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Duke Bushido

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Posts posted by Duke Bushido

  1. Great Fish!


    I can't _believe_ we forgot about---


    Okay, let me introduce you to what is, in my own opinion, the single best book to come out of 6 thus far (and yes; I am including the actual rules manuals themselves in that comparison):




    Yep.  Not only are they "templates" (honestly, they are fully-realized characters in their own right), not only are they all....   What's a good word for "recognizable" that doesn't risk suggesting there may have been a need to talk to other IP owners about doing this before actually doing it?  :lol:     Homage!   Not only are they beautiful homages to...  well, you'll know them when you see them-- but there are a lot of known "good guys" in there.  This book is, in my own opinion, the most useful thing thus far to come out of 6e.  (I didn't see the POD option listed anymore, but you might enquire, if you prefer paper).  It's also the best laid-out character book to come out of the company in it's entire forty-year history.  Sadly, it's painfully short.  :( 


    But don't take _my_ word for it!   


    Take _my_ word for it instead:






    start at about 5 minutes to skip the conclusion of thoughts on another topic.




    I do these the moment I get home from work, as the long hours I work don't leave much sunshine available to me (and the sick bastards that insist on shifting the time every winter do nothing but assure I don't see daylight for months.  Dicks.  )  Accordingly, yeah-- my hands are dirty.  Just cope with it.




    :rofl:  :rofl:   :rofl:   :rofl:  


    "Rick _Chase_"    :rofl:



    "Vulnerable to _Flashes_."     :rofl:



    Either those are the best coincidental bits I've seen a good while, or you found your humor to be subtle and razor edged this morning.  :D    Coincidence or conscious incident,  don't change a thing.  I love it!  :D


    I actually really like the "counter act time penalties," too.  I've never specifically done that, which is odd, because I _have_ done some really goofy things in attempts to create a similar thing (most of which were _disastrous_  :rofl: ).    I think the most hilariously bad one was buying free-floating chunks of time chart modifiers to apply to various powers as needed.......  


    Go ahead: if I can laugh about it (thirty years later), you can too!   :D



    Seriously, though, N-B: I think it's a rock-solid speedster mannequin, ready to be dressed up and personalized.


    Well done.



    On 11/27/2020 at 11:57 PM, dmjalund said:

     Albert a +1/4 advantage on Desolid would be "Unusual Special Effect" meaning a generic "affects Desolid" won't work, but a more specific one will





    That might be fun to tinker with, but maybe we should model it as some sort of variant of AVAD?  Call it DVAA-- Defense versus alternate attack?   :rofl:



  3. On 5/17/2020 at 10:39 AM, Sundog said:

    I love that reimagination. 



    I almost do, too.


    Keeping in mind that this was the first movie-- the setup for all the mythos, etc...  without that little speech (strike me down / stronger blah blah blah), Kenobi's death is pointless in terms of plot relevance, and a considerable amount of interest and tension in that scene is lost.  :(


    Maybe it's because I'm more of a reader than a movie-goer, but no matter how fancy your effects are, character interaction is where a story is made, and the success or failure of that story will always depend far more on that than the amount of CGI you pump into the visuals.



  4. I've got a lot of rep to hand out to you folks on this thread, but unfortunately I've burned it all up; Christopher and a couple other folks had a slew of good input all over the board today!  And here I went to work, like a sucker....


    Keep posting and bumping this thread!  I'll remember!  :rofl:



  5. I don't use it too much.  Honestly, the only time I've ever used it is because I screwed up and balanced things too far against the players and had to make adjustments on the fly.  Rather than doing a "gimme," which I don't like to do, as it can become habit-forming (for the players, I mean), I might check a die roll and come out with "well, you didn't hit him quite square, but the flat of your sword struck the side of his helm, forcing him to step back and jerk at his visor," or Crap.  He totally blew that roll, and they kinda _need_ to find that key.  Frankly, I didn't think they come in and shove the dresser up against the door, closing the half-open drawer that was meant to tempt them to look inside.  What's wrong with these guys?  Surely they aren't _that_ concerned about _one_ C'Thuloid......   Wait-- he's searching for the hidden panel with the exit.  Wow! Spectacular success, too!  "okay, you find that one panel behind the dresser does seem to wiggle a bit when pressed.  As you're working it, trying to figure out the latching mechanism, you see the corner of a piece of paper sticking out from behind the top of the panel.  Fishing it out, you see that it's a hand-written note; it must have fallen from the dresser when you jerked it towards the door.  It reads "I could wait no longer.  I have taken a coach to meet with the others.  Take this key; you will need it to access the crypt.  Look for the corner stone whose grain runs foul to its borders."



    That sort of thing.   Short version:


    It's a tool for me to unscrew the party when I did it myself, and not something I use publicly.  I have found that "every roll means _something_ good, and bad isn't always bad" tends to result in players giving the game their half.



  6. 8 hours ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

    I was pondering last night whether shields work properly in the Hero system as written or if they should be changed.  Just giving someone bonus DCV is a quick and easy method, but does it truly represent how shields work, especially in a game like Hero?  It feels more like a D&D throwback where shields just add Armor Class: they missed because you have a shield!


    If they added as portable armor it would seem to fit the system better, but how would you represent that in game terms?  If you require a block to use a shield, then that requires taking a half phase, rolling to block, etc which seems like it should be a part of the possible use of a shield (with the OCV bonus) but not its exclusive use.


    I love that you're asking this!  :D




    6 hours ago, zslane said:

    I guess it depends on how realistically you want shields to be portrayed in the game. As an abstraction, adding OCV/DCV and/or PD/ED works reasonably well. But in reality, a shield acts like a separate target that gets in between the attacker and the defender. It's like, "Here, hit this DCV 2 object instead of me!" That's how shields work, though really small shields (like a buckler) might just provide a bonus to the Block maneuver and little else.


    And I love that Z has the perfect answer: the current system _does_ work well as an abstract model, but it's not accurate to the real world.


    However, again-- Z is dead-on: it works fine to represent what the shield does, at least in game terms, and most importantly, it doesn't really add a lot of complexity to an already kinda slow combat system  (don't get me wrong: the combat system appeals to me in a way no other ever has, but that added value is not exactly free).



    Still, it would be nice to see _optional_ ideas on using shields.  Now I'm not using any of the following, but I'm going to toss them out just as examples of how they could be modeled:


    They could be additional DEF tied to an Activation Roll to represent the character's timing or skill in placing the shield "just so."  (Ooops-- I actually _do_ use that one, but only in Supers, and only if the player wants his particular shield to work that way)


    Similarly, they could take damage when used in Block or Parry Maneuvers.


    Actually, as long as we are on this track, "Shield, large" and "Shield, medium" could require their own professional skills, a success means you can bring it to bear.  Perhaps Bucklers are modeled as something different entirely-- perhaps bonus DCV on a successful Dex roll, or even bonus Dex to attack first in the next phase (with a successful Dex roll defense, mind you) or a point or two of bonus OCV for your counterattack.  (what can I say?  I have always liked the image of the hulking barbarian _swatting away_ a sword blow with his buckler, knocking the weapon away, forcing the wielder to swing his arm back to maintain his hold, but leaving his chitlins exposed to the world for that instant....)


    Sheilds could be ablative regardless of what system your using, perhaps forcing maintenance via a skill or other game mechanic to make field repairs that regain _some_ of the DEF, or perhaps certain weapons could be built with "messes shields up big time" advantages that allow them to inflict some part of their damage directly to a shield.  Battle Axes and certain pole arms come to mind.


    Shields could modify the hit location chart based on their size: hitting location X means a miss, or reduced damage, or damage to the shield only, as this shield covers Locations X, Y, and Z.


    Damage that penetrates the shield could be made to affect location "shield arm" first before any other location.


    There are a lot -- and I mean _a lot_ of possible options I've thought about over the years, but in the end, I've never tried them because, as I said, it seems they would slow things down even more (to this day I don't use hit locations unless they are called shots, which, by unspoken agreement to not slow the game down, are few and far between).  Most importantly, as Z said, for the most part, the current system falls into a not-unreasonable "okay enough" groove for us that we've never been _quite_ unhappy enough to pursue any new methodolgies beyond the whole "I was thinking about this a couple of nights ago...."


    Still, I would _love_ to see other folks thoughts on this subject!  :D




  7. 6 hours ago, zslane said:

    I think it is important for Advantages to increase active cost in order to also increase endurance cost. I'm not a big proponent of Advantages that have no impact on endurance cost.



    I appreciate what you're saying, and don't necessarily disagree with it.


    That said, here's something you're not going to  like:


    I've based END cost on Real Cost instead of Active cost for years now.


    Advantages, using AP, add to END cost.  They do the same thing using real cost.


    It seems logical that having a bigger, more effective bang takes more magic juice.  It seems logical that weaker, crippled bang would take less magic juice.  So we base END cost off of real cost.  Players are, of course, welcome to take Increased END cost (and it's actually one of the most common limitations at my tables) if they desire.


    There are a lot of things that fall out of this, but I find one of the most satisfying is that players will more freely mix it up with their opponents, using their abilities to great effect, the way you see in the movies and cartoons (and presumably in the comics as well; I couldn't tell you that with any authority, however), and we don't have those "everybody find cover for a couple of phases and recover, then start all over" moments.  It's also really prevented us from seeing things like three-digit END scores and Recovery stats that start in the forties.



    As always, mileage, variance, etc.



  8. 43 minutes ago, Ninja-Bear said:

    There’s a Cyberhero for 4th ed that might have some of that. Don’t know off the top of my head though.



    You'd think so, and from outside, it's a great and obvious suggestion.  Unfortunately, there really isn't as much as you would think.  (As luck would have it, I was just re-reading it yesterday).  To be honest, the whole book felt a bit rushed an unfinished, as if there was a ton of content that was dropped or skipped over for various reasons (I always assumed page count limitations, but I wasn't there, so what do I know?).  There were rumors of an expansion supplement being planned even before release, but the unfortunate death of Mr. Scott stopped that from ever happening.  Don't get me wrong, there is ton of stuff...  "about computers...?" in the book, but mostly it's about SFX, cyber running in the net, presentation and construction of the net (which, as presented, might be confusing to someone with _no idea_ how computerized telecommunication worked to begin with), etc-- stuff very genre-specific and how to emulate what the authors saw as the most desirable parts of the genre.   As far as Computer Programming (the Skill) goes, it says "this is the skill that Netrunners will use to whip up new programs on the fly while in the Net" or words to that effect, without actually even going into much detail as to how that would work.   There are some interesting, Traveller-esque notions of computer storage, program size, etc, but for GTO's needs, there not much in there that's going to be particularly helpful.


    I was really looking forward to that particular book way back when, but when I finally got a copy, I was disappointed.  Now don't get me wrong:  I would have _had_ to be disappointed; nothing could have matched what I had hoped would be in that book, what I really wanted to be in that book.  I could have had _volumes_ of HERO Does CyberPunk and been disappointed, so don't think the book is not worth a read!  Making matters worse, I had already purchased (and devoured) Western HERO by the time I snagged a copy of CyberHERO, and--- well, Western HERO was the best genre book HERO ever put out.  Let's face it: there's a reason that shows don't open with their best act.   :lol:


    Still, for a book featuring input from George MacDonald, Terry Amthor, and Monte "Holy crap!  That's Monte Cook!" Cook, even objectively, I would have expected more.  :(



    As to the problem GTO seems to be wrestling with: What are some ideas on simulating combat on a Netrun, well yes: there is information in there, but it's more of a "start here" kind of think without, in my own opinion, enough exposition.   Weirdly, it never touched on my least favorite method of doing this (which happened to be the most popular method under 4e rules for groups playing Cyberpunk games without the book): Extra Dimensional Movement.


    It's my least favorite, but it _is_ workable, and if you don't want to buy the old 4e book, it's certainly a consideration: jack into your deck and "go to the dimension of cyberspace."


    The gist of what Cyber HERO offered can be summed up as "treat it like mental combat" with the optional "treat it like real combat, and handle the return of a wounded online avatar to the netrunner as the merger of a wounded duplicate."


    Not entirely accurate, but close enough, and without the risk of accidental piracy from the source material.



    Good luck!






  9. Ah.  Yes; I can apreciate the problem.  Compunding it is the wide range of speedsters, going from low SPD and high movement to full-on martial artist on caffeinated crack.


    Speedster, I think, suffers more than other categories,,in that it is defined in terms of "compared to everyone else."

  10. Oh: here's a fun thing to do, if you are just looking for backgeound heroes (and I know it works because I have seen it done by a handful of GMs over the years; it should work even better nowadays, if you and your players started with newer editions) is to pick up a coupl3 of the really early Enemies books and use the forgotten ones as background heroes.


    Just a thought,

  11. 14 hours ago, dmjalund said:

    maybe a desolid at full move power


    1 hour ago, Ninja-Bear said:

    Just realized that if I kept the Speedster to Hero Basic then Damage Negation is not an option.



    Well those should have been in reverse order, but there they are.


    In regard to your question about defenses, in the source materials, so far as I understand it, Speedsters get their clocks cleaned pretty easily, _if_ they get hit.  For the most part, their defense is being very, very hard to hit.


    Problematically, this is a game, played with friends, and you being impossible to hit (super-high DCV) is pricey and it can rob some fun from your friends, too.


    I like the Desolid-as-a-Defense idea (something that I never thought I would say before! ), at least in regards to hand-to-hand: you can duck and weave so fast, etc, etc.  The problem is, of course, that mechanically-necessitated, yet logically impossible "affects desolid" advantage.  It doesn't make a lot of sense that it would work if your "desolid" is ducking and weaving, does it?


    Perhaps (if it is not you) discuss with your GM the idea of this desolid is only valid against hand-to-hand, and you can be tagged as normal by any AoE attack as opposed to "affects Desolid."  He might go for it, or he might require two or three reasonable SFX /  types of mechanics that affect you normally  (sonics, perhaps?)


    Anyway, I like it.  It's not exactly the Damage Negation you were hoping for, but it's still a neat idea!  Thanks, dmjalund!


    Related but off-topic:  Is there a reason you have opted to limit this character to HERO Basic 6e?   I'm not saying you shouldn't (remember: I am the original "one thin book" booster!  :D  ), I was just curious if you were perhaps doing this as an experiment or something.




  12. 1 hour ago, AlgaeNymph said:

    (I'm sure this questions been asked before but I'd rather not have to trawl through 10 years of forum posts.  Perhaps there's a FAQ I missed?)

    One of the things I enjoy doing is reading the Villains books and thinking about how my PC would interact with them.  Of course, I'd like to know how the heroes would interact as well.  But the most I've seen are scattered write-ups in 5E books.  When are we going to see a write-up set of books for them?  There's so many all over the world; who would be good to recruit to a team or not?  etc.

    (On a broader note, why haven't we had any new books in a decade?  I'm new here so common knowledge is still a mystery to me.)



    As you note, the few heroes that are written up are scattered about various books.  Write-ups for Heroes have always been a bit short, from the earliest days of this game.


    There are / were (were, I think being more appropriate in terms of "what has been" and "what is known to be coming") a few books: Champions of the North for 4e and one of the new editions.  Allies for 4e.  Books like that.  Actually, there were a lot more published adventures, etc, that included heroes in 4e than in any other edition.  The various organizations books contain a lot of agent info...


    No; heroes don't get written up a lot.  Now I absolutely do _not_ know why, but I have long suspected it was because people will buy villain books to help populate their worlds, but they want to play their very own creations as heroes, suggesting that hero books might not sell well enough to pump them out regularly.  I disagree with that personally, because people will always want both examples of "how to" and benchmarks for what works well in the published setting and against the published villains.


    As for why we haven't seen any new books?


    Bluntly, unpleasantly, and with no joy do I say this:


    HERO is dead.  It's pretty much just-- well, I don't really know how many people, but the two doing the most of the work are Dan Simon, who does the Hero Designer software and the tech support for it, and Jason Waters, who does, as best I can tell, everything else.  The vast bulk of the content released of late has been-- I hate to use this term, because all the 50 Shades fandom has made it a far dirtier thing in common parlance than I intend it to be here-- "fan-created" stuff.  Again: this is _not_ a slight to any of it!  it's on-topic, and everything I have sampled of it thus far has been well-worth a read.  In fact, Christopher's revamp of the Island of Doctor Destroyer should have been a company-published, printed-on-paper, honest-to-goodness HERO Games product.  Lord Liaden did "The Valley of the Night" years and years ago and tossed it onto the internet _for anyone_ , _for free_, and it, too, was wonderful.




    Whether the problem is money, staffing, time, or interest, I cannot say, but the bulk of the problem is that HERO is, again, functionally dead, and has been for a while now.


    Don't let that get you down, though:  companies-- small publishing companies in particular-- are a bit unusual when it comes to being dead.  Often, they can squeak out enough interest with a hibernation-level presence:  a small PDF here and there, a tie-in somewhere else....


    And they don't stay dead, typically.  They might be dead for years, but there's always that chance that they will rouse again, if only for a little while, and shine for a while longer.  Hell, I'm sixty.  That's really all I need to last the rest of _my_ life anyway!   :lol:


    And of course, someone else might come along with the right offer and the right backing, and the whole thing starts anew.  


    ultimately, though: it's like any other game.  It's as alive as the fans, and we are still using it, so.....

  13. 19 hours ago, Christopher R Taylor said:


    Martial arts maneuvers not possible using only basic maneuvers and skill levels:




    Some use power builds.  Still doesn't require martial arts.


    Defender was a martial artist before Allston ever had his idea to sell Skill levels in fractions for single-use builds.



    Choke Hold (NND damage continuous)


    HtH Attack; NND.  LImited by STR if you like, but not necessary.  Far more options if you don't.




      (any of the moves which use the NND damage element)


    See above.   Actually, that's pretty much _all_ the moves that use the NND element: HtH: NND.  


    There.  One build, and now I have unlimited styles should I so choose.  And of course, all the moves that use the NND element.



    Disarming Throw (disarm and throw at the same time)


    Breaks the rules as-is (two actions in your half-phase), but no one complains because "mystic arts" and "I can yell He-Yah!"  Still, if you can break the rules there, you can break them elsewhere:


    Throw.  Grab weapon on the way by.


    Yes; it's two moves.  So is, if I may quote "Disarm and throw."  we'll do the same thing "martial arts" did and add the key phrase "at the same time:"


    Throw opponent and grab weapon _at the same time_.




      Any of the moves which combine two attacks into one single half phase attack


    All break the rules in their own way, but hey-- martial arts, amirite?  :lol: 


    Multipower Attacks have, for many players, _always_ been a part of the game; they were officially codified in 5e.




    HtH attack, HtH attack, HtH attack.  Assign dice as desired.   Using multipower attack, I can now combine _three_ attacks into a single half phase!  Or use autofire for up to ten; whichever seems best.


    Ohh!  Wait:  HtH attack 3d6 Autofire, HtH attack 3d6 Autofire, HtH attack 3d6 autofire....   Declare a multiple power attack, through in some skill levels-- Boom!  Thirty attacks in a half phase.




    Flying Dodge (full move +DCV bonus)


    You can put your skill levels wherever you want.  It's zero phase, use-it-with-a-full-move stuff.



      (any of the "flying" moves which use the Full Move element)


    Break the rules if you let them use a full move and an attack _in the same Phase_ and don't declare it as a move-by or a move-through.




    Move by.

    Move through.


    If you want to use stuff from martial arts, use the unnamed single-point adder that makes you immune to taking any of the v/5 damage.  That, I think, is _totally_ worth the point.  We should let speedsters have it, too.



    Killing Strike

      (any of the moves which use the Killing Attack element)


    No sarcasm here:  I simply want to point out that your argument is that I can't use Killing Attack without buying a Killing element via martial arts.  I could digress into the "ranged" versus "STR Bonus" points to the existence of a 10-pt Killing Attack that has neither range nor STR Bonus, which in turn points to the existence if a +1/2 "Killing" Advantage, but I won't get any deeper into it, because Hugh hates it.  ;)   However, if I were to do it, it would point out just how busted the costing for the killing element is.


    At any rate:  Killing Attack.  It comes with even more Killing Attack if you have an STR of 15 or higher.





    Martial Flash (flash attack)

      (any of the moves which use the "flash" blinding element)


    Again: the argument is that I can't use the actual _power_ without buying the element that simulates it.


    Flash.  Done.




    Martial Escape 

      (any of the moves which involve the "escape" element with bonus STR to break grab)


    It sounds crazy to folks who hold fast to the idea that the campaign guidelines for one guy's one campaign are die hard essentials for all guys' all campaigns, but I'm going to go with +X STR; no extra lifting / jumping.  Or even more specifically: +STR: only to break grab.




    Martial Arts introduces several things into the combat system not possible using only the basic list of maneuvers.

    Can you build them using powers and talents and so on?  Sure.  But the discussion at hand is "using only combat skill levels to simulate martial arts"


    No; _your_ discussion might be "only using combat skill levels to simulate martial arts;" I won't deny that.


    My posit was "there are no martial maneuvers that can't be done without buying martial arts."  I didn't mention Skill Levels there at all, mostly because I understand that Martial Arts itself isn't possible without dipping into the Powers list, though over the years I have learned that renaming a super-discount Skill Level or Power as an "Element" is enough to make a lot of people fail to see them as actual Powers after that.


    Your discussion screws anyone from demonstrating this, because you are implying that Allston built the Martial Arts from Skill Levels alone, which he did not.  As you pointed out, you can't Skill Level your way into a Killing Attack.  However, because "ooh!  Martial Arts!," you can buy a Killing Attack for some ridiculously low-low price.


    So...   Martial Arts should remain core rules because.....Cheese?    or because Tasty Cheese?   


    I disagree.  There are a number of martial arts (actual martial arts; not dice-and-hex-paper martial arts) fans on the board and in the hobby, and you want to know something?  I think _that_ is the reason everyone argue so vehemently when I state my opinion that they are unnecessary.  "Oooh; but that's my jam!" doesn't make something more relevant, more critical, or more un-cheesed.  It just means it's something that _you_ like.  I don't even advocate doing away with them, honestly: I actually think it was originally a very cute idea, and I still think so today.  However, I think they should be very clearly relegated to "this kind of a campaign" and not presented as core rules.


    And just so you and I can both properly apologize to the OP for skewing the course of this thread,  the conversation at hand is the generic, non-specified martial art and using it in Hero Designer.


    Sorry, Hero GM.


    I helped drag your thread off course, and didn't realize it wouldn't bounce back.


    I know nothing of Hero Designer, and can't help you there, but I am a _huge_ fan of doing Martial Arts builds without doing Martial Arts builds, so I sincerely hope it's as easy to work out as it sounds.




  14. On 11/24/2020 at 1:58 AM, Christopher R Taylor said:

    Unclevlad is right, this encourages the gigantic one-shot blast, like the Big O Manga where he uses his super cannon to defeat every enemy.  Who cares if it leaves you exhausted, only works once a day, and has side effects?  If they're down, then they're down.  If I can have a 16d6 blast, I can work limitations into it to make it cheap enough but still game-breaking.  Its an interesting concept, but it only would work without minmaxers and griefers.


    Personal experience here, and a great deal of it:


    This idea of Chris's isn't too terribly far from how we play.  Summed up, we play "screw active points."  We have a total cost limit (250, using the 2e 100 + Disadvantages model).  Spend as many or as few as you want, anywhere you want.As I mentioned to Chris in a discussion some time back, I suspect that this is because way back when we were learning to play 1e, we had too many people who just couldn't get wrapped around the division of costs, so we let it slide "until we get more familiar with the rules," but we just never went back.  We use AP today for building and costing and that's about it.  Campaign limits, etc, are all built on real points, period. 


    Yes:  Everyone has done four or five characters over the years with a MegaBuster (I also really enjoyed the Guyver, way back when, even though the later parts of the series didn't hold up well).  They get bored very quickly.   You will have a mix of cardboard cannons and paintball Tanks for a bit, but after three, sometimes four sessions of firing off  The Big Gun and then spending the rest of the battle recovering or actively running away, seeking cover, etc, and watching everyone else do stuff and roll dice, the players start to fume about not having fun doing anything, and their fellow players start to grumble and complain _loudly_ about how quickly the team's firepower is dwindling.  The Paintball Tanks, effectively invulnerable but unable to really make a dent in the opposition, wander around sheltering the Cardboard Cannons until they themselves are restrained, out of END, or the bad guys merrily skip away, singing cheerful taunts the whole time.   The Cardboard Cannons are usually the first to Abort to Recrimination; that's always fun to listen to.



    Short version:


    This is one of those problems that everyone gags on when they read it, but actually _doing_ it proves that the problem--- I won't lie: it _does_ exist, in as much as players _will_ try it-- is one-hundred-percent self-solving:  Everyone tries it, realizes just how much actual "Game" they have cheated themselves out of, then begs to make new characters.  These new characters are typically much more suited to the game at hand.  Like a lot of the grumbling during discussion about the evils of this idea or the abuse of that idea, or the remake of Poltergeist,  the Hype of Horror is far, far greater than what you actually end up seeing.



    Now I will one-hundred percent say that groups who prefer the tactics / wargaming approach like our friend Scott will likely get much, _much_ more use out of this, because they will most likely be far more able to keep their personalities in check long enough to cooperate and launch a coordinated attack, cannons behind tanks, firing and recovering in turn, etc., with an eye more toward _the team_ achieving a goal.   Most of the people I've ever played with enjoy the map; they enjoy the scenario, but they also enjoy the "this is what _my guy_ would do" and running with it.  It works beautifully with a balanced team of balanced characters, but it _sucks_ for unbalanced characters that need to use more militaristic unit tactics.   :rofl:





    On 11/24/2020 at 12:21 PM, zslane said:


    Well, given how low the real costs will (likely) be, the character will have plenty of other powers to use after the one-shot mega power doesn't work. In most scenarios, it would still be worth firing off early in a fight, when you know you still can. Having such a potentially huge effect "in play" from the very start of a fight can have massive tactical implications for the entire encounter, especially if it is something more sophisticated than just an energy blast or hand attack.


    You are making the assumption that the game will start with X points.  The problem of 'still having lots of powers left' can be solved simply by lowering the starting points.  Depending on the group, this may affect the entire build, as players wanting characters with numerous powers will be less inclined to dump two hundred points into MegaBuster.


    As noted above, in my own experience, firing off the Big Guns early results in not being able to fire them off for very long, and missing becomes a serious problem with regard to END costs, collateral damage, and not having that shot later (Charges, for example), and the player boredom / frustration that results from sitting around "taking a few recoveries" while everyone else moves tokens and rolls dice.  The knee jerk reaction is to "save it for the best use," which actually has far more tactical effects: if they've used it before, the bad guys know it's still out there, and tend to act accordingly.   Though your high-tech bad guy Doctor Clockwork can send an army of cheap wind-up decoys to goad the characters into using it to exhaustion, as can your mentalist Doctor Illusion.


    Either way, it's going to depend far, _far_ more on your group (as I mentioned: I'm pretty sure Scott's friends would clobber my friends in a friendly match, simply because the idea of specialized high-powered one-trick ponies works best for players who prefer methodical tactics, and sucks for drama majors) and how many points you actually let them use.



  15. 23 hours ago, archer said:


    really like this idea. I've never come up with anything that I've been satisfied with to model how difficult it is to target a speedster.


    I don't know how this would play out in practice but it looks really, really nice.



    It's a _great_ idea!  


    Though typically, our speedsters aren't Flash-level speedsters.  We tend to do Extra DCV (via Skill Levels) proportionally joined to the speedster's movement speed.  (Yes; I have zero quibbles with Limitations on Skill Levels so long as the make as much sense as Limitations on anything else.)





    28 minutes ago, Ninja-Bear said:

    Well here’s another quirk of the Speedster build. I have other books besides Hero Basic however if I was to build a Speedster per HB, I couldn’t use some of the martial maneuvers suggested as those aren’t an option. So subconsciously I think this is why I’m going with the Power build. It would be the most “universal” of the editions build. 


    Sp what _supplemental_ books do you have that list these or similar maneuvers?  ;)




  16. Had numerous phone calls today (we didn't go anywhere, and all my friends and family out of town were made well aware eight weeks ago that traveling in from somewhere and coming up to my door was a great way to get hit with a brick and sent packing: my wife and daughter are both high-risk (asthma), and my age and heart problems aren't helping me too much these days, particularly with the drop in fitness by eight months of "go nowhere; do nothing." 


    Anyway, during the phone calls from old friends, many memories and much celebration came out, including a bit of "group lingo" referring to things from games gone past.  One of those terms led me to this:



    Martial Sneer:  3 pts --------+1/+2-----------Must Follow Presence Attack; Target falls.


    I didn't really want to add the OCV, but there's a minimum cost of 3, so why not?   Turn an entire team of opponents into Fainting Goats.   :lol:



    The term goes way back to a game just about the time 3e was being distributed: Jim had picked up both the boxed set and the perfect bound single-volume printings  (he was like that).  I hadn't picked them up yet (and, it turns out, wouldn't for roughy thirty years).  Anyway, we had a new guy who was what we used to call a Some Timer (not to be confused with a part timer, who was someone who, while not always available, could be counted on to show up when he said he would).  I honestly don't recall his name, but something in the back of my mind says it was Keith, and since it doesn't matter, that's what we're going to call him.  ;)


    Keith was excited for the game, for the social activity, and for the hoots and hollers of well-played sessions, but Keith was suffered from a chronic crippling shyness that we had spent several sessions working on (mostly me yelling at everyone else before Keith arrived, telling them "Look; he's got comfort problems being around us; we're relative strangers.  Whatever he does, you _love_ it, period.  Talk to him in character, out of character, whatever it takes."-- that sort of thing.


    Because of his shyness, Keith wasn't really good at the descriptive part of the game, or the interactive part of the game, but he really did try, at least as best he was able.  The bad guy is before the team, Keith's Batman Clone is in the rafters, observing closely while the team moves in.  The boss smiles, laughs, and haughtily announces "you people have the worst timing.  Any other night, I wouldn't have been here, and you would have lived...."  looks back at his business and jerks an extended index finger toward the group, a signal that sends a dozen armed minions out of the shadows toward the team.


    Keith:  Okay, uhm...  I wanna- can I jump down?  I wanna jump down.


    Sure.  It's only eighteen feet or so, and you've got Superleap (2e, remember?), so sure; you won't have any problem with that.


    Okay, I jump down-- ooh!  Can I jump like on one of the bad guys?


    You can, but remember two things: you can totally kill a guy like that if you break his neck, or paralyze him if you damage his spine.  If you still want to try, I will let you, of course, but remember you're one of the good guys.  Also remember that such a move would technically be a move-through, and you'll take half the damage.


    Okay....  uhm....   Can I....  Can I jump down, like right in front of one of the guys?




    Okay, I hit him!


    You can't.  You're still in the rafters.


    Wha--  oh, yeah, okay.  I jump down in front of a guy and hit him.  Like, really hard.


    Which guy? I nod toward the impromptu map.


    Okay, the so the big red round dice there...  that's the boss, right?




    And this pencil eraser here, that's a bad guy?


    No; that's a pencil eraser.  Sorry about that.  Brent, pick that up and keep it out of the map!


    Okay, these two dice on top of each other...?


    That's a bad guy.  He's standing in front of the boss as a sort of ersatz bodyguard until the team is taken care of.  He's not likely to move from that position unless things go really, really badly for his guys.


    Okay, that's the guy I want to drop in front of, and as soon as I land, I want to ...   I guess just hit him?


    Sure.  How?  You've got weapons and your punches and kicks.  Which are you going to use?


    The club thing-- the baton.  Wait!  Does he look tough?


    He looks big and tough, and just like the other guys, he seems to be wearing a motorcycle helmet of some sort with a flaming eyeball painted along the crest of it.


    Okay, I...  I _jump_!  I jump down and I hit this guy, like with the stick, as hard as I can!


    We roll, the body guard goes down even before he registers what happened.  The boss looks up, shocked by the instant appearance of a hero right in front of him and the crumpling of his henchman.


    Okay, Keith; you have the higher SPD and the boss is clearly shocked.  What do you do?


    Okay, I get my club--


    Someone butted in with "Presence Attack, Keith!  Perfect opportunity for a presence attack!"


    Okay, yeah-- I do one of those!  Wait-- that's when you scare them, right?  And I can get extra dice if he's already scared, right?


    Yep.  You've got the appeared-from-nowhere thing going on, the extremely violent action going on, and you dispatched his most capable henchman as if he were a mannequin.  [I tossed him four extra dice].  Add those; you've got eight dice now.  What sort of Presence Attack are you making?




    What do you do? What do you say?


    Oh, I uh..    Okay, I stand there looking cool; I don't even check the guy I just knocked out to be sure.  I turn my head and ....   I look at the boss.


    You look at him?


    Yeah. Like _hard_, you know?  I look at him like, really _hard_.



    "Ah, yes!"  Chimes in Jeff, who, while an extremely amusing dry-witted type, had a really hard time remembering the "don't shake his confidence" sessions.  "Nothing more intimidating than a good sneer, really.  It's all the rage in gunfights nowadays...."


    We all pointedly ignore it; Keith rolls his dice.  easily _half_ of them were sixes.  There was one three and one four.  No ones; no twos.


    Jeff's eyes bugged for a moment.  "Oh; my bad!  I didn't realize you were using your Martial Sneer......


    Anyway, Keith managed to get the boss shook up long enough to wrangle him with bolos and cuff him.


    It was a hilarious moment for all of us, but a great one for Keith.  It also brought "Martial Sneer" into our lexicon.   :rofl:





  17. Sorry; I haven't time to reply properly, but I had a moment and wanted to make sure I hadn't accidentally started a war.  :lol:



    I think you all understand I don't use Martial Arts as introduced by Allston; we'd been playing since 1e and weren't going to change the we'd been doing it simply because it worked far too well compared to what Allston offered.  We completely understood that this was fun set dressing for a very specific type of campaign, and we enjoyed the book, but none of us have ever had any interest in that type of campaign.  For us, the most "fun" from martial arts conceptually was yelling every time you hit someone.  (To this day, players with martial artists will do that.  Every Single Time)


    Christopher:  I posit that there are no maneuvers which can't be done without buying a martial art.  None.    Even kids on skateboard can do backflips, and american football is built around the flying anything.


  18. 3 hours ago, archer said:


    Those are my big sticking points. The advantage of your target being prone are extreme: DCV penalty and has to spend his next half phase to stand back up.


    If I can get that for free just by saying "I trip my opponent" rather than saying "I punch my opponent", why would most characters ever choose to describe what they're doing as a punch rather than a trip?




    First and foremost:


    I know Ninja-Bear gets it, because this is fast becoming our "favorite" chestnut (the value of the martial arts rules, I mean)  ;) .    I want to take just a minute to point out that the following questions and illustrations are _not_ sarcastic, _not_ meant to be barbs, jabs, or pokes, and are _not_ meant to be insulting.  Bear with me; I have reasons:  


    1) the degradation of the way humans-- at least in english-speaking countries; I don't know enough of any other language to evaluate what I see from them-- treat and interact with each other has made all of those things so common as cause a real, honest-to-God ache in my heart.


    2) the degradation of social values that has reached the point that sarcasm has come to be considered a mark of intelligence, and is reached for above all other conversational comments.  Frankly, this disgusts me.  Sarcasm has done a lot of damage to a lot of people over the years, yet the offenders will continue to do it, oblivious to the damage, because society rewards them "he's _so_ intelligent!"  Yes: insulting things has become a sign of intelligence.  Want to look smart?  Read celebrity gossip, watch fictional TV shows and make constant references, and insult everything.  I can't express how much this saddens me, and I want to state that what you read below may seem to be sarcastic in places (I don't know yet; I haven't written it.   :lol:     )   many years ago, I destroyed a relationship that was very valuable to me simply by being "funny:" that is, sarcastic.  I have never been able to regain fully the trust or the warmth of that person and that relationship, respectively.  From that point on, I have gone to great lengths to eliminate sarcasm from my conversational repertoire, and reserve it only for those moments non-targeted, obvious jokes.  Still, I work at not doing that, either.


    3) Perhaps most importantly:

    there is at least one member of this board who is held in extremely high regard whose entire disagreement "technique" is to sarcastically insult the person or people with whom he disagrees.  He gets away with it constantly, as his visits are rare in recent years, and as I said, he is, for whatever reason, held in high standing.  I suspect it's a combination of "Sarcasm = Intelligence" combined with "if I cheer for him, I won't be next."  Either way, he turned the insult gun toward me for the-- fourth?  Tenth?  No matter-- time some while back, and I got myself a demerit for refusing to accept being insulted.   I do _not_ want anyone else to feel that they are in the position of being insulted by me, or being motivated to speak out against me as a bully or overtly disrespectful.  That is to say, I don't want anyone here getting their own demerit because they felt they had to speak up against a slight that I am now promising you _will not be there_. 




    To the meat of things:


    From Ninja HERO 4e:


    Flying Tackle:......... 3 pts.......... 0/-1............  +v/5, You fall, Target falls, Full Move

    Grappling Throw.....3 pts............0/+2........... +v/5, Target Falls, Must Follow Grab

    Killing Throw:..........5 pts..........-2/0............. Strike +2d6, Target falls

    Legsweep: ..............3 pts.........+2/-1.............Strike +1d6, Target falls

    Martial Throw..........3 pts...........0/+1.............+v/5, Target falls



    Sacrifice Throw.......3 pts..........+2/+1...........Strike, You fall, Target falls

    Takedown................3 pts...........+1/+1...........Strike, Target falls


    Those last two in particular:


    Remove "You fall" and one skill level, and it's become Takedown.  It's become Takedown right to the cost, demonstrating that "you fall" is worth one bonus 3pt Skill level.  Strike is free to anyone with STR.  Takedown has no time penalty (it's a half-phase, like the other Strike-based maneuvers).


    The idea that for three points and yelling "Hi-yah!" I can get two Skill Levels _and_ "Target Falls" suggests to me that "Target Falls" is _not_ something that has to be bought.  I know: the Throw element is listed as costing one point.  One point.  Is that even a Skill Level?


    Go to Grappling Throw.  Three points again, two Skill Levels, and  the one-point Target Falls.  "Must Follow Grab" is a limitation that rebates 2 pts; I'd suggest that not only does it wash the 1-pt cost of the bonus damage (which makes this thing a Move-By: STR damage plus velocity/5 damage is a Move-By), but spends the unaccounted-for remaining point on a mystery defense that protects you from the blowback of your move-by maneuver.


    I know: it doesn't say Move By in the text, but +v/5 is a move-by, which suffers from a total of -4 Skill levels, yet those four skill levels are just given away when the move becomes "Martial."


    So Martial Throw is, in reality, a Move By with +2 Skill Levels set into OCV and +3 Skill Levels set into DCV, the impossible-without-Martial-Arts Target Falls element, and the mysterious unnamed on-point element that protects the user from taking a piece of that damage as with any other Move By.  Five Skill levels, a downed opponent, and a defense totally worth looking into for your favorite speedster or brick, all for 3 pts.


    We can skip picking them apart, though, and go right to the roll-your-own section, where we see that +v/5 costs 1pt and +1 DCV costs 1 pts. and Target Falls is a mere point.  One point.


    "Takedown backs this up:   Well, bonus OCV isn't listed directly, but "NND OCV" is (I have always assumed that's a typo; I accept that I may be wrong, and that "NND OCV" is something that I just can't figure out) listed at +1 pt, DCV is listed at +1 pt.  That leaves both one point and Target Falls, is in line with what we've seen so far.


    Sacrifice Throw is three points, contains three points worth of CV, but it still has Target Falls.  It also has You Fall, which rebates two points, and the two wash each other out. Except that they don't.  Look at Grappling Throw:


    Grappling Throw gets weird, though: for three points you get two points of DCV and the one-point v/5.  You still get Target Falls, which must wash with Must Follow Grab....   which is _two_ "rebated" points, so now "Target Falls" is worth _two_ points?



    We can do this over and over (well, we can't.  I wanted to go through all three editions, but the wife says I've ten minutes to finish up and help her in the kitchen, so let me skip right to the other problem with the idea that you have to buy Martial Arts to knock someone down)



    The biggest problem I have with the idea that you must buy a Martial Maneuver to knock someone over is Ninja HERO was a 4e book.  We had to go back and re-play an entire _decade_ worth of adventures because until then we had been playing wrong, not realizing that we were completely unable to knock people down!   :lol:  


    No; seriously, though:  does anyone actually play the game this way?  Is it impossible in anyone's game to knock someone over without buying the element?  If I direct a 3d6 kick at an opponent's knee and succeed, will he simply not fall?  If I direct a 2-1/2d6 KA: sword with an STR Bonus of 1D6 at his knee, is there a GM who will seriously rule that he just Black Knights me, standing there on his one remaining leg, taunting me?  Or will he _fall down_?  If I declare that my STR 17 grappling goon has opted to take his grabbed hundred-and-thirty pound opponent and do a Body Slam, is there a GM-- not just on the board, but on the planet-- who is going to rule that my goon will _miss the floor_ because he does not have Martial Arts?  If my teammate has successfully CON-Stunned an opponent, and for whatever reason he is still standing, is it impossible for me to knock him down?  I don't have any martial arts.



    Anyway, I'd love to break this down for the next two editions-- we know that there were some changes here and there-- but my time is nearly up.



    Point is, "Strategic value" or no, people can be knocked down.  Hell, they fall down all the time without help from anything but a smart phone.




  19. 2 hours ago, Ninja-Bear said:

    It was only when you were advocating of getting rid of Martial Maneuvers was where I took umbrage. 


      Be fair:


    I never suggested getting rid of them.


    I suggested they were outliers that didn't belong in the main rules set.  Supplement?  Fine.  Main rules?  More stuff to confuse the new guys, and that, given the tendency in recent editions to fold everything into some version of a larger idea, sticks out like a dime on a dog's nose as being something that is clearly just a singular use of a larger thing-- in this case, Skill Levels.


    Grab + Skill levels = Martial Grab.


    Kick + Skill levels = martial Kick.


    The big sticker seems to be "target falls" for most people, but really-- if I throw a guy, or trip a guy, are you _really_ going to rule that he doesn't fall because it doesn't say "Martial" in the description?  I trip a guy who gets tripped and doesn't fall?


    The whole thing is based on a Lark one very popular (and rightfully so; he was quite talented, creatively) third-party writer came up with for a campaign, wrote up a book for creating your own similar campaign, and now it's rules?   Autoduel Champions is just as legitimate (shudder)-- same guy, even.   Why are we not using Car Wars for building vehicles?   :lol: 


    Okay, that last one is kidding.  ;)


    If you like it, enjoy it.  I'm not going to tell you you're wrong.


    But "here's a handful of skill levels; yell something anime-esque when you assign them" is every bit as legitimate, and for my money, far simpler and more enjoyable.





  20. Well this is all sounding very familiar....









    Not an insult, folks; not a disparagement.  


    I promise.   :D



    It's what I've advocated for years, and usually get told I'm doing it wrong.   It's the Batman martial art:  I am a master of fifteen martial arts styles, and am proficient in eight more.


    Assign your skill levels and yell "Hi-ya!"



    Martial Arts.



  21. I don't see why that won't work, but I haven't played with Damage Negation, either  (no one at my tables has been interested in trying it yet, so I haven't thrown it out there), so there might easily be a drawback or downfall I haven't stumbled across.


    If worse goes to worst, though, you can always make it speed-dependent.  I don't think it would, so long as you are specifying it's "for X reasons," instead of just a handy damage soak.


    How does Damage Negation interact with Damage Shield?  That could be an interesting complication.



  22. On 11/24/2020 at 7:58 AM, Ninja-Bear said:

    To start with, I know I want the Speedster to reliably be able to do Move Bys on Thugs and take them out without being hit.





    That's how Freight Train came to be, actually!   :lol:


    Before going with speed-dependent armor or anything like that (though have you considered speed-dependent armor?), remember that you can "simulate" Move By / Move through with large HtH attacks, perhaps adding double KB or something like that.  In that way, you move by your opponent, dishing out scads of damage, send him flying, but don't actually have to take half the damage yourself.  Yes; it's a bit pricier, but adding Limitations such as damage scaling with movement, etc, it's not unfeasible.


    Or go the Freight Train route and have speed-dependent (notice how well I avoid saying that word?  HA!) defenses sufficient to allow him to take out walls at full tilt.  (his working title, until I had a full character in my head, was Quixote.   :lol: )




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