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Hugh Neilson

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Everything posted by Hugh Neilson

  1. A million deaths is a statistic. A single death is a tragedy. My condolences as well.
  2. Didn't the Colonel lose favour with KFC when he described the new mashed potatoes as "wallpaper paste"?
  3. I wonder what Australian history looks like prior to the arrival of Europeans. We could compromise. Keep the 48 pages in the sourcebook, but title it "Chapter VII: Blah, blah, blah, politics". If you want that in your game, read it. If not, chapter VIII, "Blah, blah, blah, meteorology" awaits!
  4. Funny...the big complaint about 6e was its continuation of the trend of depth of coverage of corner cases, interactions, etc., repetition of issues in different places and beating issues to death with clarifications, causing the books to bloat outwards until finally reaching 2 volumes. The complaints in CC are that it doesn't cover my favorite corner case, doesn't reprint things where I would like to see them and doesn't clarify my pet issue. MORAL: if you try to make everyone happy, nobody likes it.
  5. Very true - but a Limitation on Invisibility such as Extra Time - 5 Minutes, 20x END, bot Only to Activate are pretty meaningless in a planned B&E, but mean you aren't using your Invisibility to fight off an ambush. OTOH, Invisibility that Requires a Roll is a lot more limiting in the B&E if you need to roll 15- every phase or it cuts out (and you flicker into view on the security cameras and footage). Stepping back, the two key questions are how often will the limitation matter (i.e. be relevant in an encounter, combat or otherwise) and how much will it matter.
  6. Band on the Run, Imagine, All Things Must Pass...just a few that came out from former members of some '60s boy band that had split up. A lot of "Nostalgia" comes from the ability to only keep the best parts.
  7. Silly from a realistic historical and sociological perspective, probably. From a gaming and publishing perspective, what would the benefit of filling several pages up with the details of 1,700 years of rulership changes, naming each successive ruler in the Royal Family, and discussing changes to those Royal Families every few generations, with a rapid succession of rulers in times of turbulence, going from 2,000 years before the game begins to a mere 300 years past? Recall that, 300 years ago, there were no United States. Would you purchase a setting book that went through details of the leadership equivalent to summarizing the leadership in each US state (plus Federal and maybe some of the larger municipalities), before and after becoming a state, and any and all conflicts and border changes and the Federal level, from 1721 to 2021? There's a sourcebook that would just FLY off the shelves!
  8. Agreed. Many limitations become far less limiting when all they mean is "only out of combat". 10x END? Who cares if you can just recover after. Activate 8-? So what? You can just keep trying. Even if you need to roll a 3, that's 1 chance in 216. For a 2 SPD character, that's less than half an hour, on average, to roll a 3. [2 phases per turn x 5 turns per minute = 10 so 600 tries an hour] Extra time, 5 minutes? Meaningless when you have all day. If the resurrection means "he'll be back in time for the next significant scene", nailing down the phase by phase process isn't needed. If, however, we envision recovery from death so rapid that they may be up and running in a turn, these questions become vastly more important. Why do I keep seeing a Steve Long Rules Q answer of "if the GM is going to allow in-combat resurrection, the GM will need to figure out detailed rules for that."
  9. A peaceful land can also have less peaceful threats lurking in the darkness. With threats lurking around every corner, how does that L2 commoner farmer and wife, and their L1 kids, survive? Many great campaigns see the adventurers dealing with the threats lurking in the shadows, and preventing them bursting forth, and laying waste to the stable, ancient land and its denizens lacking much ability to defend themselves.
  10. There is another question not covered in the rules. Is he alive again at full BOD, or at 1 BOD? When restored to life, does he have full STUN and END? 1 STUN and END? -40 STUN and needs to recover consciousness? Resurrection is very much in GM Option territory, with very few specific rules. Healing is a bit easier, as he's either at negative BOD but alive, or positive BOD, after the Healing, but Regeneration tends to be more gradual. Even with Healing, does being dead drop your STUN like being KOd drops your END?
  11. The biggest mechanical issue with Regeneration is the cost of making it faster. That crosses the editions. 1 BOD per minute regenerates 60 BOD per hour. Buying it as 60 BOD per hour would cost substantially more. If we stop at BOD/turn, 1 BOD per phase (or segment) is far more costly than if we add in the APG. But the costs in the book work out much better if we assume the fastest rate is the base cost, which is then limited by "extra time" to slow it down.
  12. Actually, Halloween Wanda looked pretty comparable to her comic book appearance in her first 20+ years. Vision, not so much.
  13. That described the analysis paralysis often faced by new Hero players quite well. Not everyone can design and build a better crane, or research a vaccine for a virulent new virus, either. I think this is an excellent analogy. Let's go one step further - what are the Fantasy splatbooks full of? [OK, besides 💩...]? New spells. New classes with new magical abilities. New technology? Not so much - the researchers are mainly researching new magic. But many create new magic items to fill up those splatbooks.
  14. Resurrection Regeneration is not well defined. Is the character considered stabilized, or does he need enough Regeneration to offset that -1 BOD per turn while at negative BOD? The RAW says: So the RAW is not "apply the Regen points every time increment until the character is fully restored". With no standard, how do we determine the variance? A possibility for consideration (not thought through at all): Determine how long it would take for the character to recover from "dead - negative his BOD score" to full BOD, applying the rate of regeneration otherwise. In other words, treat it as Regen working normally. [OPTION: Maybe we increase that time factor because the character was dead.] Check that on the time chart. Extra Time moves, generally, in 1/2 limitation increments. For every time increment you move up (or down), apply a -1/2 advantage (or limitation) to the Regeneration adder. So perhaps our character has 15 BOD and 5 BOD per turn Regeneration. It would take 6 turns to recover 30 BOD. That's just over a minute, so it counts as "up to 5 minutes" baseline. But it will take him 3 days. That's less than a week, so we move through 20 min, 1 hour, 6 hours to 1 day and apply a -2 limitation to Resurrection. The cost of the adder becomes 7 points. Now, perhaps he only recovers 1 BOD per week. It would take 30 weeks, more than a season, so 1 year. But his whose schtick is that he immediately is restored if he dies. So we need to move down from a year to a full phase - 11 steps. That's +5 1/2 on the Resurrection adder. We then take a -2 on Regeneration as it only works for Resurrection. That's 2 + 20 x 6.5 = 132 AP/3 = 44 real points. The ability to pop back up a phase after death is pretty powerful at any price, so the bigger question is whether the GM sets a minimum time regardless of point cost. Thoughts?
  15. The diagram that shows we humans are closer in time to a T Rex than a Stegosauraus is shows that things can be fairly static for a long time, but also that humans move the needle a lot. My view comes back to the game. Is it good for the game to have a stable history? Would tossing in a major change a few years back make for a better game? Perhaps continued stability would be better, or maybe major changes starting when the campaign starts would be better. Or we could have a world constantly in flux. We can make up any excuses we want for any level of stability. "The Gods so will it" - something we don't have to contend with in our mundane world. We don't have magic - maybe technology just doesn't work in the game world (recalling sweet, cynical Cynosure where magic works in some places and tech in others, but a good sword is pretty much universal). If you have a 1,000 year world history that includes the same level of change reflected from, say, 800 AD to 1800 AD in our world, is it useful to the game? Are the players so invested in the game world that they will study the minutia of that 1,000 years of history, or are they interested in the current setting, and what it means for them, and don't really care whether the current ruling family came to power 80 years back, or 8,000 years back? In a fantasy game with magic spells, mighty dragons and bizarre denizens of an underground world which is perhaps even more diverse that the surface world, how important is a "realistic" world history? Would you place as much energy in making the tax code, or societal views to drugs and alcohol, "realistic and evolving"? Perhaps that 10,000 years of stagnation really does ring hollow for your gaming group. Maybe that becomes a focal point of the game - what has caused it, what can the player characters do about it, and do they even want to do anything about it?
  16. No, I want to divide it between "general knowledge" (like "anyone can run basic SW and routine computer application") and "actual skill that could impact the game" (for which we pay points). It includes actual "knowledge of, and the ability to use, hardware, software, operating systems, and the like." Not "ability to click an icon and open a SW package", or "can drag & drop an icon into a menu bar", or "can copy files to a backup hard drive". To me, at least, paying points means getting an ability well past the average individual in the cinematic reality of the source material. Much like the ability of an "average person" (8 STR) to lift a washing machine, and an "average PC" (investing 0 points) to lift 100 kg, I would allow the average PC the ability to run a Google search, prepare a Word document, PowerPoint presentation or Excel spreadsheet and conduct any of the thousands of activities normal people can do. Despite the fact that I cannot use chopsticks, I would not charge a CP for "Chopsticks Familiarity" either. So we view pretty much every PC as a novice in an entry-level position under close supervision? Most have that base Everyman PS in their job. I'd expect Clark Kent to sink a couple of points in to have won the Pulitzer, I guess. I'd also expect a nobel-winning scientist to sink a point or two in. Also recall that 11- has limited natural aptitude - an 8 INT PS: Nuclear Physicist has an 11- roll. To some extent, this is a question of "world design". How many people do we think are "one of the very best people in the world with that Skill" at any given point in time? That is the RAW definition of a 16- roll. A 14- is "a master with the Skill." That sounds quite adequate to be a team lead in a larger business, and many smaller businesses (not the Microsofts of the world) would need to get by with less. Recall that there is little room for growth - an 18- is one of the greatest masters of the skill in history. There are not going to be half a dozen of those running around in active practice at any given moment in time. 20- is "the greatest in history" - "superheroes, gods, heroes of myth, and supergeniuses". So where are Bill Gates and Steve Jobs? If we afford them an 18 (two "greatest masters of the skill in history" working in the same generation seems pretty unlikely), we still need to drop a lot of other innovators to a 17 or 16. I'm not seeing those guys being project managers. Connor McDavid has been referred to as a "generational player" in the hockey world, the "next Gretzky". They are separated by 40 years - 2 generations. They would have skills of 17, perhaps 18 (having one of the "greatest in history" come along every 40 years or so seems like it is asking a lot). Try musicians. Is Mozart an 18-? If so, how many Beatles were 18-? The Who? The Stones? Buddy Holly? They can't all be "one of the greatest in history" unless we are downgrading that term a lot. Part of the problem, however, is that Hero suffers from "ability inflation" and we end up with a lot of characters buying 23- skills instead of accepting a 16- means that "difficult tasks which give lesser masters pause are matters of routine". "Extremely difficulty" caps at -5, which suggests the 16- can make an 11- roll "as a matter of routine". Perhaps we need a "take 11" rule in Hero much like the d20 "take 10" rule. Under baseline circumstances, our master of the skill simply does not fail. When "he's effin' Tarzan", he need not roll to leap from a window and skuttle up the balconies to the roof. He's "one of the best in history", so we don't roll to see if he gets an 18 and plummets to the street below.
  17. Followed by "Computer Programming also allows characters to penetrate computer systems electronically (commonly known as “hacking” or “cracking”) and to create security for computers. The character may attempt to discover access codes, gain information, conceal tampering, extract information from data banks, defeat computer-assisted Security Systems, falsify records or other data, and so on." It does not say you are qualified to get an entry-level position using the skill under close supervision. "PS: Secretary" will get you eonugh word processing knowledge to format documents and find your backups when it crashes. Computer programming will be imaging the drives and integrating the office's HW and SW. 14- is a master with the skill. 16- is one of the best in the world. 12- manages those qualified to get a job in the field. The skill is computer programming, not using a user interface designed by a team of 11- computer programmers managed by a 12-.
  18. A 1 point investment for Familiarity is not too much to ask, and an 8- isn't going to hack NORAD anyway.
  19. Enjoyed it. Not the classic comic book character, but between having no rights to Fu Manchu, not that the character would be acceptable in the 21st century anyway, and needing a character and a story that fits centrally in a super-heroic universe, it was pretty clear they weren't going that route.
  20. Is a lawyer required to bring a lawsuit forward, or can a cottage industry of self-represented litigants making their living as abortion law bounty hunters develop? How many cases, especially of that nature, would be settled by paying a claim to the individual initiating the lawsuit? "Well, you can spend your resources to fight the claim, or pay me $1,000 now to make me go away, knowing that, if you lose, I get at least $10,000, plus my legal bills." 5 settled claims a month on that basis is a $60,000 annual living. I suspect the Courts will take some action if they start to see huge numbers of such cases taking resources away from their other responsibilities. I'm still waiting for a law to ban abstention. "Those poor kids didn't even get a chance!"
  21. Not if you want to have multiple swarms acting independently. It all depends on the effect you're looking for.
  22. First, I did not say "kept in prison indefinitely", I said "unemployable". Second, I asked which crimes were similarly unforgivable, and did not suggest that all crimes are unforgivable. But I am not the one(s) suggesting that his actions were unforgivable either. Finally, if we are addressing degrees of guilt, isn't a stupid choice of a hallowe'en costume decades ago pretty low? More a misdemeanor than a felony; perhaps just a traffic violation? If he had dressed up as Hannibal Lecter instead, would you be suggesting we keep him away from people under medical care, as we would not want to risk him deciding to have a snack?
  23. I keep telling myself I will make that insect-based character who can Summon swarms of bugs some day...
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