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About mallet

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    The Red Right Hand
  • Birthday February 5

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    Burnaby, BC
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    Creative Development - Film / Television

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  1. Without the defender using a shield, the flail can act like an ordinary weapon, but if the defender is using a shield, then I think it is important to mention that the flail does hit the shield all the time (on a successful attack roll), as that is how they work. Part of the flail or it's chain hits the side of the shield, causing the "pointy end" (the ball, spiked ball, section of the staff, etc...) to then swing around the shield and hit the person behind the shield. Without hitting the shield the flail would just keep going straight just like a sword or any other non-bendy/swinging weapon. The physics of it requires that it hits the shield to cause the chain to swing around and hit the person behind it. So if the shield does have some magical effect on it, like a damage shield, then it would still be activated because it is still being hit.
  2. I love Doc's idea of adding a Contacts roll to the resurrection, I would maybe switch that to a Bureaucracy Roll (for dealing with the red tape while in hell) and the Contacts Roll being for family/friends in the know who would do offerings, prayers, etc... to also help speed up the return.
  3. Characters and NPC's use INT Rolls to make memory checks. So first I'd ask the GM to make a chart with the modifiers of things that would effect that roll. For example, a one on one conversation gives +3 to check, no communication and in a crowd gives -3 to check, making a "scene" gives +2, every two steps down the time chart is a -1, etc... And NPC's will remember major and minor events they are part of (that they went to that party) but they might forget details about who was there, who they saw, etc... In real life this can happen a lot, especially under stressful events, witness to crimes often have very different descriptions of the perpetrator of the crime, even if it happened just a few minutes ago. After the chart is made and base rules agreed on, then a build like this might work: Forgettable: Change Environment (-5 to INT Roll, Long-Lasting Permanent), Area Of Effect (10m Radius; +3/4) (54 Active Points); Only vs A NPC's check to remember details of the Player (-2), No Range (-1/2)) RC:15 Players has to activate the ability, for 5 END, but after that the effect is permanent. Everyone within 10m of him for the duration he is using the ability, will after that and forever have a -5 to INT rolls to remember details of the character. Again, NPC's will remember events happened. If the Player stands on a table and shoots a someone the NPC will obviously remember that event forever, but this ability means he/she will have a hard time remembering any important details of the character or identifying him later. If the Player has a distinctive feature disadvantage, the NPC will always remember that feature, but might not remember any other specific details. Note: this is built saying an NPC's check, meaning it only effects sentient characters, and does not work against cameras and the like.
  4. Writer, transcriber and calligrapher. Someone who writes letters, notes, maybe even short books, etc... for those who are illiterate but still need to send letters or want to get information out. and by necessity, a “reader”. Someone you could hire to read the letters you receive if you are not able to read. Probably both not an Oddmonger area business specifically, but there would probably be one or two shops of each available in the zone, as chances are a lot more people in the Oddmonger area are illiterate compared to some of the richer and more successful guild areas in the city. adventure plot seed I just thought of: poor, illiterate farmer receives a letter from long estranged family member. Can’t read it so hires a reader to read it to him. Is actually a will or notice that he has inherited a lot of money/land/whatnot. Reader lies to farmer and goes to collect/get money (or whatever) himself. Players discover the con/fraud and must Stop reader and get the poor farmer what he is due and make his life better.
  5. A licensed IP doesn't matter (we have all seen licensed IP games tanks and fail over the years, heck word on the street is that FFG is cancelling all of their Star Wars RPG line. And if you can't make Star Wars profitable as an RPG then licensing popular IP isn't a major factor). Second, never, ever, start an expensive project without at least some marketing money set aside. This happens a lot in all forms of business and entertainment as is a tragic mistake. People spend all their money on making the product as good as possible and then can't sell it because no one knows it exists. It would be like opening a super fancy restaurant but telling no one about it and hoping people walking by and then word of mouth spreads quickly enough that you don't go bankrupt in a month or two, yet this happens all the time with restaurants, and comics and games and movies, etc... Always, always, always set some percentage of your budget aside for advertising and marketing before you even begin the project. You have $10,000 to make something? Set aside at least $3000 for marketing and advertising and create the project for $7000. A good quality project that people know about and sells is better (from a business point of view) then an amazing project that no one ever hears about. As for "what is popular", that is a bit harder. Everything is popular to some segment of the population. It is finding something that is popular with a big enough segment of the population to make you a profit, that is also not being well served in the current market place. And if it is being well served in the present marketplace (looking at you fantasy games and D&D) then you need to provide a unique enough take on the subject to steal away some of that market share. As for what I imagine/believe are good possible topics/setting for a new game/setting they would be maybe: A near future Psionic Wars game where players have special psionic abilities and are being hunted or part of a big conspiracy and international corporations and governments, secret groups, etc... Powers are fixed but can grow in set strength as the players get experience. Guns and non-psionic characters can still be a threat. The powers help, but don't solve all the problems. Just make it cool and interesting with lots of plot hooks and organizations and secrets and you have a setting that is somewhat unique, has cool abilities and lots of character options, far reaching stakes, and can be tailored to however the GM wants the game to go (low powered in one city/state or world-spanning Jason Bourne/Seal Team 6 with special powers). Or I also think the time is right for another "Twilight:2000" style game. A "just right after event-Post-Apocalypse", rebuilding/gaining power and control, fighting to save humanity. Depending on the "event" there could be a horror/cthulhu twist, or alien tech twist, or just keep it grounded and real. Getting really ambitious, I think if someone can find a way to tap into a game/setting that involves (in-game) social media and status/fame as part of the in-game mechanics could be on to something. Again, maybe near future, close to dystopian setting, where characters take part in potentially lethal games and contests before a viewing audience to make money and become famous and get out of the slums (think along the lines of Running Man, or those commercials in the original Robocop movie, or some episodes of Black Mirror). Making spectacular kills or doing something incredible gains to fame and followers which can be used to influence events in the game (get popular enough and the showrunners might take it easy on you once and awhile to keep you in "the game", etc...). Add in a bigger scope and events happening on and off the game shows and such, throw in some conspiracies, make some of the games/contests the characters take part in happen in the "real world"(like the original Running Man novel) or in remote locations (a'la Lost or Survivor, but more Lord of the Flies). Pre-made adventures could be different "shows" the characters have to appear on (Like dumped on an island and hunted by genetically created monsters, while fighting other contestants. Whichever team makes it to the helicopter and escapes wins the game (and fame and money). Without following Running Man (or Hunger Games) too much could also lead to players starting a revolt or uprising to take back their lives. Social Media is big, and a game that can make use of it, in-game, can easily find a way to make use of it IRL and would springboard some free advertising and marketing. I'll try and think of other ideas. (I will say as an aside that an issue that has always existed with Super Hero games (as far as I've experienced and I've been playing them on and off since Marvel FASERIP first came out) is that the vast number of different powers and power levels makes any pre-made/sold adventures almost useless. Things that work in comic books and movies don't work in RPGS unless the GM has complete control over the characters the players use or builds adventures specifically for the characters created. Just imagine Avengers: Infinity War if it was an RPG where players had made any character they wanted. You would only need one powerful telepath and the adventure would be over as soon as Thanos reached Wakanda, as Thanos was defenseless against mental attacks. Manta, a medium powered telepath was almost able to stop Thanos on her own. A powerful telepath like Professor X or jean grey could have stopped him in his tracks. or a teleporter like Nightcrawler could have taken the gauntlet off of him in a second. Creating adventures in a super hero setting have to cover so many possible powers and abilities (see the future, see the past, mind control, reading minds, clairvoyance, teleportation, disoldification, and on and on), that basically every villain has to be almost immune to everything and end up being all the same, and every plot ends up being the same for the most part (i'm talking about pre-made adventures here. Custom adventures made by the GM can be great, but the GM knows his players and their powers going in. A pre-made adventure can account for all of that.)
  6. (continued) So what makes a good "Set-Up"? Well, in comics books (I'll use Marvel as an example) if you go back to the beginning, most of their individual team books had their own set-up. For the X-Men is was: Mutants are real and slowly growing in number across the world. Feared and hated by humans because of their powers and differences, mutants must remain in hiding. But one man, Professor Charles Xavier dreams of a world where mutants and humans can live together in harmony. He has started a school to teach mutants how to use their powers to help defend humanity from other, evil mutants who would use their abilities for power, violence and crime. That is the Set-Up for X-Men comics and all that has come since. They also happen to take place in a world with tons of other super powered beings and gods and such, but they have their own little set-up and theme/story that they do. You could (and they should) split all the mutant titles off from the main Marvel universe and it would still have it's own unique set-up and room for stories and growth. (An aside, I never liked how "mutants" were so hated in the MCU when that same world had numerous aliens, alien invasions, literal Gods, etc... all in the news every day and yet no one hated them or hunted them down, but damn, a kid with wings or a girl that could turn intangible, well we better hunt them down and kill them. It never made much internal sense.) So I feel that any new Champions book/setting or what-not, should have a unique Set-Up, not just a generic "kitchen sink" super hero hodgepodge. Here is one I like (re-imaged for present day)(lets see if any of you old timer comic book readers recognize it): On Feb 3rd 2020 the sky around the world lit up with a bright white light last a few moments before disappearing. Even on the night side of the earth the sky turned to a blinding daylight for a brief time. No one knew what caused it or even how it was possible. Scientists suggested that it might have been a brief flash from a far off super-nova or other cosmic event. Over the days and weeks that followed since what the media dubbed "The White Event" a small number of people began developing strange new abilities. Not understanding what was happening to themselves most chose to hide their new abilities, but some went seeking help to doctors or the government. The government quickly covered up these people, unsure of what was happening, but they started to investigate. Months later more and more people learned they had abilities and it wasn't long before mega-corporations and secret government agencies across the globe were in a race to locate and bring in these new paranormals. Some were caught and forced into government service, or captivity. Others went on the run. Occasionally people with abilities would clash in public and slowly (despite the governments best efforts) rumors and word spread across the globe of these super humans. This all came to a head when two super powerful people clashed in the air and ground around Washington, DC live on tv. Thousands were killed in their battle, before the one heroic being gave his life to defeat the evil one. Now everyone in the world knew that super powered individuals walked the earth. Governments across the globe raced to find them and build super teams and soldiers for what was sure to be the next arms race for control of the planet. meanwhile, some super beings started to dress up in costumes, like the characters out of comic books, and fight crime on city streets. These vigilantes were quickly hunted not only by local police, but also federal agents. Then came "The Black Event..." I could go on, but that is the Set-Up for Marvels (failed) New Universe line of comics. I thought it was really good at the time and a great storyline developed with it, including the Black Event, what cause the White Event in the first place, the Draft storyline where all super beings were forced to enlist in the military, and then the War storyline where a war broke out and you followed a lot of the main characters from the different series come together on the front lines and in covert teams, etc... But the thing is, it was a unique Set-Up. it gave the Gm and players all they needed to know to start playing. You had built-in limitations and guidelines (no magic, no super-man, or fish-man or aliens) it was "low level" to start but with lots of room to grow in power. Etc... The TV series HEROES did much the same thing 25 years later. Or The Wildcard novel series (which actually came before The New Universe) and still continues of to this day. Now obviously not everyone may like the Set-Up of any particular game but I think you get more traction and stronger fan support if you do have a cool Set-Up gather then a very generic one. (D&D being the obvious exception, but almost everyone loves the standard Fantasy world, and the characters all start out "uniform" at a set level , with set abilities, etc. I personally would be much more interested in a super hero game with a cool set-up (set world, set powers (to start), specific background, etc...) then just another generic "Super Hero!" setting.
  7. I think there is a disconnect/difference between "set-up" and "setting". I think the "set-up" is vitally important to drawing in fans and players. The "setting" can come later. Now what is the difference? Well the "set-up" for D&D (and almost all other fantasy games) is: You are in a medieval type world where kingdoms have risen and fallen for hundreds of years, leaving behind lost and forgotten ruins and civilizations. Magic and monsters are real. From incredibly powerful necromancers and dragons, to orcs, goblins and other horrifying beasts. The chance for adventure and discovery are everywhere, but also the threat of danger and death. You are intrepid adventurers, maybe seeking fortune and fame, or righting wrongs and saving people. From saving your village, or kingdom or even the whole world from epic threats and monsters, your band of heroes may be all that stands in the face of darkness. Welcome to the world of XXXXXXXX. And that is the set-up. The Setting comes later with maps, and cities and npcs and histories of different nations and sourcebooks and so on. Players can incorporate those into their game or not. The adventures written for the game can be used or not. My game which started before the setting was fully fleshed out will be different from someones who started with all the books already released, but they will still be playing the same game. The Vampires set-up was: Vampires are real. They've been lurking in the shadows since times long ago, moving and growing with the societies they feed off of, but always in secret lest they be discovered and hunted down. You are a new vampire, born in blood and set free on the streets of Chicago. But life is dangerous for a vampire, even with your superhuman strength, toughness and other special abilities, you must remain hidden and form alliances to survive, not only from the humans who surround you, but from the ancient politics and maneuverings of the vampiric clans that fight for control of the city. Boom. That is the set-up. You are a new vampire, you have cool abilities but you have to remain in hiding and there are tons of politics and intrigue going around you have to join in or fight against. That is all the players and GM's need to start playing, but once all the Setting books come out it opens up the world with more details, npcs, cities, abilities, histories, etc... which make it more interesting and save the GM time from creating everything themselves. A good Set-Up will bring in the fans and players because they go "cool! that sounds interesting and fun! I wan't to play a character in that world!" A good Setting will keep the players and fans around because the world keeps growing with them and there is more to learn and discover. I feel a main issue with Champions has always been that the Set-Up has never really been that interesting or unique. It has been generic to allow GM's and players to do whatever they want at whatever power level they want. But that isn't very exciting. It doesn't draw many people in. There is no "cool" or "wow" factor to it. I feel that any new Champions game/complete game or whatever, would need a very strong Set-Up to bring people in to play it. Because if Marvel and DC can not get enough players interested in playing their RPG games that they make (and keep cancelling) then another generic superhero game (with no name recognition, multi-million dollar movie empires and thousands of comics published over the last 60 years) is going to get the market excited. (More to follow)
  8. Sometimes it honestly feels like that in real life it all comes down to three things: base physical health, mental strength and luck. The base physical health plays a part in circulation, heart strength, etc... and helps prevent some of the secondary effects of injuries that kill people like shock, heart failure, rapid blood loss, clots, infection, etc... The mental strength helps vs shock, panic, and fear. All of which can cause things like rapid blood loss, heart failure, etc... And Luck, is just well, luck. A bullet 1" to the left and it is a kill shot, rather then a quick surgery and an over night stay in the hospital followed by meds to prevent infection. Most games do not work out damage in that way. Too many details and rolls needed. (Phoenix Command did an amazing job of taking care of the "luck" factor with their insanely detailed damage charts which also included how deep a bullet would go into the body and if it hit anything major. But anyone who has played that game (or especially Gm'd it knows how long combat took)). Body, Hit Points, etc... Allow for a generalization of all of those factors folded into one stat. Body and Hit Points can be seen as an over all mix of physical health, luck and mental strength to avoid dying from injuries while still being fun to play. Real Life damage is devastating to the body. Just watch an episode of Forged in Fire where they test a sword on a ballistic gel body and see how just one sword strike on an unarmored body (by a skilled, but not super strong attacker) can almost cut a person in half and would certainly kill with one blow. Not many people want to play a game that is that realistic. So in this case one could almost argue that allowing a weapon to do more then 2x damage would be more realistic and not less realistic. A sword strike by either a skilled fighter or a strong one, should be able to kill an unarmored person with a single solid hit to the chest.
  9. The dwarves use fire, and some even use fire elementals, to power their boats and keep them warm, as they journey hundreds of miles along underground mountain rivers from city to city and kingdom to kingdom inside the massive mountain chains they call home. The elves (and some swamp dwelling lizard folk) use water elementals to push and pull their boats up and down rivers in their kingdoms. The boats basically "ride" atop the river elemental as it moves under the captain's command. The people of the great plains use wind elemntals to keep their boat's sails filled with constant air as they travel up and down the great rivers of their nation.
  10. So where ever there are bridges, there will be roads leading to and away from them, and then probably other roads (or at least well used trails and paths) connecting up to those roads, "leading" travelers to the bridge and the way to cross the river. No one is going to build a bridge if people can't easily get to it and find in, or if it isn't along a well use travel route. Also, the Hargeshite Empire is basically cut in half (length-wise) by a massive river (and then even into 4th or 6th by smaller (but also still massive) rivers). So we must assume that there are numerous bridges crossing those rivers to allow travel, troop movements, etc... within the Empire.
  11. Speaking of rivers, any thoughts on how wide most of the major rivers are in the setting? Obviously wide (and deep) enough for boats and trading routes, but any more details then that? This becomes important when characters need to cross a river without having a boat and (probably) on horseback. If the discussion of lack of roads is accurate, then the lack of bridges across major rivers would be a major problem. First who would build them, and second, would they be able to build them with a large enough arc that boats and ships could still sail under them for trade along the rivers? In more remote areas ferrymen would still be popular if the rivers wern't too fast moving or too wide, but that would not be effective or efficient (unless there were hundreds of them) in more populous areas (and then also assume that there are roads leading to the crossings otherwise no one would find them). Yet we know there must be bridges across some of most of these rivers as A) armies march across them to attack neighboring kingdoms in such numbers, that I doubt they would be able to stop and build enough boats to take their troops, horses, supplies and siege equipment in time to prevent the otherside from just burning them as they approach. and B ) if there isn't any bridges across then every major river is a massive "road-block" to any trade, travel (and adventure). And C) especially in kingdoms where the river is not a boarder but runs through the country itself. Citizens and troops of the country must be able to cross the river with ease not only for defense but also for trade and travel and everything else a kingdom needs to keep control and remain whole. The only mention I could really find was in the write up of Dyvnar (in Umbr) saying it is across the river from Voitaigne (Mezendria) and that the river is so wide at this point that no bridges cross it and ferries must be used. But in this setting, what is that distance? What is "too wide"? 100m or 2km? Or is it only 50m and anything wider then that they don't have the "technology" to build a bridge that large? Any thoughts?
  12. As far as I remember the RAW rule prohibit having skills, Perks or Talents in a Multipower or powerpool. I can't remember why.
  13. So it has been a week since all the rumors and tweets started about FFG laying off (not only their video game line which was confirmed) but also all (or a large amount) of their staff in their RPG wing. A few (now) ex-employees confirmed that their had been cuts to the RPG but no one (that I could find searching) said how many or what it meant for their games going forward. Does anyone on here know more about what might be happening with them? I played a Star Wars campaign a few years back and actually grew to quite like the system and their books. Very nice quality and kind of surprising/sad that a company that big/popular with such a major IP can't even afford to keep it all going with in house staff. Are all non-D&D rpg's in that much trouble?
  14. But is the high value enemy alone? Doesn't he have Minions and Servants and protection spells? Do PC's 1,2, 3 hold while getting attacked by the bad guy's troops and henchmen? Can the mage (PC 4) ignore being targeted by arrows and attacks or does he have to abort to putting up a defensive spell? Can PC's 1, 2, 3 even reach the High Value Enemy in one 1/2 Move Phase to then attack him/her? Or are there a bunch of goons in the way they have to fight through to get to him/her? If the "High Value Enemy" is really high value, doe he not have spell defense? Magic items to protect him? Wards, etc...? What is his SPD & DEX? While PC's 1, 2, 3 are holding their actions can he charge the Mage and chop the Mage's head off or run him through with a sword? or if the HVE is also a mage, can he not cast a powerful spell against PC 4 before PC 4 acts? Or can he put up defenses or turn invisible or something else while all the party holds their actions?
  15. Could you post an example of one of your campaign's Hold Person spells and also let us know what point total the characters are? The Mental Paralysis version of Entangle costs 22pts per 1d6 (at base) so it is pretty expensive for most Heroic settings. But some general ideas off the top of my head: 1) Make Entangles like Grabs in that everyone hit by one gets an initial (free) roll to escape as soon as they are hit. I personally think this should be RAW anyway. If someone Grabs you by hand you can autobreak out, what is so different if some grabs you with a rope? You should still have a chance to autobreak out. 1a) If you allow free chance to breakout, remember that Mental Par. goes against Ego so if the "Enemy mage" has a high enough Ego he/she might be able to "casually" break free at half-Ego if the spell is weak (or with a poor Entangle roll) and given the cost (22pts per 1d6) in Heroic games, most Mental P's might be pretty weak. 2) Require all Mental Paralysis Entangles to be built with the "Mental Defense Adds to Ego" limitation (-1/2) as described in the rules. This means a powerful Mage (with good Mental Defense) might not be effected by weak Entangle spells while normal mooks with no Mental Defense will still be effected. 3) A more involved and game changing way would be to incorporate Counter Magic rules to your game. Thus spell effects like Hold Person when cast against another magic user become a skill roll contest between the two mages to see who wins, but has no effect when the Mage casts the spell at any non-magic using enemy as a non-magic user wouldn't be able to counter spell.
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