but there's no reason to switch. There is no way that Hero does D&D better than D&D. You switch to Hero because you want a system that does superheroes well, and if you are going to do fantasy or sci-fi, because you want complete control over how to do weird things you can't do in other systems. But if you think role-playing is just a normal dungeon crawl, there's no reason at all to use Hero.
  19. 1 point

    Sell me on Hero System

    Ok, so here it goes from a person who has only been playing/GMing for a couple of years. 1) As mentioned, you can have any hero you want. Classes don't exist, so mix & match whatever power and skills you want to get the correct effect. 2) Play is fast and easy, character creation takes the most math. However, using the Hero Designer program (sold and supported on this site) makes this easy and pretty fun, too. You can spend minutes creating a character or days, it depends on how involved you'd like to be. 3) It isn't d20. It uses small and large groups of d6's, so the dice are not "weird" for casual players. 4) If you buy a book to start get Champions Complete (for superheroes), Star Hero (for sci-fi), or Fantasy Hero (for D&D or other medieval style game). The books are smaller than the three tombs of D&D and contain all of the rules you need to play the game (full stop). They won't scare your players, and they might even want to thumb through the books at the table (or outside of the session). 5) Hero is a sandbox. Once you learn the rules, you can have any adventure anywhere for any genre. This sounds overwhelming, but it is liberating. For instance, say your group saw a movie (The Matrix, for instance), and want to recreate it. No problem in Hero. Just use the tech skills and change the special effect of the power/abilities to match the setting (such as the Change Environment power is what the team does to get a special item, or bullet time is a boost to the Speed ability (# of times a character can act in a turn). It is a pretty effective system. 6) Normally, people get jazzed when they play a superhero that can fly through the air or pick up a bus and slam it into a bad guy. The players may get more excited about playing, too. Oh, and the current system creator, Steve Long, answers questions in the Rules forum himself, and the discussion forums are pretty friendly. D&D doesn't have this sort of customer service. See if a group in your area is using the Hero system, and drop in for a look. Good luck. Good luck!
  20. 1 point
    Matt the Bruins

    Extra-Dimensional Physics

    I have a suggestion for an origin: the interference with Extradimensional Movement is a side effect of a Malvan time dilation field put in place to neutralize the Elder Worm on that Earth toward the end of their war about 200,000 years ago. The time rate difference is REALLY steep (maybe only dozens of years have passed subjectively, maybe less) and has a very sharp border, so spaceships that cross it are destroyed as the leading sections that leave the field first age thousands of times as fast as the parts still within it. That leaves you with a world ruled by a refugee population of Elder Worm, an enslaved population of early humans, and Middle Paleolithic fauna to provide adventures. Lots of challenges to make it difficult for the Empress or others to gather resources necessary to leave the place once they're there.
  21. 1 point
    Duke Bushido

    Sell me on Hero System

    I'd have to sneak it to you. I really don't think I could plop down the current library and say "You're going to love this! First, brush up on Character Creation...." I'd either start you with 6e Basic (Why is that not Sidekick? That worked _twice_ before! ) or a much older edition (likely 2, but possibly 3) and make a couple of characters, play a couple of scenarios... I'd keep the "real books" hidden until I knew you liked it.
  22. 1 point

    Sell me on Hero System

    This, to me, seems the biggest selling point to Hero. The downside to this is that everything needs to be built.
  23. 1 point
    Legends of Tomorrow is fairly different from the other CW shows. And self-aware enough to acknowledge it. "Flash is calling." "Must be another crossover." "Tell him we're not home!"
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