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About Pegasus40218

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    Louisville, KY, United States
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  1. Well, you started by saying this: OK...but, do you also find flexibility in character development to not be valuable? For me, this is one of the big things I LOVE about the HERO System. In what I'll call "templated advancement" systems (like D&D) you have classes, and those classes get a fixed set of benefits as they advance each level. For example, When your fighter gains a level, he's going to get X number of hit points, maybe a proficiency bonus increase, and maybe he'll get to choose a new feat (dependent up which level he's gaining). You have relatively few choices...But, let's say your party has been adventuring in a foreign land, and it would be useful for your fighter to learn at least a little of the language in that land...Well, are you going to spend one of your precious feats to get that language? Most players won't -- feats are "too precious" to "waste" on something like languages...besides, you only want to pick up the one language, NOT 3 like the feat will give you. My point is, you have little flexibility to develop your character based upon the events and needs of the story (campaign). Take another example...Let's say the adventure you're party is embarking upon pits you up against a species of creatures that are highly magic resistant, so much so, in fact that your wizard's spells are largely ineffective against them. Well, you're wizard is likely to want (need) to work on his weapon skills if he's going to contribute much in combat. D&D doesn't really provide a method for that to happen. HERO does. In HERO, you don't have to dual-class into fighter in order to gain / improve your weapon skills. You simply allocate a few experience points to the endeavor (while practicing sword play with the party's fighter during down-time) and suddenly your wizard is halfway to being Gandalf and is at least somewhat capable of wielding Glamdring when he finds it.
  2. I've had similar experiences with my weekly group. My group fluctuates between 4 and 6 players and for the past several years, we've generally been playing D&D or Pathfinder with the occasional foray into Call of Cthulu, Pendragon, Alternity, and my rare attempts to run HERO (I've tried running Fantasy HERO and Champions). Generally speaking, the forays into HERO have not gone well. Only one of the players in my group seems to want to expend any effort on character backgrounds. Since most of our games with other systems (which I don't run) have been "canned" adventures, they don't think about backgrounds and complications as ways to craft story. With canned adventures, your characters goals and motivations don't matter much. The story is X, and regardless of anything you do, the story WILL BE X. So, from their perspective, complications don't *really* matter, they're just a way to get some extra points. In the Champions game I ran, one player built a rock-monster brick (similar to the Thing from the Fantastic 4) named Rocky. I kept asking for background material, and from this player about all I got to work with was the following: 1. Character has amnesia following his "creation" event. (player chose to sell back intelligence points at creation so was starting off with an INT around 6) 2. Character remembers he used to be a cop. In fact, his parents were both cops (though he didn't remember their names). 3. He was running in the park when a chemical truck over-turned and he was caught in the spill and sucked into the ground. A few hours later he emerged as what he was. That's it...so, I told my group if they didn't come up with backgrounds, I'd create backgrounds for them. Over the course of play, this character gradually had some of his memories return. He remembers he used to have a partner...That partner never let him drive the car. Sometimes, the partner was a real jerk and made him ride in the back seat...on and on...Ultimately, the big reveal: he had been the dog in a K-9 unit. That part, at least, was fun for the group. If you got a player with a sense of humor, I highly recommend having some fun with any amnesiac characters they create if they're willing to play along. Unraveling that little mystery was fun for me, and the players. And YES, they do tend to want to build combat monsters. I didn't have the 18 DCV character in my game -- mine was a DCV 14 character who got there through a combination of CSLs and combat maneuvers. As a relatively green GM (and I still consider myself green), I didn't spot the problem until I encountered it in play (when implementing "effectiveness caps" I didn't know everything that I should include in that calculation...an area that's still a little muddy for me). I tried to talk to the player about toning it down a bit (campaign average was supposed to be about 5 for OCV and DCV with a max of 7 IIRC), and he staunchly refused to modify the character. (Rough quote: "I'm not going to make it easy for you to hit my character!"...didn't want it to be easy, just wanted it to be possible without having to resort to AoE attacks or building opponents specifically to deal with his character -- which would pretty much mow down everyone else in the group.) I think the key is figuring out the effectiveness caps you want and making sure you know everything that goes into them and where you're willing to make trade-offs. For example, are you willing to have a character exceed the DCV cap by one or two in exchange for reduced OCV or damage on the same character? The risk here, is that you KNOW the players are going to buy up whatever they traded off as soon as they get some XPs.
  3. I know at one time there was a "Mythic Hero" book in the works that sounded like it would be interesting (though it sounded like something that would operate at a much higher power level than I'm personally interested in). More generically, I'd like to see more guidance / advice in the "how to" department when it comes to designing a campaign setting. In particular, providing additional guidance that would help new GMs on things like: determining effectiveness caps (and everything that goes in to determining a power / attack's "effectiveness), advice on designing magic systems (again with an eye toward managing effectiveness and creating the flavor that the GM wants). These are all things that, as a new player/GM I have found challenging.
  4. I'm thinking developing genre/settings books would be good. If you had campaign settings that fit various genres/subgenres that would allow GMs to simply pick up a book with enough information to run a campaign without having to build almost everything from scratch, I bet many GMs would find that helpful.
  5. There have been a number of good suggestions regarding the "unhittable kobold" problem. One of the challenges that I faced in that particular campaign was the fact that I was trying to run a low-fantasy (magic rare) campaign...so, apart from things like nets, AoE attacks were going to be extremely rare. The only way I could bring multiple attackers to bear was to completely outnumber the party -- and the opponents would have to be tough enough to keep the rest of the party occupied for at least a couple of phases. But, that campaign is long past...We're in the process of building characters for another run at Fantasy Hero, but this time, we're taking a bit of a different approach. Once the characters are built, I'll probably post them to the forums to get some feedback. And, I think we've spent enough time on the "unhittable kobold"...I almost feel like, in addition to being an in-game problem, it has developed the power to hijack forum threads!
  6. Do women in zebra print get nervous around women in leopard print?
  7. Yep, I thought of that and used it...I think we may have also done some other things incorrectly (again, we were all relatively new to the system), so it proved far less effective than you'd expect. (I think I was allowing them to abort to a defensive action [such as dodge or "dive for cover"] in a segment in which they had already acted...It was over a year ago, so it's hard to remember the details of every mistake I made.)
  8. As the GM in question, I can say it was a combination of factors: 1. Lack of any recent experience with the system (hadn't played it since 1994 and was trying to run a game with a single read through 6E1, 6E2, and 6E Fantasy Hero. 2. That lack of experience made it difficult to figure out where to set the limits / guidelines for the type of game I was wanting to run (low fantasy). 3. Min/max type gamers. We decided to play a "gladiator" campaign in an empire roughly similar to ancient Rome. The characters were all slaves (for various reasons), but all sold and sent to the same gladiator "school". This set up allowed for the characters to choose to play just about any race (captured on the battlefield, or in a raid of some sort) and character type (being captured in a fight makes it more likely that you're a warrior-type, but if your warriors lose, then pretty much anyone could be captured and taken). I believe the relevant portion of my campaign guidelines wernt something along the lines of this (it's been 2 years, and things went so badly I pitched my original notes, so I'm working from memory: 1. Averge OCV and DCV would be in the 4 to 6 range with a max of 8 or 9. One particular character caused me a problem. The player decided to play a kobold warrior,setting up the kobolds as a tribal culture near the borders of the empire. His reasons for playing a kobold were simple: smaller than man-sized, -2 to the opponents OCV. He also took martial arts, but he only ever used one maneuver: Defensive Strike (+1 OCV, +3 DCV)...And, of course, he bought the campaign maximum of and 8 or 9 base DCV. The end result was that he effectively had a 13 or 14 DCV. Tack on a few combat skill levels, and you have a nightmare -- a character who is only hit on a 3 on 3d6 vs any opponent with an average (even upper end of average) OCV. After the problem became apparent, I approached the player and asked him to "tone it down a bit". The response I got was basically "I'm not going to make it easy for you to hit my character." My response - "I'm not asking you to make it easy, but it SHOULD be possible. If I have to build something that will be capable of hitting you, it's going to pretty much slaughter everyone else." This was still met with refusal. Other characters had similar issues, though not as egregious (that -2 to opponents' OCVs made a BIG difference). Since that campaign collapsed, I've purchased and read many more HERO supplements, and started reading and posting to these forums for advice, and I've learned quite a bit along the way. I've gotten a better handle on what to include when calculating the campaign guidelines (for example, it was not clear to me until we started playing that CSLs and benefits from maneuver should be considered when figuring out whether or not a character "fits" within the guidelines). I still think, with my particular group, I'm going to wind up having to create the initial characters in order to wind up with a set of characters that will be fun for everyone. I also need to get better at defining campaign guidelines and recognizing builds that are going to exceed those guidelines. I also need to get a better understanding of the tactical options that are available in HERO.
  9. Checking out the Fate Core system now. We've tried a couple of different systems, so far, the most role-playing heavy system we've used is been Pendragon; and even in that system, the vast majority of characters focused (as much as possible) on improving combat capabilities ahead of everything else. After I've read through the Fate system and feel comfortable enough with the rules to give it a run, I'll run out and buy some sponges...Gonna need something to clean the grey matter off the walls when their minds explode!
  10. I think this is an appropriate question/comment for this thread: How do you handle "effectiveness limits" with new players? The problem I've run into is that I have a group consisting of 6 players and the GM. All of the players come from a D&D / Pathfinder background, which (nowadays) encourages munchkinism. In fact, in many of the "canned" modules/adventure paths, if you don't min-max to the hilt, there are tasks you have no chance to succeed in. Given that background, when I set campaign guidelines, such as average DCs around 4 or 5, with a maximum of 8, my group tends to wind up creating characters with 8 DCs BASE (then add in skill levels, martial maneuvers, pushing, etc.). It's simply how they think. And they do that with EVERYTHING. I plan to address this in my next attempt by creating the characters for them, so they'll be reasonable. My concern is, as soon as they start getting experience points, I'm going to see them immediately invested in maxing out attacks and defenses. So, the question is: how do you convince players to change their style of play? Or do you?
  11. Pathfinder campaign. The party finds themselves exploring the ruins of a keep. We're looking into an area that looks like some sort of large animal pens. Inside the pens, we see what appear to be giant severed hands. The rogue moves forward cautiously to investigate further, when suddenly, the giant hands spring to life (think The Addams Family's "Thing" only he's about 10 feet long...and has 7 brothers). As the hands prepare to attack, the monk in the party hollers to the rogue: "Don't let them flank! They'll give you the clap!"
  12. Crash and burn. ...at least with my current gaming group. I first played Hero back in 1994, but that campaign only lasted a couple of months, so I only had a basic inkling of what could be done with the system. I absolutely LOVE the idea behind Hero (at least as I see it) -- You can build anything you want (within limits set by the GM). I think what holds the greatest appeal for me is that characters can evolve more organically. If your characters find themselves constantly running into scenes where a particular skill is useful, anyone/everyone can develop that skill (with appropriate background/role-playing of course!). Skills aren't pigeon-holed based upon character archetype or having to gain a particular level. You want to learn something, find someone to teach you or set aside time to self-educate and you can learn to do whatever (again, within the constraints of the campaign). My group is primarily AD&D / Pathfinder players, and the regular weekly gaming sessions usually involve running canned campaigns. These games tend to be extremely combat heavy, and as such the players build characters to reflect this. In fact, if you try to run something that isn't combat-centric, you're still going to wind up with combat-oriented characters (that seems to be what almost everything in D&D / Pathfinder is about). Since the campaign / adventure paths are pre-scripted, character backgrounds don't really matter, so nobody generally bothers to come up with one...(I usually put some effort into background, but with the current adventure path, even I didn't bother ) So, I decided to try running a Fantasy HERO game with this group. I had picked up and read everything I could get my hands on for 6th edition (i've purchased just about every book in hardcopy and PDF). The problem I ran into, given my lack of experience with the system, was figuring out where to set the limits for the characters. I also tried to let the players create their own characters as well -- with my help...but again, not knowing where to set limtis / what reasonable limits for the type of game I was wanting to run would be (magic-rare/low fantasy) I wound up with a bunch of characters that were nigh invulnerable, impossible to hit, or were capable of slaying a "normal" NPC with no chance of missing...Of course, they didn't have any skills outside of combat (except for stealth), so other than as killers they were pretty much useless. We went through several iterations of toning characters down, adding skills, complications, repeated attempts to get some kind of background before we eventually settled on a group of characters that I estimated would at least be "playable". Each character was required to have ties to at least one other character. I was trying to avoid having to come up with a scenario to introduce the characters to each other...I wound up with two groups of tightly-knit characters who had to have an introductory scenario...and when they met, they decided they didn't like each other and tried to kill each other (even though the scenario clearly put them all on same side)...GAME IMPLOSION. Next attempt. Since we had struggles with where the limits ought to be, we took our next run at running Champions level characters, where the limits (or lack thereof) would have less of an impact. Of the 5 players in the group at the time, only two put any effort into back story -- the others simply went through the motions (kinda like doing something just to get it done because someone said you had to). I eventually told them that if they didn't come up with the backstory, I'd come up with it for them (and that's what I wound up doing). They were more focused on "playing the powers" than building the characters. Still, we came up with some playable characters, and started to play. I had difficulty building encounters that would prove in any way challenging for them, and when I did, they immediately spent their experience points to eliminate their weaknesses...(That mentalist really messed us up, I'm spending all my XP on mental defense! [until its impossible for even Charles Xavier to even detect that I have a mind]) I haven't given up. For my next attempt, I'm returning to my favorite genre: Fantasy. This time, after visiting the forums and having picked up a couple of additional source books, I have a better idea of where to set the limits and what to include when calculating those limtis. All the same, I'm going to have the players provide me with the character concept and background (if I can drag it out of them), and I'm going to build the characters. We'll have to wait to see how it goes...
  13. Re: Quote of the Week from my gaming group... If you were JUST a barkeep, would you tell an ogre that he can't come in?
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