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GM Joe

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Everything posted by GM Joe

  1. So many products back then had so many unstated assumptions built into them. They rarely had the rigor of even today's small press products. Out of curiosity, who did you ask?
  2. Great point! It'd be nice if we could, without increasing complexity otherwise, just stick to one attack roll per phase, making the various types of multiple strike attacks work within that boundary one way or another.
  3. I would love to know the extent to which George MacDonald and Steve Peterson were involved with the BBB, because it seems pretty plain on the subject at times, but then muddies the waters. For example, under Ambidexterity it says, "Ambidexterity [removes the penalty for off-hand use], but does not allow the character to attack twice in one combat Phase. (To attack more often in a turn, buy more SPD.)" That seems pretty clear to me. How many times you can attack per Turn is determined by SPD. Elsewhere, it makes clear that attacking ends your Phase. And autofire can hit multiple opponents but is a single attack roll, which supports this view. But then that same Autofire entry goes on to muddy the waters with the way it allows characters to spray Autofire across multiple hexes. In that case, each hex with a target in it gets a separate roll. And then there is Sweep, which says, "For each target after the first, the Sweep takes a cumulative -2 OCV for all the attacks that the character makes that phase." That seems to make it clear that it's not just a single attack roll per phase. So, it's ambiguous. There was clearly a lot of copy-paste in every edition. And Rob Bell was a college student and superfan who seems to have been given primary responsibility for 4e (but, again, I don't know the facts; it's just the impression I get). So it could just be an oversight that the rules are inconclusive. It was all just copied forward, and no one gave it a second thought. "Of course you can attack more than once per phase! Ignore that admonition in the Ambidexterity entry!" But my interpretation has always been that Sweep and spreading Autofire are exceptions to the general rule of 1 attack roll per Phase, and they are the way they are because they were the best way to handle the given attacks. The entry for Sweep even supports this, ending with, "Sweep is usually performed with some sort of (large) hand-to-hand weapon such as a two-handed sword, but it may be done bare-handed." The implication being that this is not something for general use. But, then, there's that weasel-word, "usually." It's a bit ambiguous, in the end. Which makes one wonder why it wasn't ever clarified while George MacDonald and Steve Peterson were involved. There are clear statements indicating one attack per phase, and then there are clear exceptions. If they'd intended those exceptions to be more generalized, wouldn't they have said so? Or at least left out the unambiguous statements that were contrary, such as the one under Ambidexterity? We'll probably never know. I think the last time George gave an interview that talked about HERO System was around the time 6e came out. Long ago, in other words.
  4. Right, NHS. Too much whiskey! 😜 I hope you're right, and the perspective that the Conservatives will privatise as much of the NHS as possible is just a bugaboo. There are a number of folks in the UK on other boards who worry otherwise, however. 😥
  5. I love "The Cat Came Back." Richard Condie did some amazing stuff! Here's my favorite Condie short:
  6. As far as the economic consequence of Brexit, companies have been fleeing since the referendum. So my expectation is that post-Brexit, the Conservatives will look at the tax roll and announce that austerity is needed, and use that to cut, cut, cut anything that helps average people, such as the NIH.
  7. I'm continuing to listen to Hank Williams' repertoire. The guy was freaking amazing. I have not been a country music fan, but my maternal grandfather was, and I wanted to check out what the fuss was all about. Man, that Hank could write. As the book with the "Complete Hank Williams" CD set says, when he died at the age of 29 while on the way to a concert, he had "recorded sixty-six songs that were released under his own name, an astonishing thirty-seven of which were hits. The standard was so impossibly high that no other singer has come close to eclipsing it. When you consider that Hank wrote almost fifty of those sixty-six songs and that many of them are still among the most performed songs in country music, it underscores just what a brilliant, incendiary career it was." He suffered from a congenital back problem that caused him pain his whole life. His first marriage was to the great love of his life, Audrey, but their marriage was torture for both of them and ended badly. But still, when she died decades later, she was buried next to him (despite him marrying someone else after divorcing her!). He died in the back of a car, on the way to a concert, from a combination of pain pills prescribed by a quack doctor and his painkiller of choice, alcohol. But from all that pain came a lot of great music that has since been recorded by scores of artists. It's really stunning to me. I knew about Janis Joplin, Bon Scott, and other artists who died young and left an amazing legacy. But I didn't know much about Hank Williams until now. Now that I do, I feel closer to my grandfather (who died before I was enrolled in kindergarten) and I better appreciate a type of music and a musician that I'd given short shrift to in the past. And that makes me happy.
  8. "Action HERO" would have been a great name! The only way they could have named that supplement worse would have been if they'd have titled it, "Extreme Dark Champions." I had the same problem with "Ninja HERO." The whole ninja thing was over by the time TMNT parodied it in 1984. By the time Ninja HERO came out, it was something I actively avoided. If it'd been titled "HERO System Martial Arts," I'd probably have picked it up. But it was "Ninja HERO" and I was sick to death of Ninja stuff, so I passed it by, back when. Wish I'd have opened it up and taken a look. It wasn't until a few years ago that I finally bought that one.
  9. I'm sure the intention was to provide everything needed, and it obviously works for many people, but I can understand just wanting to pick up Danger International or Justice, Inc. and go.
  10. 4th Edition is my preference, but I still see why someone would want 3rd despite the rules have becoming better defined over time. The advantage of 3rd was that the game was what was in the book(s) of that one game, not what you selected from the available options in a book-of-all-games. It's the difference between a house system and a universal RPG. Products made with a house system can be cobbled together by GMs to make a universal RPG if they want, but each game can be played as-is by anyone. A universal RPG can't be played as-is. It needs the GM to understand it first, and to make decisions about which optional rules to include and so on. Universal RPGs require more work up-front from the GM, and there's always more potential for mismatches between player expectations and GM plans regarding which bits to use, etc.
  11. The desires of those peoples are so manifestly different than those of the English, it seems the right thing to do...as sad as that is to contemplate. Edited to add: I'm talking about the voting majority, above. I realize there's a spectrum in each.
  12. The first exit poll released predicts a big win for the Conservatives. https://www.bbc.com/news/election-2019-50765773
  13. I'm hoping for a non-Brexity result for the UK election today. Nice to see they had long lines of folks waiting to vote this AM.
  14. Exactly. They can add taxes to whisky all they want. Just so long as they don't mess with whiskey. (I'm a rye man myself.)
  15. The conservative project has always been about putting the country in the hands of the people who own it. Sometimes I think the only real question remaining is whether we will end up a kleptocratic failed state or a nation ruled by a self-perpetuating oligarchy of the wealthiest families. But that's when I'm feeling pessimistic. There's still the chance (however small) that things will change in this next election. I plan to stock up on whiskey before next November.
  16. Yeah, adapting existing stuff is a great time saver...and sanity saver, if you have a busy life! I've never been able to use someone else's world in detail -- I've just never found it fun to memorize the minutiae of someone else's setting. But I sure as heck will use the maps, the general overview of the place politically, and so on, then fill in with my own ideas for details. Sure, it was tons of fun to sit there as a young teenager and roll up an entire sector in Traveller, one subsector at a time, and then fill in the details about the worlds and the interstellar political situation and so on, and then on top of that come up with patrons and underworld intrigue and all that stuff. But once I started dating, that sort of thing went out the window. If I made my own setting, I did it piecemeal, just enough to keep ahead of things and avoid having to invent too much on the fly. But mostly I adapted existing stuff. And that didn't change after I started working my way through college, got married, and got to work building a life. Maybe I'll try creating from whole cloth again once I retire. Or maybe not. There so many things I've been saying, "I'll do that when I retire," that I think I'll still be pressed for time!
  17. My response to that was the same as yours. "WTF? 4e, p 154 says, 'This is basically an all-out punch, and takes an extra segment to execute.' In what world does that imply that it can be used for lightning bolts, etc.??" And then, on reflection, "Well, the risk/reward is the same either way, so I guess extending it makes sense." Like you, we still don't play it that way, but accept it as valid. And that's one of the hardest things about being online: accepting that your ways aren't the only ways, and that others doing things in other ways that work for them is fine.
  18. Reminds me of that concept in developmental psychology, "Object permanence." We're supposed to have that down by the time we're 2 years old. I guess it takes some of us longer than others.
  19. And we're all shocked that this is the sort of thing Trump-the-candidate railed against, yet it's what Trump-the-President is in favor of.
  20. That makes total sense. And it's a reminder to me of one of the (many) difficult things about the RPG market. Every new edition is competing not just with other games, but with all prior editions of the same game. RPGs aren't consumables, they don't stop working, and the people who buy them tend to be the sort who are just as happy fixing any issues they find as they are to pay someone else for a fix. Of all the games I own that have multiple editions, there are only a few that I play or run the current edition of the game. Which makes me admire D&D, especially 5e. They really hit a home run with that one, recovering from not only the stumbles of 4e, but successfully competing with all previous editions, the OSR, and Pathfinder, all of which are currently supported by new products from someone out there, to one extent or another. An impressive feat. But, even so, there are plenty who aren't interested in D&D 5e. I own it, but I don't play or run it. I like the older stuff better, particularly AD&D and B/X. The only D&D version I've run a campaign in within the last decade was B/X. In the end, it's my preferred edition -- and the RPG that introduced me to the hobby. But, then, I'm not really a D&D guy, and haven't been since the mid-80s. If I were, I'd certainly be subject to the one thing that does tend to pressure people into adopting new versions of RPGs they like: the desire to play and run the game with people outside of their immediate circle (at conventions, online, etc.). Good thing I'm mostly interested in niche games, and have folks near me who are happy to play them. 😁
  21. Oh, the size powers! That sounds right, now. They seemed to always be fiddling around. Prompted by your comment, I looked up the EC entry in 2e and 3e. At first glance, it looks like they changed the cost calculation. In 2e, you buy the first Power in the EC at full cost, and then all the rest are at half cost but none can have less active points than the first slot. 3e is when they changed it to paying X points for your EC, then putting in slots with at least 2*X in active points and subtracting X from the cost. Nope, that didn't get any more fiddly. 😜
  22. I do have one question for Duke, though. Why 2e? I started with 2e, I love 2e and have several copies of it. It's my nostalgia version, for sure. But wasn't 3e just 2e with better graphic design, an adventure, and a few rule tweaks? I'm trying to remember what was different, and I can't. 😞 Are there substantive rules changes from 2e to 3e that keep you on 2e? Or do you simply prefer the presentation of 2e?
  23. I agree, each new edition of HERO System is more persnickety than the last. Each edition is increasingly focused on pleasing those HERO System fans who want very precise tools to work with in character creation. But that focus left a lot of fans behind over the years. Some at 5e, some (like me) at 4e, some at 3e, and then Duke back there at 2e 😁. It makes me wonder what could have been if it'd been handled more like BRP, where each line continued on its own despite various releases of Basic RolePlaying as a separate, generic RPG. Call of Cthulhu, Runequest, and King Arthur Pendragon are all BRP-based games, but even now, decades later, they are all distinct properties with very different focuses and subsets of the overall BRP rules universe. And they're all successful. I wonder what would have happened if HERO had been handled the same. Champions may well be the dominant supers RPG even now, in the way that Call of Cthulhu is still the dominant horror RPG. And Fantasy HERO and perhaps one or two others may also be successful properties in the way that Runequest and Pendragon have had some modicum of success over the years. We'll never know, of course. But I wonder.
  24. Wait...so, they were two different people?
  25. As has always been, and always shall be...
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