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Killer Shrike

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Killer Shrike last won the day on June 4 2019

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About Killer Shrike

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  • Birthday 10/02/1974

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    Contact me at KillerShrike@killershrike.com
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    Software Developer

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  1. HtbM face to face session @ At Ease Games, 5pm
  2. Evenstar flares on disk of night...I fall, R'lyeh rises to full height... Hidden shapes in cyclopean vaults...surge forth from schismatic faults... That is not dead which can eternal lie...and with strange aeons even death may die...
  3. Here There Be Monsters face to face session @ At Ease Games, 5pm
  4. Sorry for delayed response, I've had a grueling week. I'll be running a session today (January 11, 2020) @ At Ease Games, starting at 5pm.
  5. I'm hoping to resume running sessions on Jan 11th if everyone can make it.
  6. This actually came up relatively recently in actual play. I exercise the "Unless the GM rules otherwise," clause and allow a Grab & Throw as a single action, and I treat a thrown person as a person-sized & shaped AoE. I assign either or both the unerodynamic / unbalanced penalties and potentially other penalties depending on the situation and how the movement is described / what makes sense to me given the givens. I do not treat this as a Multiple Attack. A secondary target who is aware of the attack can abort to Dive For Cover, or may abort to attempt to catch the thrown person / object and potentially reduce or cancel the damage depending on what makes sense.
  7. The goal of raising CV is not to reach a specific number but rather to remain competitive with the average CV of the campaign. And thus the counter argument there is that a given character does not need to advance their CV to the same levels as earlier editions to be competitive unless everyone else is also, and as raising CV costs more for everyone across the board the speed of progression is internally consistent. A rising tide lifts all boats.
  8. 6Ev2 p62 GRAB This Maneuver allows a character to get a hold on another character or object. Making A Grab To Grab an opponent, a character must make an Attack Roll with appropriate modifiers. If successful, he has Grabbed his opponent. (As described below under Escaping From Grabs, the victim immediately gets a Casual STR roll to break free, if desired.) SQUEEZING, SLAMMING, AND THROWING In many cases, a character Grabs his enemy just to hold onto him or prevent him from doing something, but sometimes the Grabber wants to hurt the target at the same time. A character who has Grabbed someone can do either of the following: Squeeze him. This does regular STR damage (STR/5 in d6 of Normal Damage) to the victim; the character retains his hold on the victim. Slam him against something (such as the ground or a wall). This does regular STR damage (STR/5 in d6 of Normal Damage) to the victim; the character retains his hold on the victim. Throw him, using the Throw Combat Maneuver (6E2 80), which requires him to let go of the victim. If the Grabber chooses to Squeeze, Slam, or Throw the Grabbed character in the same Segment in which he (the Grabber) successfully Grabbed him, the Squeeze, Slam, or Throw does not require an Attack Roll (it automatically succeeds) and takes no time. A character cannot Hold this “free” action; he must use it in that same Segment. If the Grabber wants to Squeeze, Slam, or Throw his victim in a later Phase, doing so is an Attack Action (it doesn’t automatically succeed, requires an Attack Roll, and so forth). Assume any Grab-and-Throw is a Standing Throw, unless the Grabber begins a Phase with a Grabbed victim and the GM lets him move before making the Throw. If the Attack Roll for a Squeeze or Slam fails, the victim takes no damage but remains Grabbed. After performing a Grab, in that same Segment a character can only Squeeze, Slam, or Throw the target as an immediate attack. He can’t use any other maneuvers or attacks (unless the GM so permits, and even in that case, using another attack should mean releasing the Grab in most circumstances). In later Phases he can use any attacks he wants (provided he has the free limbs or other means to do so). If a Grab-based Maneuver (such as Martial Grab) provides a STR bonus, that bonus applies solely for the purposes of holding on to the target. It doesn’t increase the damage done by Squeezing, Slamming, or Throwing the target, increase the distance a target can be thrown, or have any other effect. Similarly, characters can use Combat Skill Levels to increase their OCV or DCV when Grabbing, but not the damage done by Squeezing, Slamming, or Throwing. A character cannot use his Hand-To-Hand Attack to improve the damage done by Squeezing, Slamming, or Throwing a Grabbed character. Nor can characters Haymaker Squeeze, Slam, or Throw damage. Grab-and-Throw damage doesn’t get a bonus from the velocity of the Grabbed character the way a Martial Throw does. ----------------------- Later in the book 6e adds a lot of extra complexity for the specific case of a character throwing another character at a third (or more) character(s), with a special subsystem on 6Ev2 p124 (disconnected from both the rules for Grabs and Throws) that basically ignores the general rules for throwing and asserts a different model entirely. Characters As Weapons Characters often like to pick up an opponent and use him as an impromptu club or missile with which to attack another foe. This has the benefit of hurting both enemies. Before a character can use another character as a club/missile, he must Grab the club/missile. If the club/missile is conscious (even Stunned), this requires the normal Attack Roll and imposes the normal penalties to the character’s OCV and DCV. If he’s unconscious, the character still has to make a Grab, but suffers only the standard -1 OCV and -2 DCV penalties (he doesn’t have the usual halved DCV in general, and halved OCV against other targets, if his Grab succeeds). Once the character has successfully Grabbed the club/missile, he may use the victim as a club against any target in HTH Combat range, or as a missile against any target within range of his Throw (see Throw, 6E2 80). To do this, he must make a separate Attack Roll against that target. Unless the GM rules otherwise, this is a separate Attack Action, so it cannot be performed in the same Phase when the character performs his Grab. The standard CV modifiers for Grab apply, and the GM may impose other modifiers to reflect the circumstances. If the attack succeeds, both the club/missile and the target take the character’s STR damage. (See 6E2 82 for rules regarding missed Throws.) Using another character as a club entails a weapon Size/Shape penalty of -2 OCV (if the “club” is unconscious) or -4 OCV (if he’s awake). A character used as a missile is neither balanced nor aerodynamic (minimum of -4 OCV). These penalties are in addition to any the character suffers for performing a Grab. ------------------------------- So basically, in the case of throwing a character at another character, 6e wants you to wait until the next phase and make a separate attack roll, and applies a -4 OCV (if the thrown character is conscious) on top of any other penalties, etc. This is, to me, a very inconsistent special casing / blatant nerfing. I really do not like the 6e special casing for this fundamentally true-to-fiction move; having grabbed and thrown people in real life...including into other people...I can tell you that it generally did not require me to latch on, wait 3-4 seconds, and then throw them. Rather, it happens as a single continuous flow of grab, pivot, and release in a direction determined by body mechanics and momentum, and the thrown person collides with whatever happens to be in the space their body is propelled into whether that be one or more objects, or one or more other people, a wall, or the floor. Same thing with a shove or a redirection.
  9. Witcher 3 is on my short list of contenders for GOAT (greatest of all time) video games. I also read the first book and half of the second but it wasn't compelling enough for me to continue thru the entire series at the time...though to be fair I was very busy and might have more patience for it during a less hectic stretch of existence. I watched the show to completion over the last few days, and overall I found it worth the time. However, for me, the series was carried by some really good episodes that made up for slower / duller episodes. When the show decides to give us some action it's generally does a really good job, but it's a bit on the talky side overall. A big plus for me and the thing that kept me engaged was the portrayal of Geralt was really good in my opinion. The show has a lot of small touches here and there that help with the world building and overall presentation. For instance, I thought it was neat that the opening sequence of each episode had a cool icon effect specific to the episode and there is a lot of canonical references and name drops which grants a certain amount of referential integrity to the source material. Also, the monsters shown were usually recognizable to me from having played the games. Someone on the show was paying close attention to the details in this area and it does a lot to buoy the series. A few critiques: First off, there is a lot of nudity. I'm not a prude, and I like verisimilitude, so tasteful and appropriate use of nudity for the sake of "realism" is fine for me, but a lot of the nudity in this show just seems gratuitous to me. Some of it is organic and serves the story / makes sense in the context of the scene, but a lot of it just seems like cringey fan service in my opinion. Second, for me some of the episodes were as soggy as the Sodden after a heavy rain and could have used some action or been a little shorter. I found myself fast forwarding thru some of the slower scenes where status quo was being maintained. Third, the show is depicting multiple timelines but it is not immediately obvious that this is what is happening. Almost no visual queues (many of the characters are long lived unchanging mages who look the same in scenes that are happening decades apart) or heads up title cards with a year indicator or something are offered. If I was unfamiliar with the lore and lacked some sense of timeline for the setting, I'm pretty sure it would have just been extremely confusing to me. As it was I think I didn't really realize that multiple timelines were being shown until some point in the 3rd episode. On the one hand, I like shows that don't over explain things and assume the watcher has at least a room temperature IQ, on the other hand I think this show goes too far and assumes that the watcher is already a fan and can figure it out from the knowledge they bring with them which is not very accessible to people new to the material. Fourth, while I think they got Geralt right, and though Yennefer is a little different from how I remember her from the games it's close enough to work, Jaskier / Dandelion did not work for me, and Triss was unrecognizable. There are also some missing characters, such as Shani, Philippa Eilhart or Dorregaray, which was a bit odd to me. Fifth, the depictions of other races is of uneven quality. The elves shown come off as just people with pointy ears...no actual difference to humans beyond that. They did an ok job with dwarves, but gnomes seem to be erased as a separate concept. The dryads just looked like humans. Similarly, the cultural differences between different groups of humans were only somewhat shown...while the Nilfgaardians are distinct in their look, there didn't seem to be any visual difference between the humans of Skellige and the humans of the Northern Kingdoms, or differences between the various Northern Kingdoms...they were all just garbed in generic "fantasy" clothing. A better job could have been done in costuming, basically. So, overall, while it's watchable and worth a second season IMO, I would hesitate to recommend it to someone who isn't already familiar with the material.
  10. It is a mechanic that encourages "Alpha Strikes" which are usually unhealthy in the long term. It synergizes with AoE's as they are substantially less impacted by taking a OCV penalty. It adds variance to combat calculus, making it more difficult as the GM to gauge likely outcomes and balance encounters. And so on. But, you know, nothing preventing you from trying it out.
  11. 1. the "power" of the player characters is relative to the norms of the setting and opposition...starting with more or less points doesn't really mean anything without anything external to compare it to. In this context, while players may start w/ more points going by the suggested values, so do the opposition. So, in the end, status quo. 2. "individual characteristics are often cheaper but without figured characteristics many builds need to spend more points": if you are intent on inflating stats to the absurd levels typical in previous editions published material, sure. But if you take a beat and realize that getting rid of figureds was intended to remove the inflation that was caused by people buying up primary's to take advantage of point recursions, and just buy primary and secondary characteristics to reasonable levels that are appropriate to describe the character I think you'll find that you'll spend about the same or less points on characteristics overall. 3. I haven't found character progression to be slower in 6e, relative to 5e or 4e, to the point that I would consider it a problem. However, I have a bias...relative to other games I find Hero System progression to be slow in general and I prefer this, personally. I don't like games where characters "level up" fast as it destroys the ability to tell a consistent narrative in long play mode which is my preferred approach. Gross power ups...zero to hero...is fine for movies, short novels, board games, etc...but unsatisfying (to me) for more weighty formats. I prefer a more natural feeling character progression where characters get better (and worse) in ways that make sense to the events of the story / the things they've been through. 6e is no better or worse in this regard in my experience than 5e or 4e.
  12. Ya, I've considered variations on this idea in the past. A few considerations: My great concern for schemes such as this is that I think it will slow down combat resolution by adding an additional decision making step to each segment. Players are not always the most decisive people, but even if you have players who make snap decisions it could also cause an escalation round...in what order do characters decide...can a player / GM change their bid in response to someone else raising their effective DEX? You'd probably want to resolve each character in _reverse_ DEX order such that the lowest DEX has to commit to rushing before asking the next higher DEX, with no takebacks. I could talk about the game theory of such a rushing mini-game at length, but generally speaking my goal as the GM is to speed up the mechanical aspect of combat so as to leave more room for roleplaying and narrative, not slow it down further. If you are going to allow rushing as you describe it, then for symmetry you should probably allow for the opposite...going down in the DEX order to get a bonus. We have something similar for skills as it is. If it makes sense to take a -1 penalty to get +2 DEX, does it also make sense to take -2 DEX for a +1 bonus? If that makes sense, what kind of bonus should I get for rolling over into my next phase? That starts to fall apart conceptually pretty quickly. Same idea in reverse, if I can take a penalty to raise my DEX in my phase, why can't I take a penalty to "rush" my action into the segment before my phase?
  13. Just to clarify, the fantasy content on my site is not _just_ conversions. In fact, the conversion content is a small fraction of the material. And, even within the area of conversions, there is more than one way to "convert" from one game system to another, including a full reboot...which I talked about in this document: http://www.killershrike.com/FantasyHERO/SystemConversionStyles.aspx The "Reboot conversion", which sounds like the approach you are taking, says this: Reboot Conversion Another approach to conversion is to basically leave the old system behind and just use the mechanics of the new game system as is, reinterpreting characters in the new system and simply ignoring anything from the old game that doesn't match up. The setting and background information from the old game is retained, but the mechanics are junked or at best used as inspiration for expressing ideas in the new systems terms. PROS This method offers a lot of advantages. It is by far the simplest means of conversion since you really aren't bothering to do an actual conversion. This means it is also the quickest way to convert. Since you're not tweaking around with the new system's mechanics you are also unlikely to run into major rules issues. CONS However, there are some downsides to this method as well. There will be some (or even many) elements of the original game that simply do not translate into the new system without some conversion effort, and thus are left behind. This can have a huge effect on the general "feel" of the setting going forward. In some cases this all works out, with the setting mutating in a fashion that is agreeable to the GM and players, but in others it can cause the people involved to lose interest in the game as the elements that they liked about the original setting are lost. Similarly, the archetypes that were rooted in the old game's mechanics may find themselves eclipsed by new archetypes that stem from the mechanics of the new game, which can also take the setting in new directions. Players whose liking of the old game was largely based upon a fondness for a particular sort of character will definitely be disgruntled if their favored character type fades away or turns out to be disadvantaged in the new system. HOW CAN YOU USE THIS SITE TO DO THIS KIND OF CONVERSION? If this style of conversion is your preference, good news! Much of the content in the conversion resources will still be useful to you since they merely demonstrate how to use the HERO System to model concepts from the original game. But, more significantly all of the generic High Fantasy HERO content provided by the site is immediately useful to you as a buffet line / cafeteria style resource for you to cherry pick from. So, to be clear, it isn't a big deal to me either way if you are uninterested in using the material, but if you are passing on it due to an incorrect preconception of what the material is then you might be excluding some resources that could help you. I provided some content for "campaign paradigms" for fantasy...the root document is here: http://www.killershrike.com/FantasyHERO/HighFantasyHERO/campaignParadigms.aspx One of the types I covered was "Super Fantasy", aka "Capes & Plate". The main takeaway is mechanically it's the same as running a Champions game, the only difference is setting and SFX. http://www.killershrike.com/FantasyHERO/HighFantasyHERO/Paradigms/SuperFantasy.aspx I wrote up a document for GM's coming from a class & level type of game into the Hero System on differences in how to present opposition to characters in a points based game. It's here: http://www.killershrike.com/FantasyHERO/Conversion3e/Conversion3eOpposition.aspx The main takeaway I have for you is to stop thinking about "appropriate opposition" or similar "level based encounter" meta considerations. Instead, populate the scenario with things that make sense per internal consistency, and pay attention to action economy, relative combat values, total DC in attacks, and average defenses. Having said that, Hero System combats tend to take a while. The combat system is very granular and tactically oriented. If you are running 2.5 hour long sessions and expect to have four "encounters" or lets say story beats to put a little distance away from D&D semantics...including at least one combat, then you are going to be challenged to use the Hero System. You could speed that up by just keeping opposing forces defenses a bit subpar and various GMing techniques, but all in all be aware that a decent Hero System combat between four PC's and evenly matched opponents can easily take 2.5 hours or more all by itself. Depends on how "heroic" vs "realistic" you go. If you go whole hog, with all or many of the lethality and injury options toggled on, then yeah the PC's will be in constant danger of getting killed or maimed. If you stick to straight heroic with maybe Hit Locations and Encumbrance turned on, then the PC's are not particularly fragile but can unexpectedly die to a head or vitals shot. Personally, I prefer to run the Hero System at the "cinematic" heroic level, particularly under 6e rules. I'm currently running a face to face heroic urban fantasy campaign, discussed in the open on this forum under the "clubs" section. You can check out the PC's and a lot of the enemies they have faced thus far here if you are interested. Though it is set in a modern setting, it is an urban fantasy and is only superficially different from a fantasy game...imagine swords and bows and chainmail instead of guns and kevlar and its the same thing. https://www.herogames.com/forums/forum/89-topics/
  14. I want everyone at the table for this session; so we'll postpone until January. I hope everyone enjoys their holidays.
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