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Everything posted by Barwickian

  1. The PDF edition of the new edition of Chivalry & Sorcery is now available on drivethruRPG. https://www.drivethrurpg.com/m/product/293870 There is a detailed review of the game here: https://www.savevsplayeragency.net/2019/12/23/review-chivalry-sorcery-5th-edition-pdf/
  2. Several of Guy Gavriel Kay's books are set in a fantasy world without magic, drawing heavily on medieval history. A Song for Arbonne draws its inspiration from the troubadours of Languedoc and the Albigensian Crusade; Lions of Al Rassan from El Cid and the Reconquista. To some extent all historical fiction is fantasy, as it's a fictionakisation of particular events. Some invent fictitious locations - Ken Follett's Pillars of the Earth is notable; the town of Kingsbridge is fictional and loosely located somewhere in southern England. I pity the place - nearly every bad thing that happened anywhere in the 12th century Anarchy happened to Kingsbridge in that book.
  3. You've convinced me. No colossus can replace that east-meets-west vibe.
  4. I use Tasha's Ultimate Sheet, which exports to HTML, then print it to PDF. It's worth noting that Chrome doesn't recognise page breaks, which leads to messy PDFs. Instead, open the HTML file with Firefox and print to PDF from there. Each page is nicely preserved.
  5. One magic system I've used for divine magic is to have effects powered only by an END Reserve that will only recharge while the character is performing religious acts, such as prayer. I did this specifically to emulate HarnMaster's ritual and piety point system, and to give divine magic a very different flavour to arcane magic. You coud vary is somewhat - recovering END only while on ground consecrated to the character's deity, for example (though one might then allow a specific temporary Consecrate ritual which costs no END but requires significant extra time so you can set up a temporary shrine where you stop to camp, but can't recharge your reserve in combat).
  6. Re: attacking individuals. Under "attacking individuals" the rules note that the ban on attacking individuals is for ease of play. Most actions for prominent individuals are not attack options, but leadership. inspiration and intimidation. However, the rules note that if a prominent individual chooses to attack a unit, it is treated as a unit of one person (ie, the unit it is attacking can attack it back). Determinging damage from individual attacks - yes, the rules note that under most circumstances the Unit Modifer should not be less that 0, in order that a smaller unit may damage a larger one. However, it goes on to note that the GM may allow Unit Modifiers of less than 0 in order to keep smaller units from having too great an impact. In the case of an individual, no matter how prominent, attacking a large unit, that would seem appropriate. AOEs are mentioned in Megascale and Battle Scale in the Magic in Mass Combat section. It suggests the way to build a spell to affect an entire unit is to use Megascale. No mass combat system I'm aware of segues nicely between personal scale and unit scale. There's always some clunkiness and edge cases. Hero System mass combat offers several options - treating prominent individuals as one-person units, using noteworthy events for individuals, and having personal scale combat in a mass combat environment. None of these is without issues - but those issues are much easier to resolve if one remembers that the player characters are the protagonists: it's their story that matters.
  7. It's worthwhile noting that the TA resources go much further than the TA setting book, Fantasy hero Battlegrounds and Nobles, Knights and Necromancers. Fantasy Hero Grimoire and Fantasy Hero Grimoire II are specifically noted as being the grimoires for Turakian Age - in their spell descriptions (and even names) you'll find snippets of background lore on wizards and the occasional historical events. These were removed (and spells renamed) when the two volumes were combined for the 6th edition Grimoire. Personally, I rather like the fanciful names of the 5th edition grimoires. Enchanted Items, by Jason Walters, also draws on TA for items' backgrounds. Monsters, Minions and Marauders provides stats for many of the species in the core setting book. Some published elements of the setting go back further. The Ulronai Warrior-Mage and the College of Warrior-Magery were first detailed in Fantasy Hero Companion II (for 4th edition) back in 1992. Steve is listed as a contributor to that volume. I must admit, I very much enjoy the Turakian Age. I've set campaigns in Aarn and the Westerlands, and in Mitharia. I've even set the classic Keep on the Borderlands (converted to Hero 6) in the borders between Kirkhovy and Vestria. Like others, I find it has a Greyhawk-ish flavour, though with more plot ideas secreted in its background.
  8. I must admit to a personal dislike of theeing and thouing as a faux medieval thing. Mostly because I come from a part of England that still uses thee and thou - and it is the familiar form of the second person singular. You use it with friends and family. As we say, tha thees them as thees thee (you use 'thee' with people who use 'thee' with you, in standard English). But because it's in the KJV, people think it's polite and quaint. There has been a lot of streamlining of rules over the years; our mantra with this edition is "rules elegance" - no unnecessary complexity - while increasing the medieval flavour.
  9. I ran a game in Bahrain using the free 5th Edition Quickstart rules recently. Here are the player reactions.
  10. Thank you, Doc. A little update on the Kickstarter campaign. We funded fully in less than 16 hours. The first stretch goal is unlocked, and we're eyeing the second. There's 27 days to go, and I'm hoping we unlock the final stretch goal in that time - that brings a war game back to C&S for the first time since the 2nd edition of 1983. Three war games in fact, since Ars Bellica includes an abstract pen-and-paper war game for quick battle resolution, a miniature skirmish game and an army-sized miniature war game. By the way - even if C&S isn't your thing, check out the campaign video. Just the thing for a bit of Fantasy Hero inspiration.
  11. The kickstarter for a new edition of the legendary Chivalry & Sorcery is now live. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/cns5/chivalry-and-sorcery-the-medieval-role-playing-game This edition builds and refines the rules presented on the 4th edition, published 19 years ago. Sections on medieval society are greatly expanded, taking advantage of two more decades of historical research. Judaism and Islam join Christianity in the core rules for the first time, with sections written by members of those faiths who have studied medieval beliefs and practices. Guidelines for creating fantasy religions and pantheons are included. Alongside fantastical magick, an optional system presents magick from the medieval worldview. Disclosure: I am involved in designing this edition.
  12. Precious few heroes from colonial Africa. That Blixen farm in Africa? That used to be my wife's family's land, before colonisation.
  13. The fact that they break procedure. They're cops who don't play by the rules...
  14. The core rules base the limitation value of characteristic rolls off skill rolls (they're an additional -0 limitation). They are subject to AP modifiers just the same as skill rolls - so you have a characteristic roll worth -1/4 of you have -1 per 20 AP, -1/2 if it's -1 per 10 AP and -3/4 if it's -1 per 5 AP, exactly like a skill roll. In addition to the AP penalty, yes, as you noted they can be drained or suppressed, and subject to change environment - just as a skill roll. If someone wanted by buy an unmodified activation roll equal to their characteristic roll... well, that's an unmodified roll. And if it's above 14-, my answer would be no. I *think* we're agreeing with each other, but we're coming at it from different angles. (And I'm referring to 6E1 and you CC/FHC, which may phrase things differently even though the rules are the same.)
  15. I wouldn't allow the 17- as an activation roll at all. 6E1 says activation rolls above 14- are allowed only with GM permission, and I wouldn't. Now if it's a skill-based roll, rather than an unmodified activation roll, this is a different matter - yes, it's possible to buy a skill to 17- or better, but it costs points to do so. A minimum -1/4 is perfectly reasonable.
  16. Hero System Skills expands Analyze to other areas, including Analyze Motive, which if just made allows a PC to realise an influence skill is being use on them, and if made by a greater margin of success, which influence skill is being used on them, or whther they're being lied to.
  17. You have a 0.46% chance of rolling an 18. The guidelines on Limited Power in 6E1 suggest a -1/4 limitation is appropriate for a circumstance that happens around 25% of the time, with "rarely if ever limited" a -0 limitation. It's your game, though.
  18. That's very similar to how I built Faith-based powers for Hârn - END Reserve, accessed through a Ritual (or whatever power skill you prefer). I then added a limitation to the END reserve REC: only recovers during religious activities (-1/2). In other words, clerics need to pray, conduct religious ceremonies, accept religious quests, and so on.
  19. I've been there. Learnt to sail around Mull.
  20. I don't post very often, but when I do people may have noticed over the years that I favour low fantasy and historical fantasy over the grandeur of high fantasy. So let me tell you about Barwick-in-Elmet, the Yorkshire village where I grew up. This will explain my username, and probably my low-fantasy preferences. Before I plough into it, I'll just note that this kind of history isn't unusual to most of us Europeans. Most of our villages date back about thousand years. Fantasy villages written by American designers seem more inspired by the Old West frontier settlements - Hommlet is a classic example. It doesn't look right, it doesn't feel right. It has no history in its design or landscape. So here's some archaeology, a little history, and an unusual folk custom. I realise this thread is mostly inspirational pictures, but sometimes pictures want context. The oldest obvious human 'building' in Barwick is a single-vallum, figure-8 shaped Iron Age hillfort known as Wendel Hill. It's never been dated, but the nearby Becca Banks earthworks have been dated to the 1st century AD, probably thrown up to stop the Roman general Agricola and his legion as they marched north (if so, it failed). I suspect the hillfort is up to a century older. Within the hillfort lies the motte of a late-Norman motte and bailey castle, which we call Hall Tower Hill. The castle - its licence was granted by King Stephen, c. 1150AD, has long since vanished. The castle's bailey was the smaller part of the figure-8 of the hillfort; the larger part became part of peasant tofts (gardens). Hillfort plan Aerial view - the line of hedges marks the hillfort vallum (bank and ditch). After the Romans left and the Saxons invaded, Barwick was part of the Cambric kingdom of Elmet, part of Hen Ogledd, the Old North (Hen Ogledd's most prominent king was Hen Cwl - Old King Cole of the English nursery rhyme). Along with Rheged, Elmet was one of the last surviving ancient British kingdoms. It finally fell to the Saxon Northumbrian king Edwin in 616. Barwick is sometimes erroneously considered the capital of Elmet, but in truth, no one knows where Elmet's capital was. After the Saxons, the Vikings came. Barwick lies about 15 miles west of York, a prominent Viking trade town in the 9th and 10th centuries, and the centre of Erik Bloodaxe's 10th-century Kingdom of York. A pair of Viking carvings were incorporated into the 12th century foundations of the village church, All Saints' Church, probably dating from the 10th century. This is one of them. Barwick is listed in Domesday Book as an outlying settlement of nearby Kippax. Its name, originally bere-wick, means 'beer village', and it's thought it was an outlying hamlet where barley was grown. By the mid-12th century its importance increased, and the de Lacy family of Pontefract moved the northern caput (head-place) of their barony there, and built the motte and bailey castle c. 1150. All Saints has an unusual bell tower, constructed in two phases in the 15th century. The lower part is constructed of local magnesian limestone, a sought-after building material. The upper is finished in cheaper stone.The clock face is red because Barwick belonged to the Duchy of Lancaster (the current Duke is Queen Elizabeth II). While Yorkshire folk who still keep the rivalry with Lancashire like to commemorate the 1462 Yorkist victory at the Battle of Towton - about 6 miles from Barwick, the bloodiest battle ever fought on English soil - it's likely that any Barwick folk there fought on the losing side. The Houseof Lancaster's lands were mostly in the North. The Yorkist lands were predominantly in the south. The local lords in the later middle ages were the Gascoigne family. Sir William Gascoigne (1350-1405) was Chief Justice of England under King Henry IV. A probably apocryphal story has it that he is the judge who had Prince Hal (the future Henry V) imprisoned - read your Shakespeare and note young Hal's crimes with Falstaff. A later Gascoigne, Sir Thomas Gascoigne, had a triumphal arch celebrating the American victory in the War of Independence built at his estate in Parlington, two miles south of Barwick. It's the only such monument in Britain celebrating the American victory. The inscription reads "Liberty in N. America MDCLXXXIII". The Gascoignes have long since died out, but one of Barwick's four pubs is The Gascoigne Arms. The Maypole Barwick's prominence dwindled over the centuries. Its inhabitants farmed, and made caustic lime in limekilns around the village. Its claim to fame these days is the maypole in the middle of the village. Its uncertain when Barwick first erected its maypole. Some say it's an ancient tradition going back to pagan times, but it's far more likely its more recent - perhaps the 17th or 18th century. At 90 feet (26 metres), it's the tallest village maypole in England. The maypole is made of two lengths of Norwegian pine, spliced together and mound with iron. It needs upkeep. Every three years, on Easter Monday, the maypole is taken down for repainting. When I was a kid, we took it down the old-fashioned way - a village man, the Maypole Climber, shinned up to the iron bands above the garlands and lowered a guy rope, which which he pulled up four heavier roles and attached them to the pole. One rope came towards Hall Tower Hill (towards the viewpoint in the image above), another down Main Street (to the right of the image), a third down towards the church, and the last one over the rooftops to the left to the courtyard behind the Black Swan pub. As the whole village turned out to hold the ropes under the guidance of the village Pole Master, the ground at the base of the maypole was loosened and dug out with pickaxes and shovels, then, slowly, at the Pole Master's instructions, lowered onto waiting ladders, then onto the shoulders of scores of man,, then carried to Hall Tower Field for repainting. These days, since The Day The Maypole Fell, it's done with a crane. As well as repainting, the garlands were replaced. The garlands are made little ribbons with bells on - an old garland bell is a good luck charm, and I carried one as a key fob for many years. During the three weeks between Easter Monday and Whitsun, the new garlands are carried to every house in the village and touched for luck. Several times, while it was down for repainting, lads from the neighbouring village of Aberford or the town of Garforth, stole the maypole in the middle of the night. Must have been a few of them - it takes a few score of people to carry the maypole. The most recent attempt was in 1966, when Aberford lads successfuly stole the top half 3 days before the maypole raising ceremony. Barwick had to quickly get a new top half and repaint it. The orginal was found the day before the ceremony - so for a few years, the village had a spare. Maypole raising is done on Whitsunday, amid great celebrations at Hall Tower Hill, where crowds sit and watch the events. It's become something of a tourist attraction. Children from the village infant school dance around a smaller maypole (we practised for weeks when I did it). Older children from the junior school perform country dances (we practised for weeks when I did it). A village girl is chosen as May Queen and other children chosen as attendants (I was crown-bearer once). There's a fair. There is a lot of beer drunk. A lot of beer. There are marching bands, brass bands. The maypole is raised in pretty much the reverse of how it's taken down. There's is one important difference - once the maypole is set in place, and the Maypole Climber ascends to remove the ropes, he must continue climbing to the very top of the maypole to spin the fox weathervane and bring luck to the village... For many years, the maypole climber was my neighbour, Arthur Nicholls, who built a smaller maypole by his farmhouse to practice. I think that's him in the picture above. The Day the Maypole Fell Easter Monday, 1981, the maypole fell down Main Street while it was being lowered. I, aged 12, was on the Main Street rope with my sisters. I didn't quite realise what was happening at first - the rope went slack, the maypole seemed to be getting shorter, and then people started running. Fortunately, it landed in the street and everyone got clear. The tip hit the curb, and the top two feet broke off. A lad grabbed it (and the bent weathervane) and tried to make off with it, but one of my neighbours saw and brought him down in a rugby tackle a couple of hundred yards away. These days, with much regret, the village uses a crane to raise and lower the maypole. The next maypole raising will be at Whitsuntide, 2020, if you'd like to visit.
  21. Looking over the thread, images I posted years ago of Gordale Scar and Malham Cove in Yorkshire never showed up. Gordale Scar is reputedly Tolkien's inspiration for Rivendell. The two locations are within walking distance of each other. Gordale Scar Malham Cove To these I might add Troller's Gill, near Appletreewick in Yorkshire, home on local folklore to a Black Dog known as the Barghest (yes, that's the one that gives the name to the fantasy monster). Also near Appletreewick, The Strid is a narrow, low gorge where the River Wharfe narrows to a point where it's possible to jump across - but people have died trying. The river here is some 30 feet deep, undercuts the rocks, moves with the speed of an express train, and the rocks around are slippy. Fall and you die. Strid Woods are a site of special scientific interest - an untouched upland oak forest. Half an hour's walk downstream of The Strid are the ruins of Bolton Abbey. From the far side of the Wharfe to the abbey, a path leads up to the Valley of Desolation, which is actually quite lovely - it's retained the name since a sotrm a couple of hundred years ago blew the trees down. They grew back. The Strid Strid Woods - looking downstream from The Strid. Bolton Abbey. I've ancestors buried in that graveyard. Posforth Gill, Valley of Desolation Keep heading up the Valley of Desolation, and you'll climb Barden Fell to the natural viewpoint of Simon's Seat, with views over Upper Wharfedale.
  22. Held action. "I plant myself here and will let no one pass." It's an issue common to all turn-based games - you're not actually standing still in the doorway unless you say so - you're already beginning your next action. We just break it down into turns to make actions easier.
  23. Demiurgos, welcome to the boards. You're grokking Hero System a lot quicker than I did when I started getting really into it. I'm just highlighting Lucius' point above because this is a really important part of Hero System. You buy the effect, not the description. If Mind Link works mechanically for what you want the power to do (and I'm not convinced it does), then you use that, and call it "privacy field" and make its special effect invisibility (or illusion, or light, whichever you prefer). That way, the characters in the mind link will be visible to someone who sees invisible things. From the looks of it, you've figured that out already, but there's no harm in emphasising it. Were I to have a go at building the Mind Link privacy field, I might look at the limitations Normal Range (simple LOS is not sufficient), and as many levels of limited range as necessary to bring the power down to 2-3 metres range. There are usually several ways to build a particular power in Hero System; it's not question of the right way or the wrong way, it's a question of which you prefer, which way models the idea in your head best for you.
  24. Thanks for the input, folks. Much appreciated. Sounds like the "noisy" limitation is exactly what I was looking for - and is very close to what I've recreated through the Side-effect: Hunted. It could go as a campaign rule, rather than a limitation - but so could Gestures and Incantantions. I'm inclined to use it as a limitation. The magical sense would work - and that was my first thought when looking at this earlier. I've been trying to get away from that, however, as I really don't want to consider rolling for every shadow-creature that may be in range. Side-Effect: Hunted keeps it simpler in play. There is a weakness, in that it isn't reversible (at least, not as written) - the forces of good do not necessarily detect the magical workings of the shadow-forces. For the purposes I'm thinking of, that's not a major issue. In a more egalitarian world, perhaps Magesight (a magic-detecting sense) would be the defining feature of a mage or magical creature ("They say she has the Sight.") I've used that in other campaigns. The advantage is that it lingers for some time on an area (not the mage) - a couple of weeks or so, depending on the mage's REC. This means the response may not be immediate, and abstaining from magic offers a way of letting the trail go cold, if the mage is travelling.
  25. I've been pondering how to achieve this 'attracting unwanted attention' aspect of magic, as is done in MERP 2nd edition. In that, each time you cast a spell, there's a risk the shadow-forces notie and send someone (or something) to investigate. Castling spells in oneo fthe havens (Rivendell, Lorien, etc) is pretty safe, but in the Wilds it's risky, and in lands dominated by the shadow nigh suicidal. The best I've come up with is using a complication as a side effect (6E1 p394). Side-effect, always occurs, only effects environment near caster (side effect is Hunted by Shadow-forces, Infrequently, More Power, NCI, Liimited Geographical Area, Harshly Punish), -1/2 The Infrequently could be adjusted upwards for more powerful spells; the limited area is intended to make havens safe. Thoughts?
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