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Hugh Neilson

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  1. Like
    Hugh Neilson got a reaction from Killer Shrike in Character creation: Narrative or Numbers   
    This also means, to me, that the GM takes on the responsibility of ensuring that each character's points spent will have meaning in the game, that each character will be able to meaningfully contribute in-game and that each character will have their moments to shine.
     
    It can be a very good result, or a very poor one.  It's one step further down the road of pre-fab abilities to choose from (the player does not construct those either, whether in pre-constructed Hero or in a d20 game).
     
    I would say, like most things Hero, there is a balance.  If I want, for example, the Finest Archer in All the Land, and you tell me an OCV of 6 and 4 skill levels with the bow does the trick, then I expect that this will mean I rarely, if ever, miss and never meet a better archer.  If I rarely hit with the bow, and am constantly outclassed by other archers, you did not deliver.  But if that was my character vision, I should have asked you first anyway, not showed up with an OCV 4 (or 8 ) character with 2 (or 12) skill levels with archery.
     
    Especially with players who are either new to Hero or new to the balance and parameters of your setting, this will be as, or more, effective compared to "player builds and GM tweaks/suggests tweaks".  However, I would also be open to player input, especially Hero-familiar players, and to input after a session or two, should the character not perform to expectations, just as I expect players to be open to toning down abilities which turn out to be problematic in unexpected ways.
  2. Like
    Hugh Neilson reacted to bluesguy in Character creation: Narrative or Numbers   
    The rule in any campaign is the GM has the final decision on whether or not a character will work in the campaign setting.  If someone came to me and said I want to play an elf (blah blah blah) I would say no because there aren't any elves in my campaign world.  Any counter argument from them about being the one elf in the whole wide world and they were accidentally dropped into the world would end with no you can't play an elf.
     
    I have provided my players with a set of parameters for building characters in my campaign (see here).  It covers races, min/max characteristics, OCV/DCV, overall combat abilities, magic, etc.  Over the years we (players and myself) have had to tweak certain aspects because my initial concepts didn't work.
  3. Thanks
    Hugh Neilson got a reaction from Panpiper in General Advice When Creating Champions/Hero System Characters   
    Suggesting you can get  by with lower dice as an energy attack because ED is often lower than PD suggests that you should also be able to get by with lower ED than PD because energy attacks are commonly lower damage than physical attacks.  Both convey a campaign expectation more than a hard and fast rule of Hero.
     
    I'd consider using the example character more, perhaps to indicate that his 8 OCV and DCV are pretty average for a Super in this game - you likely would not want to be lower than 6, and you'd need pretty solid reasons to be higher than a 10 or 11.  His Speed is a bit above average - a 5 is pretty typical, a 4 is about as slow as Supers go, and a 7+ is pretty spectacular, and not very common.
     
    I'd also consider discussing the limitations a bit more, such as
     
    Limitations save points and give you some control over the game.  The greater the limitation, the more frequently it crops up and/or the more debilitating it is when it does arise.  Stormy's -1/2 limitation is pretty debilitating - basically, he loses all of his powers when it comes up.  It shouldn't come up every game, or every other game, but expect it to arise maybe every 4 or 5 games.  When it does, it is a big deal. Similar logic applies to Disadvantages - for example, Stormy should expect to see issues arising from his womanizing pretty often, with a variety of minor drawbacks resulting, due to the large number of disadvantages he has in this regard.
     
    Minor, but I am not sure how 3 point levels that would normally be "with blast" get extended out to Flight, with extra DCV when flying, at no extra cost.
  4. Like
    Hugh Neilson got a reaction from Grailknight in Swords and damage   
    Flying Dodge can be viewed in a variety of ways.  Like Dodge itself, it's bonus DCV if you use a half phase and don't attack.  You get your full move instead of you half move, though.  Is it variant Martial Dodge?
     
    You can do a Move By for free, with -2 OCV and -2 DCV, with reduced STR but a velocity bonus.  We have the Grab By, which changes the base from Strike to Dodge.  So a Dodge By could logically be - OCV (as you don't attack) and +1 DCV.  By that logic, Flying Dodge adds +3 to the Dodge By, should cost more than Martial Dodge, since it adds +3 instead of +2.  Defensive Strike costs 5 points, and adds +1 OCV as well as +3 DCV to a standard Strike.  Flying Dodge adds +3 DCV to what could easily be a standard maneuver like Grab By.
     
    Once we view Move By as an "adder" to other maneuvers, perhaps some of the other fMove maneuvers come into a bit more clarity.
     
    I don't have HSMA in front of me, so I can't speak to the other two, but they feel like a combination of Block and a second maneuver.  Once someone has Grabbed an opponent, why can't he use the opponent like a shield, to block an incoming attack?  Maybe if we had more robust rules for that, we get the Grappling Block to work.
     
     
    The lack of an ability to Trip someone grated on me, which was the reason for my suggestion in the SETAC days.  But what stopped you from using "grab and throw" as a Shove?  I don't like it as much, but -1 OCV and -2 DCV, I Grab and immediately Throw the opponent into the spiky museum piece (instead of across the room or to the ground), or back into the bench where he crashes over.  Of course, I could just do a Move Through (or a Strike) for damage and if he's knocked back he falls over the bench.
  5. Thanks
    Hugh Neilson reacted to Old Man in Coronavirus   
  6. Like
    Hugh Neilson got a reaction from Gnome BODY (important!) in Swords and damage   
    I recall in the SETAC days suggesting that Martial maneuvers should be variations from standard maneuvers, but should not do things standard maneuvers can't.  I believe 6e was the one that added a Shove and a Trip maneuver.  It also has the optional Choke maneuver.
     
    To me, full move maneuvers are "martial moveby/move through"
     
    Is anything still missing, GB?
     
  7. Like
    Hugh Neilson got a reaction from Grailknight in Swords and damage   
    I recall in the SETAC days suggesting that Martial maneuvers should be variations from standard maneuvers, but should not do things standard maneuvers can't.  I believe 6e was the one that added a Shove and a Trip maneuver.  It also has the optional Choke maneuver.
     
    To me, full move maneuvers are "martial moveby/move through"
     
    Is anything still missing, GB?
     
  8. Like
    Hugh Neilson reacted to Old Man in Coronavirus   
    For almost minimum wage, no less. And the $2/hr “hazard pay” that was being paid  to a few of these workers by a handful of companies is already being rescinded. 
  9. Like
    Hugh Neilson reacted to ScottishFox in Coronavirus   
    Once food stops showing up at grocery stores you're going to see some real chaos.
     
    Essential work has got to keep moving forward.  Doctors and nurses aren't going to be the only superheroes in this mess.  The men and women keeping food on the shelves (meat packing plants, truck drivers, auto maintenance, etc., etc.) are also going to have to put on their capes and take some risks.
     
    I'm doing what little I can here by continuing to patronize local restaurants and small businesses (like the local comic store) because I don't want them going out of business despite the fact I'm on 50% hours.
  10. Like
    Hugh Neilson reacted to Lord Liaden in Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)   
    After the American Civil War, organized and armed resistance to Reconstruction, aimed at protecting black people and assuring their civil rights, caused those policies to be rolled back. President Grant and Congress passed edicts and laws supposedly in support of those goals, but in the face of potential violence and political backlash they went mostly unenforced. So racial oppression continued with impunity for nearly a century longer, and was finally curtailed only through government action seriously beginning with the Kennedy administration, in the face of more violence and political consequences.
     
    Nothing worth winning was ever won without cost
  11. Like
    Hugh Neilson got a reaction from Lord Liaden in Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)   
    I'm always amazed how quickly these discussions become "well, you can own lots of things with multiple purposes that are not designed for the sole purpose of inflicting injury or death, so guns should be a free-for-all".  There is a ratio of risk to benefit which should also be considered,
  12. Like
    Hugh Neilson got a reaction from ScottishFox in Coronavirus   
    Canada is now grappling with those relief funds creating a disincentive for some to return to work.  There is a balance to be struck.
     
    How long would we last if no one from the meat packing plant through to the grocery stores showed up for work?
  13. Like
    Hugh Neilson got a reaction from Grailknight in Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)   
    I'm always amazed how quickly these discussions become "well, you can own lots of things with multiple purposes that are not designed for the sole purpose of inflicting injury or death, so guns should be a free-for-all".  There is a ratio of risk to benefit which should also be considered,
  14. Like
    Hugh Neilson reacted to Lord Liaden in Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)   
    I accept the justifiability of all you wrote, except your argument about numbers being a deciding factor. One nut with a gun is a vastly greater danger to a single person than one nut with an Internet connection or a sack of flour. And single lives matter. We can't protect people as a whole without protecting individuals.
  15. Thanks
    Hugh Neilson reacted to Hermit in Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)   
    Yeah, the bible verse speaks of the LOVE (or desire/want etc)  of money, not the money itself being the root of all manners of evil. Translations vary, but it's the greed for it, and coming to value it over people that brings the evil about.
     
     
  16. Sad
    Hugh Neilson got a reaction from TrickstaPriest in Coronavirus   
    This is what I find scariest about the "well, rural areas can reopen" theory.  One case in a town of 3,200 can be spread to a significant portion of the population before the problem is identified.  Then we have a hundred or more cases, and local heath care is overwhelmed.  Serious cases need to be transported a significant distance for treatment.
     
    In Canada, the northern Territories are doing pretty well, but mainly because they closed down all travel with heavy, mandatory quarantine for those who absolutely HAD to travel, very early on.
  17. Thanks
    Hugh Neilson got a reaction from Duke Bushido in Hands Off the Maxima   
    The "double cost" NCM rule does not actually prevent that, though.  35 STR will cost 40 points - expensive, sure, but look at your damage with a big weapon.  Recalling 5e and prior games, with another 110 CP, you could still build a very viable character.  He's got a nice PD, STUN and REC out of the gates too.
     
    I sometimes toyed with a 30 DEX.  90 of 150 points, but with an OCV and DCV of 10 and a 4 SPD, that's a pretty nice start to, say, an archer or an agile rogue.
     
    I don't think the solution to "inappropriate" character concepts, or unbalanced characters, has ever been "OK, but you have to pay extra".
  18. Like
    Hugh Neilson got a reaction from Matt the Bruins in Coronavirus   
    I feel it is very unlikely that the virus simply spreads through the atmosphere, and no actions taken by anyone have any impact.  Lety's take a look at https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/
     
    All figures are per 1 million population
     
    US:  4,188 cases, 247 deaths, 29,063 tests
     
    Spain 5,765 cases, 576 deaths, 52,781 tests.  Way more tests; somewhat more cases
     
    UK 3,286 cases, 472 deaths, 28,309 tests - marginally less tests, considerably fewer cases
     
    Germany 2,060 cases (less than half US), 91 deaths, 32,891 tests  - slightly more testing, far less cases - and way more efforts to slow the spread of the virus.  Should that tell us anything?
     
    Canada 1,854 cases, 132 deaths, 30,099 tests - marginally more testing, far less cases - and greater efforts to slow the spread of the virus.  Should that tell us something?
     
    I didn't pick countries you feel are more likely to cover up the spread of COVID than the US is, did I?  Countries testing on a comparable leve who have taken more efforts to reduce the spread of the virus are seeing less cases and less deaths.  And that includes the disastrous issues in Canadian long-term care facilities.
     
    The only plausible conclusion, I assume, is that the US is the sole nation on earth reporting their results honestly.  Or is there a remote possibility that there is some other explanation?
  19. Like
    Hugh Neilson got a reaction from Duke Bushido in Killing damage (yet again)   
    That 6d6 KA is unlikely to be allowed in a game where attacks cap out at 12d6 normal damage.  As I read your suggestion, specifically
     
     
    it was to allow the higher-dice KA which did more BOD and less STUN.  If the intent is that the KA in that 12 DC game would also be capped at 12d6, and average 12 STUN and 12 BOD, we have an attack that probably serves no useful purpose at all, at least in any game where opponents will typically have defenses at or above 1 per typical DC.
     
    That's not necessarily a bad thing.  The reduced stun multiple effectively made a 6e KA a bit better at inflicting BOD, but far worse at inflicting STUN, making it of limited, if any, use in a typical four-colour campaign.  An attack whose chief or sole purpose is to kill probably should not work well in a game where lethality is intended to be low to nonexistent.
  20. Like
    Hugh Neilson got a reaction from Lawnmower Boy in Coronavirus   
    I feel it is very unlikely that the virus simply spreads through the atmosphere, and no actions taken by anyone have any impact.  Lety's take a look at https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/
     
    All figures are per 1 million population
     
    US:  4,188 cases, 247 deaths, 29,063 tests
     
    Spain 5,765 cases, 576 deaths, 52,781 tests.  Way more tests; somewhat more cases
     
    UK 3,286 cases, 472 deaths, 28,309 tests - marginally less tests, considerably fewer cases
     
    Germany 2,060 cases (less than half US), 91 deaths, 32,891 tests  - slightly more testing, far less cases - and way more efforts to slow the spread of the virus.  Should that tell us anything?
     
    Canada 1,854 cases, 132 deaths, 30,099 tests - marginally more testing, far less cases - and greater efforts to slow the spread of the virus.  Should that tell us something?
     
    I didn't pick countries you feel are more likely to cover up the spread of COVID than the US is, did I?  Countries testing on a comparable leve who have taken more efforts to reduce the spread of the virus are seeing less cases and less deaths.  And that includes the disastrous issues in Canadian long-term care facilities.
     
    The only plausible conclusion, I assume, is that the US is the sole nation on earth reporting their results honestly.  Or is there a remote possibility that there is some other explanation?
  21. Like
    Hugh Neilson got a reaction from Duke Bushido in Killing damage (yet again)   
    The 6e theory behind a reduced Stun Multiple was that the purpose of a KA is, or should be, to inflict BOD damage, not get a massive STUN
    roll.  Issues I see with your model:
     
     - with a limitations model, frameworks don't work well, and AP limits or DC limits fail to permit a larger number of dice.
     
     - if we ignore that, the KA "1 stun per die" at 60 AP is 18d6, averaging 18 BOD.  It still does nothing, or next to nothing, against most Supers, but it now shreds Entangles, Force Walls/Barriers and Automatons unless we beef them up to be virtually immune to everything but killing attacks.
     
    These issues tend to arise in a lot of suggested "fixes" to KAs.
  22. Like
    Hugh Neilson reacted to Old Man in Coronavirus   
    If Texas' first coronavirus death occurred on 3/17, then as of today it has killed 1133 Texans in eight weeks.  That's an annual rate of 7364, enough to put it at #7 on the list with the lockdown.  But Hero gamers are by definition good at math, so it's not hard to see it easily reaching #3 with a little help from undercounting, exponential growth, and mask-fearing manbabies.
  23. Like
    Hugh Neilson reacted to Doc Democracy in Coronavirus   
    where does the 2.7 deaths per 100, 000 come from? 
     
    That is probably 100 times lower than the low end mainstream estimate.  I do not think that it will be 1% mortality, I think it may be substantively less.
     
    However, people are calculating in a number of different ways.  Go look for David Speigelhaulter talking the statistics.  He is very understandable.
     
    What is true is that in America on 6 May 2019 - 2500 people died of COVID-19.  That, since the first death, an average of 912 people have died EVERY day.
     
    The September 11 attacks killed 3000 people on US soil which triggered the biggest change of western society in my lifetime - the security lockdown, the checks at airports etc the infringement of freedoms, data and movement were immense and we went to war several times over it.
     
    The US is seeing a casualty rate equivalent to the September 11 attacks every day right now.  And you think that having an impact on food availability is too much to consider?
     
    Doc
  24. Like
    Hugh Neilson reacted to Cygnia in Coronavirus   
  25. Thanks
    Hugh Neilson got a reaction from Gnome BODY (important!) in Killing damage (yet again)   
    So let's run the math.
     
    Normal gets hit with a 10d6 Normal attack, and takes an average of 8 BOD and 33 STUN after defenses.  If it's a KA, they take 10 BOD and 17.5 stun.
     
    Another Super gets hit with a 10d6 Normal attack, and takes an average of 0 BOD and 14 STUN after defenses.  If it's a KA, they take 5 BOD and 15 stun.  I am thinking KAs wil be pretty deadly to average Supers, and they are clearly superior at that defense level.
     
    A high rDEF super, with 10 rDEF, takes 0 BOD or 14 STUN from a Normal attack, but 0 BOD and 12.5 STUN from the KA.
     
    So the KA choice means I kill off most opponents, and do more STUN, at a slight cost if my target has exception rDEF.
     
    I suggest the math fails.
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