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Killer Shrike

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Killer Shrike last won the day on June 4

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About Killer Shrike

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    HEROphile at large
  • Birthday 10/02/1974

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    San Diego, CA
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    Contact me at KillerShrike@killershrike.com
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    Software Developer

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  1. Hrm...that presents some difficulties...the story hook was intended to be anchored around Murgy and establishing both a personal nemesis for him and furthering his seeking immortality arc, wrapping up act 2 of the arc...and more talky and plot revealing and less shooty. But, family first, these things happen. Before I start juggling story elements to work around this I would like some visibility into the future. Can and will everyone be present on Nov 30th? @King Red @Steve @Durzan Malakim @WilyQ @L0rd_Magg0t @Scything
  2. Her name was Devorah Levine, though she went by Debbie in mixed company. Raven haired and nontraditionally beautiful, daughter of a successful small business owner with a chain of Buick dealerships across the New England seaboard. Funny, with a piercing observational wit, and a wry sense of humor that bordered on scandalous at times. The young wizard had met her at the bowling alley the fourth night of slipping away from the extremely vexing puzzle box, which he had begun to realize was even more complex than originally understood, capable of subtle mutations according to some scheme or stimuli that was not yet clear. He had been minding his own business bowling alone on the far lane up against the back wall of the bowling alley, when Debbie had separated herself from her pack of girlfriends and come over under the pretense of giving him some bowling tips. It soon turned out that she was definitely a better bowler than he, but her true interest was in something other than bowling. Unaccustomed to female proximity, having lived a somewhat cloistered life, the young wizard was entirely unprepared for such a bold show of interest and similarly ill prepared for flirting, but luckily for him good breeding and manners prevented him from making a fool of himself and Devorah seemed to find his refined behavior charming. Without him really knowing how it happened, the young wizard eventually realized that he had somehow become committed to taking Debbie on a date the upcoming Friday night. She eventually departed with her friends to return to their sorority house in time for curfew, leaving a bemused and slightly befuddled young man in her wake. It would be charitable to say the young wizard continued dutifully in his attempts to unravel the secrets of the puzzle box over the next few days, but it would require a certain stretching of the truth to do so. He could barely hold focus for more than half an hour at a time before his mind would inevitably stray to thoughts of what Friday night might entail, followed by a subsequent inattentive mistake which would reset the box. He returned to the bowling alley each night hoping to encounter her again, but to no avail. Friday night rolled around with agonizing slowness, and after much perseverating over what to wear and fussing over coiffure and accouterments he set out on his first date ever in his father's sleek black 1950 Cadillac Sixty Special. The puzzle box, left to its own devices on the side table in the study, continued to slowly permutate in his absence.
  3. I don't care one way or the other how you do it, as the opening sentence's "That works if you choose to allow it as the GM," would seem to indicate. I was just pointing out the rule. Welcome to the boards, and have a nice day.
  4. That works if you choose to allow it as the GM, but per RAW.... Generally, characters should not apply Advantages to Senses or Sense Modifiers. However, the GM may allow this if he feels it’s a good way to create an interesting power construct, won’t unbalance the game, and satisfies his common sense and dramatic sense.
  5. Yes, I've used the explosion-like fall off of PER modifiers for some light sources, particularly for things like torches and bonfires. I also have done something similar for some smoke bomb type effects.
  6. If you are the GM, it's up to you. When I use Images to model light, I personally do include AoE.
  7. I remembered this document I wrote up a looooong time ago (5e era) as a response to someone on these boards complaining about flashlights... http://www.killershrike.com/GeneralHero/HEROEquipmentDebunk.aspx Kind of entertaining reading for me...blast from the past. ____ The way I do it in my current 6e campaign is a total handwave...flashlights are Equipment paid for in gear pools for flat points depending on the kind and quality of the flashlight. Their effect is simply stated without mechanical definition, and I file all argumentation about it under the category of "Don't Care". To wit, some examples: Tactical Xenon Flashlight Attachment: (Provides Sufficient Illumination To See A 1 hex Area Within 10m When Attached Weapon Is Pointed At It); OIF Arrangement (Under-barrel Mount; -3/4) Real Cost: 1 Flashlight - Mini: (Concealment + 2 when not in use; Provides Sufficient Illumination To See A 1 hex Area Within 5m) Real Cost: 1 Flashlight: (Provides Sufficient Illumination To See A 1 hex Area Within 10m) Real Cost: 2 Cop-style Flashlight: (+1D6 Hand Attack, Provides Sufficient Illumination To See A 3 hex Area Within 20m) Real Cost: 5 Here's a case from back when I still bothered to write it up as Images: High Powered Lantern: Sight Group Images, +/-4 to PER Rolls, Area Of Effect (16m Radius; +3/4); Only To Create Light (-1), OAF (-1), Set Effect (-1), No Range (-1/2), 1 Continuing Charge lasting 1 Day (+1/4) Real Cost: 10 The extra detail never really came up in actual play so at some point I just dispensed with it.
  8. Sure, when you are the GM loose interpretation solves many things
  9. Yeah. Change Environment is not supposed to grant bonuses, which is a rather arbitrary ruling and one I don't agree with. Personally, I think the best way to model light is using the Change Environment model to grant +PER to sight as normal darkness is mechanically represented by -PER penalties to sight. Images only for light is to me a very awkward construct and basically a handwave. It is however the official way to do it. Personally, I just rely on common sense for this kind of thing...I don't really care what the mechanical representation is per se, I consider the intensity of the light source and distance from the light source and assess a lighting conditions PER penalty (including -0) the same as I would for an ambient light source.
  10. Some film & TV writers don't seem to get it (my personal pet peeve is the need some superhero show writers seem to feel to do an episode arc or sequel based around preventing a hero from using the abilities that make them super--very aggravating!), but some writers do get it. I would argue that the Marvel movies by and large generally get this right, offering heroes that are relateable but also allowing them to cut loose with their powers and focusing on threats that remain challenging and require the heroes to be super to overcome. Some of the DCUA cartoons do this too. Most recently, Young Justice is to me a pretty good template for team based supers campaign.
  11. Quoted for truth and signal boost. This basic technique has been at the core of my GMing style for many years.
  12. Seems like it could introduce a useful mechanical differentiator...it's worth a shot!
  13. Well, yeah, stun lock is part of the Hero System default model and biases. If you are playing in a setting where lethal damage is more common than normal damage and fights are usually "to the death" that can really get in the way. For starters, characters should be budgeting their action economy to fight defensively...blocks, dodges, rolling w/ punch, dive for cover, and also consider maneuvers beyond strike that have some kind of enemy-inconveniencing element such as disarm / takeaway / target falls / etc, as well as paying careful attention to managing their own DCV...it is pretty common for things in the system that offer bonus offense to come at the cost of a hit to DCV. Having good resistances is good, but nothing beats not getting hit in the first place. That aside, I have used a few different house rules over the years on and off in various campaigns where I wanted a different tone to 'adjust' the system to dial down the stun lotto / TKO grazing shot dynamics. However, they tweak the game in different directions and depend on specific operating parameters to function as intended in a holistic composition with other twiddled bits. One of the simplest is to simply apply the stun multiple to the amount of body that gets past rDef and the target takes that full amount of stun without applying nDef...thus if 2 body gets past rPD with a x5 multiple, the target subtracts 10 stun...they do not apply the multiple to the full amount of body and subtract their rPD + nPD from that amount. This is an abstraction that speeds gameplay and prevents characters from getting TKO'd by attacks that do not penetrate or grazing wounds, and it is easy to remember at the table, however it has logical flaws...like a character with very high rDef will take no stun at all from most attacks. This can be mitigated on the bottom end by just saying that an attack does a minimum amount of stun equal to the number of dice rolled...thus a target hit by a 3d6 KA would suffer a minimum of 3 stun even if they bounced all the body or say 1 body with a x1 multiple. This approach, as I said, is an easy to remember hand wave, and it favors PC's over the long term as the average PC is in far more combats than an NPC, but it will make fights take longer if the GM stocks the world with a lot of high rDEF adversaries. This can be a pro or a con depending on what you are going for. The strongest con is that it is a hand wave and there are some wonky edge cases that will require you to either hand wave them too or make a spot ruling. Another potential con is that nDEF is of lower utility / is less significant in a campaign where this approach is used...although that can turn into a borderline pro if people build into that curve as it creates an interesting niche for blunt weapons purchased as normal damage...for instance a quarterstaff doing normal damage might have an interesting effect vs a target whose damage mitigation stance was optimized to take advantage of this lethal damage house rule. But, yeah, you are correct that allowing killing damage to ratchet up ultimately gets to a point where the stun getting applied on even non-wounding attacks is crazy. I actually do talk about problems of increasing damage in this document, and suggest that to dial up lethality it is better to lower resistant defenses vs increase damage http://www.killershrike.com/FantasyHERO/HighFantasyHERO/shrikeLethalityOptions_Design.aspx The real world serves as an excellent example of that...as effective resistant defenses are very rare in the real world, a modest knife or pistol is reliably lethal vs the majority of targets. Unfortunately, this runs counter to most players expectations. So you have to balance what makes sense mechanically with what your players are going to expect or tolerate.
  14. For superheroes? In this day and age nothing could be easier even if you have no background in printed comics. Just watch some superhero movies / tv shows / and or cartoons and then try to emulate the bits from them that you and your friends like.
  15. Session went off without a hitch last night. @Steve was unable to make it due to a family obligation, but it worked out as Beretta was rendered comatose at the end of the last session. Jack the valorous bravely lept from banisters and scaled balconies to thread his way past obstacles to get to her and force one of his healing potions down her throat to save her from deaths door, but she was still affected by some kind of infernal infection and remained unconscious. Meanwhile Drew, Joey, and Killroy worked together to pummel the Red Hand's daemonsoul into unconsciousness. Murgatroyd took control and ordered the team to flee before the rest of the Red Hand cultists could free themselves from Jack's alchemical glue bomb, amid out-of-character riffs around the table on the Gandalfian "Flee you fools!" moment. Jack loaded Beretta into the back of her Mustang and fished around in her pockets for the keys, he drove the Mustang with Killroy in the passenger seat. Drew drove the rented SUV with Murgy in the passenger seat, and Joey in the back with the daemonsoul administering Haymakers at a regular cadence to keep the daemonsoul knocked out. Killroy knew of a rundown and vacant warehouse near the municipal airport that he had assessed as a possible location for a field office, and the group went there. Murgy created a mystical warding circle around the daemonsoul, sure that it was only a matter of time before the Red Hand attempted to find her via scrying. Joey stayed in the circle with the daemonsoul and continued to periodically punch her. Beretta was unresponsive and Jack's healing potions had done all they could; she needed medical attention. However, given the unnatural nature of her injuries, they team could not just take her to the hospital. The decision was made to pull out to Quantico via Murgy t-port, but the team had left luggage at two different hotels. Drew and Jack took the SUV and headed out to the first hotel...the one whose management had hired the team in the first place...the El Dorado...with the intent of Drew gathering up all the stuff the team had left in their rooms there, then driving across the river and repeating the process at the other hotel...the Margaritaville...and then returning to the warehouse so that the team could teleport out. Due to complications from a prior session, when Jack was possessed by a Guede Loa and made a rather public scene of himself at the El Dorado casino, Jack waited in the SUV while Drew went up the back elevator to the teams rooms on the 3rd floor. To pass the time Jack cleaned his pistol and fiddled about. After a while, it dawned on him that Drew had been gone awhile. He waited a little longer...but eventually he had to admit something was wrong. Drew should have been back by now. Jack called Drew's phone but it went to voicemail. Without pausing to call back to the rest of the team, Jack left the SUV and entered the hotel from the garage entrance and headed toward a bank of elevators. No one else was in sight, but Jack did notice a couple of bubble-style security cameras in corners...he was definitely on camera. He pushed the button for an up elevator and after a few seconds one arrived with a "ding" but as the doors opened Jack felt a deep sense of unease, a cold tingling reptile brain dread, the hairs on the back of his neck standing up. He opted to try the stairs instead. Feeling no such emanation in the stairwell, he ascended to the 3rd floor and found it empty of any people. Getting a bit of an Overlook Hotel feeling, Jack took a pause to remember which room was Drew's, then walked down the silent empty hall to knock on that door. Receiving no answer, he looked both ways...noticing a couple of security cameras along the wall, shrugged and kicked in Drew's hotel room door. Entering the room, Jack couldn't tell if there were signs of disarray per se because Drew is notoriously a bit messy...nothing obvious like a overturned lamp shade stood out. Jack looked back out the door down the hallway...still no one. Not even someone poking their head out to see what all the noise was from Jack having kicked in the door. Very odd. Jack took out his cell phone and called Drew again...and heard the rhythmic buzzing of a phone on vibrate from under the bed. Allowing the door to close, he walked over and peered under the bed and found Drew's cell phone. Looking to the other side, he saw Drew's pistol underneath a chair in the corner which he retrieved...finding it to be in working condition but with some kind of ichorous slime residue on it. Pulling back the drawn curtains Jack discovered a rounded crack in the side of one of the window panes like the half-impression of a head. Eyeballing the physical geometry of the bed, chair, and window it kind of looked like maybe someone...perhaps Drew...had been knocked off their feet while standing on the window side of the bed...perhaps with pistol drawn and in the process of trying to call an ally...and slammed their head partially into the window's jam and partially into the glass before falling unconscious onto the floor...phone and gun tumbling away from the impact. On high alert, Jack tried to call Murgy...but his phone suddenly had no bars despite having just had a good connection a moment ago. Jack heard something moving around outside the pushed closed door...he had kicked in the latch so anyone or thing could just walk in by nudging it open. Glancing at the window and down the three stories to the ground Jack briefly considered jumping and hoping for the best but was unsure if he could survive. A knock at the door was followed by "Mr. Maywood? Please come to the door sir.". Taking one last glance out the window and not liking his odds, Jack grimaced and headed over to the door. >>> More to come <<< Everyone present had a strong night of roleplaying, and as the group separated and headed in different directions, most of the players had a chance to chew some scenery in focus scenes; each of them received 4 XP, and the group voted Drew MVP for the session.
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