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Steve

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  1. Like
    Steve reacted to DShomshak in More Modern Regions in Faerie?   
    Not impossible! In mythology, there are countries in the sky. One source I read on Chinese myth placed Tian (Heaven, realm of the gods) in the Pole Star and Big Dipper, with the alternate name of the Forbidden Purple Enclosure. The Sun can also be a whole world of radiance with lakes of fire and trees of jewels. I seem to recall some Native American myths of sky countries as well, though this is beyond my expertise.
     
    Tropes that seem new, or even futuristic, can have very old roots that help them grow in the Land of Legends. Especially when people think they are real. Like, I wouldn't expect Star Trek's planet Vulcan to manifest in the Land of Legends: even for most Trekkies, I think, there's still a whisper of "This isn't real, no matter how much we love it." (Or maybe that's wishful thinking on my part.) But people have noticed how tales of alien abduction emulate ancient tales of being taken by the fairies. It seems very plausible to me that the Greys flit about the skies of Faerie, and sometimes slip across to Earth. (If they are not some form of astral marauder, as I suggested in The Ultimate Mystic p. 178.)
     
    But in the future, there might be legends about treasure-mines in lost asteroids, or space stations where things have gone Very Wrong. And Faierie will make them real.
     
    Dean Shomshak
  2. Thanks
    Steve reacted to Lord Liaden in More Modern Regions in Faerie?   
    On the subject of Faerie during WW II, there were other regions and peoples defined for that dimension in additional Champions 5E/6E books. One was first raised in Champions Of The North, with further elaboration in Golden Age Champions.
     
    In the Northern Lights, the spirit realm of Inuit myth, there's a region called the Land of Ice or the Ice Realm, whose Ice People were ruled by the immortal King Vultok, a devotee of the great spirit of the North known as the Ice. During WW II Vultok allied with the Axis and became the greatest threat to Canada, operating out of a palace under an impenetrable dome of ice in northern Manitoba. In 1948 Vultok's minions stole a prototype atom bomb, intending to deliver it at the first United Nations meeting in San Francisco. Several Canadian heroes tracked the bomb back to Vultok's palace and confronted him, during which the bomb was accidentally triggered. The blast killed Vultok and destroyed his palace and dome, and apparently the blast carried to the Land of Ice and wiped out all the Ice People. UNTIL still maintains a watch over the radioactive remains of Vultok's Earthly base. (GAC also mentions that Vultok returned from the dead in 2008 and allied with the demon Tillingkoot, but nothing about his later activities).
     
    The other new region appears so far only in GAC. The land of Bohica is inhabited by the Gremlins, a diminutive but hardy race who, unlike most inhabitants of Faerie, are fascinated by mechanical devices, and adept with them beyond most human engineers. Since the Industrial Revolution the Gremlins have covertly visited Earth to study human mechanisms, and sometimes reward inventors of particularly clever devices, or sabotage shoddy workmanship. But pre-1940, Nazi occultists discovered and invaded Bohica and enslaved the Gremlins, forcing them to build weapons and equipment for the Third Reich. Many of Germany's cutting-edge devices only functioned with assistance from the Gremlins. The crown prince of the Gremlins, Fubar  () , was freed by Allied superheroes and joined the war effort until 1944 when they liberated Bohica. At last word Fubar succeeded to the throne of Bohica and still rules it, occasionally interacting with Earthly heroes.
  3. Like
    Steve reacted to Lord Liaden in Can superheroes be proactive?   
    The 4E Champions adventure, Atlas Unleashed, introduced a very proactive "super agency," Prometheus, a fully private international humanitarian aid agency described as a kind of "armed Peace Corps." Agents of Prometheus would travel anywhere in the world suffering war or natural disaster to deliver food and water, medical supplies, emergency shelters, clothing, whatever was needed, whether or not they were invited or welcome. If the local dictators, warlords, or rebels tried to stop them, they were armed with advanced non-lethal weapons and would fight their way to the people in need.
     
    Although most members of Prometheus were sincere, dedicated humanitarians, the group was secretly the mask and source of funding for a utopian terrorist organization, Atlas, dedicated to establishing a new world order of peace and equality -- under their leadership, of course. The leaders of Prometheus/Atlas had discovered a method of creating superhumans to augment their ranks.
     
    For my part, I found the concept of Prometheus much more interesting than Atlas, so for my own game I excised the latter to make the organization unequivocally benevolent. "Atlas" became the code name for the "superhero" component of Prometheus, as I changed the backgrounds and motivations of the Atlas villains to make them more heroic.
     
    The revised Prometheus made a couple of appearances in my games, but I never got around to utilizing any of the more involved plots I had in mind for them, particularly the international community's response to them.
  4. Like
    Steve reacted to DShomshak in Can superheroes be proactive?   
    Way back when, I wrote up a super-team called the Amnesty Alliance. Not officially associated with Amnesty International. They specialized in rescuing political prisoners, people kidnapped by bandits, terrorists and other assorted unpleasant people, and the like. Controversial because on the one hand, everyone knew the people they fought was genuinely bad and lawless. OTOH no governments wanted private citizens taking quite such a direct role in such delicate diplomatic issues. Especially when dictators with oil or strategic minerals got punched in the face in the course of a rescue. Not that they ever set out to overthrow governments, but... they were very careful vigilantes, but still vigilantes in that they went outside the law to get results.
     
    Unfortunately, I never found the opportunity to use them in an adventure. Maybe someday.
     
    Dean Shomshak
  5. Like
    Steve reacted to Armitage in Can superheroes be proactive?   
    Dragon Magazine #207 (July 1994) had an article entitled "Great Responsibilities", about superheroes taking an active role in their communities instead of waiting for things to happen.
    Part of the article dealt with Pandora's Box, a nonprofit national hero team franchise that trains novice heroes on the condition that they volunteer in places like homeless shelters and hospitals during their training.  Pandora's Box teams are funded by businesses in the communities where the teams operate and any profits generated by the teams go into a fund to benefit the communities.  Only one large business can fund a team, but any number of smaller community businesses.
    A lot of the article involves superheroes volunteering for real world groups and how it could be worked into a campaign.  Public appearances for the American Cancer Society.  Volunteering at a halfway house or teaching classes in prison.  Power-based construction and renovation with Habitat for Humanity.  Powered collection and transportation of supplies for the Red Cross or UNICEF.
  6. Like
    Steve reacted to Ninja-Bear in Does it cost endurance to wear a shield?   
    @Christopher R Taylor have heard of the shields shall be splintered rule? It’s for D&D (not exactly if it’s official or a popular house rule). With it the character can sacrifice his shield (hence splintered) to avoid taking any damage from that hit. I think it could work in a Fantasy game no problem. I would even allow it as a defensive action. So that Troll rolls 18 Body? I’ll trade my shield for not taking that! Realistically? Meh. Cinematically? Yes I see it working. 
  7. Like
    Steve got a reaction from SteveZilla in Is Texas facing a humanitarian crisis?   
    It turns out the two top office holders of the 15-member board of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), live out-of-state. Three other ERCOT board members also appear to live thousands of miles from Texas.
     
    The board members also nominate each other to the board. Pretty sweet deal, huh?
     
    Texas is now looking at legislation to prohibit membership to those who don't live in the state.
     
    If you want to blame someone for this mess, I think you should start with them.
  8. Thanks
    Steve reacted to Lord Liaden in CU: Cursed Books To Avoid?   
    Another grimoire in that category is the Book of Z'orr Z'ann, scribed by a powerful wizard of ancient Atlantis. Apparently intelligent to some extent and telepathic, the book "chose" Catherine Hayes, wife of the first Meteor Man, to learn its secret spells and become a champion of Order. Catherine took the identity of Lady Mystery, a member of the world's first superhero team, the Defenders of Justice. (See Golden Age Champions.)  After retirement she passed the book on to a young heroine called Hex, but it's said to have later been destroyed. But as with Dean's example, in comics a plot device being destroyed is as guaranteed as a character being dead.
     
    I should also mention that the Irish super mage Dweomer tricked the arch-devil Mephistopheles into giving him a powerful book of magic, The Illumination of Kalchizadek. That datum is recorded in Champions Universe: News Of The World p. 154, but with no further details and no description of the book itself. One gets the impression that it isn't evil, though.
     
     
    TBH that was the first book that came to my mind when I saw the thread title.
  9. Thanks
    Steve reacted to DShomshak in CU: Cursed Books To Avoid?   
    In that case, the Krypticon (Mystic World, p. 57, 88-9) is the CU's equivalent of the Book of the Vishanti. Held for millennia by Earth's Archmage, presumed destroyed with the last Archmage, but you never know. Would I have statted it if it was meant to be lost forever?
     
    Here are some unofficial books of magic and lore I posited for my playtest campaigns, so some references are campaign-specific and not CU-compliant. I don't think any of them turned up in play, though. I can spin out this stuff by the yard.
     
    SEPHER GILGALIM
        The "Book of Whirling Motion" teaches thaumaturgy from a foundation of Hebrew Kabbalism. Mages have kept it secret for centuries. Understanding the Sepher Gilgalim requires an expert knowledge of kabbalism. The book is specially meant to carry on from the Sepher Yetzirah or "Book of Formation," which tells how cosmic forces link the realm of archetypes to the worlds of physical manifestation, but a student also ought to read other kabbalistic texts such as the Sepher Raziel, Sepher Sephiroth and of course the great Zohar. Sepher Gilgalim tells how to put this theory into practice.
     
    LIBER ASCLETARIONIS
        The "Book of Ascletarion" is the grimoire of a Roman mage. It has become one of the most popular handbooks for thaumaturgy in the western world, thanks to the copious annotations added by later mages. Ascletarion was an early Neo-Platonist and describes his magic in those terms. The later commentators added comparisons to Hermetic and kabbalist magic theory.

        Ascletarion's grimoire is a good source of information about magical doings in 1st century Rome, because the magus also tossed in anecdotes about supernatural people and events around him. Ascletarion was also a prophet: He correctly predicted that the emperor Domitian would be eaten by dogs after his death. Liber Ascletarionis incidentally includes twenty prophecies about the future, all of which have been fulfilled. The last one to be fulfilled concerned the establishment of a lineage of Guardians of Light to oppose a lineage of Sons of Darkness.
     
    PATTERNS OF GEOMETRICAL SYMBOLISM
        This eight-volume monograph by folklorist I. O. Morlinger (Oxford University Press, 1922) is one of the last examples of a particular academic genre: the exhaustive, cross-cultural study that attempts to Explain It All. Modern anthropologists and ethnologists reject this universalist approach, and charge that the 19th and early 20th century savants who used it relied on their imaginations more than on hard data. Nevertheless, Morlinger's book is the most definitive study of its kind.

        Morlinger studied the meanings that different cultures ascribe to shapes and patterns such as circles, triangles, stars, crossed lines, and so on. He drew his examples from dozens of archaic and modern cultures, including their occult traditions. Morlinger claimed to find universal patterns of such symbolism. Some he decided were the result of common experiences: For instance, the horizon is circular, so every culture uses the circle as a symbol of totality and completion. He thought that other patterns of symbolism, however, indicated a "primitive and intuitive awareness of forces and motions in the æther," with some rather strained comparisons to physics.

        A thaumaturge realize that Morlinger almost figured out some of the basic principles of thaumaturgy. His book is useful for magicians who investigate the fundamentals of their craft.
     
    DU PLESSIS CANON
        The premier thaumaturgical textbook of Tetragrammaton was written in 1638 under the patronage of Cardinal Armand du Plessis, Duc de Richelieu. The famous Cardinal Richelieu was not himself a sorcerer but his librarian Jacques Gafferel was. Even master thaumaturges find political connections and royal funding useful: Tetragrammaton and Richelieu allied to curb the Spanish and Austrian Hapsburgs and the Hermetic ritual magicians they supported. When Gafferel and other Tetragrammaton members wrote a new textbook of thaumaturgy and mystical cosmology, they dedicated it to their patron.

        The Du Plessis Canon consists of six thick volumes, organized according to Zoa cosmology and the six days of creation. The first volume, associated with the 1st day's creation of light, deals with magic that does not call upon extradimensional beings. The succeeding four volumes introduce the Four Zoas and magic that calls upon dimension lords aligned to each Zoa. Volume Two associates Urthona (Art) with the 2nd day (separation of waters). Volume Three associates Tharmas (Nature) with the creation of dry land and plants. Volume Four (creation of sun, moon and stars) is linked to Urizen (Order). Volume Five (birds and fish) is linked to Luvah (Chaos). Volume Six (beasts and man) discusses various unaligned dimension lords and magic that calls upon them. Much of the symbolism in the Canon is Christian Kabbalist; for instance, the Four Zoas are described as the four Holy Living Creatures from Ezekiel's vision, while dimension lords are called Sons of God.

        Authentic copies of the Du Plessis Canon are written in Latin. They bear the Richelieu arms on the cover, and are enchanted so that they reveal their true contents only to someone who touches the heraldic device and says the four Guiding Words of the Magus: Scire (To Know), Velle (To Will), Audere (To Dare), Tacere (To Keep Silent). Otherwise, each volume appears to be a copy of Richelieu's autobiography.
     
    SELEUCID SCROLLS
        During the Hellenistic period, the School of Antioch was the largest alliance of thaumaturges in the Western world (just as the School of Alexandria was the largest alliance of proto-Hermetic ritual magicians). The School of Antioch preserved thaumaturgical texts dating back all the way to Shamballah and Agharti, including texts from empires erased from history. The thaumaturges also wrote extensive commentaries on the elder texts, and accounts of all sorts of supernatural events in the eastern Mediterranean. Some of these books are noteworthy enough to receive titles of their own.

        Later magicians call the books collected and written by the School of Antioch the Seleucid Scrolls because the School flourished most during the 4th-3rd centuries B.C. when Antioch was the largest city of the Seleucid Empire. Tetragrammaton estimates that it owns about 1/3 of the Seleucid texts. The others are lost and most probably destroyed. Tetragrammaton goes to considerable lengths to recover lost Seleucid Scrolls, if any should turn up.
     
    BLOOD ANNALS
        This ancient book is a first-hand account of vampiric activity in the eastern Mediterranean region. The author, a vampire called Enceladus, dwelled in Antioch during the 3rd century B.C. In his diary, Enceladus records the activities of himself and other vampires. Since Antioch was one of the largest and most important cities of the Hellenistic world, nearly every Western vampire passed through the city at least one in that century. They gave Enceladus reports of their activities from Persia to Spain. Even better for later scholars, Enceladus compared accounts and pointed out where they contradicted each other or information he gained from mortal travelers.

        In passing, Enceladus gave much information about the origin and history of vampires, their relationship to the Dragon, and all manner of other supernatural events in the Hellenistic world -- including the School of Antioch, which was a continual threat to the city's vampires. According to the Blood Annals, the 3rd century B.C. saw a struggle between vampires who remained loyal to the Dragon and undead who sought power for themselves alone; Enceladus himself was an independent vampire of little ambition, who preferred to keep a low profile.

        According to the introduction to the Blood Annals, the School of Antioch eventually destroyed Enceladus and added his diaries to the Seleucid Scrolls. The Blood Annals remain the single best source of information about vampires in the Classical world.
     
    TESTAMENT OF IALDABAOTH
        Occult scholars believe that the mage Menander, a pupil of Simon Magus, wrote this anonymous Gnostic gospel and grimoire. The Testament calls the Four Zoas and other cosmic conceptual entities the Pleroma -- the sum of the truly transcendent powers -- and refers to the gods of Greater Earth as the Aeons. The Testament describes the Aeons as "reflections" of the Pleroma within the "mirror" of human thought and the Astral Plane. Yahweh is another name for Ialdabaoth, the most powerful of the Aeons. Although Ialdabaoth and the Aeons try to limit humanity and bind souls to themselves, powers from the Pleroma sometimes possess Aeons to reveal higher truths to saints and prophets. The Testament presents itself as one such revelation, granted by the Christ through the medium of Ialdabaoth.

        Both thaumaturges and ritual magicians find the Testament useful -- if they can make sense of its opaque writing, which combines allusions to Jewish, Christian, Greco-Roman and Egyptian myths and gospels with the obscure jargon of Gnosticism itself. The Testament tells how magical power flows from the Upper Planes through the Outer planes to the Inner Planes and ultimately to Earth. It also describes the state of the spirit world in the Classical era. Many grimoires tell how to call upon spirits, but the Testament is almost unique among Classical texts in explaining precisely how ritual shapes the Astral Plane and compels spirits to serve.
     
    AVERNUS CHRONICLES
        This book tells about demonic and Satanic activity in 17th century Italy. The author was a Florentine apothecary whose brother channeled Zontar Bok in a partnership that lasted almost 30 years. The Avernus Chronicles tell about the rise of the Sylvestri clan. They also give an account of Caibarien of Agharti, who possessed a Florentine woman and deceived Zontar Bok into becoming her lover for a short time.
     
    PROPHECIES OF HYDATIUS
        In the late 10th and early 11th centuries, the Byzantine monk Hydatius wrote this book of prophecies about events a millennium in the future. Hydatius describes airplanes, automobiles, genocides, skyscrapers and superbeings, though he focuses on supernatural events such as the greater plots of the Devil's Advocates. He included a prophecy about the end of the Guardians of Light lineage and the concomittant Second Coming of Christ -- or the birth of the Antichrist, he's not sure which. Hydatius did not understand much of what he saw, and so his poetic imagery is hard to interpret.

        Hydatius was burned as a heretic. His manuscript has remained little-known since then, chiefly because sorcerers who knew of it also knew that it would not become relevant for centuries to come.
     
    RECORD OF THE BIAFRAN WORKINGS
        From 1969-70, Archimago dwelled in Nigeria, where the Biafran Civil War caused massive death from war and starvation. Archimagi used the concentrated misery to power many potent rituals, including rituals of prophecy. He wrote accounts of 12 times in the next 100 years when the world could end. Naturally, he wrote his prophecies in deliberately obscure fashion, using a code of symbolism keyed to Satanic, Edomite and Qliphothic cults and magic. Archimago meant the Biafran Workings to be an instruction book, not a warning. In the ensuing decades, however, copies of the Biafran Workings fell into the hands of sorcerers who did not want an apocalypse. As usual with these things, the prophecies only make sense once it is almost too late.
     
    Dean Shomshak
  10. Thanks
    Steve reacted to DShomshak in CU: Cursed Books To Avoid?   
    Ultimate Mystic p. 173 describes the Raudhskinni and Graskinni, or "Red Skin" and "Gray Skin," legendary books of black magic from Iceland's folklore. They aren't formally part of the CU, but as folklore they can be grandfathered in. Instead of posting the relevant text, I suggest supporting HERO Games by buying the actual book.
     
    Dean Shomshak
  11. Thanks
    Steve reacted to Lord Liaden in CU: Cursed Books To Avoid?   
    Okay, Steve, let's see if we can find you some more dark light reading. 😈
     
    The Mystic World pp. 90-91 sidebar names and briefly describes several artifacts from myth and legend, of such power that good-aligned mystics will use them only in extreme need. Power-hungry evil mages are more likely to seek them. Two of them can be counted as "books" (or at least written upon).
     
    The Book of Thoth: Egyptian tales tell of a grimoire written by Thoth, god of magic. The spells in this scroll make its owner the master of all the powers of nature, gods, and the dead; he incidentally understands the speech of birds and beasts. A terrible curse protects the Book from mortal hands, though. The last person to seize the Book, the priest Na-nefer-ka-ptah, lost his entire family to the curse, and ended up as the grimoire’s ghostly guardian.
     
    The Tablet of Destiny: The primal chaos-dragon Tiamat was the first owner of this tablet that ordains the laws of the universe and the social order. When the Mesopotamian gods defeated Tiamat’s army of monsters, they took the Tablet as well. When the storm-bird Anzu stole the Tablet, the gods lost their power. Perhaps the Tablet controls the relations between gods and the mortal world, in which case it could overthrow the Ban at a stroke. The tablet’s power comes from the Dragon, however, making it perilous in the extreme for mortals to wield.
     
    A great deal of the text for The Mystic World was transcribed from an earlier Champions source book for 4E Hero, called The Ultimate Super Mage (on sale in the website store). That book actually gives Power stats for the Tablet of Destiny. Because of the strong continuity between TUSM and TWM, I believe it would be reasonable to mention an original creation from the former, also game-statted:
     
    The Clavicle Infernalis: Translating as "the Key to Hell" or "Nether Key," this book is described as "the premier text of black magic." The spells it confers mostly involve the summoning and control of demons, and transporting beings to or from Hell, even transporting some of Hell's environment to Earth. But its spells take considerable time to cast, and if interrupted the caster suffers a disaster "of Biblical proportions" (specifics left to GM).
     
    Finally, casting back into the pre-super history of the Hero Universe, we find:
     
    The Bloodstained Scroll of Thronek: This item was the premier source on the lore of necromancy, inscribed by its namesake wizard, the first "master villain" of the Turakian Age -- see the book of that title for more info. After the defeat of Thronek, over centuries his Scroll would sometimes magically appear in the fastness of some great wizard, disappearing again after part of it was read. Thanks to that trick it's possible the Scroll could have survived to the present day. Kal-Turak/Takofanes long sought the Bloostained Scroll, so it might be in his possession. If it's elsewhere the likeliest place to look would be the closed stacks of the Library of Babylon, which has some Turakian-era volumes.
     
     
  12. Thanks
    Steve reacted to Lord Liaden in CU: Cursed Books To Avoid?   
    For the current official published Champions Universe, darkest magic book #1 would have to be the Liber Terribilis, aka "the Harrowing Book," discovered by Luther Black the founder of DEMON, which relates (metaphorically) the history of the five Kings of Edom whom Black sought to free in his apotheosis scheme, as well as the rites and rituals associated with them which form the basis for the most important initiations in DEMON. Black retained the Harrowing Book, but however his scheme fell out may have affected where it is now. You can read more about the Liber Terribilis in DEMON: Servants Of Darkness pp. 7 and 28.
     
    There are some other possibilities from Hero publications which are more peripheral, but I'm a little pressed for time this morning. I'll be back later with more.
  13. Thanks
    Steve reacted to Steve Long in Hero Games 2021 Update   
    Thanks as usual for the excellent suggestions, LL!
     
    I'd be happy to look at whatever data you've compiled that you think would be helpful for Costa Azul (which is the PDF I'm currently working on, assuming the ice storm raging outside my windows doesn't knock out my power like it did last weekend). Please send it to me by direct message, if you can -- or contact me for other options.
     
    ARGENT is a subject that we've long wanted to explore in more detail (along with the IHA). Originally the idea was that Allen would write the book, which I was really looking forward to (not only because Allen was really creative and a skilled writer, but because his strongly pro-union, anti-corporations status would lead to a very different product than one written by anti-union, pro-corporations me -- and the final product, once edited by me, would have turned out pretty sweet IMO). Unfortunately that wasn't something we could get to before we had to cut back on staff. It might make a good subject for a sectional book, but I'm not sure; I'll have to ponder that.
     
     
    I have actually been thinking that we might change the title to The Martial World (thus making it consistent with The Mystic World, though it would cause abbreviation confusion  ). That way I could present information about subjects other than just martial arts-based villains (though they would, of course, make up the majority of the book). I could cover some martial arts heroes (like Nightwind and Shugoshin), revamp the Tournament of the Dragon, provide a section of "Super Martial Arts" powers in a CP-style format, and so on. When the time comes, I'll post a "What Do You Want To See?" thread that will let Herodom Assembled fling ideas at me like so many inspirational shuriken.
  14. Like
    Steve got a reaction from Jhamin in How to build a 'leaky' damage resistance?   
    I suggest building it this way.

    Buy the first 2-3 points of defense normally (or maybe toss on a limitation like Non-Persistent), then buy 2-3 more points with an additional limitation “lets 1st point of BODY damage through” to get pretty much the effect you want. That’s the limitation used in a Champions power write-up “You Only Nicked Me” that I like using on some builds like you describe.
  15. Haha
    Steve reacted to archer in Hogan’s Heroes   
    I think it's pretty obvious that Carter survived the war.
     
    It makes you wonder who his descendants might be.
     

  16. Thanks
    Steve reacted to archer in Hogan’s Heroes   
    They all have PS: Handyman which helps with various capers around the camp and various cover identities outside of camp. That wasn't unusual for people coming out of the Depression era since jobs were hard to come by and often temporary. A worker had to be flexible. They were shown doing carpentry, painting, roof repairs, landscaping, bricklaying, simple wiring, plastering, as well as manual labor of various types. Give them that as their free background profession.
     
    In fact, I'd go for PS over KS for all of the Heroes as much as possible. Most of what they displayed was hard-earned professional skills from their lives more than knowledge skills. And if you group most of what they have as PS, you can use Jack of All Trades to reduce the cost (with some obvious exceptions like Carter's college skills).
     
    Yeah, they all have the Social Complication: Desperate for female companionship. Though Kinch wasn't allowed to display it much since he was in the middle of Nazi Germany and almost all the available women were white (and Kinch was a character on an American TV show in the 1960's where almost all the available women were white).
     
    I'd drop the KS: Codes from Kinch. He read the codebook because he was the one operating the radio. I don't recall him having any particular expertise. He was completely stymied at least a couple of times because they didn't have access to the current codebook.
     
    LeBeau has AK: Paris and AK: France. PS: Entertainer might be a good overall fit for him since he could both sing and play an instrument. Not unusual for people of the era to do a little of several different things as part of an act, even when they weren't particularly great at any one thing (telling jokes, singing, playing an instrument).
     
    Carter has Inventor 8-. He also seemed to have the quirk of wanting to sun himself though it wasn't clear whether he wanted to be tanned or whether he was worried about Vitamin D deficiency.
     
    Newkirk has Concealment and Forgery, he does their fake papers IIRC.
     
    Hogan has Bribery and also Navigation. He successfully flew a fighter from London to Stalag 13 without getting lost or flying in a formation, which was quite the trick back then. And they never seemed to get lost when Hogan was with them but successful navigation became more of an issue when he wasn't.
     
    The Heroes' base gives -2 or -3 PER rolls to anyone who isn't a Hero. They got away with a LOT more at camp than they ever did outside their base.
     
    All the Heroes have Life Support: able to survive on German prison camp food (even the prisoners who weren't regulars on the team). Maybe that was bought through the base as well?
  17. Thanks
    Steve reacted to wcw43921 in Hogan’s Heroes   
    Colonel Hogan, I think, would have a massive amount of Persuasion.  Coupled with Klink's Psych Complication: Extremely Gullible, that's how Hogan was able to facilitate the vast majority of his schemes.
     
    I think all the Heroes had the Charm Skill to an extent, coupled with the Complication: Skirt Chaser.  For LeBeau it was a matter of national honor to "chase skirts"--Frenchmen being the kings of love and romance.  Of course, Colonel Hogan was the most successful at it, he was, after all, the star of the show.
     
    As I remember, Carter was the demolitions expert, Kinchloe was communications, Newkirk was the safecracker and card shark, LeBeau was the chef (useful when bribing Germans with food, especially Schultz) and Hogan was the mastermind, whose brilliant schemes always worked.  (They might have gotten complicated, but as the English say, it all got sorted in the end.)
     
    Hope this helps.
  18. Thanks
    Steve reacted to Tjack in Hogan’s Heroes   
    Ive been indulging in Sundance running six hour HH marathons a couple of times a week. So let’s see what I can do to help.
       First the group skills.
        All of the Heroes speak German fluently enough to fool native speakers, including paranoid types like Gestapo officers. They all also have acting and bluff and disguise on high enough levels to walk in and out of enemy headquarters on a regular basis.  Kinch and Newkirk have vocal mimic skills. Everybody has some demolitions and engineering for building the tunnel system. Let’s not forget they all have the basic commando skills like map reading, parachuting, weapons training and martial arts.
       Now for the individual specialities.
    Sgt. Ivan Kinchloe
    Electronics. KS; codes. KS; radio operation. Mimic. MS;  Stand-Up Bass. Mart Art; Boxing.
    Cpl. Louis LeBeau
    Lang; French, native. PS; Chef. PS; Baker. Contortionist (car trunks, dumbwaiters, any small space) CT; French Underground. Tailor. MS; Piano.
    Sgt.Andrew Carter
    Demolitions. KS; Chemistry. KS; Bombardier. Engineering. Lang; Sioux.
    Cpl. Peter Newkirk
    Slight of Hand. Lockpick. Security Systems. Disguise. PS; Safecracker. Mimic. Acting. Tailor. Gambling. Knife Throwing.
    Col. Robert Hogan
    Tactics. Pilot. Seduction. Acting. Bluff. MS; Drums.
      Most of this is off the top of my head. Skills were listed twice with the individual if the concentration should be higher.
  19. Like
    Steve reacted to Spence in Is it wrong to power game?   
    Actually they are miles apart.
     
    "Efficient Character Building" is when a player tries to build their character the best they can within the boundaries set by the GM.
     
    "Powergaming" is when the player fully understands the parameters and intent for the game, and yet deliberately circumvents them in a planned and deliberate manner intended to undermine or break that game.
     
    Powergaming has such a bad meaning for so many people because there is no good to it. 
     
     
    Coming up with a more efficient build for your 1 1/2d6 KA blackpowder six shooter for a 1830s historical western game is being "efficient".
     
    Showing up with the 6d6 AP KA gatling gun because "I had the points and they existed!" followed by the standard "I'm being railroaded" whining is not. That is pure "powergaming".
     
    Big, no HUGE difference.
     
     
  20. Haha
    Steve reacted to JmOz in Is it wrong to power game?   
    All wrong answers stem from disagreeing with my wisdom.. 😛
  21. Like
    Steve reacted to Christopher R Taylor in Is it wrong to power game?   
    Yeah from my perspective as a GM and how I try to design adventures (and modules) I want there to be a variety of different kinds of challenges, not just "beat this monster and take his stuff" over and over.  So locks to pick, traps to circumvent, puzzles to figure out, information to gather, etc.  I want people to take odd, obscure skills and have a background fleshed out with skills, and give them a reason and benefit for them in the game.

    I ran a game once, the mage took geology as a skill.  He just knew rocks.  Well by Crom I was going to find a way for that to matter, and it came up every so often.  And that's why I think that stuff is worth points.  Sure, you can bash the lock open and break things, while attracting every monster for miles, or you can hire a PI or beat the information out of the thugs at Rosie's bar, but they might be lying.  Better if you have persuasion, detective skills, can pick a lock, etc.
     
    And then there's the other parts of the game, like the time as your secret identity when the boss demands you get this work done and you need to get into your power armor to stop the Mad Marauder again: persuasion to get a co worker to do it, or a really good skill roll to get the job done faster.  And interpersonal stuff, like the wife is mad at you for skipping the family get together because you had to meet that knight and joust him to save the princess, or whatever.
     
    All of that is worth points because the game isn't just balanced around beating things up.  At least, it shouldn't be.
  22. Like
    Steve reacted to unclevlad in Is it wrong to power game?   
    It's a legit point, but there's problems.  First:  I love the definition of an encounter that, IIRC, dates back to my RPGA days...so 2nd Ed, maybe 3rd.  But not 3.5.  An encounter is anything where the PCs have to overcome an obstacle, and failure has a consequence.  This can simply mean not getting certain information;  it isn't limited to risk of injury or the like.  In addition, the PCs have to face a legitimate challenge or obstacle;  if it's "don't roll a 1 and you succeed" it's not an encounter.
     
    So with this in mind, most of the 6E skills *can* become encounter-significant.  Some will be rather unusual;  others could be quite common.  But there are certainly many that have no real encounter-usable benefit...Profession skills, quite a few Knowledge skills.  They might become hooks for the GM to use in building a scenario...but that's different.  BTW:  Wealth becomes important if players want to use it in lieu of powers.  Figure that the rules take a pessimistic, restrictive view;  the GM can relax things, particularly Wealth, if the players aren't going to use it abusively.  I love, for example, to buy 2-3 points so I can say "we've got an off night?  I'm making reservations at Del Posto for me and my Significant Other."  For a lot of fun things, money gets removed as an obstacle.  Or with a big, like 10 point, wealth perk..."I want to build a company that specializes in post-combat cleanup and repair...and price it fairly.  I don't care about losing SOME money along the way."  
     
    I agree that a lot of this comes down to campaign guidelines, tho.  I admittedly look to min-max somewhat, in part to have points for skills, some talents, and even some powers like many of the life support options that won't come into play very often, if ever.  For campaign guidelines, this is also why I like to encourage *minimal* limitations, particularly on the generally highly efficient brick or martial artist builds.  (Maybe I'm not great at building them, but mentalists just never seem to be cheap.)  So a compensation is to say...put the points, without trying to chisel a ton more, and everyone gets 20-30 points for non-combat purposes.  
  23. Like
    Steve reacted to massey in Is it wrong to power game?   
    I built an Invisible Woman character once, and played her in a short-lived campaign (lasted maybe 5 or 6 sessions).  I decided to try something along these lines.  In a 350 point campaign where most people were throwing 13 or 14D6 attacks, with 30+ Defense, I had something like an 8D6 Invisible to Sight Energy Blast (force ball) and 9 PD and ED with 2 levels of Combat Luck (15/15 total).  But she could turn invisible, she could turn other people invisible, she could suppress the invisibility of others (this never came up), and she could turn normal objects invisible (like walls).  She also had an 18/18 Force Wall that was invisible to sight.
     
    The problem with the character is that it was a huge pain in the ass for everybody.  If an enemy had the right powers, they could spot me easily.  I could still put up a Force Wall, but I was way weaker than the rest of the group and the enemies we fought.  I couldn't really hurt anyone tougher than an agent with my force blast, unless I caught them by surprise (as in out of combat) to get x2 Stun.  I wasn't a combat monster by any means.  But if nobody in the other group had enhanced senses, I could do whatever I wanted.  Nobody would target me.  People would run face first into invisible walls.  I could disarm somebody and turn their focus invisible so they couldn't find it.  
     
    It was really frustrating for the GM, and the other players, because I couldn't contribute to the fight in normal ways, so the traditional ways of balancing combat didn't work.  I was either mostly useless (if people had other senses), or could be overwhelmingly powerful (if I decided to make our whole team invisible).  Mostly I just chose to harass the villains and tried to think of new and creative ways to use my very non-offensive powers.  The problem with making a character who can only beat up agents is that the rest of the characters in the game aren't set up for that.  If your GM doesn't feed you a steady supply of agents, you don't have anything to do.  Characters that break too heavily from the traditional mold end up being a big pain in the butt to the GM, because he has to go out of his way to make the game fit your character.
  24. Like
    Steve reacted to JmOz in Is it wrong to power game?   
    So this thread has brought up a lot of feelings for me, and more than a few thoughts that could be projections.
     
    I have been around this system for a very long time.  I have made hundreds of characters, some originals, a lot of homages, and a a number of adaptations.  I have debated rules particulars about a variety of issues.
     
    I am personally attracted to the system because of the rules of F/X or more specifically how f/x is not tied to the mechanic of an ability, so a blast could be fire or electricity or ice, etc...  I say these things to explain my Bias.
     
    One argument that has been repeated is in regard to NCM, What Assualt called the Batman Fallacy.  This has always been one of the bigger ones, and it is founded on a couple misconceptions.  
     
    1) NCM is the maximum a human (non augmented) character can have.  4th edition books (and later editions) made it VERY clear that legendary characters can go above it.  If Batman does not qualify as a legendary character...
     
    2) The characteristic is what it says on the tin.  This ties into what I said about f/x not being tied into a game mechanic.  This misconception makes it so that people try to force a worst build based on a concept.  In essence punish a player for playing Batman instead of Mutant batman...
     
    3) Points matter.  Two characters who spend similar points on similar abilities should be able to do similar stuff
     
    Just as an example, I decide to run a campaign where everyone is based on a version of Superboy. 
    Superboy 1 is based on the original Clark Kent Superboy.  He buys his strength as a characteristic 
    Superboy 2 is based on the Reign of the Supermen Superboy.  Because of this mentality he NEEDS to buy Telekinesis with no range.  This of course costs him more endurance and 10 less strength for the same points, making him objectively worse character.  However for all practical purposes it is the same super strength.  This also fails point 3.  
     
    So back to Batman, Batman is a character with many skills way above the norm.  He is tougher, smarter, scarier, etc...than a normal human (based on what he DOES).  Even though we are told OFTEN that he is a normal man who has trained hard, he is also often called "The Bat God" and for good reason.  
    Now if we restrict the Batman player to making him under NCM, he will need to spend more points to meet the goals of the character concept.  This is unfair to the player.  You are at this point PUNISHING him for his concept.  IMO skill levels are really more for heroic characters, especially the more expensive ones...Some will say that it's fine because that is the "cost" of the concept, I say that is unfair.  So how do we make Batman so that he is as capable as a paranormal with powers based on being a "better human", simple, allow him to buy higher characteristics. 
     
    Now, what does this all illustrate.  The fact is that what we really need is to be "fair".  Characters should be a similar level, built with the same basic theory on design...
     
     
     
     
     
  25. Haha
    Steve reacted to massey in Is it wrong to power game?   
    Building inefficient characters is a mortal sin.  It offends the gods of Champions.
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