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UltraRob

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Everything posted by UltraRob

  1. Re: Things you do to acheive immersion I've made use of pictures of major NPCs (via artwork found on the net since I can't draw) and music in various languages when characters have attended concerts and such. When I was running a Macross game years ago, one of the characters was the resident Minmei clone, and when there was battles at various points she would often sing to try to influence the enemy. The player actually prepped lyrics and proceeded to sing whenever she did this as a way of getting me to give bonuses. He was actually not a very good singer, but the effort was worth the bonuses, and it fit the game. Music is power, after all. Heh, that reminds me of a "multimedia moment" many a year ago. In a Champions game the party was pretty much dead, they'd finished off the villians but secondary explosions had gotten them. Only one party member who was elsewhere in the base was left up and around, and he had to reach the rest of the group before the obligatory big bomb went off. I'd set up a clock to show when the bomb would go off, and the clock was counting down fast... Suddenly, on it's own, the CD player in the background set to play random tunes kicked on a new song....the theme from "Raiders of the Lost Ark". I still remember the looks on the player's faces. On another note, I always wanted to make up a set of Powerpoint slides to go along with the briefing my heros got. Either that or do a Flash one, but I think the Powerpoint one would be easier. However, since I've been playing mostly Fantasy games for the past few years, it hasn't been appropriate. Rob
  2. UltraRob

    Rifts HERO?

    Re: Rifts HERO? Yes, excellent work! How many points are you PCs built on? I suspect at least 300. Rob
  3. UltraRob

    Rifts HERO?

    Re: Rifts HERO? One of the problems I see with making weapons this high powered is that DANG are your PCs gonna need a lot of BODY. Those weapons are doing a minimum 4-8 BODY per hit thanks to that penetrating advantage. I see high PC turnover rate in your game... Other than that, looks good! Rob
  4. UltraRob

    Rifts HERO?

    Re: Rifts HERO? Wow, that's almost a perfect Juicer! Well done! Rob
  5. UltraRob

    Rifts HERO?

    Re: Rifts HERO? Oh, they do sound cool...the first few dozen times you hear them. Kevin S. is hardly the first person to trott out a variant of "faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap..." to describe his setting's uber-men. The problem becomes, how do you separate his uber-men from the others, who have the same descriptions? ("Who's stronger, the Hulk or Superman, mom?") Hype is nice and all, and I agree, it's cool, but in the end games are about fun, playability and balance (can you tell I'm a HERO GM? ) not just hype. I have to make this character work, and not just work, but work in relation to the rest of the setting and my PC's. Sure, I can make sure he lives up to some of the hype, and I would (STR 100X that of a normal man? Check!) because it's a pretty easy thing to do in HERO. What I'm not going to do in HERO is give him a super high SPD or DEX just because Kevin let his imagination go a little wild when describing this character. This is why Borgs don't even have hype-matching stats in Palladium, because the author (same guy) never intended them to. I guess what I'm trying to say is, it's not that I don't want them to live up to the hype, it's that I want them to live up to the hype and be balanced in-game at the same time. It's a matter of compromise required for a game, as opposed to a story. (Then again, it applies to stories too. Superman is "faster than a speeding bullet", but he's almost never written that way in the comics because if they did, there'd be few challenges for him. It's all about compromise.) Well, I'll tell you the truth, as I mentioned above at one point, I don't run RIFTS HERO, I run DC HEROES:RIFTS, because in that system a character who is "hundreds of times faster than a normal person" is actually pretty average on the character power meter. I found DC simulates Kevin's hype a lot better than HERO does, so I chose to use it instead. My comments above are about compromising with the system you are using, HERO requires more compromises than DC did, so I chose to use DC to give my players their power fantasy. Games are tools, after all, and I found a better tool for the job for me! Rob
  6. UltraRob

    Rifts HERO?

    Re: Rifts HERO? Well, you've just met someone else who agreeds with him. Because when it was written Kevin S. was trying really hard to emphasize the over the top coolness of his new game. It was supposed to be a very different take on fantasy/sci-fi gaming, and largely was a new direction for mainstream gaming in fact. It's not a matter of "why would he need to" so much as the in-game hype he was trying to generate. RIFTS was about selling his audience a new kind of power fantasy, and it worked. This here is the HERO board, I might debate the point with you, but I will never tell you how to run your game. If it's cool for you, go for it! Just won't be how I do it. Even if you just convert their speed and jumping distance from the game (not stats, but given numbers), and do a rough converstion of Dex, they will be pretty impressive. Maybe not Hundreds of times, but up there. So them being able to run like the wind is perfectly reasonable. Well, the thing that comes to mind is that how they play out has affected a lot of the stuff written since that original RIFTS book was penned an age ago. People who have played RIFTS have an idea of how a Borg should be (myself included), we know where it feels right in the ecology of the game. Yes, some of this is from the Palladium rules, but it's also how the concept of the Palladium Borg has evolved. The rules did affect the ideas that grew out of the game, even if they didn't effect the setting. Again, you'll get no fight from me on this. Palladium is a deeply flawed system, and I think HERO suits the setting much better than it does. And, to go into the other poster's question. I'd say that when you switch to the HERO system the better way to look at the RIFTS RCCs and OCCs is that those are common "types" of characters in the setting. But, beyond viewing them as common types found wandering around, they should be ignored in favor of whatever the players want to play. RIFTS is a post-apoc world gone truely mad, and beyond a few names of people and places that's the only element I'd say you need to keep to make it RIFTS. Rob
  7. UltraRob

    Rifts HERO?

    Re: Rifts HERO? I tend to look at when writers say "hundreds of times stronger and faster" in a game as pretty much them trying to say "really really strong/fast" in a hyperbolic manner. They don't really mean they're hundreds of times, if they did then the Borg would be able to run a lot fast in their real stats. (In terms of reflexes they would be the godninjamasters of the game, making Juicers look like snails.) He's just trying to say it's fast and strong in a cool way, so don't worry on it too much, just go with how they feel in the other game. They're big scary tough guys, as Nu Soard says, not really meant to be all that fast. Rob
  8. UltraRob

    Rifts HERO?

    Re: Rifts HERO? 150 base + 100 disad points should produce some good low-level RIFTS characters of different kinds. Assuming you're giving them equipment for free, except for special equipment and maybe borg stuff. Rob
  9. UltraRob

    Rifts HERO?

    Re: Rifts HERO? Well, realistically, you just need the basic HERO 5th Edition core rulesbook and you're good to go. As anyone here will tell you, that book contains everything you really need to game using HERO. If you want to have some premade stuff to just whip out, then for RIFTS you probably want Dark Champions (for more guns and equipment rules). Beyond that it depends totally on the type of RIFTS game you prefer to play, I know some guys who play it with a major tech orientation (basically as a weird Sci-Fi setting) and they'd probably benefit from Star Hero, or The Ultimate Vehicle, but find Fantasy Hero useless. Others play it more Fantasy Style, and they'd go the other way, with The Grimoire and Fantasy Hero being of more use to them. I guess if I had to pick my own books to use to run RIFTS HERO they'd be: The Core Book The Ultimate Martial Artist (to me, the most useful HERO product besides the Core Book) Dark Champions The Ultimate Vehicle That's about it, but as I said, you really only need the core book. And if you're using Main Man's conversion points, I'd suggest the Wilks does 8 Damage Classes, and go up from there, probably maxing out at 26 or so Damage Classes for a Boom Gun. Rob
  10. UltraRob

    Rifts HERO?

    Re: Rifts HERO? I'm about to start a RIFTS campaign using the MEGS system (there are reasons I couldn't use HERO, otherwise I would have) and I tried doing the conversion formula thing but found it just didn't work well. It tended to produce numbers clustered in an oddly small range that just felt weird. So, in the end, I sat down and said "well, assuming "megadamage" just means "really tough" I'm not going to bother to even try to convert it over. Instead I took the laser pistol from the basic book and said "okay, a WILKS pistol should be the equivalent of this because it's the most basic energy weapon from the game" and then said "okay, the most massive weapon in the game is a Boom Gun, which should be able to take out a modern tank in one good hit, so how much would that be?" and figured it out. That became my range for weapon and armour damage, and I went from there. Everything else slid neatly into place. I guess my point is, if you enjoy conversion formulas, go nuts, but in the end I think it's better to make a conversion scale and place things accordingly as a way of keeping balance. Rob
  11. Re: What Fantasy/Sci-Fi book have you just finished? Please rate it... Read "On Basilisk Station", the first Honor Harrington novel out of curiosity. Not bad, not great, not going to read any more of the series. Rob
  12. UltraRob

    Rifts HERO?

    Re: Rifts HERO? I actually have to say that I think it's better, and more HERO, to have the Bionics&Cybernetics paid for with full points, not half. during character creation. In the end, they're just a gimmick to give you Superpowers anyways, and get the price break as foci, so why not just let them be paid for normally? After character creation, you have the usual HERO conundrum of whether to make them pay points or money for development. I'd be inclined to let the ones bought after character creation be counted as equipment and not bother with points for them unless there was something special about them. (ie A new bionic hand costs no points, just money, a bionic technowizard hand with a shield spell might costs points and money if I was running it.) As for the technowizard stuff, since they're investing their energy into building things I think it's more reasonable to require the cost in points (for character spirit) and money (for parts). Then again, it might depend on the use of the item and how much you want Technowizards to be able to pump out items of power as well. Rob
  13. UltraRob

    Rifts HERO?

    Re: Rifts HERO? Yes, I think pretty much the same. RIFTS more or less amounts to an "anything goes" setting, so why bother to actually duplicate the major packages and OCCs unless you want to use them as NPCs? I can see doing writeups for various characters like Juicers and Cyberknights that are the staples of the setting, and of course you need to whip up versions of equipment and powered armour. But, OCCs and RCCs are probably better served by just making "examples" rather than packages and letting the PCs go nuts with it. After all, if you wanted those packages, you'd just be playing RIFTS itself, right? HERO is there to open things up, not restrict them. Rob
  14. UltraRob

    Rifts HERO?

    Re: Rifts HERO? Blacksword, would it be possible to see some numerical examples? I mean, a weapon or two, or maybe the actual numbers on that tank? Rob
  15. Re: What Fantasy/Sci-Fi book have you just finished? Please rate it... Although it isn't quite Fantasy... The Count of Monte Christo I finally got around to reading this, and all I can say is "oh my god!" this is one of the most amazing books I have read in my life. Now I know why people have been reading it for nearly 200 years. I sooo want to run a post-Naploleonic-era campaign after reading this, I can't believe people don't mine this period to death for games. The level of detail for Europe of the period in this book is astounding. (Although this isn't surprising when you consider when it was written it was set in "current day".) Rob
  16. Re: What Fantasy/Sci-Fi book have you just finished? Please rate it... I'll second that vote! I'm currently alternating between Hornblower Books and Aubrey/Maturin books by Patrick O'brian. Both are amazing, and you wanna know something weird, if you alternate them like I am, you find they're actually running almost in sync! Each book is covering the same rough point of time as it's counterpart is in the other book series! Both series are absolutely amazing, but I describe them like this: Hornblower is the Silver Age DC version of Napoleonic Sea War. Epic, heroic and larger than life. Hornblower is a minor god in training. The Aubrey/Maturin saga is the Silver age Marvel version. The stories of two realistic people having amazing luck and adventures on the high seas, with just enough grit and detail to make it come alive as a real place. Rob
  17. Re: Anybody playing Valdorian Age? On the issue of race in Sword and Sorcery, I'm currently reading my way through the complete set of Howard's original Conan stories for the first time (yes, I know, I'm a little late...) and I have to say I'm astounded by the sheer amount of ethnic mixing Howard has going on in that setting. I had always thought of Hyboria of being basically an all "white" European style setting with leanings toward Southern Europe because my only previous exposure to Conan was through Marvel's comics. But, while there are definite racial stereotypes going on in the stories, for the most part the Conan stories seem to treat all characters of the different ethnicities equally. Yes, there are a few "black culties coming for ya in the night" stories, but there are also a lot of black characters who are treated as nothing less than equals and with great respect by Conan. (Of course, one could take that as an underhanded compliment that the barbarian treats the blacks as equals...) And, most of the wizard/sorcercesses have monsters and white(ish) people as their minions so far in what I've read, with the occasional hulking black minion. I went in to Howard's stories expecting a tonne of racism, I found some, but nowhere near as much as I expected. It's also really shifted my perceptions on how "ethnic" sword and sorcery should be, and I mean this in a good way. Rob
  18. UltraRob

    9/11 in 2658

    So, as I read through Wenchell Cheung's Atomic Rockets Page something occurred to me, the future could be an extremely dangerous place. (Yes, I know, thanks for catching up...) I mean, all anyone needs to do is pack a stardrive on a asteroid and let rip, and there goes your planet. (To say nothing of portable massdrivers...) This is something that almost anyone could theoretically do, and the first time it happens if there's an associated greater galactic society they're probably going to have quite the freak-out. (Thus the 9-11 reference in the title.) You want to see a peaceful Federation turn militant (or many anti-militant) overnight, all you need to do is show how easy it is to take out a planet if that's your goal. (None of this conquest stuff!) When you realize that any old asteroid miner can kill off an entire world if he's feeling ornery it gives you a new perspective on things. Especially if there's not much you can do about it (this is highly based on a setting's stardrive of choice and it's associated limitations), you wonder how people would live with this threat. Would they be incredibly pro-active about eliminating threats? (Which has the hazzard of potentially just creating more threats!) Or, would civilizations be incredibly nice to each other, held in check by the MAD principal? Of course, it's not even MAD if most civilizations are single worlds because often your targets are all dead and any who remain have no idea who to retaliate against! Equally nasty is the pirate approach, especially if there are a lot of habitable worlds out there with limited population, wherein a pirate/warlord just needs to show up in orbit and inform the locals who's in charge now. Any resistance, they're dead, maybe not immediately, but before the pirates leave. After all, the pirates can just move on to the next "smarter" world. Wow, talk about being turned into a bunch of Japanese Rice Farmers, and even 7 Samuroids are going to be hard pressed to get them out of that one! Rob
  19. Re: Trebuchet Challenge Very cool...there goes a couple hours...thanks Bob! Rob
  20. Re: Fantasy Hero Martial Arts Campaigns Isn't that how it always goes. I've just had bad experiences with GURPS pressure points skill, and characters using "Mental Paralysis" built like this in HERO. Here comes my tough villian and...oh....look there he lies unable to move....oh well....that kinda killed the big fight didn't it? In noncombat situations, this kind've power is cool for PCs to have, and villians too, but when the combat starts it can quickly become a GM nightmare unless there's some way for an NPC to defend against it, which technically there isn't other than avoiding being hit. I also notice in the source materials only Masters will try to use this stuff in combat anyways, which can be explained by them slamming all their levels into DCV to counteract the 1/2 DCV for concentration so they can still stay hard to hit. A novice just ends up being a target due to their low levels. Rob
  21. Re: Fantasy Hero Martial Arts Campaigns Hey! I LIKE it! This one gets used a lot in the movies and stories, but I never did get around to designing a version of it for HERO. My only concern is that like the "Pressure Points" skill in GURPS (which does the same thing) it can accidently turn a game into PCs and NPCs dancing around trying to "pressure point" each other instead of using other moves because it can be a one-hit "kill". Why bother to use the sword when you can tap him for an instant takedown with no fuss or muss. I'd probably add 1/2 DCV concentration or maybe 0 DCV so that when used it's a gamble, or give it a really hard skill roll. (But even then, PCs will just bump it up if they can afford it...) Rob
  22. Re: Fantasy Hero Martial Arts Campaigns
  23. Re: Fantasy Hero Martial Arts Campaigns Black River Pole Fighting The rivers of the land are filled with families of boatmen who run the ferries and barges that help to drive the land’s economy. They are the “truckers†of this land, and often whole families will live on their transport barges which they will use to navigate the rivers and canals which have been carved throughout the land. In one case, a former soldier married into a clan of boatmen and when he discovered the problems the boatmen had with pirates, he began to teach them to defend themselves using the techniques he had learned as a royal guard. These techniques were refined over time to become what is now called the Black River Style (there are other styles of Boatmen Martial Arts as well, this is simply one of them) and is based on the idea of boatmen using their dexterity and boating poles to defend themselves when set upon on the river. Note: All moves of this style are intended for use with a thick bamboo pole, sometimes iron tipped. Core Moves: WF: Boating Pole Block (Martial Block) Basic Strike (Basic Strike) Shove (Shove) Sweep (Legsweep) Poke (Fast Strike) Master Moves: Disarm (Martial Disarm) Crane Stance Block (Defensive Block) Anchored Feet (Root) Advanced Moves: Vaulting Strike (Charge) Kneecapping (Takedown) Wandering Poet Style Stickfighting Wandering Poet Style was created by a traveling scholar to defend himself from bandits and other troublemakers who saw a wandering scholar as an easy mark. But, this poet had been raised in a monastery and he quickly decided to come up with a way to improvise using the bag of scrolls he carried to defend himself. The scrolls he carried were wooden dowels with paper wrapped around them, and if the dowels were made of hardwoods they provided a good means of defense and offense for the poor traveling poet. Eventually he taught this style of defense to many other scholars like himself, and it became part of the secret society to which he belonged. Note: All moves of this style are intended to be used with one or two tightly wrapped scrolls using hardwood dowels as their cores. Core Moves: WF: Wooden Dowels/Scrolls. Block (Martial Block) Counterattack (Counterstrike) Strike (Martial Strike) Disarm (Martial Disarm) Master Moves: Rapid Attack (Fast Strike) Shattering Hit (Joint Break) Kneecapping (Takedown) Low Blow (Nerve Strike) Advanced Moves: Double Head Hit (Offensive Strike) Lover’s Leap (Flying Dodge)
  24. Re: Fantasy Hero Martial Arts Campaigns Here's 3 to start... Martial Arts Styles/Schools Note: Unless otherwise noted, these are all substyles of Gong Fu (Kung Fu) and as such are intended for a Chinese-based setting or one which includes a broad-based martial art style similar to Gong Fu. As substyles, they are all structured based on the following concepts: • Each style as 4-6 core moves, 2-4 master moves, and 1-3 advanced moves. • In order to learn the intermediate moves, a character must first master the core moves, then master the intermediate moves in order to gain access to the advanced moves. Styles: 4 Sisters Style (Slaver Style) Developed by the 4 Sisters slave trading group of the Twin Lions Valley, this style was developed for controlling and handling slaves. Its primary focus is to disable the target and bind them while avoiding the target’s wild thrashing attacks. The Twin Lions Valley is an Amazonian society where woman are dominant and men are second class citizens, the 4 Sisters are the most ruthless of the valley’s slave trading groups who often hunt outside of the valley for better slaves from the local regions’ villages. Core Moves: Block (Defensive Block) Dodge (Martial Dodge) Throw (Defensive Throw) Disarm (Takeaway) Pin (Martial Grab) Master Moves: Incapacitate (Choke Hold) Disarming Throw (Disarming Throw) Bind (Grappling Block) Advanced Moves: Pressure Point Strike (Nerve Strike) Weapon Bind (Weapon Bind) Ring Dancer Style Ring Dancer Style was developed by a family of traveling entertainers who specialized in using metal loops for their tricks. It was eventually refined into a combat form in order to deal with bandits who would ambush the family from time to time, and taught to other similar entertainers in the villages where the families would winter together. The style is mostly based around using the rings to block and bind attacks while the practitioner uses his or her legs to attack. This defensive style is intended to be used with thin metal loops which are normally simple metal rings about 50cm in diameter, however there are some who will sharpen portions of certain rings to use in certain kinds of lethal or dismembering attacks. At the advanced level, the practitioner is skilled at using the rings to make targets trip, or knock weapons out of their hands. Core Moves: WF: Metal Rings Block (Defensive Block) Disarm (Martial Disarm) Weapon Lock (Weapon Bind) Weapon Takeaway (Takeaway) Snap Kick (Martial Strike) Sweep Kick (Legsweep) Master Moves: Ring Twist (Joint Break) Arm Pin (Grappling Block) Ring Hook (Grappling Throw) Advanced Moves: Leg Loop (Trip, Ranged) Wrist Blow (Ranged Disarm) Stunning Loop (Defensive Shot, Ranged) Final Style (Ultimate Style or Empty Hand Style) Final Style is the result of two of the land’s greatest martial artists marrying, then retreating to a secluded place where the two obsessively spent their lives practicing and refining their martial techniques to create a “perfect†style. Their creation was a fluid technique which involved making the user a master of balanced Qi who could simply do and react without thought. It can only be taught to certain people, and they must be taught almost from the time they can walk, so this “style†is extremely rare. Also, because it is so sought after, a master of Final Style will rarely reveal their true style to others because if they were to do so, they would quickly find themselves hunted by those who wish to learn from them or see final style in action. (Challenge them to endless duels.) Masters of Final Style will generally mimic other conventional moves, but a highly skilled observer (makes Analyze Style roll by better than half) will notice that there is something downright odd about the way they fight. Core Moves: 4 5pt HTH Combat Levels 4 Damage Classes Master Moves: 6-10 5pt HTH Combat Levels 6-8 Damage Classes Advanced Moves: One with the Tao (Suppress versus Martial Arts Maneuvers, target’s moves are all rendered useless) Combat Awareness (Desolidification, ½ END, Not through Solids, Requires a DEX Roll)
  25. Re: Fantasy Hero Martial Arts Campaigns
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