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Chris Goodwin

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Chris Goodwin last won the day on April 1

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About Chris Goodwin

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    : Hillsboro, Oregon, USA
  • Interests
    Monkeys, stacking things on top of other things
  • Biography
    No soap, radio
  • Occupation
    Doing the same thing, getting different results

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  1. Espionage, Justice Inc, Danger International, and Star Hero 1e. It's not in Fantasy Hero 1e, nor is it in Robot Warriors, and I'll admit to being slightly surprised at the latter two.
  2. That's a good point. I'm not sure I'd want to play that event, but that would be the kind of thing that a government would probably deputize their own supers to protect. Or supers taking it upon themselves to do. If there's something that supers are good at, though, it's getting around the usual sorts of controls to get the real story out. Clark Kent? Why in the world is he not doing stories from war zones? Or protecting refugees? Or finding out for sure whether there were or were not actually WMDs in Iraq?
  3. Ah. We're positing a... let's say gifted oncologist... effectively supers-level in his knowledge and ability, but as we've described him, he's pretty much just an oncologist. His clinic is bombed -- why? What does an investigation reveal about why? It's bombed a second time... somebody -- cops, supers, whoever -- should be able to find out who. It's bombed a third time... so that sends our gifted oncologist around the bend and makes him decide to start turning people into dinosaurs instead of curing cancer? Ooo. That character can change into a humanoid pterosaur. Does that affect the mind? Are we positing in general that having powers can affect the mind (i.e. "Science-Related Memetic Disorder")? Plausible, but it takes powers out of the realm of something I want to play characters that have, and puts them into the realm of "sorry, I deal with that kind of thing in my daily life, don't want it in my supers gaming". So I'm going to say... no.
  4. Oh, is that that dude's backstory? That goes without saying.
  5. You're not wrong. Michael Surbrook stopped writing Hero materials and started writing D&D 5e and Savage Worlds materials because that's where the money was. We're sort of hitting the downside of the network effect with Hero. There are fewer Hero players, therefore there are fewer people to play with, therefore there are fewer people buying Hero products, therefore there are fewer people running games, therefore there are fewer Hero players. There's no reason at all we can't use our toolkit system to create "flatpack" games, like the 5e D&D Starter Set. Fantasy Hero Complete is the closest we have to the D&D Starter Set, in the HERO System. It includes a mini-setting, a starter adventure, prebuilt characters, monsters, spells. I would guess the reason the settings didn't sell is that, once you bought them, you still needed to do the work to write an adventure. Conventional wisdom says adventures don't make money, but the thing they do is make it easy to start up a game. So, hmmm.
  6. Massey, I agree with you, and yet... the thread is "Changes in a world with superpowers", not "How do we make superheroics make sense?" I love Champions, I love superheroes. I love it when a new film comes out and I can turn off my brain for a few hours and enjoy colorful people in colorful costumes destroy half a city... Except, I am turning off my brain. I'm suspending a lot of disbelief. Not about Iron Man's technology or Superman's myriad strengths and weaknesses, but... when I see supers fighting in a city, and destroying half of it, after the film is over I find myself wondering, why didn't they drive the bad guys out over an uninhabited area and fight them there? Metropolis is supposed to be the New York City analog, and both of them are coastal cities. There's open ocean less than a minute's flight away, and yet they insist on throwing energy blasts and cars around in the middle of one of the most densely populated areas in the United States, surrounded by billions of dollars worth of glass-covered skyscrapers. (Sure, you can't help it when the aliens open a portal over Times Square and begin smashing, but you can certainly challenge your superpowered fellow aliens over the ocean.) They make for great visual effects, but the aftermath... I mean, there's a reason that IRL cops don't go in with guns blazing when a bank is being robbed or hostages are held. They used to do that, back during the organized crime period during Prohibition, and what would happen is a lot of bystanders and victims, and no few cops, not to mention perps themselves, got killed. There's two stories I've read recently. Super Powereds by Drew Hayes, and The Law of Averages by "mcswazey". In both of these, the aftermath was considered, and I recommend both of them to see where my thought processes are coming from. In Super Powereds, the government has decided that superheroes must receive training, and must register, if they want to act as superheroes. Why? Because they'd seen the aftermath of too many super battles in metropolitan areas. Too much destruction and death; at some point insurance companies band together and say "Stop doing this or we stop paying." That is when the governments start regulating. The way I see it is this: when supervillains rob a bank or a museum, the superheroes' job is to show up and wait. Wait for them to get the loot and get clear of the innocent bystanders. Drive them out over the ocean or the open countryside where stray blasts are less likely to hurt people or destroy expensive infrastructure. Or track them to their headquarters if possible, and show up with overwhelming force. So, this whole thread is about figuring out just how the world reacts to supers. That's what I'm doing, above. If those don't make for very good four-color superheroics, the fault is with the four-color superheroic stories. And I very much think we can make stories that are just as compelling about the stuff we're talking about here. What kind of super crimes would there be? Usually in the comics there's some kind of mastermind, right? A Doctor Doom or a Lex Luthor. Those guys draw their inspirations from Moriarty and Fu Manchu; fictional super-geniuses who decide that their intellect is better used to harm people than to help them. Whereas, most real life criminals turn to crime because they don't have any other options, yet they still gotta eat and pay rent and feed kids; some of them get really good at it (Al Capone, Pablo Escobar) and make a lot of money at it. Someone who can cure cancer decides to use his abilities to turn people into dinosaurs, just because he wants to turn people into dinosaurs? Ha ha, funny, but seriously? Like, this guy was probably the kind of super genius who gets his entire undergraduate and graduate career fully paid for, with job offers from multimillion dollar corporations immediately after college, and he throws that all away to turn people into dinosaurs? If superheroes hit it big any time after WWII, you probably don't have supervillains. You have American industry hungry for all of the manpower, and brainpower, it can throw money at, and it has an awful lot of money. Forget Dr. Dinosaur (he's already at Dow or Monsanto or the Mayo Clinic); guys with the FISS package get swooped up by construction firms! Anyone who can fly through the air and lift fifty tons doesn't need to go get beat on when they can get hired on as a flying crane, when half the skyscrapers in New York are being built. (How many lives do you save by not putting squishy normals under tons of metal, or by being able to catch them when they fall off an unfinished building before going splat?) The two biggest public service fields for supers are search and rescue, and serving arrest warrants to criminals who are known to have super powers. Like, someone who steals cars (by carrying them off with his super strength) or deals drugs or whatever the motivations are for real life criminals. And there are probably a lot fewer of them than there are IRL, because -- options. Some would say that, yes. A lot would chafe under whatever registration schemes the government comes up with. Between reasonable people and lawsuits from the ACLU, we end up not with schemes to register people who have powers, but schemes to register people who use them. Hence, first responder training, and use of force training, and training in evidence handling and not screwing up a crime scene. The average person is pretty law abiding. Most of us don't go around doing terrible things to other people, mostly because we're pretty conditioned to do the right thing, partly because there are laws against the really heinous stuff. So... while there might be a large population of unregistered supers, there are likely small populations of law abiding, registered supers who have gotten the training and have the official sanction. And there aren't organized supervillains; there are also super powered car thieves and drug dealers and human traffickers and the occasional superpowered murderer... When a bunch of untrained supers in ski masks and homemade costumes show up to try to fight crime? The government sponsored supers tell them to go home and not worry their pretty little heads, we've got this covered. Yes, the unsanctioned guys are pissed off: that is the story I want to read! While law enforcement agencies don't necessarily have experience in fighting supers, they have a lot of experience in locating criminals after the crime is committed. IRL cops are very, very bad at being on the scene as a crime is going on, but very very good at showing up after. On the off chance there are actual supervillains, they don't try to stop them. Don't even bother. Gather as much evidence as you can, show up at their headquarters with your officially sanctioned supers, and your auxiliaries and reserves and consultants and the occasional Good Samaritans who just want to help, along with your flying belts and your heavy blasters -- overwhelming force, in other words -- and read them their Miranda rights.
  7. At some point, cities, or states, or countries, would start mandating first responder training for their heroes. There would be governing bodies; there'd be a federal bureaucracy devoted to learning about them and try to point them toward doing the most good or the least bad. There would probably be additional requirements beyond first responder training for actual crime fighting. If super crime becomes a major issue, police departments will want to have, if not super powered cops, at least auxiliaries they can call on. Crimefighters would need to be trained in how and when to appropriately use force; how to make arrests, gather (or at least not spoil) evidence, what to do in court. The government would want to know identities. The ACLU would sue to stop them. There'd probably be professional associations. I created one called the National Association of Super Heroes, which caused the supervillains to come up with one of their own: Super Humans United in Evil. The former puts on professional conferences with panels, vendors, more vendors, lots of marketing, even more vendors... The latter acts as a parody organization of the former, though they even do some under the table kinds of things like group medical, hiring hench, backchanneling with heroes when they really do need to be on the same side, group legal, finding resources for someone who gets out of prison to maybe try to figure out how to stay out... The aforementioned vendors. There'd be people trying to sell superheroes equipment, training, insurance, headquarters. Fan conventions. Fans would start out trying to go to the professional conferences, but they'd be subtly discouraged, which would mean someone would start putting on the fan conventions. Cosplay! Lobbyists. The professional organizations would hire lobbyists on behalf of the supers. Vendors would hire lobbyists pushing safety regulations.
  8. Following up my own posting. Steve says here: Boldface mine.
  9. The original thread wherein Steve Long announced that Cryptic was buying the rights to the Champions Universe is here. Some highlights from posts by Steve to the thread: From Cryptic's press release: From Steve directly: And in a later post on the thread from Steve: In short: Hero Games can produce all of the Champions they want, as long as they get approval from Cryptic.
  10. While this is not strictly Fantasy Hero, and is maybe not even strictly fantasy, it is certainly fantasy related! And I would imagine, of interest to Fantasy Hero players. Jason Timmermans documents his build of a leather gauntlet, here (his leather hardening technique published separately on his page here). It is beautiful, functional, and badass! I believe he intends to, at some point, build a full suit of leather armor; his testing of samples (photo included in the page) shows a broadhead hunting arrow that would normally go through a deer, including bone, mostly stopped by several layers of his hardened leather. Not completely, mind you; slightly over an inch of the arrowhead penetrated through the armor, but as he says, it's going to hurt but it won't kill you. The arrow was shot from a recurve bow made from modern composite materials, with a 48 pound draw weight at 29 inches draw length, from 15 feet away. I kinda want one, even though I absolutely have no practical need for one. Here's what it looks like:
  11. Is there any interest in cooperatively working on a general 3rd edition rules template? I can put mine up somewhere for people to download and hack on. I'd have to find it first... it's on my computer's hard drive somewhere, and my son has sort of taken over my computer. Edited to add: With the caveat that we won't expect anything more than 3rd edition costs for Powers, Skills, and Disadvantages, and that we're responsible on our own for figuring out how to do the other parts.
  12. As a thought experiment, I tried recreating the pre-6th edition stat block in 6th edition, assuming that the point was to charge fair price for everything. I decided to threat the Comeliness Roll (9 + COM/5) as a sort of everyman Power Skill: Appearance. Assuming everyone has such a roll at 11- to start with (based on a stat value of 10), with a cost of 2 points per +1 to the roll, Comeliness should have a cost of 0.4 per point, or 2 points per +5 COM.
  13. Effectively 1 BODY per Power in the Focus, with PD and ED equal to the Active Points divided by 5.
  14. Hero Designer lets you apply cost multiples to items, so you can manually set the x1/2, x1/4, etc. I don't recall if Heromaker does that; it wouldn't surprise me if it does as well. Hero Designer lets you set up a full custom rules template to get the 3rd edition costs right. I don't think Heromaker does that, though I could be mistaken. The hard part with both is getting half, quarter, eighth, and so on, multiples on END Cost. I think HD lets you do that by hand-massaging the XML of the character sheet. If not it's for sure something that can be handled in an output template.
  15. High density bones here as well. I never learned how to swim until about 11 years ago, and I don't swim well but I could probably avoid drowning at least. I seem to have gotten somewhat... less dense... than I was as a child (fat is less dense than water...). For me swim goggles helped immensely as I could get my face into the water and change the point at which I balance in the water.
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