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Lord Liaden

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Everything posted by Lord Liaden

  1. Re: Re: Millenium City You might want to seek professional help for that. BTW Congrats, Keith. You must be among the first to be so blessed. Looking forward to your review.
  2. If you can find a copy of Foxbat Unhinged from Atlas Games, that has a writeup for the Centipedemobile, as well as Foxbat's aircraft, the FoxBAT. Sadly, I'm prevented from reproducing them here due to copyright considerations (and just a little 'cause I'm a dreadful tease). BTW, if you are really into Foxbat, you might consider therapy... er, I mean, you might want to check out the 4th Ed. Champs supplement Enemies Assemble, which includes a whole posse of agents and allies at the service of the inimitable (like anyone would want to) Foxbat.
  3. I don't know if I'd go so far as to say "horribly designed", but yes, there were errors and misrepresentations common to Hero Games' products at the time. I definitely agree, though, that the characters are better as concepts than as models of design. In my own campaign I modified their abilities a fair amount to give them "plague powers", "war powers" etc. that reflected a tighter concept and sfx.
  4. Looking at the power of some of the new published villains, I'd say that the Horsemen's power level could be raised for any revision to 5E. This remembering that the Horsemen were intended to be a significant danger to experienced heroes, and that they tend to fight as individuals with poor teamwork.
  5. Closest thing I know is the computerized Random Character Generator for Champions and Fantasy HERO characters designed by our fellow member nyakki. It lets you produce characters suitable for both genres with abilities either randomly generated, or with several parameters tailored to your preferences. Not sure if it's what you're looking for, but at least it may provide you some good templates. And it's fun to play with. It is still under 4th Ed. HERO System, though, but it would be easy to adjust for the most part. Nyakki is working on updating to 5th, by his own word. You can access the generator here: http://www.trimira.com/hero_stuff/hero_stuff.html
  6. Steve, considering how important a genre book FH is going to be, and the promotional value of having it debut at GenCon, perhaps you should consider delaying the editing and release of one of those books if it's needed to let you finish FH in time. I understand that you don't want to interrupt the publishing schedule, but all things considered I'd bet that the majority of fans would understand the long-term benefits. Of course, you know your situation best.
  7. Personally, I quite enjoyed it. The central characters are colorful and dangerous, and make good recurring villains for your PCs either singly and as a group. The adventure is a little disjointed IMO, but builds well to an intriguing climax. What I liked most about it, though, is all the stuff that is left for a GM to play with when the adventure is ended: not just supervillain NPCs, but Lovecraftian horrors, plot device artifacts, and several sources of character origins and "radiation accidents". I derived quite a few game sessions out of those leftovers. Word of warning, though: this adventure is for pre-4th Ed. Champions, so quite a few of the characters' Powers and Skills will be built, cost, and function somewhat differently from those using the later rulesets. Converting is not too difficult if you're comfortable with 4E or 5E, but it will require some work.
  8. In order to have any Power be Always On, you first have to buy it to 0 END and Persistent; that allows it to function at all times whether you're conscious or not. Making the Power Always On means you are unable to turn it off voluntarily at any time. To have a Power that's Always On when the character is awake but not when unconscious or asleep, I'd assess that as reducing the Always On Lim to -1/4, since you've defined circumstances under which the Lim would not apply. If you want the Power to remain in whatever state it was in when the character was Stunned or Knocked Out, just buy it to Persistent without Always On - that's the very definition of Persistent.
  9. I'm afraid you do have that right - one of the quirks of the system. But if, as you say, your concern is primarily for heroic-level games, it doesn't have to be that big a deal. Most characters opposing each other in those games will have Speeds within a couple of points of each other, and SPD over 5 will be rare, so you won't get the extreme difference in damaging ability in these games that you cite in your example. In the case of a flamethrower, you can rationalize the difference as representing the quickness of an attacker in reacting to follow a moving target with the fire stream. Obviously, that won't work for a Constant attack by grenade; if that bothers you, I'd suggest giving all of those "throw and forget" weapons a default SPD to attack on, probably SPD 2 like baseline characters. Since a grenade should keep working even if the character who launched it is Stunned or Knocked Out, it's easier to justify it using its own SPD separate from the character's. In the end, though, it's like the arguments over segmented vs continuous movement: just one of those mechanical elements of the system design that you have to either rationalize, alter to suit your preference, or blithely ignore.
  10. Re: Ahh the same problem I have always had. I think this is a good idea. Advanced personal weapons could be strictly controlled by the authorities and limited to their operatives, with possession being a serious offense. Advances in detection equipment could make guns hard to conceal or take into sensitive areas; what weapons could be concealed would likely be small, with limited power and/or ammo - and there's your "limited use" justification right there. After a long enough period of such controls, reduced reliance on guns could become an element of the culture, even the criminal subculture. I remember in the film "The Krays", depicting the London underworld in the 1960's, gangsters were shown settling fights with very long knives (Britain had little tradition of personal gun ownership).
  11. How about buying the Flight Power as Usable on Others, and define the one "other" as being the A.I.?
  12. Quite right, but who's to say that either of those can't be the trigger to awaken human potential in all areas? Why can't an energy field alter physical laws within it? Why can't mutations allow people to channel ambient magical energy? Depending on how broad the parameters are that you're comfortable with, almost any kind of trigger will do.
  13. This is why I make a distinction between the "x-effect" that is the source of superpowers, and the "x-effect" that reduces the restraints on "a- through z-effects" that are the source of superpowers. Look at it this way: Archimedes, Da Vinci, Newton, Hawking possessed something (call it "genius" for want of a better term) which set them apart from most men, enabling them to see farther into the nature of the universe than the vast majority of their peers. There have been such men throughout history, but they're rare. No-one can explain what leads to one person having such insight. Perhaps the x-factor is something that opens their minds to their potential, or perhaps it modifies the laws of physics enough so that "comic-book" physics is possible; in that environment, people who think via a logic or creative intuition not shared by the rest of us may suit this altered physics, and so be able to create extraordinary breakthroughs - perhaps impossible to understand for people who don't think the same way. The same factor may work for people with the talent and insight to work magic: the increase in the x-factor broadens their understanding of the dynamics of magic, or gives them more magic to work with, or both. It's not magic or technology that's behind the change, it's an increase in potential. This works for me, but of course may not work for everyone; we may just think differently.
  14. Both the official Champions Universe and the world of San Angelo use "triggering events": occurrences which bring about the rise of superhumans just before WW II, or about the start of the Golden Age of comics in the real world. In the CU it's an attempt to cast a massive magic spell which goes awry and floods the world with magic energy, while in SA an early nuclear research experiment unleashes a probability-altering phenomenon called the Flux which has long-term influence on the Earth. The thing is, the superhumans resulting from these events do not derive their powers solely from magic or quantum manipulation. Those events merely increase the probability of extraordinary events: accidents that imbue people with powers, humans born with radical mutations, discoveries of breakthrough technology, people with peak human-level physical or mental abilities, efficacy of magic spells, etc. All these things can happen in greater numbers and to a greater degree than they would have before the triggering event, but the SFX of their powers and abilities are as diverse as in the comics, because the event merely allows that to take place. And, of course, once all this stuff starts happening on Earth, aliens and extradimensional entities are bound to take an increased interest in our little mudball. Maybe that spaceship crash at Roswell NM was someone coming to see what all the fuss was about. Both of these events also allow for eras in the past when these phenomena occurred as well: when mythic gods walked the Earth, lost civilizations developed incredible technology, or sorcerors cast world-shaking spells. In CU it's tied to periodic waxing and waning of the amount of ambient magic energy, while in SA the freedom of quantum phenomena to exert influence throughout time and space could allow the Flux to have manifest at a period in history before it was even generated. IMO this approach really does give you the best of both worlds.
  15. It's really hard to justify a "shoot for a while, then fight hand-to-hand" policy. Even if you have a code of honor, it wouldn't explain why it's okay to blast away at someone one minute, then stop to start punching and kicking him the next. Makes little tactical sense. Now, if you're talking either/or, where sometimes it's appropriate to use firearms and sometimes hand-to-hand makes more sense, sci-fi campaigns involving space travel would make a rise in the practice of martial arts easy to justify: imagine a firefight aboard a spaceship, with drive units, reactors, and bulkheads separating you from hard vacuum.
  16. I admit to being a little confused about this. Maybe I'm interpreting the Skill vs Skill rules incorrectly, but as I read them (both in FREd p. 27 and BBB p. 17) one person gets to roll first to succeed, then a subsequent opposing person makes an appropriate roll to try to overcome the effects of the first roll. Every 1 that the first person makes his roll by counts as a penalty to the second person's opposing roll, but that second person is still left with one number to match or exceed in order to win. In other words: "Do, or do not; there is no tie." Have I been doing this wrong all these years?
  17. Ah, but you wanted to be really bad at it, so you should start out being at least moderately bad. In other words, I agree with Agent Escafarc: don't allow this for anything higher than an 8- Familiarity. Personally, I'm not sure I would let this pass for anything that the character had to pay points for, but I think I would allow it to apply to the Everyman Skills which every character starts with for free (FREd p. 29), as long as it wasn't bought up higher than 8-. OTOH, I think that this would be perfectly applicable to reducing a character's CV with particular combat maneuvers by discreet amounts, as in your initial example of a character who is worse with Grabs than other maneuvers.
  18. I've sometimes seen published characters buy back inches of Running, either listing it as a negative amount on the Powers side of the character sheet, or else on the Disadvantage side. I'd suggest doing the same with the number of Skill Levels necessary to "lower" the roll by the number you want.
  19. As I think as my initial suggestions show, I have no problem with the concept of categorizing defenses, or other powers and abilities, either by game mechanic or SFX. There are times when doing it one way is cleaner than the other. Take a Suppress vs Flight, for example. You could have Flight based on, say, wings, jets or mental levitation. A Suppress vs Flight defined as a net likely wouldn't work on the latter two - in that case I'd prefer to assess a Limitation on the Flight Suppress, rather than dealing with individual SFX on a case-by-case basis. OTOH, if the Suppress was defined as a gravity intensifier, the SFX of Flight really wouldn't make much difference. What I was actually looking for, though, was some sense of an appropriate cutoff on how "limited" a defense against an AVLD attack should be to keep it within the +3/4 ballpark. In the case of Armor, I was using that as a subset of Resistant Defenses and comparing it to the frequency of all types of defense that the specified attack would normally apply to. In my example of a Fantasy campaign, more than half the encounters would be with opponents with Resistant Defs., and one of the campaign parameters was that most of that would be defined as Armor.
  20. MfH, your concept of a SIM is interesting and makes good sense as an attempt to quantify social interaction; but it seems to me that the modifications depending on emotional closeness between individuals would make it hard to keep track of. It would probably work best if you kept it to strictly to interactions with the general public, as a function of the character's reputation. You would need a means of quantifying how certain actions by the character could improve, or tarnish, his reputation over time, thus changing his SIM. Perhaps a method similar to Shelley Mactyre's brownie point system from the PRIMUS sourcebook. For my part, I've long used Comeliness Rolls as Complementary to various Interaction (PRE-based) Skills depending on circumstances. That can provide incentive to pick up a few extra points of COM. Another tack: back when Chris Cloutier wrote his first edition of Golden Age of Champions (in the mid-80's), he suggested that COM scores over 10 could add 1D6 to Presence Attacks for every 10 pts. of COM. That seemed a bit of a stretch to me - it's hard to imagine someone being more intimidating to an opponent because he's handsome. However, when the effects of negative Characteristics first became defined, and it was suggested that negative COM could add 1D6 per -10 COM to PRE attacks based on fear, I thought: why couldn't positive COM add by the same amount to PRE "attacks" not based on fear? By that I mean attempts to attract attention, to please or to persuade.
  21. The "Ultraverse" comics line (can't remember the publishing company, but Prime was their flagship character) used the term Ultra. Of course, the official Champions Universe cites a popular slang term for superbeings, at least the more colorful ones: "capes".
  22. The published characters that I've seen set the Limitation at -1 for defenses that only protect a character from damage resulting from his own Move By and/or Move Through. Even if these are the character's primary modes of attack, the defense is still deprived of its main function: protecting the character from attacks from others. So I would concur with -1.
  23. Hello, Steve. I hope life is treating you well on balance. The description of the AVLD Advantage says that it can be bought as +3/4 rather than +1 1/2 if the defense it applies to is "simply a limited form of the Power's standard defense." (5E p. 161) I'm trying to establish some benchmarks for what that "limited form" could be, and could use some informed opinions to help me decide. Some examples I had in mind include: 1) Killing Attack vs. Armor (not other resistant defenses); 2) Killing Attack vs. Hardened defenses; 3) Normal Damage attack vs. "innate" defenses (not through Foci, magic spells or technological implants). I understand that campaign conditions would affect how advantageous the Advantage would be, so here are a few sample parameters: A) Standard heroic level fantasy campaign. About half the opponents the PCs would encounter would have defenses enhanced through Foci or spells. The majority of opponents would have some resistant defense, and most of that would be Armor, but it would rarely be Hardened; Standard heroic level futuristic campaign. Most of the opponents the PCs would face would have defenses enhanced through technology. Most of those opponents would have res. defenses, about evenly divided between Armor and Force Field. About half of them would have Hardened defenses; C) Standard superheroic level modern campaign. About half of the super-level opponents the PCs would face would have defenses enhanced through Foci, technology or spells. The majority of their opponents would have resistant defenses divided about evenly between Armor, Force Field and Damage Resistance, and half of those with res. def. would have it Hardened. Almost all "super-agent" level opponents would have some resistant defense, mostly Armor, almost never innate and rarely Hardened. I would welcome your input, but would understand if you prefer to move it to another board.
  24. Time for something fiendish and grotesque: The events of CKC happened as described, but with additional details that weren't readily apparent. Prof. Muerte was poisoned by Scorpia, but his armor had automatic life-support circuitry that sustained his life and started to reverse the damage. Then Feurmacher slagged (most of) his armor, melting it into and around Muerte's body. But the life-support and self-repair systems continued to function, gradually healing Muerte's body of his most critical injuries while he lay beneath the sea; but they were forced to rebuild his body around the twisted portions of his armor. When Muerte awoke, he found that his flesh was now permanently fused with his partly melted, grotesquely warped armor. Maddened more than ever by his pain and his even more freakish appearance, Prof. Muerte stalks his former followers with plans for an equally hideous revenge.
  25. I've seen this interpretation of Continuous before. Remember that besides Damage Shields, you can also apply Continuous to Adjustment Powers, which normally have no ranged capability. By the current rules (and you can check the FAQ for this) Constant No-Range attacks cease affecting the target after they lose contact with it. That is in a way less effective than Constant Ranged attacks, but does the difference lie with the way Continuous has been applied, or with the advantage Ranged attacks have over HTH attacks? Ranged is supposed to have an edge; that's why it's an Advantage. When you think about it, though, while a Constant HTH attack can be stopped by getting out of the Power's range, which doesn't usually apply to Ranged combat, Constant Ranged attacks can be stopped by cutting off Line of Sight, which doesn't usually apply to HTH combat. You've exchanged one cutoff condition for another.
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