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Spence

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  1. Haha
    Spence reacted to Christopher R Taylor in Horror in all its facets with Hero System for Halloween.   
    I ran a Justice Inc game where everyone was run of the mill pulp era types: Private Eyes, etc.  They started out hunting down a serial killer who stabbed people with an icepick through the neck and bled them out.  Well it led to an old castle on a hill (the old Ravenloft module castle) where a creepy old guy was apparently the killer.  It wasn't until he laughed off bullets that they finally figured out he was a vampire.
     
    The reporter tried to stab him in the chest with a pencil.
  2. Like
    Spence reacted to Chris Goodwin in Equipment vs Powers   
    True, but the GM saying "No" also works.   
  3. Like
    Spence reacted to Thia Halmades in Equipment vs Powers   
    This one!

    I LOVE THIS ONE!!
     
    Warning: I’m up a little late and when that happens I tend to ramble. So I’ve put my answer to your question up front, where it’s easy to see:
     
    Answer 1: It actually doesn’t matter as long as you’re consistent. You’d be surprised how much punishment the HERO system can take and still put out a balanced game experience. To go back to @Ninja-Bear, it’s easiest to make all weapons free, because the cost was paid by the player when they invested in the Martial Art to use it. For example, Kusari-Gama. If I pick one of those up, I’m going to smash my own skull. Someone trained in it, however, is going to have the opposite experience. This is how I did it in Persona; you pay the points for what you want, you have the thing more as a manifestation of the point investment, rather than the other way around. If a bunch of points are paid for magic, great. Here’s your spell list based on the rules laid down for this system, etc.
     
    Answer 2: There are a number of other things to consider before you can answer it. And based on the question, I’m making a couple of assumptions: That you’re doing some kind of high fantasy setting, that said setting involves the collection of gear and loot, and that said gear and loot is plentiful enough that it prompts the question. So if Kage, the Shadow Mage, doesn’t have 33 points available, he can’t pick up the enchanted hand crossbow? Or the bracers of archery? It’s downright skull breaking. So how else do you solve for it?
     
    You can do this: Each character can soul-bind/befriend/attune (to use the 5th Ed D&D word) to X number of magical items. This is a campaign rule and costs zero points that the players can see, but you can see them. If you want to be hard and fast with it, you can give everyone their build cost in magical attunement. I build a 200 point Rogue, I can equip up to 200 points of magical gear. Or if you’re concerned, just, “gear.”  This can include spell books, spells as well as swords and shields. Going this route removes all of the messy player level book keeping from the equation, and leaves the GM free to run a game that plays like it should. 
     
    Alternatively, each player may be limited to the Rule of 9; head, chest, arms, legs, two weapons, two rings and a necklace.
     
    There’s no “canonical right way” to do it. In ... FH 5th Ed? Steve put forth the idea, as an option, gear is gold, magic is points. But that’s not always the case. And, more importantly, ignoring that is not necessarily going to create any kind of imbalance in your campaign. Your best bet, IMO, is to ignore this question entirely, and instead drill down to stat spread, skill selection, core powers/abilities, damage dealt, and damage that can be sustained, in addition to any other non-combat abilities that your casting classes are going to have. So let’s break down the reasoning:
     
    In a traditional fantasy setting, there are three and a half core classes; Fighter, Rogue, and Wizard/Cleric. I say 3.5 because there’s a ton of campaigns and systems that just go with “magic” and that includes healing, there’s systems with all kinds of different ways to tap into other worldly... or natural but normally inaccessible... or... you get my point. The more critical question, in my mind, is not about point assignment or gold spent, but functionality and general balance. To that end, I would say that those three classes don’t really provide much framework. Whereas tank, blaster, scrapper, controller, etc., more traditional super heroic tropes, do the job much better.
     
    The tank wears heavy armor, carries some variety of weaponry, has a shield. Do those cost points? Someone brought up: things paid with gold are fungible, things paid with points are not, however, there’s a counter to that, and that’s “everything has a point cost.” There’s a nasty rabbit hole you can fall down trying to reconcile the cost of a shield against gold against real cost in points to the character. Meanwhile, your casting classes have to spend points on their spells — unless you say they don’t. And you treat spells like equipment. Also an option. My late night rambling aside, here are my hard learned lessons from years of GMing Fantasy HERO:
     
    1) Power level is, broadly, a lie. After a while it becomes nearly impossible to do a decent audit. I became much more interested in this question: Does everyone have roughly the same points invested in base stats and core skills? Do they all fall within the guidelines for CSLs, and are they utilizing the tools provided accordingly? Last, but not least, is their general DPR (damage per round) equivalent? A fighter who hits every round may not be as sexy as a Rogue with extra dice in Backstab, or a wizard who can throw chain lightning through an entire group, but that just means they’re doing their job. Standing up front, drawing fire, surviving, and dealing out punishment. The Rogue should be able to outpace the fighter in damage, because that’s the rogue’s job.
     
    2) Damage output caps are critical. Decide early what your max number of KA dice is, AND your highest Active Point cost, and hold that line for a while as you continue to balance encounters and defenses. 
     
    3) Remember: Defense wins championships. Unless you let someone buy an NND Killing Attack that’s disruptive, or the Wizard can call down oodles of Meteors every round. You don’t want that to happen, that gets gnarly.
     
    4) This in a very looping way comes back to my point, and your question: when is it appropriate and how do you do it? My answer is “ignore the common application, and approach it differently.” We can math everything to death. Doesn’t mean we should.
  4. Like
    Spence got a reaction from Chris Goodwin in Military Hero - templates   
    Now I am bit out of date here, but in broad strokes this is fast overview of how things work.
     
    In Basic training every sailor receives a very basic introduction to the overall Navy.  This includes basic structure as well as an intro to shipboard life and very basic critical skills such as general shipboard firefighting and damage control.
     
    From basic most sailors will then go on to their Rating’s A School.  Ratings are how the Navy defines a person’s job.  The list of ratings has changed over time as technology has changed.  Some Ratings have been retired and some are “new”.  Over time some have even been combined.  But for our purposes think of the Rating as a person’s career field.
     
    After A School a sailor will either go directly to their assignment or they will go to a C School.  A C School addresses a specific specialty.  A particular aircraft type, ship type or system depending.  DC (Damage Controlman) is a Rate as is HT (Hull Technician).  Both utilize welding as a skill, but with different emphasis. 
     
    And then there are a laundry list of specialized training schools.  Shipboard Firefighting and Aircraft Firefighting are two specialized schools that concentrate on, well firefighting. 
     
    I don’t see your templates as being for someone out of boot, but rather someone that has spent a few years in. 
  5. Like
    Spence got a reaction from Chris Goodwin in Military Hero - templates   
    No problem, feel free. 
    I would change the term "metal working" to "Structures".   It's a little more accurate since they do more than just the metal parts and are responsible for the entire structure.
     
     
  6. Like
    Spence got a reaction from Duke Bushido in A Thread For Random RPG Musings   
    It's really a shocker when discussing supers. 
     
    But I employ the trope in any genre as appropriate.  By appropriate I mean when it follows the story and serves a purpose in the story.  It's hard for heroes to stage a dramatic rescue or equally dramatic escape if the concept of capture is off the table.
  7. Thanks
    Spence got a reaction from Duke Bushido in A Thread For Random RPG Musings   
    Well I blame it on general lack of reading (and reading comprehension) plus the overwhelming contamination of RPG’s by computer gaming’s so called CRPG’s and their “cheat codes” and “walk throughs”. 
     
    Game’dom is rife with “discussions” of how the purpose of a GM/DM is simply player fulfillment and to basically let them run wild with lots of don’ts.   As a DM/GM you can NEVER have the PC’s face capture or defeat.  You should never actually have a storyline or even imagine that the players stick to the game they agreed to play.  Basically GM/DMs are servant drudges for the munchkins of gaming and one I simply reject as idiocy.
     
    It is really sad and a real blow to RPG’s. 
     
    I only game with a small circle of players now and my demo/con games had really fallen off even before Covid.  I had planned to restart demo’s this year, but that kinda stalled….
  8. Like
    Spence got a reaction from Duke Bushido in A Thread For Random RPG Musings   
    I have years ago and we had a great time.  We had all read the books such as Howard Pyle's Men of Iron and Mary Stewart’s trilogy (The Crystal Cave, The Hollow Hills and The Last Enchantment) as well as the classics about King Arthur and the Round Table.
     
    And most importantly we saw the movies like MGM’s 1952 Ivanhoe, Universals 1952 The Black Shield of Falworth and the Warner Brothers 1938 The Adventures of Robin Hood.  They may not have been “realistic” and portrayed a cinematic Hollywood adventure take on it, but they were a lot of fun clicked right into roleplaying adventure. 
     
    Great times.
     
    We tried again in the early 2000’s and it was a disaster.  No one had even heard of the source material and of course reading is just not done today, especially “novels”.   Everyone was all about “da loot’in” and “da a’kill’in”. 
     
    Oh, well I can remember the good times….
  9. Like
    Spence got a reaction from Chris Goodwin in Swords in science fiction -- why?   
    I use the Marines in their traditional roles as specialized shipboard and amphibious (but from space) combat troops. Since firing normal weapons can be as deadly to themselves as the enemy, they are also proficient with blades suitable for confined spaces (Cutlass, Short Sword, etc.) and non-penetrating weapons such as shotguns and other firearms with frangible rounds. 
  10. Like
    Spence reacted to tkdguy in A Thread For Random RPG Musings   
    I've had players like that. But as a friend and fellow GM said, that's not their call. Players seem to forget that the GM is supposed to have fun too. Letting the players run amok and tear the GM's hard work apart isn't fun for the GM.
     
    I've taken a hard line with some people, reiterating that I as the GM have the final say, so don't wave the *bleep*ing rulebook at me. That's unfortunate, and I don't like having to do it, but sometimes it just can't be avoided.
  11. Thanks
    Spence got a reaction from tkdguy in Swords in science fiction -- why?   
    I use the Marines in their traditional roles as specialized shipboard and amphibious (but from space) combat troops. Since firing normal weapons can be as deadly to themselves as the enemy, they are also proficient with blades suitable for confined spaces (Cutlass, Short Sword, etc.) and non-penetrating weapons such as shotguns and other firearms with frangible rounds. 
  12. Like
    Spence reacted to tkdguy in Swords in science fiction -- why?   
  13. Like
    Spence got a reaction from tkdguy in A Thread For Random RPG Musings   
    I have years ago and we had a great time.  We had all read the books such as Howard Pyle's Men of Iron and Mary Stewart’s trilogy (The Crystal Cave, The Hollow Hills and The Last Enchantment) as well as the classics about King Arthur and the Round Table.
     
    And most importantly we saw the movies like MGM’s 1952 Ivanhoe, Universals 1952 The Black Shield of Falworth and the Warner Brothers 1938 The Adventures of Robin Hood.  They may not have been “realistic” and portrayed a cinematic Hollywood adventure take on it, but they were a lot of fun clicked right into roleplaying adventure. 
     
    Great times.
     
    We tried again in the early 2000’s and it was a disaster.  No one had even heard of the source material and of course reading is just not done today, especially “novels”.   Everyone was all about “da loot’in” and “da a’kill’in”. 
     
    Oh, well I can remember the good times….
  14. Haha
    Spence reacted to Tjack in The Halloween 2020 Thread   
    Hell, even I’m not crazy enough to argue with a Navy man.  
          But my fellow cooks and dishwashers did also teach me how to say  “Mas Cervesas!” “Mas Tequila!”  “Gracias” and “Por favor.“.  Along with every curse word in Spanish. 
  15. Haha
    Spence got a reaction from Tjack in The Halloween 2020 Thread   
    Hey there.  As an American and retired Navy man I can say that is not true.  I have been all over the world and can swear to the truth that we could successfully order beer and booze in every country we made port.
     
    So there
  16. Haha
    Spence reacted to Logan.1179 in The Halloween 2020 Thread   
  17. Like
    Spence reacted to Christopher R Taylor in Western Hero 6th edition   
    The manuscript for Western Hero is at Hero HQ and being worked over, with a new cover being created for it.  I don't know any realistic release date but I hope it will be out by Christmas.  This is to be an official Hero Games product, not a Hall of Champions fan bit or self pub job like my other work.
     
    I have a few release ideas set up for it, when it hits the shelves including an adventure module.  As I get more news and information I'll pass it along here.  So stay tuned, pardner.
     

  18. Like
    Spence got a reaction from Chris Goodwin in Military Hero - templates   
    For the Navy the ships security force gets the "combat" training as well as station security.  I also tried to stay RPG generic instead of too much detail.  Broad strokes for playing the game.
     
    Spec Ops types like the SEALs are their own category and should, IMO not be lumped into the conventional templates.   I really don't know how much the various team skill sets blur together these days, SEALs, Raiders, Rangers etc.  Or if they even use the same names for the Army and Marines.  Out of my wheelhouse you could say.
  19. Thanks
    Spence reacted to Chris Goodwin in Military Hero - templates   
    Awesome!  That's exactly the kind of feedback I was looking for.  🙂
     
     
    Yep... it's AFSC in the Air Force   
     
    I was USAF from 1988-1992, so in theory I'd be the one to write that... but they've added two weeks of, I'm told, actual combat arms training.  When I went through we learned how to shoot AR-15's chambered down to actual .22 caliber, with one day for classroom training and one day at the range.  
     
    But I'll give it a go.
  20. Like
    Spence got a reaction from Chris Goodwin in Military Hero - templates   
    I spent a tour in the Army as an 11B and then went Navy where I retired as an ATC.
     
    I would suggest renaming the Basic Military Template to Basic Army/Marine Template.
    Then create two new templates called Basic Navy Template and Basic Airforce Template.
     
    For the Basic Navy Template I’d suggest something like
    3     Climbing
    3     Paramedic  
    2     Survival
    3     Electronics/Mechanics/Navigation/Systems Operation (pick one)
    2     KS: Enemy Forces 8-
    2     KS: Theater Operations 11-
    2     KS: Military Procedure 11-
    2     PS: Damage Control 11-
    2     PS: Fire Fighting 11-
    2     PS: Soldier/Sailor/Airman/Marine (pick one) 11-
    2     PS: Welder/Metal Working/Electrician/Electronics/Seamanship (pick one) 11-
    2     WF: Small Arms
     
    Total Cost:  27
     
    I’m a 5th ed players so that is where I grabbed the costs.
    Someone familiar with the Airforce would need to speak to that template.   But what the Navy needs is a large step away from what the Army or Marines need, especially combat arms.
    And one last thing, the Navy doesn’t use the term MOS (Military Occupational Specialty), they use Rates (a descriptive occupational designation such as AT = Aviation Electronics Technician, ET = Electronics Technician, MM = Machinist Mate which are then narrowed into sub-specialties by the NEC (Navy Enlisted Classification).   An AT works on aircraft electronics (radios, radar, acoustic, etc) and an AT’s NEC identifies exactly which type of aircraft or system they specialize in.


  21. Like
    Spence got a reaction from Duke Bushido in Military Hero - templates   
    I spent a tour in the Army as an 11B and then went Navy where I retired as an ATC.
     
    I would suggest renaming the Basic Military Template to Basic Army/Marine Template.
    Then create two new templates called Basic Navy Template and Basic Airforce Template.
     
    For the Basic Navy Template I’d suggest something like
    3     Climbing
    3     Paramedic  
    2     Survival
    3     Electronics/Mechanics/Navigation/Systems Operation (pick one)
    2     KS: Enemy Forces 8-
    2     KS: Theater Operations 11-
    2     KS: Military Procedure 11-
    2     PS: Damage Control 11-
    2     PS: Fire Fighting 11-
    2     PS: Soldier/Sailor/Airman/Marine (pick one) 11-
    2     PS: Welder/Metal Working/Electrician/Electronics/Seamanship (pick one) 11-
    2     WF: Small Arms
     
    Total Cost:  27
     
    I’m a 5th ed players so that is where I grabbed the costs.
    Someone familiar with the Airforce would need to speak to that template.   But what the Navy needs is a large step away from what the Army or Marines need, especially combat arms.
    And one last thing, the Navy doesn’t use the term MOS (Military Occupational Specialty), they use Rates (a descriptive occupational designation such as AT = Aviation Electronics Technician, ET = Electronics Technician, MM = Machinist Mate which are then narrowed into sub-specialties by the NEC (Navy Enlisted Classification).   An AT works on aircraft electronics (radios, radar, acoustic, etc) and an AT’s NEC identifies exactly which type of aircraft or system they specialize in.


  22. Like
    Spence got a reaction from Darren Watts in Explain This, Comics Guys!! Podcast   
    Another great cast. 
     
    You should give classes on how to podcast.  Skipping live play podcasts (Which I have no interest in) the so called RPG podcasts I have listened to recently are embarrassingly painful. 
     
    I have no idea of how much time it takes to prepare and produce this podcast, but I really wish you'd also do one on RPGs.
  23. Like
    Spence reacted to eepjr24 in Low/Epic Fantasy Setting Assistance Sought   
    If you have not checked it out already, take a look at @Killer Shrike's web site. He has a ton of resources that can work well for a Low Powered Fantasy world. Also a good bit of advice on building magic systems with a bunch of examples of fully built systems. (Yes, I know it says High Fantasy, but the resources are appropriate to many genre)
     
    http://www.killershrike.com/FantasyHERO/HighFantasyHERO/FantasyHERO.aspx
     
    - E
     
     
  24. Like
    Spence got a reaction from assault in Low/Epic Fantasy Setting Assistance Sought   
    The long and short of it is that in any fantasy setting, high or low, someone has to decide how magic works in that world.  Games like D&D build the restrictions into the rules by pre-designing spell lists and class restrictions that lock in their worlds magic.
     
    For a Hero based game the GM is required to set those boundaries.  And I am not talking about anything in the build rules.  I am talking about world restrictions.
     
    If the GM says all magic in this world is inward, a mage can only influence their own body.  Then anything like D&D spell slinging and magic items do not exist and cannot be built. 
     
    If a GM says all magic in the world is enchanted items.  Then everything will center around magic weapons and magic items.
     
    Once the "theory" of magic has been defined, then everyone can build to met those parameters. 
     
    If the GM says the world has no spirits or undead, then no one will be able to build a Necromancer no matter how cool a player thinks it would be.  He could build some form of charlatan masquerading as a Necromancer, but not actually be one. 
     
    Once you define "magic", then you can assign limitations and other rule'centric requirements.  But unlike most of the class/level games out there, core Hero does not have a prebuilt magic system.
  25. Like
    Spence reacted to greypaladin_01 in Babylon 5: What's your favorite episode?   
    That sounds like "character creation 101" to me.  But something that seems to never really be considered enough by most games or players.
     
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