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Everything posted by mallet

  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


    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.
  16. In games where all spell casting (combat and non-combat spells) require a skill roll, do you (as a GM) apply the "Combat Conditions" skill roll modifiers (-1 to -3) to the Player's Magic skill rolls during combat? If not, and I assume most people will say no (I never have in many years of Gm'ing, but have been re-reading the skill book lately and this question came to mind) it basically means they get the "Combat Ready" Talent for free for their magical skills. Is this unfair to other Player's who want to use some skills during combat who have to take the modifier or purchased the talent? Does it make the RSR Limitation not as limiting for combat spells because they aren't acting like a normal skill? Should the limitation for RSR be lowered by 1/4 or 1/2 for magic skills that are only going to be used in combat to make up for this? Or should specifically combat spells be not allowed to take RSR at all? Or is it just a matter of telling/reminding Players ahead of of starting the campaign that if they take RSR on spells (whether by choice or by how the spell system working in the game) that they will be subject to the combat skills roll modifiers, so they know before playing what will be happening. On the other-hand, in campaigns where each type of magic is its own "school" and has it's own associated skill (which is quite a few systems from what I see online and in the books) then requiring the player to buy a 2 point talent for each can become quite expensive on top of the cost of buying each skill separately (which is usually already done to try and somewhat limit the power levels of magic users by making them pay for numerous different skills to cast spells of all types). Thoughts? Opinions? Experiences?
  17. I agree players (and GMs) should make the most out of their points and I think that all the discussion has also shown that the Game is much different then the source material, or at least the game stat "Descriptions" are different then the way most people play, compared to the comics and movies. For example, I've read a fair amount of Batman comics over the years, but I've never seen him lift something as heavy as a piano, or a sailboat, or a sports car (STR 15, 23 & 25 respectively), so from what I've seen in the comics (and movies) a "true" Batman build wouldn't have more then a STR of 15. That goes the same for Hawkeye, Black Widow, Daredevil, Punisher, Human Torch, Cyclops and dozen of other characters. Yet I doubt any (or very many) Champions builds have those character's STR's at less then 20. Same could be said (although harder to judge) for most other STATS. The non Gods, Aliens, Things, Hulks, etc... almost always are shown to have pretty normal STATS, but are able to deliver lots of damage, recover quicker then normal, and have amazing DCV because they almost never get hit. The ones the do get hit a lot in hand to hand combat either have armored costumes (Batman), "super" regeneration (wolverine, deadpool) or tons of STUN and BODY (Daredevil in the TV series). And all of them would have some amount of regeneration (not as super as Wolvie or Deadpool) but enough that they are always back in action and almost fully recovered within a couple of hours (unless it is a story point with a disabling injury which then takes a day or two to recover from.) But like we always say, the game is not the source material. In the game, to make it fun and because there is no "writer" but just rules, we have to often ignore what the descriptions are and go with what is point effective to simulate what we see in the source material. So I guess that is a long winded way of saying I agree with JmOz (and other above) that going by the descriptions in the rules books is a bad idea, and probably shouldn't have been part of the game (or specifically labeled as for Heroic games, and not Supers games). Although now I think it would be an interesting experiment to build a Batman or Hawkeye or Deardevil while keeping their stats to human levels, and then building out all the other stuff as skill levels, powers, talents, etc... I wonder how much it would cost and if they would be fun to play that way?
  18. I think as a general statement that yes it is bad. By that I mean people should be building to their concept, not to the point breaks or such. In your exact example of buying DEX at 18 instead of 17 because the breakpoint is at 18 is a perfect example of this. A character "shouldn't" be buying DEX or any other stat at the break points, or at higher point levels, if it isn't part of their concept/build. If the (starting) character should only have a 12 DEX then the player should buy it at 12, not 16, 17, or especially 18 because of the break point. The chart in the main book pretty much shows what the stats are equal to IRL, with 20 being pretty much MAX human. Someone with a STR above 15 is about the same as an Olympic weight-lifter. At STR 20 they are one of the strongest humans on the planet. A DEX of 18 would make them one of the quickest, most "reactiony" people on the planet. Maybe only a few thousand people on the planet would have DEX that high. Yet how many characters are built with DEX and STR (especially STR) or INT or any other stat way higher then their concept really should have it? Almost all, because STATS are cheap to buy and the break points are good because they effect skill rolls. It is cheaper to throw a few extra points on to PRE or INT or DEX to reach the break point and get a bunch of skills at +1 then it would be to buy skill levels for all those skills. So as a general principal, then yes, gaming the system that way is "bad" because it is not building to the character concept. But of course, character concept can change, "yes my guy is a super-smart scientist, but he also works out 2 times a day so he has a 18 STR, and is just natural charismatic, so he has a 18 PRE, and he is strong-willed so he has a 20 EGO, and always had great reflexes from playing video games as a kid, so he also (justifiably) has a DEX of 18 and is a long distance runner so he has an 18 CON as well." So , see, his concept is perfectly consistent with having high STATS. Or the concept is that the character was one of those "golden boys/girls" who got straight A's in school, was captain of the football team, class president and... and... and... So since "concept" can be anything the player wants it to be then they can always "justify" having their stats at whatever they want, so in that case "gaming" the system isn't bad, because they are building to concept. And that goes for every character, including the ones in he official books, or at a table anywhere in the world. So I guess, "philosophically" it is bad, but in practice it isn't because your character can be any concept you like.
  19. I would agree on side effect, but maybe it would need to be differently worded. The bad guy’s “Nearest minion” might actually be 100’s of miles away or even on another planet in certain settings, which is still rules legal, but probably not the effect they are going for. so maybe “nearest minion within 100m dies” plus a second limitation “power doesn’t work unless at least one minion is within 100m of user”.
  20. It could also be used for a “backup” END reserve. like the power armor has its main END reserve for all its functions, but the players also buys a second “back up” END Reserve that only applies to Life Support and Flight. so if the main reserve ever goes down/is drained, etc... the back up kicks in and he/she still has life support and can fly away to safety, but can’t shoot lasers any more or anything.
  21. This is actually quite interesting. At first I agreed with IndianaJoe, Then my opinion changed to agree with Lonewolf, but now thinking about it, and re-reading the Stealth listing in the Ultimate Skill, I think something a little different from both. First, though, and in general, I would go with Lonewolf's suggestion of just applying the bonus to the player and move along, keep it simple and quick. But... if realism and/or more detail is required, then I think it would actually be like this... The Stealthy character gets no bonus from the darkness. Why? Because darkness doesn't actually effect "his personal ability with the skill" being dark or light out doesn't change how silently he is moving or where he is moving from and to. In fact, darkness might make being stealthy even harder. he might step on a dry branch or trip or startle a cat or somethin else he can't see in the darkness. Darkness only effects the NPC's chance to notice the Player, not the Player's skill at being stealthy. So, I would give no bonus to the player for the darkness, he/she would just make a normal skill roll (or if I was being extra nitpicky, maybe even one with a negative modifier because the darkness effects them as well) and the npc guards would have -2 to their Perception rolls because the darkness makes it harder for them to see the character. Things that would effect a players stealth roll would be how fast or slow they are moving, how large or small they are, how much they are carrying, if they are wearing metal armor and swords, or in robes and barefoot, etc... those things directly effect the Player's skill and ability. As for the second issue brought up of Infrared vison vs Stealth (at night) I agree with Archer on this (sorry Lonewolf), and although the rules do say Stealth works against all senses in goes on to say to use common sense, etc... and even goes so far as to say that a person can't use stealth to hide their scent from a watchdog unless they take time and make preparations to do so (by covering themselves in something that would block their scent). I think this would apply to Infrared vison as well. A person can't just hide their body temperature by being stealthy. They would have to do something ahead of time to do that. Like in Predator where the Predator always can see the heat signatures of the heroes, until Arnold covers himself in wet mud and disguises his heat signature, so then he can use this stealth to sneak around. This would be the same for a Fantasy Hero game vs Infrared or Thermal vision that some species have. Does that make things a lot harder for players? Yes. But it also makes it easier for the players who have infrared or thermal vision when they stand guard, so it balances out a bit. So if an NPC has Infrared vision and is standing guard looking out across an empty field at night, then any living character who hasn't found a way to hide his/her body temperature is going to stand out and be almost impossible to miss (unless the guard is distracted somehow). But counter to that, if that same guard was guarding a temple in a hot, tropical jungle during the day, I might give him negative modifiers to spot the player(s) because there are so many powerful heat sources around that the players might not even show up or at very least completely blend in. Edited because more thoughts came to me... Technically, if we actually look at the physics and reality of being stealthy in the situation described in the original post and apply all the rules (from the ultimate skill book) we would probably want the player and guards to make two rolls each. One for SIGHT and one for SOUND. And we would get: Player has Stealth of 13-, he is sneaking across a port so the ground would be hard (+0) and normal shoes (+0) and we assume walking slowly (+2 vs SOUND & SIGHT) and there being some boxes and crates for cover (+1 vs SIGHT), but then because of the darkness I might give them -1 (to SOUND, because they have to be extra careful not to knock over somethin or trip over a loose rope or a missing plank, or such); giving them a stealth roll of 15- (or if going detailed, a Stealth roll vs SIGHT of 16- and vs SOUND of 14-) The Guards on Duty, experienced and Strong Knights so lets say they have a PER of 13-, with +1 PER for Sight. They get -2 for the darkness (vs SIGHT) and I would give a environmental modifier of -1 (vs SOUND) for the lapping of the water at the port, so they would have a PERCEPTION Roll of 11- (or getting very detailed, 12- vs SIGHT and 12- vs SOUND). So in "normal" level of play there would be a 4 point difference between the Player and the Guards, Stealth 15- vs PER 11-, but in a detailed game the odds swing a bit to 16- vs 12- (still a 4 point spread) and 14- vs 12- (only a 2 point spread). But I don't know if I'd ever want or need to get that detailed and time consuming for a stealth roll and would most of the time stick to Player's 15- vs Guards 11- (especially since there are 5 guards, giving the bad guys 5 times to try and succeed.)
  22. One option might be to allow shield users to attempt to make a block as a half phase action, which doesn’t end their turn. So they could block, then use a half phase to attack or retreat at 1/2 or 1/4 movement. That might be a bit powerful, so I would add that what is currently the DCV bonus of the shield be changed to floating modifier. For example, a large shield currently gives +3 DCV, in this variation instead it could give up to +3 OCV to block (like current rules allow) but whatever + the user takes to their block attempt, they get an equal -OCV on whatever attack they might do in their last 1/2 phase. So Eric the Viking with his large shield uses it to gain +2 OCV to his attempt to block the trolls hammer attack, this is a 1/2 phase action and he succeeds. He then tries to counter attack with his sword in his last 1/2 phase but gets -2 OCV to his attack roll. He could have only used the shield to give +1 to his block, and only take -1 to his attack, or he could have gone all out and used the full +3 to block and take a full -3 to his attack. A medium shield wound only give a max +2/-2 and a small shield +1/-1. this would I guess simulate those fights you see when it is just the two fighters swinging back and forth smashing their swords into each other’s shields. (Becomes a contest of END then, or until someone screws up and the other lands a killing blow)
  23. Somewhere in the book(s) there is a rule that if the Players want to kill an unconscious opponent they can automatically do it (with GM permission). In this case it would just be a matter of saying they are stabbing the Dragon through one or both eyes, driving their swords into its brain. No extra rolls needed or anything. Just logic, storytelling and keeping the adventure moving at that point. EDIT: Found it. Hero System 6th Ed. Vol2, Pg.106 "A character in this state of unconsciousness can be killed automatically as a Full Phase Action by any character with the means to do so (a Killing Attack or other powerful attack) who makes a successful Attack Roll against the unconscious character." And given that the opponent is at 0 DCV it won't be hard to just hit him with a killing attack. In fact I remembered it wrong. It is not a special rule that needs GM Permission, it is a RAW rule, that the GM would have to disallow if he/she didn't want you to automatically kill the knocked out opponent.
  24. But what are they Acting as? From your own write up they are Acting like a person with low Presence. You know the old saying/belief that "women love a man with an English accent." Say that was an established "Fact" and would maybe give a character a +1 on a Seduction roll vs a certain female character. Well if a character was an American and used Acting to fake an English accent he would get that bonus +1, but if a player had a character that WAS English and always had that accent, then they would automatically get that +1 to their Seduction roll. Not Acting roll needed. So if there was a reason a High PRE character might want to act as a Low PRE person, and would making Acting rolls to portray that, then whatever benefit that granted them, I would grant to a low PRE character automatically. BOLDING is mine, obviously. But before I reply, yes, this is just a "thought experiment" on the rules. I've been playing and mainly GMing HERO, on and off, since the mid-80's, but GMing a lot more now in recent years as other games have lost their luster. So, I won't take any offence to replies, and am not trying to get people angry or upset. Just a philosophical look at the stat of PRE and how it could (should?) sometimes work in a character's favor is they have a low score in the stat. Back to the reply... So by all the "what is Presence" you've described (in detail) and "what does a low PRE mean?" we see that this is basically what I've been discussing. "A Person who catches attention", "A person whose confident carriage is not overlooked", "something that demands attention", "couldn't pick you out of a crowd...", You don't look ready.", and so on. These all describe what someone looking into a crowd would see about the people there. PRE effects how people perceive the character. Not if they can see them, but what their feeling about the character is. So going back, and expanding on, one of my original examples. Modern day setting. Private security guards are protecting a high value target in a downtown hotel. They hear "chatter" that a hitman is on the street outside the building just as they are moving their ward out to a waiting car. The bodyguards out on the street go into high alert and need to identify any possible threat from the 30 people out on the street at that time. None of them are acting strange or have any obvious weapons. The Hitman could be anyone... Out of the 30, say 80% are perfectly normal people with a PRE of 6-9. 10% have above average PRE of 10+, and 10% have a lower then average PRE of 5 or less. If the higher a person's PRE is the more: _obviously present_ you are, A person who catches attention, A person whose confident carriage is not overlooked, simply by being in a room radiates something that _demands_ attention And the lower a person's PRE is means: couldn't pick you out of a crowd of two just a few minutes later, You don't look ready Then it is probably safe to assume that the Bodyguards will be more drawn to checking out the people around them with high PRE, because they catch attention, they are not easily overlooked, the demand attention. And low PRE people "don't look ready" or don't look intimidating or threatening. It is not that the Bodyguards don't see the low PRE people, it is just that they don't think of them as being dangerous or a threat. Compared to the High and Normal PRE people crowding the city street who by the very nature of having a higher PRE stand out more and draw more attention. So in this scenario it would appear to be that a hitman having a very low PRE has an advantage because the Body Guard's wouldn't consider them of "Value" or more accurately in military or law enforcement terms not a "high priority target" and would focus more on "the very intense looking man striding down the street with a purpose" or the "stunning woman confidently walking into the hotel" and so on. With only seconds to make their move, they don't consider the low PRE guy on the street until he gets into short range and draws a gun. Now they only can use Abort actions to try and stop him before he shoots the person they are guarding. That is what I am getting at. In certain situations, and times, having a low PRE can/could/ maybe should, have a benefit. I know, like Duke B, said, some people can't handle that a low stat could ever or should ever be beneficial, but I disagree. Sometimes low stats or disadvantages can have benefits. If you have a broken leg and are on crutches someone might hold open a door for you, that they wouldn't for a healthy person. That is a benefit, despite the broken leg being a disadvantage. Same if a person is blind or deaf, other people (at least I hope most would) go a little bit out of their way to help them in some situations. Again, a disadvantage that has some benefits. Handicap parking in a busy mall parking lot just before Christmas. Do the "benefits" in these situations outweigh the disadvantage (or low stat)? No, not even close, but once in awhile there is a benefit to a disadvantage. And that is what I am saying with this thread. Sometimes having a low PRE might have an in-game benefit.
  25. I agree with all that has been said for the most part, but I do wonder if some of it is from historic rule play and interpretation, then actual rules. for example, the example of the stand up comic with a high presence score but just looks like a normal guy. well, that doesn’t match with the stats description in the rules as RAW. Rather that would be something like a character with a PRE of 10, and maybe +15 PRE for telling jokes and stories or something like that. Look again at the RAW description of PRE. It says it is the character’s forcefulness, charisma and (most importantly in this conversation) Bearing. Sure, maybe an observer couldn’t tell if someone is brave or a good leader or such just by looking, but bearing is a physical description of someone. Bearing is how they hold themselves and present themselves to the world. It is standing tall, posture, eye contact, etc... it is how impressive (per RAW) a character appears to be when looking at them. So Dr. Destroyer is impressive looking (high PRE). When looking around a room of normal people and DD is there he is going to stand out and look impressive compared to them. So, to bring it back around, that means in a room of normal people someone with lower PRE would do the opposite of stand out. Everyone else would be considered impressive compared to them. so, if you were looking for a threat in that room, the impressive (comparatively) looking people would make the most impression on the searcher, not the unimpressive person. which, to my point, could be an advantage in some rare situations.
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