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KA. last won the day on February 25

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  1. This is slightly off topic, and not addressed at anyone involved in this thread, but reading some of the comments has brought something to mind that I have been thinking about for some time. Also, if the tone seems a bit heated, I apologize in advance, but this is a topic that has been bothering me for a while, again, none of this is addressed to those posting in this thread. Over the many years of my sporadic RPG career, I have done a roughly equal amount of time as a GM and as a Player. I enjoyed both. I enjoyed playing because all I had to do was show up with a well-prepared character, or some good ideas if we were creating characters from scratch, and enjoy playing the game. I enjoyed GM'ing, because it gave me the chance to try my hand at creating an adventure that the players would enjoy, find challenging, and want to continue into a campaign. That is not the only difference. GM'ing is a metric buttload of work. I started out DM'ing AD&D. You had to create a plot, maps, monsters, treasures, traps, NPC's, atmosphere, background information, interesting things for each character to potentially do (traps and locks for the thief, appropriate stuff for the fighters to fight, people for the cleric to convert or heal, interesting magic stuff for the magic user to find, etc.). It might take a day of work for each hour the players were going to spend at the table. Champions is a little different, not as much "treasure" but way more NPC's and combat and plot. And I admit that I did enjoy the work I put into creating an adventure, mostly, but it was still work and took up a lot of time, which all of us seem to have less of as the years go by. I also enjoy cooking, and from time to time I invite people over for dinner. If I invite someone who does not like spicy food, I have no problem accomodating that. If I invite someone who loves baked beans, I will do my best to work them into the menu. However, since I am the one buying the ingredients, playing the host, and doing all the work preparing the food, I expect to get a certain amount of apprectiation for going to all the trouble. After all, there are plenty of restaurants that will cook the food you want, pretty much the way you want it, you just have to pay for it, and the more demanding you are, the more you usually have to pay. There are times when players, and I hope it is mainly players who have never GM'ed, give off a vibe like: "I want you to go out and buy every possible ingredient for every possible dish. Clean them, prep them, and have them waiting for my arrival. When I get there, I expect you to produce exactly the dish I am in the mood for, even though I may not know myself what I want. You think that you have to right to have some input into what you cook? How dare you! You can't bully me into accepting something that you enjoy too, this is all about me!" That example may be a little extreme, but I find the concept that the GM is just another player, with no more right to have the game suit him than anyone else, to be ridiculous. Maybe everyone else lives in a world that is crowded with GM's begging players to enter their games, but that has never been my experience. I always felt lucky that someone else was willing to put in all that effort so I didn't have to. That doesn't mean I would put up with a GM that was rude or abusive, but other than that, I was happy enough to be in a game to cut the GM some slack. I am not saying that the players are just there to act out the GM's play so he can sit back and watch it. But as much as the word "railroad" has been maligned in the RPG world, it is a great way to get a group of people to the same place at the same time! Perhaps the concept of "carpool" is more appropriate. Everyone is trying to get to the same basic place, at around the same time. If one of the group wants to stop off to pick up some drycleaning, or drop something in the mailbox, that is fine too, as long as everyone gets where they are going in time. But, if people are saying that if the guy who owns the car, buys the gas, and does all the driving, likes to stop off for a doughnut every morning, he doesn't have that right unless all the passengers want one too, that sounds like B.S. to me. After all, if someone just wants to come up with a story where their character, and all the faceless drones that follow it around, does exactly what he wants in a world made to accomodate him, they can do that. They call it writing a story. But to expect someone else to spend their time writing one for you, that exactly matches your desires, with little to no input from them, seems a little selfish. For one thing, if the GM is not the guiding the plot, who is? I always see comments about "the players", but if you think about it, would all the players want exactly the same thing? I mean obviously, if you start out with a bank being robbed, and one player wants to kill off the robbers by beheading them with her power sword, and one player wants to use his negotiation skills to talk the robbers out of a life of crime, and one player wants to go to the library across the street and research the history of the Federal Reserve, and the final player wants to have their character strike up a romance with one of the "rough-edged but dangerously attractive" bank robbers, you can't pursue all of those threads at the same moment, especially since the bank robbery is only being staged as a distraction while Viper is stealing the McGuffin across town and the players probably need to figure that out, if not now, at least soon. So, do you stop for a vote after each turn so see which direction the players want to jump? I believe that the problem is often not "The Players are not able to have Their characters do the things They want to." but instead, "I am not able to have My character do exactly what I want to, (and have all the other players and the rest of the game world go along with me)!" I have never seen someone suggest that the players should take some sort of vote, or express their opinions on which direction the game should go, it always seems to be assumed that if that power-mad GM would just get out of the way of the person who is talking, everyone else could follow them to the promised land. After all, if you are going to only please one person at the table, it might as well be the person who does all the work, not the person who does nothing but complain about the work that has been done, without actually contributing anything that would also make the other players happy. For some reason, many players seem to think that if the game was just run they way they want it to be, every thing would be great. And that's fine, if someone thinks they can do a better job than the GM, they should give it a try. Do the work. Spend the time. Come up with the kind of plot you like. Guide the game in the direction you see fit . . . Oh, but wait, isn't that railroading? 😁 ka.
  2. I just watched my first, and probably last, three minutes of Batwoman. I have not been following the "Arrowverse" for a couple of years, and I haven't seen or heard anything to really make me want to watch Batwoman, but I also didn't have anything against it. So, I was flipping channels and I saw what I think was the first few minutes of tonight's episode. A train was gaining speed and flying through the stations instead of stopping. It appeared that the computer controls had failed. A man in a control room (Luke Fox? at least according to a quick google search) was trying to reach Batwoman, who was basically ignoring him while she talked about how much she liked her motorcycle. She finally caught up with the train just before it crashed. She launched a grapple (which appeared to be about four inches across) through the thin-looking metal on the back of the last car, then fired the other end into the ground, tie, something, causing the train to stop instantly about an inch from the barrier it was going to crash into. Then, the anchor that had been fired into the ground came loose and came flying toward Batwoman from behind and a guard, policeman, something, tackled her out of the way. I think this would have been laughed out of the first script meeting in the Adam West Batman show. Bat Shark Repellent was more realistic than this crap. Wouldn't stopping the train instantly do almost as much damage as a crash, unless you were in the engine itself? Could any sort of grapple, no matter what it was made of, stop a train just by punching through the metal of the last car? Even if the anchor at the other end was strong enough to hold, wouldn't it just tear back through the metal? I have always been a four-color kind of guy, and I don't expect comic books the follow all the laws of physics, but this was just ridiculous. I have no problem with Superman catching Lois when she falls off a building without hurting her. But if he caught her by one hair of her head and that supported her whole weight, I would have to cry foul. This was just goofy. Just my first, and likely last, impression. KA.
  3. Spence, Thanks for the comments. Back when we used to play it that way, it definitely worked both ways, it a hero made a full move at a mook, the mook got his shot. If a villain made a full move at a hero, the hero got his shot. It worked the same for everyone. Again, I accept the rules as written, I just didn't get it back then. I think part of the problem was thinking about it in terms of time. The way we played it, again this was based on a limited understanding of the rules, was that if you had a SPD of 4 and there were 12 seconds in a Round, then each of your Phases took 3 seconds. So, if you made a full move, that took three seconds. (Again, I am not in any way saying this is correct, this is how we thought it worked.) So, assuming that combat has already started (not Phase 12, later on in the combat) the Prime Mover (Half man, Half bull 800 lbs of angry prime beef) gives a battle snort at you and, since his Dex is one point higher than yours, gets to complete his full move for a Move-by (ole'). Based on how we were figuring how time works, his full move took three seconds. Which left you standing there, blaster in hand, counting One One-Thousand, Two One-Thousand, Three One-thousand waiting for him to get there and run you over. Then, if you were still standing, not stunned, etc. you got your chance to take your shot. I think the time/movement part is what gave us trouble. It I am standing in the street at high noon, and Billy the Young has a higher DEX, meaning he gets to draw and fire before I draw and fire because his DEX is one point higher than mine, I am okay with that, it makes sense. It was the idea that if he wanted to walk all the way down the street and punch me in the nose, I would stand there and wait for it because his DEX was one point higher that I had a problem with. Doing something instantly (shoot), faster than I do something instantly (shoot), because your DEX is a little bit higher makes sense. Doing something that takes 3 seconds (the full move) faster than I can do something instantly (shoot) is what did not seem to make sense. I understand it now. It is a game, not a perfect simulation of reality. As long as the rules are fair in the overall sense and work together to form a cohesive whole everything is fine. It just seemed weird to us. KA.
  4. Just off the top of my head, it seems like you would need to do more than one BODY for the target to be hooked. Thinking of the harpoon as a real object, it seems possible that only one or two BODY would just be a "nick", not an impalement. I don't know how many BODY makes sense, but more than one or two. For the pulling I would go with a limited form of TK "Only to pull toward", etc The damage for pulling out the Harpoon would be a Triggered KA attached to the initial attack. It would even make sense to have the Triggered attack do more damage based on the damage the initial attack did. After all, the more firmly "planted" the harpoon was, the more damage it would do when you removed it. Just some thoughts, KA.
  5. Thank you both for the input. Again, I wasn't trying to say it was wrong, just that it was very counterintuitive for me. The idea of holding an action also helps a lot. I think that in my mind I have been merging "able to shoot" and "ready to shoot". Especially at the start of combat, you may be trying to figure out what is going on, who the threat is, and what your response should be. If, at that time, you have a weapon or attack power ready, you are at that point "able to shoot", but not "ready to shoot". It will take a certain amount of time to decide on your target and what you are going to do. Which would explain the person with higher DEX getting to attack you first. However, if you are using a Held Action, you are at that point "ready to shoot". "That guy in the Skull Costume looks like trouble, if comes at me in a threatening way, I am going to blast him!" So if the Skull guy uses his Phase 12 to take a shot at someone with his Skull Blaster, and you hold your action, then on his next phase you don't have to stand there flat footed while he runs across the football field and smacks you. You can use your held action to blast him.
  6. I have been playing Champions, on and off, since the boxed set. I own almost every single thing from 4th Ed. I own the majority of the 5th Ed.books, but never really played that version, and have not looked at 6th due to a lack of players and finances. I was mostly self-taught in the early days, and since I had bought the books, I was the most "experienced" player in the game, usually the GM. Years later, on this very board I found out that I had been doing something wrong for years. You and your opponent are a distance away from each other. For the sake of argument, you are a Full Move away from each other (whatever that distance might be, let's say 30"). You and your opponent have the same SPD, and his DEX is one point higher than yours, so he acts first. He chooses to do a Full Move and attack (Move Through, Move By, whatever.) I want to attack him with a Ranged Attack (Energy Blast). Because his DEX is higher he goes first. I don't know if I misread the rule in the early edition, skipped over it completely, or just blocked it out because it would not process, but in our games we always played that. My opponent starts running at me, from 30" away. Based on what he is doing (running in a straight line, bobbing and weaving, using cover, whatever) I take my shot with appropriate modifiers for speed and distance. Then, assuming he is not Stunned or KO'ed, he makes his attack on me at the end of his move. I am not saying this is right, this is just how we did it. I also understand now, that doing it this way could potentially rob my opponent of his attack, because he could get Stunned or KO'ed on the way, even though he has the right to attack first because of his higher DEX. However, when I first was told about the correct way,according to the rules, it sounded so strange. I know Champions is a super hero game, but not every character is The Flash! So the idea that Character A stands like a statue with a blaster drawn (eyebeams at the ready, character-rang in hand, etc.) while his opponent runs the entire length of a football field and smacks him, at which point Character A gets to take his shot, just seemed crazy.. I know that is the rule as written. I know that it works with the other rules. I accept that it is fair to all participants. It just feels weird. Has anyone else ever done this any other way, or did everyone else in the world "get it" the first time they saw it? KA.
  7. Okay, I am not a fan of the Patriots. That has nothing to do with this observation. Just now, watching the game, I saw Bill Belichick's son, who is the coach for the Safetys, for the first time. Bill is not what I would consider a handsome man, mainly because he looks very weathered and always seems to be squinting or scowling. But his son is downright scary. Bill always reminded me of Darkseid, maybe in part because of the hoodies he always used to wear, and, again the kind of weathered, stony face he has. His son Steve looks like one of the "less humanoid" inhabitants of Apokolips , possibly DeSaad. Just saying . . .
  8. Just finished baking pies. Ready to go to sleep, so I can wake up and do more cooking, and eating! Hope everyone is having a good Thanksgiving. KA.
  9. The message I got is: "Football will be very boring this year, don't bother to watch." Oh well. Coincidentally, I heard a discussion on sports radio today concerning the decreasing importance of the Running Back in the NFL. However, if the new rules have the results it appears they are going to have, it could lend a whole new importance to the running game. If every pass play becomes a risky crapshoot, with a 50/50 chance of a turnover depending on who the officials think interfered with whom, running may look like a safer option. ka.
  10. Trying to enjoy some pre-season football, only to find it unwatchable due to the new "restraining order" pass interference rules. It seems that if any two players are within fifty feet of each other during a passing play, someone must be called for interference. They even made a few calls against some backup quarterbacks who were playing catch on the sidelines, and one against a vendor that tossed a hotdog to a fan that was too close to another fan that was thinking about buying a hotdog for himself. How many of these calls will retroactively put the Saints into last years Superbowl? Oh well, if I quit watching the season now, I can skip the Patriots next trip to the Superbowl against the Washington Senators. ka.
  11. I am pretty sure that if Texans were exposed to Dinosaurs, their first move would be to grab their buns and go hunting! Why? Two words . . . Dino Burgers!
  12. Currently watching Season One of The Wild WIld West. Recently bought the DVD's for 3 dollars. The show still holds up. This is the 40th Anniversary Edition and has lots of extras. Good stuff. KA.
  13. Just finished watching The Nightmare Before Christmas for the second time. The first time I watched, years ago when my wife bought me the DVD, I found it rather slow, but at the time I thought it was just me. Watched it with the wife this time, after going through most of my Christmas movie collection, and she said "That seemed kind of long, what was it, about 2 hours?" 75 minutes. I know everyone else loves it. It's Tim Burton. It's Goth. It has bushel baskets of style oozing from every frame. People all over the country have Jack Skellington tattoos, and shirts and hats. But I just find it painfully slow to actually watch the thing. I think Jack is really cool too, I could even see myself getting a shirt or mug with him on it. But I think this is one of those things where the creator fell so in love with his creation that he didn't leave a single frame on the cutting room floor. I think that buried somewhere in this morass is a very clever and original half-hour show, that got bloated beyond all recognition. Go ahead, hate me, but that is the way I feel. KA. P.S. Before that we watched an animated (probably straight to video) Christmas movie called "Saving Santa". It was way better than I expected (because I expected it to be crap :) ) It has some halfway acceptable songs, it has an interesting time travel subplot that they handle fairly well for a crappy cartoon, and Tim Curry does the voice of the villain. If you see it for a dollar, and you have kids that will watch anything that has Santa attached, you may want to check it out.
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