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mallet

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About mallet

  • Birthday February 5

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    Burnaby, BC
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    Creative Development - Film / Television

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  1. In that case maybe there is a cultural/societal shift that you can add to your game. In bigger cities and towns, maybe there is a "money exchange" at every entrance. When people enter and leave they can first stop by these exchanges and have their coins either changed in to smaller value coins for spending in town, but when leaving to travel, they can exchange their various small coins for fewer larger value coins that are easier to carry (and conceal). For example, the team is leaving a city to go explore an old ruin, they have about 200 SP and 150 CP on them, which is a lot of coins and not only heavy, but also loud to walk around with. So they hit the exchange on their way out of town and get 2 GP and 3 SP. That is a lot easier to transport and hide, while they adventure. When they get back to town, they can trade the GP back in for silver coins to spend in the city.
  2. I always wanted a "power up" Limitation, I know that is probably the wrong terminology for what I will describe next, but it's what I've always mentally called it so far. Basically this is a limitation on how quickly a power reaches full effect, but the power can still "go off" earlier at a reduced amount if the Character decides to use it earlier. For example a Paladin has 6D6 Healing, Laying On Hands power. It has the Power Up limitation on it. So, if he spends one Phase using the power it heals 1d6, if he spends 2 phases it heals 2d6, and so on up to his maximum of spending 6 phases and healing 6d6 on the target. The value of the limitation would be based on how long each time increment is (segment, phase, turn) and how many die it goes up by each increment (1d6, 2d6, etc...) Another example might be a weapon that takes time to reach full power, but that could be used soon at lesser power. For example, Dr. Destroyer has a Destruction Ray that can do 20d6 KA when at full power, but it takes a lot of time to charge the weapon to max. It has the "Power Up" limitation, where it goes up 2D6KA every Turn, so in 10 turns it will reach maximum power and if fired will do maximum damage. But if the Heroes get there in 3 turns, the Ray will only do 6d6KA if fired, so now Dr. Destroyer has to decide whether to just fire the ray now and hope that it will do enough damage to destroy the dam and flood the city, or if he has to fend off the heroes for another 7 turns until the ray is at full power when he shoots it, but risk failing and no shot going off at all if he is stopped before then. Could also be used for energy weapons building in power, or hand-cranked weapons building in tension before being fired. Example, a crossbow that needs the bow cranked up in tension to fire. in it goes up 1d6 a phase, for 2 phases max. If the player only has time to spend one phase cranking up the tension in the crossbow, the bolt will only go half as far and only do 1d6 damage, compared to fully cranked and at max tension when it would go twice as far and do 2d6 damage.
  3. I think it would also depend on how much of that land as "explored" and/or settled (this is a fantasy setting after all). Sure the kingdom might be 370000 square miles large, but (without seeing a map) maybe a huge part of that is a "haunted forest" like Murkwood, and another part is an unexplored mountain range, and then there is the desert wastes where the Burrowing Scorpions keep everyone away, and so on. So maybe 2.5/mile is the "real" average PD for the entire nation, but once you take out all the places people don't live, inhabit, etc... the PD might rise in the areas that remain. For example, if 30% of the kingdom is unexplored/controlled by monsters then your average PD would rise up to 3.5. That said, 3.5 still seems really, really low, just as a thought on it, in most agriculture based areas they have large families because it takes a lot of people to farm any area of land. 2.5 people wouldn't be able to farm a square mile of land. 1 square mile is 640 acres. At the very best on average I could possibly see 1 person being able to handle 7 acers of farming on their own (working 10 hours a day, 7 day a week) so farming a full 1 square mile of farm land would need about 90 people, which when looking at Doug's data show it to be pretty "spot on" with historical averages. Also cities could be surprisingly large in the past. Paris pre-1400 is thought to have had up to 250,000 people living in it (the black plague and wars eventually doped this down to 100,000+ people). London at about the same time had around 150,000 If your kingdom has almost 1,000,000 and at least one major city in it, that might account for 10% of your entire kingdom's population, with probably another 25% in the areas surrounding it to supply all the food needed for a city that large and the safety is provides. That means 35% of your kingdom's population lives in one small area of the major city, and the areas around it. The other 65% take up the rest of the Kingdom. So unless the kingdom has vast, uninhabited areas that seems like a very small population. For another real life example, the size of your kingdom seems to be roughly the size of Germany (Germany being a little bit smaller. Germany = 360,000 miles squared) and according to records Germany had a population around 9 million people between 1300-1400 AD. So a kingdom about he same size as yours had roughly 10 times the number of people in it.
  4. I loved Top Secret SI, and my group played the hell out of it. Sure, looking back on it, the rules were stunningly basic, but we managed to make it fun. What was also great about it was the amount of sourcebooks and adventures put out for it. There were rules for more special forces type missions (Commando), source books on realistic espionage, high tech gadgets and gear books, a box set with a whole setting and advanced rules on gambling and car racing/chases, a source book of what the bad guys master plans were (The Web) and their secret bases and operations around the world, plus some tie-in fiction novels, a couple of which were actually pretty good. And then there was the spin-off games, Agent-13 (pulp era adventuring like with special abilities and mystical stuff. so you could do stuff like Indian Jones or The Shadow and other cool pulp adventuring (plus one of the fiction novels for this was really good)) and then there was also FREELancers (set in the near future (now past) of the 2000's, where technology and mutations and the collapse of American government all came together. It was basically Shadowrun (minus the magic) before Shadowrun came out with a bit of Twilight 2000 thrown in. Super fun.) My main group back then (mid 80's to late 90's) basically went from D&D, to Marvel/FASERIP, to Top Secret/SI, to Call of Cthulhu, to Shadowrun to WoD (Vampire mainly) then to Hero System, to Delta Green, with a few other games/systems thrown in there that never lasted for very long (Rifts, Robotech, Middle Earth, and many more I'm sure I'm forgetting) before everyone eventually ended up moving to different parts of the globe and the group broke up.
  5. mallet

    Prisons

    I would think that 99% of all prisons would be just like normal prisons are currently, mainly because 99% of the population is probably normal people and criminals. The 1% of prisons would "special", probably be Federal or Military ones, as they are the only groups that could afford to run them. Some of those might be "black sites" for the worst of the worst criminals, so terrorists, master criminals, etc... The non-black site prisons would be for famous vigilantes, unusual serial killers, and other major criminals who apparently used special skills or technology in their crimes. Some possible restrictions could be: -Confined to cells 23 hours a day. Only 1 hour a day "in the yard", and only by themselves, no interaction with other prisoners. -Ankle bracelets, like people wear under house arrest, but these also track where the prisoner is at all times, send an alert if they are tampered with or taken off, or if prisoner is somewhere they are not supposed to be, etc... -No access to internet Black sites would possibly be even worse as black sites theoretically don't have to follow federal laws or the Geneva convention.
  6. mallet

    Urban Hero

    Very true. WoD had the "vail" an effect which made normal people rationalize and or forget anything supernatural they came across. In Buffy/Angel people did often learn about it, but just accepted it. Heck all the students at Sunnydale saw and knew of monsters, the newspaper had headlines lines like "Mayor assures us no monsters involved", etc... LA had supernatural nighttime placed over it for days, with demons and monsters running around killing hundreds or thousands of people, then went back to normal. Whole communities and groups knew about Vampires and organized to fight them, and so on. The US government knew about monsters and vampires and was using/recruiting them for missions as far back as WWII. So that was like an "open secret" about the supernatural in that world. Or almost a very cool "in" thing to know about hem and deal with them. There were numerous bars and nightclubs where we saw normal people and demons hanging out together. There was even talk about the LA D.A. using their own shamans to protect the jury during a trial. In Supernatural, thousands of people over the years grew to know about supernatural events and monsters, but I assume most of them only ever encountered something like that one time, and probably rationalized it as a one off event or occurrence never fully realizing how widespread it was. So I guess the easiest way is just not to worry about it. Most of the TV shows never do.
  7. mallet

    Urban Hero

    I had a relatively long running Urban Fantasy campaign a few years back. Magic was "hidden" from regular people, but was lurking in the background. Lots of secret societies, cults, some monsters and cryptoids. Players had mystical/magical powers and abilities. I basically took most of the magical orientated stuff from Champions and put it in its own world with out superheroes, high tech, aliens, etc... So basically just a low powered magic and mystical only Champions. DEMON were the main bad guys and I used the Demon: Servants of Darkness sourcebook extensively for it, but also Mystic World and other groups and monsters out of it. It took a little adjusting to strip out the overtly super hero stuff, etc... but wasn't hard to do and made for a really fun campaign of Urban Fantasy, cults and saving the world from dark magic.
  8. I agree that expecting the RAW rules to provide "balance" is a bad idea, it is up to the GM to provide balance, either through GM fiat or allowing the RAW rules to be bent/broken in certain cases. If a player wants to play a Peasant who is brought along on an adventure with Warriors and Mages. There are two ways the GM can allow that to happen, either have the Peasant character start with a realistic point total to the concept (Normal Human, so like 50 pts or less) while all the other Players are built on 200+ points, but because of GM control of the game, the character is almost never attacked in combat as he/she is not seen as an "immediate threat" by the bag guys; or allow the player to build the character with the same 200+ points, but to break the caps and other "rules" that the rest of the party follow, so in this case maybe at first the Peasant character is allowed to have 10 levels of Combat Luck giving them basically 30 rPD/rED, but also restricting them to doing 1/2d6KA at most with any weapon. Then as the campaign progresses the more they raises their ability to do damage, the more their Combat Luck has to drop, until eventually they are "on par" with the rest of the party in defenses and damage dealing. And as for trying to imitate the LotR, I think that is also a bad idea as it is almost impossible to capture that kind of feeling/storytelling in any RPG, except maybe Amber Diceless. In any other system with fixed rules for attack, damage, phases, turns, skill rolls, etc... you can't really "capture" the magic or feeling of LotR without once again, ignoring a lot of the Caps, RAW rules, etc... I'm mean just look at those books/movies. How often is anyone injured in combat, even these massive wars? Almost never. They either get thorough fine, or they die. Almost never any in between unless it is for plot reasons. Frodo gets stabbed and almost dies, that regents son is badly injured and almost dies so his father wants to burn the body, but then he recovers in time, Frodo again gets poisoned, but rescued, and again Frodo also loses a finger, but I think that's it. Every other "injury" in combat also means the death of the character, Broimier dies, Gandalf dies. Even the Night King, once injured dies, and the Rohdan leader also dies once injured. But in all those other battles, and freaking wars when they are fighting and killing hundreds of enemies each, Aagorn, Legolas, Gimli, Sam, Mary and Pipin never get a scratch of damage. (actually I think Mary gets knocked unconscious once, but only for a few seconds and recovers without injury). So it would be almost impossible to play a game that captures the feeling or scope of LotR without massive GM fiat or by breaking the RAW rules to allow for such play.
  9. Something else that needs to be considered in premade Super Hero campaigns, and especially in premade Hero System Super Hero campaigns, is what powers to warn the GM to not allow. As we've all experienced (and seen in the threads here), two different characters, built with the same number of points, can be vastly different in effectiveness, not only in combat, but in their ability to bypass or overcome challenges. So if the campaign involves a lot of double crossing and deception a character that can Read Minds or Detect Lies is going to ruin a lot of the fun and surprises, or the GM will have to give every Bad Guy tons of mental defense, even if they wouldn't necessarily have it, just to keep the campaign going, but then that nerfs that one character's shtick. So it would be better to have a warning at the beginning of the campaign book, to not allow characters to have that kind of character or power(s) in the campaign, to prevent hard feelings or trouble later on. Same goes if there is a lot of robots and drones and a character builds a cybermancer or technomancer or other build that can control robots and technology. Or numerous other examples. There are so many possible power builds in Champions that could drastically effect the storyline of a premade adventure or campaign that it needs to highlighted and mentioned right from the get-go. Basically the campaign book needs a list of its own extra "Stop Sign" powers at the beginning, to let the GM know what powers and abilities might ruin or disrupt the campaign and then they can make their decisions and discuss with the players before they make characters.
  10. And Call of Cthulhu had a great couple of modules published like that as well, The Vanish Conjuror and Statue of the Sorcerer.
  11. I voted for Aarn, and while I understand some of the points others have made as why not to do that city, my counter to that would be that: a) for many new players having a book for the largest/main city in the setting might be expected/welcomed as it could be considered the "heart" of Amberthal. b) for some of us long-time Turakian Age GM's/players who were really looking forward to getting the Aarn book back in the day it would be a dream come true! c) A city as big and important as Aarn would have some connection to almost every other area/city/kingdom and/or major organization in the setting. So while being a "city setting book", it could still add lots of new and additional details/plot points to the rest of Amberthal in a way some of the other cities wouldn't be able to provide. d) the book could also (if Steve wanted) cover the near by areas surrounding Aarn, like the Bandit Lands & Whispering Waste and possibly deal with trade routes and such things. As for what could help make it unique, well some ideas off the top of my head: a) how did/has it remained a free city for so long? Is there some secret mystical pact or deal that protects the city and makes it prosperous? What would happen if that pact or deal was broken by some sinister force? b) Kal-Turak agents or cults (or Hargeshite Empire agents and spies) could be working to destabilize the city. As the major economic center of Ambrethal if it collapsed economies across the Westerlands would suffer making the kingdoms weaker and easier to either conquer or influence. Same goes for its cultural and intellectual influence and what would happen tot he Westerlands if those collapsed. c) what would happen if the King of Aarn got ambitious/greedy, decided he wanted an actual kingdom? So began sending troops out far beyond the city walls to claim those lands as Aarn's own. What would the surrounding Kingdoms think and do about that? Especially the Drakine of Vendrigal, or the people of Verlichten who already feel oppressed by Thurgandia? As populous and powerful Aarn is, could it fight and win a war or defend against one? Anyway, I would love to see any city source book for The Turakian Age be released (or any other source book!!) but for this poll, this is why I voted for Aarn, but as I said, would be happy with anything.
  12. The God of Filth and Disease. I would cut out the "filth" part, but in a superstitious time, diseases might be thought of as being caused/cursed/punished by the God's for some transgression, and this "god" might be the one the other God's send to inflict the disease upon someone. So it might be a minor God or "messenger" God, but people might still pray to him/it to try and win his favor and not give them a disease, or bribe him with offering or sacrifices, especially if they feel guilty over something they have done that think might cause one of the other God's to want to punish them with a disease. For example, a farmer might have slept with his neighbors wife, which goes against the God of Law's commandments, and now he is worried that the God of Law is going to punish him with a disease, so he begins sacrificing some of his livestock to the God of Disease as an attempt to bribe him into not giving him the disease. Could be a good plot hook/clue in an adventure if the Player come across someone praying to or sacrificing something to the Disease God, because it probably means they feel guilty about something they have done. And, of course, Evil NPC's might try and bribe and pray to the disease God to have them give a disease to an innocent person. Like other people have mentioned the God of Wealth can be different from Commerce as the God of Commerce might be like a God of the Deal, Barter or Fair Trade, or safe trade routes, etc... While the God of Wealth might be more like greed or family money, etc... money not earned, but gained through luck, inheritance, etc... If you add different hierarchies of the Gods, then maybe The God of Wealth is a the "top of his tier", with the God's of Commerce & Luck just below him on the "power scale", as people use Commerce and Luck to try and get to (the end goal of) Wealth. In this set up, maybe the Gods of Commerce and Luck are the sons and/or daughters of the God of Wealth.
  13. Does the door actually OPEN when the hand is near it, or does it just unlock the door? If it only unlocks the door, maybe the GM would allow this?: Hand Of Glory I - Unlock Door: Lockpicking 21-, Usable As Attack (+1/2), Grantor can only grant the power to Locked Door, Door must be close to Grantor (40 Active Points); OAF (Dead Man's Hand with Candle)(-1), Extra Time (Full Phase, -1/2), Gestures (Must hold stable in one hand), Requires Gestures throughout (-1/2), 1 Continuing Fuel Charge lasting 1 Hour (Candle) (Fuel is Difficult to obtain; -1/4) AC: 12 If it does open the door, then maybe add 1pt of TK to it to turn handle and push open the door. I get not all GM's would allow this, but I would. Nice and fairly clean way of doing it. Another way would be to build the Hand as a Follower, that has TK with fine motor skills, and high lockpicking skill. Plus Entangle for freezing people.
  14. As a Gm, I also wouldn't allow this build, for all the reasons listed by others. It would be like building Tony Stark, but buying the Iron Man suit as an Follower (since Jarvis the AI is technically running the suit and just "giving" all the powers to Tony). Rather I would suggest building it like Iron Man's armor, just a creepy, organic, sanity destroying version of it, and then buying the Shoggoths's "Mind" as a Follower, with its own senses, intelligence, skills, knowledges, maybe even a couple of its own attacks the player doesn't control (tentacle shoots out), etc... And then work out a build that would allow the Follower to take over the "suit" if the PC is knocked unconscious.
  15. So, does it require two activation rolls to work? If only one of the activation rolls succeeds then does only that aspect of it work, or do both fail? And, if both aspects are working would that make it maybe too powerful in some campaigns? Would only one of the aspects be enough? A shield in the game only gives +X DCV to the user, it doesn't also add rPD and rED to the user, but this build does both. The person with this spell active gets +5 rPD and rEd AND +4 DCV if both activation rolls succeed. So it is really like adding a Shield and Armor to the caster. Which is fine, but not exactly what the "Dancing Shield" name implies. But I think the build and the spell are fine, but potentially pretty powerful (depending on the campaign point totals) and the addition of having to make two more rolls every time the character is attacked in combat might slow things down a bit.
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