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The Main Man

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Everything posted by The Main Man

  1. I have not quit Hero as a player because most of my group still primarily runs it. If they're comfortable building everything while I just need to make the one character, I'm still game. However, there are a few reasons I've become jaded with GMing it as I approach a crusty 28 years old in December. 1) Character Creation. Powers are the main reason it takes so long. If you go the Equipment route, you still must build it all, putting more front load work on the GM's shoulders. Hero does provide lots of pre-built Equipment, but something about picking Equipment from lists seems to run counter to all that Toolkit talk in the core rules. Convenient, yes, but D&D gives me Equipment lists and skips the Toolkit stuff. What's the point of driving home the Toolkit stuff when it's more convenient to just use pregen equipment and get on with the game? Then there's a sort of conundrum I have with Hero Designer. Sure, you don't technically need it, but it organizes character creation so well that it's hard to not use it. It speeds things up too much. That said, and this isn't HD's fault - personal problem - is that my fellow players frequently forget that Hero Designer is not the Hero System. For that matter, I've seen many character builds over the years that wouldn't have been made if it took more than some keystrokes and clicks. What's more, it's hard to put that lightning back in the bottle. 2) All the Rules. At its core, Hero is solid and rather simple. Unfortunately, that core is buried under oodles of rules and garnished by oodles more errata. More rules means either asking for more investment from your players or else more hand-holding. Hero needs to give up a lot of its crystal clarity in favor of letting groups house rule the system to what they like. For that matter, I find that most of the time, rules clarifications mostly boil down to telling you no before you ask. 3) So much emphasis on combat. Almost every CHAR is primarily intended for combat. Most Powers are combat oriented or described in combat terms. There's a whole second volume of the core rules for combat. I find it hard to build a non-combatant in good faith in such a combat-oriented set of rules. Combat in Hero has a fundamental logic to it that is internally consistent and nuanced to be sure but I think some of it could sink into the background more like all the CVs and Speed. Let's face it: making Speed, a stat that dictates how many actions your character gets in a Turn, into something you can buy ensures that you get to play the game more than other players because of how you spent your points. I've been a fan of combat being more integrated with Skills for years, but it mostly isn't in Hero. I think it would have a more modern approach if it treated combat as another Skill. Otherwise it's like an intricate miniatures game. Good rules for a miniatures game, but a miniatures game isn't the kind of RPG I'm looking for. I think there's more, but those are the main reasons I'm jaded with Hero, more as a GM than as a player. I think Hero needs to soul-search in these times and reinvent itself. I haven't read Champions Complete, but judging from the page count it at least sounds like a step in a direction I'd like.
  2. Re: Converting M&M 3e Advantages to HERO Talents/Perks Yeah, a master list of M&M Advantages and D&D Feats would be great for Fantasy games (more than that, really).
  3. Re: Modern-day Pulp? Thanks for the rep, tkdguy. The idea of inserting pulp into other campaigns first occurred to me as I watched the Doctor Who serial "The Talons of Weng-Chiang." I realized that the Doctor could be made with the Scientist and Detective package deals from Pulp HERO (and maybe even Explorer). His companion, Leela, easily could be made with the "Wild (Wo)Man" package deal. Then I thought of Sarah Jane, the previous companion - Reporter package deal. Ian and Barbara - from the very beginning - both Professors. And Adric, sweet Adric, could use the Goblin package deal from Fantasy HERO. From there, I took a new look at a lot of superheroes. Superman - Reporter, Scientist, and Two-Fisted Hero; Batman - Dilettante, Detective, Masked Crimefighter; Iron Man - Gadgeteer and Scientist; Spider-Man - Amateur Scientist, Masked Crimefighter, and Amateur Reporter (as Photographer); Wolverine - Explorer, Soldier, Veteran. It all suddenly made so much sense to me. In a similar vein though, the same goes for Fantasy HERO templates. Returning to the Doctor for a moment, one could easily also assign him the Divine or Demigod (just change the name) and Contemplative Culture templates. Wolverine could easily be a Barbarian. Batman could also use the Martial Artist Template. Fantasy and Pulp - much broader usage than meets eye. In fact, the ultimate infusion of the two in my opinion is Conan the Barbarian himself - a Two-Fisted Barbarian if I ever saw one (maybe with more sword than fist, but still.).
  4. I'm a casual fan of at least the idea behind artistic minimalism, but can there be such a thing as a minimized HERO system? I suspect that it would have multiple facets from minimalist character creation to minimalist skills to minimalist powers to minimalist combat. What say you?
  5. Re: Sci-Fi Melee Weapons: Bat'leth, Lirpas, Lightsabres, Rykk Blades, Koltari, Denn'B *Looks down at signature...*
  6. Re: Modern-day Pulp? This reminds me of how one day I gave up trying to run a Pulp campaign when I can just overlap Pulp style over any campaign instead. It's surprising how applicable the Pulp HERO templates are to campaigns (Fantasy HERO too). Gave me an even greater appreciation for the style really.
  7. Re: Looking For Input On Potential New Fantasy Product Right now I have one of those ideas that is wishful thinking: My first taste of RPGs came in the form of these single player Star Wars adventure books from Scholastic Books. They were basically the same idea as Lone Wolf or Fighting Fantasy but for kids (and Star Wars). When I first really got into RPGs, I believe it was AEG (maybe others) who published adventures in pamphlet form. When I buy groceries, I spot Archie comics in digest size to my side all the time. Archie comics do good business to this day as an impulse buy to my knowledge. So, the idea: A series of cheap, digest-sized, single player adventures for kids sold as impulse buys. Character information is contained on M:TG-sized cards and every book comes with a pack of new cards with different abilities for different characters. On the back of the book, kids (and their parents) are told that all they need to play are 3 6-sided dice, a pencil, some scratch paper, and the book. It's "Champions Adventures!" or "Fantasy Hero Adventures!" or the like. Not Champions Complete, but you're darn tooting it's advertised at the end of every book. Like I said, wishful thinking...
  8. Re: Campaign Damage Caps, Code vs. Killing & Pulling a Punch Hell, for anyone who watched Superman: TAS, it was an even bigger character moment. I'm not sure if it's often cited because it's thought of as license to use full power so much as it was pitch perfect writing, animation, and voice acting. I do now think that it could make an excellent example of what it means to defy a Total PsychComp. I'd put Batman using a gun on Darkseid and The Doctor grabbing a gun to face the Time Lords in that same class. There's doubtlessly more.
  9. Re: Looking For Input On Potential New Fantasy Product Discussions like this make me wish I was even modestly skilled and disciplined enough to write settings and adventures for free. Sometimes I wonder if the RPG industry could use a NaNoWriMo/Script Frenzy style challenge for writing modules in a month.
  10. Re: Looking For Input On Potential New Fantasy Product - Use those "Equal Damage" rules from FH 6e. Seriously cuts down on space for weapons. Do still use the Slashing, Bashing, and Piercing rules though. Also, the idea of 5 or so pages for Weapons, Armor, and Shields sounds very "pick up and play" to me. Now is not the time to split hairs. Just tell the reader that there's a much more detailed Equipment Book available for purchase. - Why not settle for 300 pages? FH 5e and 6e seem to indicate that there is more to Fantasy than Superheroes and I don't think readers will be particularly intimidated by a book that size. - I still like the idea of mini-settings a la PA HERO and UF HERO. Sell them on PDF only. Could start with condensed versions of Turakian Age, Valdorian Age, Atlantean Age, and Tuala Morn. - I like Templates, but I also liked the Superhero Gallery from Champions 6e. Again, that approach makes the game much more "pick up and play" to me.
  11. Re: Alternative Necromancy This thread gave me this thought: Clerics - It's not necromancy when we do it.
  12. For some time I've pondered how my fellow HEROphiles regulate OCV, DCV, OMCV, and DMCV as well as how you reconcile them with Combat Skill Levels, Penalty Skill Levels, and Martial Maneuvers. Usually I can only seem to declare a maximum value for them, but that always seems overly simplistic. Like if I have DCV to max, should I count Dodge? It's free, so perhaps not. Then what about Martial Dodge? From there, what about other Martial Maneuvers? How does everyone else manage them in a fair manner?
  13. Re: Campaign Damage Caps, Code vs. Killing & Pulling a Punch I like this perspective. It gives me something to think about to be sure. It also gives me the idea of placing a standard damage class cap, but for every 5 points in "Code versus Killing" a player takes, they may have +1 Damage Class, but they also must use Pull Punch our else use fewer Active Points unless they succeed with an Ego roll.
  14. Re: What "Pulp" have you read lately ? I can tell you all what my next literary conquest is at the very least: The Shadow in... The Devil Monsters.
  15. Re: What makes a great Iron Age campaign setting? A "serious" Iron Age setting deconstructs superheroes in terms of genre tropes and in placing them in a modern day context. A "silly" Iron Age setting is basically "Superpunk."
  16. Re: DC and Marvel: What Makes Them Different? Marvel is better at marketing. DC is better at long term writing. These are more modern developments.
  17. Just as the thread title asks. What are the differences between DC and Marvel comics? This can range from characters to settings to storytelling to themes and beyond. It can range throughout their histories of course, but let's try to find what rings true the most. Opinions may of course vary. To get it started, DC's major characters predominantly seem to have started in the '30s and '40s. Superheroes were brand new and time had yet to tell how to write them. Most of Marvel's major characters, on the other hand, started in the '60s and '70s. Superheroes had been around the block by now; creators like Stan Lee and Jack Kirby now had a better idea of what made them tick as well as what could stand reexamination. I could say much more, but I'd rather the discussion just begin. So let's get to it.
  18. Re: How do you feel about House Rules? Exactly what I have done countless times. I like house rules to be small and simple. Thing is, sometimes a small house rule has big consequences. Furthermore, a second opinion our two helps when you get them from people with different philosophies than yourself. I do think HERO is a special case becausemuch of it is based on opinion and adaptability; there are many ideas that really aren't house rules so much as speculations and interpretations of the system.
  19. Re: What elements should a great superhero setting contain? Pouches.
  20. Re: What Can’t Hero Do? RAW HERO lacks the freeform flexibility of more narrative systems. This is owed in some part by the presence of so many rules that you either ignore them for the sake of moving the game along or else you must invest quite a bit of time memorizing them all. Compare what you can do in systems like FATE or M&M. Now consider how you must buy everything remarkable about your character in HERO. HERO generally doesn't do freebies or one-shot stuff without house rules. Not even the Power skill counts because you still must buy it RAW. Can similar things be done in HERO? Yes, but that's House Rule territory.
  21. Re: Superhero settings vs People with Powers settings People with powers tends to come from a post-modern, deconstructive perspective. Of course, once upon a time, 60s Marvel comics could arguably be classified the same for its time.when you contrast it with the modernistic, post-pulp storytelling of its peers. That means there its more to it to me. People with Powers tend to face more mundane, less superpowered threats and enemies. When they do, the villains usually ate no more "enlightened" about superpowers than the heroes. I say "enlightened" in the sense that in superhero stories, that someone had superpowers isn't what makes them special to their peers - they don't dwell on that simple premise where the existence if superpowers "in the real world" is what usually drives PwP settings. That's off the top of my head.
  22. Re: What elements should a great superhero setting contain? Consistent, coherent, open-ended, and balanced power sources. Your setting can have as many or as few as you want, but make them all viable options.
  23. I considered posting this in the Rifts HERO thread, but I decided that it is a broad enough concept to merit its own thread. So... in some cyberpunk games (Ghost in the Shell immediately comes to mind) characters can completely replace their flesh and blood body with a bionic/cybernetic one. In common HERO parlance, Restrainable (-1/4) is applied to cybernetic enhancements. To me though, something about that becomes dubious when it comes to a complete bionic body. Should Restrainable (-1/4) be used for base CHAR? Should it be an all-in one Physical Complication? Could there be a comfortable set of conditions for certain abilities i.e. some are covered by a Physical Complication while others are covered by Restrainable (-1/4). What's it to my fellow HEROphiles?
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