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Chris Goodwin

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Chris Goodwin last won the day on December 17 2019

Chris Goodwin had the most liked content!

About Chris Goodwin

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  • Gender
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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. Ah! In mine, above, the feral dragons would be the ones hoarding shiny things, for whatever reason. Maybe they just have a mental compulsion to hoard shiny things, or metallic objects. Maybe gold or silver (or electrum!) is the trace nutrient that they lacked, which is what resulted in them being feral, and they have a craving to be surrounded by it.
  2. Steve Peterson. That would make sense. I would bet he wrote the parts in Robot Warriors that I'm referring to also. Edit to add: And now I can't help but wonder if the original Heroes ever set up a Battletech Hero game using Danger International, which could very well have become Robot Warriors. My group from around that time did. Hmmm.
  3. The only thing it might resemble is similar info in Robot Warriors, written by Steve Perrin. It's possible he might have written that part, in fact. But it's definitely Battletech specific, and RW was published in 1986. I wonder when the first Battletech book that included that material was published.
  4. I've been mulling over a setting (or part of a setting, at any rate) where there are social dragons and feral dragons. They're the same species, but for the feral dragons, at a critical point in their development they missed out on something. I'm not sure what it is yet; a particular vitamin, or rearing by a dragon parent, or what, but the feral dragons are monsters. Wild animals. They're not unintelligent, and in fact their intelligence is probably at the same level as the social dragons. But they don't speak, they're solitary hunters, and they're very, very violent. I'm considering adding a third category: broken dragons. They are again the same species, but these have been enslaved from birth. Probably less intelligent; treated as animals by whoever it is enslaving them. They're still dragons with all that implies. Keeping one is probably something like keeping a tame tiger. Violent and wild, and you don't ever take anything for granted about them. When one bolts, usually killing its handler and anyone else in the area, it is put down. In this setting, the social dragons destroy the feral dragons on sight, because a feral dragon can destroy miles of countryside. They try to find any viable dragon eggs, to be taken and raised by social dragons to grow up to be social. If they hear that a city is harboring a viable dragon egg, they will go to the city and ask nicely for it. Usually it is handed over without question, because the alternative is that the city gets burned to the ground. Most cities have a way to contact a social dragon, or one's representative (which may be human or other race). (The assumption is that any egg is viable, unless it has been specifically rendered nonviable, but most humanoids aren't able to tell without serious study or high magic.) In most of the civilized world, possession of dragon eggs is highly illegal. In this setting, the social dragons probably don't care if someone is wearing dragonhide armor. The assumption is that it probably was a feral dragon that died to provide it. Social dragondom is a small community, and usually when one dies the word gets out to the rest; if one is killed by a lesser race, the rest of the community probably doesn't get involved... but the dead dragon's family or friends might very well have a problem with it. On the other hand, if dies of natural causes, they might very well specify in their will that their carcass is to be sold to wizards and armorers for whatever use they can make of them.
  5. Brian, which book was that in? I'm extremely curious to know, and to see what the information from Hero is that they're using.
  6. All right, what is evil? By which I mean, is it a moral judgement, or a cosmic alignment? If evil is a cosmic alignment, then those who are on "team Evil" are evil by definition, which means those who are on "team Good" are good by definition, right? (I call that "sports jersey alignment", by the way. Our guys are Good because they are our guys, and their guys are Evil because they are their guys.) They can be both, of course... but that means team Good has to be morally good, and team Evil has to be morally evil. (Can someone who finds themselves on team Evil do good things? Or is it always considered evil because they are on team Evil? In other words, do they score Evil points for saving children?) I don't find sports jersey alignment to be interesting. I don't want to play in games that include cosmic alignment, because one thing they are not, is people who do things for reasons that people do them. If orcs are created to be evil... either they're on team Evil and have no choice in the matter, or they're created to do evil things... and have no choice in the matter. Robots, in other words. I don't find that interesting either. (If I designed a horde of killer robots, and sent them out to destroy orphanages and slaughter villages... are they the ones that are evil, or is it me?) Lest anyone think I'm being coy, "the cosmic battle of good vs. evil" has been done to death. I don't find anything interesting about it. ... Tolkien described orcs, in his own words, in a letter, as follows: I'm not sure how you can look at that and say "not racist". (By the way, I got this from Wikipedia, but Wikipedia got it from: Carpenter, Humphrey, ed. (1981), The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, ISBN 0-395-31555-7.) And this is the point at which I think to myself, a game in which the point is to go out and slaughter thinly veiled racist caricatures of Asians, is something I don't want to be a part of.
  7. Apparently they wear katanas and trenchcoats very well.
  8. The second-gen Hero vehicle combat rules resemble the Robot Warriors mecha combat rules pretty closely; the major difference is in scaling of hex sizes and the change in Range Modifiers between them. If I weren't using Robot Warriors I would probably do it as vehicles. The Robot Warriors mecha building rules are a little different, enough so that a RW mech won't balance well against standard Hero System characters, but they balance pretty well between mecha. I recommend picking them up to compare and contrast, and you might pick up some ideas for running.
  9. Here is part one of a two part article about, essentially, racism in depictions of orcs, and how signifiers often used to describe them (savage, primitive, warlike, and so on) are the same ones used by colonialist cultures to describe non-whites. (TLDR: In Tolkien's case, specifically Asians.) I'm not comfortable with things like "orcs represent evil", or any "evil" races (goblins, kobolds, etc.) whose purpose it is for PCs to go out and slaughter. Especially in contrast with the "enlightened" (and, unexaminedly white) elves. I would like for all of them to be depicted as people, suitable for use as player characters, or dropped entirely.
  10. This is correct. They didn't. I think they were first, second, and third editions of the core rulebook only. There weren't any Powers in 3e that weren't in 2e; I do know that there were more changes between 1e and 2e than 2e and 3e.
  11. This sort of thing apparently happens in real life. I don't have a source, though.
  12. Unscientific polling has shown a lot of 4th and 6th edition players, with a big dip in 5th edition holdouts. Meaning most players who didn't like 4th edition switched to 5th, and when 6th came out a lot of them switched, and a number of new people came along.
  13. I am well acquainted with your views and your standardized rant, and largely agree. I am wondering what else we can do, though. (I am an inveterate system tinker... hey, that could be contracted to "s'tinker"! S'tinkers of the world unite!) If we look at a number of different combinations of Skill and Power (for a learned ability and "super skill" or just improved version), we can see some pairings. Climbing and Clinging, Stealth/Concealment and Invisibility, Lockpicking and Tunneling. A reasonable pairing for changing one's appearance and physical form could be Disguise/Contortionist/Mimicry and Shapeshift, but I fully agree with you that the Shapeshift vs. senses is unsatisfying and unsatisfactory. The reason we have three different Powers (Shapeshift, Multiform, and Transform) is that somewhere along the way, it was decided that (a) at least one Power was required to do some or all of this, and (b) Transform shouldn't work on the self. I just wanted to take a closer look at Transform and ask, why not? We allow Transform to change one's own clothes to replicate earlier editions' Instant Change, and the best way I've seen to do a "mind swap" Power is Transform, with a Side Effects: Transform that affects the self. Transform also has a number of limiting factors: differing costs for different degrees of Transform; increasing costs to permit additional targets and results; built in limiting factors on the result (total point value) and ways to increase that; and the use of BODY as a factor in either a slow change or all at once. Multipower with "only in form X" would have been the way to do it, given 1-3e corebook and Champions II supplement only, but even back then I thought that was okay for a werewolf but not quite for a Mystique-style shifter, and we still had nothing at all for transforming others. And about the only factor I see keeping us from using Transform on the self is the idea that we should never do that lest we break the game by Unbalancing. But I don't know that there even exists any data that this could happen. (N.B. In the one session so far in which I've played my cartoon ostrich character, I've discovered that in the interaction between Disguise Skill and non-concealable Distinctive Features means that while I can disguise myself as a robed cultist, and anyone seeing me will believe I am a robed cultist, they will see a humanoid ostrich that sounds exactly like Arnold Schwarzenegger, but will 100% accept him as one of them!)
  14. My three gift licenses have been claimed!
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