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Ockham's Spoon

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Everything posted by Ockham's Spoon

  1. Whether or not you use Multipowers in your magic system depends on how you want the magic system to work. If the spell-casters have a relatively static set of spells and it requires a lot of effort to learn a new spell, then having them pay for each one individually makes sense and it allows a fairly easy way to balance magic-users with straight-up warriors. If you want wizards to be able to pick up new spells fairly easily and have a wide repertoire, then a Multipower or even VPP makes sense. BUT you need to impose some limitation on it to keep spell-casters from getting too powerful relative to characters who don't use magic. It might be a low cap on active points in spells. You might insist all magic has to be bought at x3 END, or at 0 DCV, or all spells require rare and expensive consumable spell components, or the minimum casting time is 1 minute, or whatever flavor of magic you want. This is more challenging than the first scenario because getting the balance right is more ambiguous than when you just base it on how many points they spend on each ability. The key is to figure out how you want magic to work in your world and what limitations prevent wizards from ruling the world and use that to inform the structure of your magic system.
  2. I don't use CHA Maxima, but I also give my players some idea of what is reasonable for a heroic level character by providing some sample characters as a guide/template. Players will frequently want the strongest or most dexterous character around, but I have never had anyone with a STR higher than 25 or a DEX above 23, and even those were outliers. The template characters also give them an idea of average combat values and damage classes so they don't go overboard there, or find themselves completely ineffectual relative to the other characters.
  3. We don't track money very closely in games I play. Starting characters generally have whatever basic equipment they need and little else, and most of their stuff will be lower quality equipment than they might like. Part of joy of adventuring is getting treasure, and finding better equipment is always nice. Since they start with junky stuff, this lets them upgrade without having to immediately resort to magic items. I also don't follow the D&D idea that every monster carries treasure, so they don't accumulate wealth constantly, and much of what they do find goes toward traveling expenses unless it is a major treasure, which they can use to purchase high quality equipment if they like. Now this works mostly because while my players may have a greedy character, the players themselves are fairly ambivalent about their characters' wealth - money doesn't make a character interesting. Money is just an ends to a means, and not the goal itself, so we do a lot of hand-waving. And when they start to accumulate too much wealth, then something usually happens to deplete their funds so that they can't buy their way out of a problem. They might have to bribe a supernatural creature, purchase a rare spell component or other McGuffin, pay for damage they caused in a fight, donate to an orphan home, lose it when their ship sinks in stormy weather, etc. All-in-all it works well for us and it is one less thing we have to keep track of.
  4. I did a double take upon seeing this headline in our local paper: You can read the story here (I think; you may need a subscription to the paper): https://www.dailyprogress.com/eedition/page-a-003/page_1941b31a-8839-538c-9825-ba40d0bed905.html?utm_source=zCIRC - eedition&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=CharlottesvilleDailyProgress&utm_content=zCIRC - eedition Turns out the man in question lives in Orange County, but that was certainly not my first thought.
  5. From a Tex-Mex restaurant sign in Austin:
  6. My first thought on neutronium weapons was ultra-dense projectiles. Basically higher power versions of depleted uranium bullets. That removes a lot of the "weapon is too heavy to lift or swing" problems since the bullets are relatively small (although they still couldn't be made out of pure neutrons for reasons already mentioned) and the power comes from the gun. This would be especially appropriate for a weapon mounted on a vehicle or a mech.
  7. I love raisins, and would take an oatmeal raisin cookie over a chocolate chip one any day, but the little girl's expression here is priceless
  8. As noted above, involve the law so that it suits your play style, as intrusive or lenient as you want. But note that you can use the law to steer players away from scenarios you would like to avoid - e.g. maybe supers can be fined for property damage that occurs during fights which will make your heroes more careful during battles which might handicap them against villains who don't care. This also allows for good role-playing conflicts between supers who follow the law to the letter vs. those who want to stop the villains even if it means bending/breaking a few laws along the way. One note on Telepathy, if you don't want your team telepath solving mysteries too easily, having strict laws against mind reading can help keep their powers in check. Same for super-senses and other powers that can short-circuit some otherwise complicated plots.
  9. This comes from Consumer Reports gaffe page of poor advertisements:
  10. I particularly like the fact that the diner is eating alone here
  11. People do like confident doctors I suppose...
  12. I feel this applied not only to my students but to me as well...
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