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Christopher R Taylor

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  1. Like
    Christopher R Taylor reacted to Ninja-Bear in Build 'Nighttime' power   
    Sounds like exactly what you said. CE -4 PER with AoE.
  2. Like
    Christopher R Taylor reacted to Tech in Build 'Nighttime' power   
    I've got a villain who uses darkness powers. One of his powers is to create a nighttime effect, but doesn't blind anyone; it gives the same modifiers as night. I was initially thinking Darkness but that blinds the opponents. Heroes have a -4 PER roll during nighttime and that's what I'm looking for so I'm inclined to go with Change Environment with a large radius. I don't think Images will do. How would you build this?
  3. Like
    Christopher R Taylor reacted to Ninja-Bear in Multiple Attacks and CSLs   
    @Sketchpad, I’m surprised your still trying to justify your decision. 😁 You like what you like and that’s all good!
  4. Like
    Christopher R Taylor got a reaction from Sketchpad in Multiple Attacks and CSLs   
    As I noted before, I understand the prohibition on penalty offsets for Multiple and Combined attacks.  The maneuvers are already really powerful and GMs need to be really cautious about allowing them.  But at the same time, we're simulating genre, and it's important to not hinder or counter genre standards with rules or campaign concerns unless absolutely necessary.  I think allowing them for "trash mobs" or "mooks" is a reasonable compromise that well simulates the genre and the source material.  The examples are incredibly numerous in just about every setting and genre: characters can plow through the goblins/combat bots/agents/etc in large numbers, but have to be more careful and square off individually against more dangerous foes.
  5. Like
    Christopher R Taylor got a reaction from Spence in Thoughts on orcs   
    I always think of orcs as a cross between the Mongol horde (who were no dummies) and cave men (who generally were).  Not that they are idiots, but crude and savage, uncivilized.  I also see them as irredeemable; there are no good guy orcs because they are all horrible monsters.
  6. Like
    Christopher R Taylor got a reaction from Ninja-Bear in Multiple Attacks and CSLs   
    As I noted before, I understand the prohibition on penalty offsets for Multiple and Combined attacks.  The maneuvers are already really powerful and GMs need to be really cautious about allowing them.  But at the same time, we're simulating genre, and it's important to not hinder or counter genre standards with rules or campaign concerns unless absolutely necessary.  I think allowing them for "trash mobs" or "mooks" is a reasonable compromise that well simulates the genre and the source material.  The examples are incredibly numerous in just about every setting and genre: characters can plow through the goblins/combat bots/agents/etc in large numbers, but have to be more careful and square off individually against more dangerous foes.
  7. Like
    Christopher R Taylor got a reaction from Scott Ruggels in Thoughts on orcs   
    I always think of orcs as a cross between the Mongol horde (who were no dummies) and cave men (who generally were).  Not that they are idiots, but crude and savage, uncivilized.  I also see them as irredeemable; there are no good guy orcs because they are all horrible monsters.
  8. Thanks
    Christopher R Taylor got a reaction from Duke Bushido in Slavery in your game?   
    It almost always is.  This is way off topic but its something close to my heart as a writer, so... forgive me.
     
    People will complain about how violence is okay to show in movies but sex is forbidden blah blah.  The thing is, everything you write into a story has to serve the story: move the plot along, develop character, etc.  Violence can easily do that, but sex tends not to.  Sex is almost always just sex for its own sake: ooh, sexy and hawt!!!  It doesn't reveal anything about a character, it doesn't drive the story, its just this titillating interlude in almost all cases.  Sex can do the right thing (reveal this character's fears, or their violence, or whatever) but usually its just... sex.  And that's a waste of pages, or frames, or digital storage.  Cut that out and what has the story lost?  Nothing.
  9. Like
    Christopher R Taylor reacted to Jhamin in So you really, really hate this other hero team...   
    This reminds me of all the mileage I got out of The Flashmen from the old 4th edition Allies book.
     
    They were basically a bunch of superpowered conmen that decided it was easier to play hero and pocket some of the loot they "saved" than it was to keep fighting superheroes all the time.  They had a team vehicle with smuggling compartments, a foundation they administered for charity (and a reasonable handling fee), were paid guests of honor at all kinds of events (fees for charity, honest!) Two of them even disguised what their powers actually were (they were actually a telekinetic and a gadgeteer who combined their efforts to look like they were a living video game character and a Ninja)

    The PCs *Hated* these guys, and could never prove anything, but if they pushed too hard the leader of the Flashmen (This foppish cyrano de bergerac type who used drugs to fight at a superhuman level) would shame them publicly for having such delicate egos they couldn't handle another superteam in town when it was clear that they needed the help with all the crime going on.
  10. Like
    Christopher R Taylor reacted to Sketchpad in Multiple Attacks and CSLs   
    In the first instance, that might just be the GM using ViperNinja to feint in combat. I would rely less on a combat stat and more on an acting skill to make himself appear to be wounded like the other minions. 
     
    As for point two. If I can submit a few pieces of evidence before I go on?

     

     
    Sure, these guys have low defenses compared to Captain Mookbasher, but to do what's in these images are representations of Takedown. These poor agents and cops are going to be potentially mowed through like crabgrass on a dry day, and the only hope for them is that good ole Cap roll horribly. The same can be said about Captain America's and Batman's foes in the above image. 
     
    Yes, if he runs into ViperNinja suddenly, the combat game changes and now they're more equally challenged. The Takedown rules are no longer in effect, combat slows some, and it becomes more focused. The intent is to make it more cinematic in combat to mow through mooks. BTW, a mook/minion is someone who is a number individual without really any story basis. Viper Agents, Red Shirts, Stormtroopers, AIM Beekeepers, Cobra Soldiers... whatever you want to call them, they're minions. Often numbered like "Hydra Agent 22" or named like these guys...

     
    But minions none the same. 
     
    As I've mentioned, AoE doesn't work for me. If it works for you, awesome. But it doesn't work for me in the way I'd like to run things. I'd like to think the Multiple Attacks maneuver was built for this kind of thing, but not being able to offset the penalties seems a bit odd, especially in Hero. Particularly since it's a house rule to allow them and you're dead set against me making this ruling, Hugh. And you're not even in my game.  
  11. Like
    Christopher R Taylor got a reaction from Lawnmower Boy in Effects of the modern world on comic book worlds.   
    Yeah that was in the original Strike Force, I thought that was a clever device, but I've never thought it was necessary.    Its comics.  If Franklin Richards can be a toddler for 25 years, then the world can be more or less static without needing to explain why Reed's inventions never changed the world.  Comic books are about the illusion of change: IN THIS ISSUE, NOTHING WILL EVER BE THE SAME!
  12. Thanks
    Christopher R Taylor got a reaction from mattingly in Explain This, Comics Guys!! Podcast   
    I kinda liked the format for Winter Soldier, but it meant the first episode I kinda scrolled past a bunch as it were, having not seen the show.
     
    As for Steve Ditko, artists and writers (trust me, being one) are generally strange people.  Sometimes the strange matches up well with what we are comfortable with, sometimes its a clash.  Ditko was a bit of a curmudgeon but I really have to admire his holding to his principles and find his Mr A stuff fascinating even though I am no Objectivist.  I mean, its not like nobody is preaching their own worldview and politics in comics today.
  13. Like
    Christopher R Taylor got a reaction from Jhamin in So you really, really hate this other hero team...   
    I don't want to do any spoilers, but that was the entire concept of the Thunderbolts: an entire team of villains pretending to be a new hero team.  But... in the doing of heroic deeds and being a hero some of them changed their ways for real.
  14. Like
    Christopher R Taylor reacted to Christougher in Fun new ideas   
    Not a bad idea overall, maybe name it Power Up (Required).  I see a lot of overlap between a Constant and/or Cumulative advantage, along with the Extra Time limitation, and just plain Special Effects of not using it at full power.  
     
    When I first saw it, I thought of one of my ideas not posted, a tweak to Reduced by Range called Increased by Range.  Power starts at 0 AP/0d6 for the first 4"(or whatever 6E's first RMod is) and goes UP by 10 AP/2d6 per RMod up to the power's purchased cap.  Used for those "more powerful the farther it goes" effects, though probably added/linked to a minimum range effect (Blast 6d6 + Blast 6d6 Increased by Range).  Priced at an additional -1/4 over Reduced by Range, as the higher damage is less likely to hit.
     
    Chris.
     
     
  15. Like
    Christopher R Taylor reacted to Duke Bushido in Slavery in your game?   
    Thanks, Scott,but I generally let playes do what they are the most comfortable with, roll or role.
     
    The above example was for those players who have decided "its been almost an entire scene since I seduced an enitre harem; better get back to it.  When it becomes detrimental to everyone else's good time, make it real.  Let them exam it.  Let them decide "is this _really_ so important I should derail the game with every chance I get?"
     
    Wasnt ever really a problem until ten or twelve years ago, when somone threw "oh, you know, the typical horny bard" onto social media and everyone just decided to run with it, as if it was a necessary thing for every group of people to have one.
     
    Ugh.
  16. Like
    Christopher R Taylor reacted to Scott Ruggels in Slavery in your game?   
    In Duke's Defense, You just walked on a bit of a hot button between some GM's and players, basically the whole "Role  Play vs. Roll Play" argument. A lot of GMs aggressively encourage  Role play, rather than allowing a player to simply roll social skills on a sheet. I take the opposite tack, and why I smile on Role play, I also realize that I may have otherwise very good players that lack in social skills due to various factors that are uncomfortable, or incapable of  performing social scenes other than a few mumbled lines, backing up those who can. Games in General, most GMs would allow a player to roll a seduction roll, then describe the results in what ever detail a consensus of the table agrees upon. I agree with you about tossing the resolution system, when it was fine a few minutes earlier when using "Streetwise" to find the tavern in the first place. I know a lot of GMs can be disappointed in a player insisting that he is going to roll for persuasion, conversation, or Seduction, rather than role play it out. But comfort around the table is important to maintain trust there.
  17. Like
    Christopher R Taylor reacted to Duke Bushido in Slavery in your game?   
    I use taverns, a bit, usually because most of my players over the years have come from games where "you are all gathered together in a tavern" was the starting point of every campaign, so they sort of unconsciously learned that "tavern = important." 
     
    Before going on, though, I would really like to say that Archer has an excellent point, at least in allusion:
     
    If something has historically been a problem in your games, there is no mandate to fix it; leaving it out works just as well, and more than fixing ever could, it offers an immediate and definite solution.  Similarly, if there is a reasonable chance that something is going to be a problem-- say any recent or recurring or just well-known "hot button" issue in the real world-- then a GM wanting to ensure that a game does not go in a direction he doesn't care to preside over is not just in his rights but well-advised to leave that out as well.
     
    And finally, before proceeding, I would like to double-down on LL's comment about his game world being "not unduly sanitized."  So what if it is?   If he elects to exclude sex slaves, what's the problem?  _I_ don't use them, either.  To the best of my knowledge (meaning "accepting that I haven't read every single thing and could be wrong."  Now I have taken all the fun about lording a simple error over me  ), Heinlein _never_ wrote a sex scene.  I think the closest he ever got was a couple of people disappearing into a room and the story jumping to the next scene, and even then I can only think of one instance of that.
     
    It didn't weaken the story in the slightest.  Frankly, I felt it served the story better that I didn't have to derail my interest in the actual plot while someone explained to me in lurid detail what some fictional character's armpit or butt crack tasted like.  (I still tend to find sex scenes in fiction to be completely unnecessary  filler, be it book, movie, or game.)   
     
    I have found that one really great work around to to players insisting on going down the seduction path is role play.  You know: unbutton my shirt to expose my hair pelt, brush my beard back, make moon eyes at him, puff up my lips and say "put those dice down.  Go ahead, Nick.  Seduce me.  Let's get it on."  (if that doesn't do it, delivering my lines while standing up and urgently rubbing my groin helps kill that mood, too.)
     
    I also find it unnecessary to this discussion any more than as an example, as it is an example of exclusion that does not weaken the story.  We exclude all kinds of things:  if I declare "flying saucers and revolving six-guns are excluded from my fantasy game," pretty much everyone is going to say "well _duh_--!"  If I exclude JK Rowling's house elves, most people are going to say "good!  That's got no place in proper fantasy anyway!"  If I exclude Beholders, most folks will go "well that's fine.  I don't use them much anyway, particularly after the weirdness that came out of the Beholders-in-Space thing...."
     
    I exclude elves, and people go nuts (in general; most of you folks have been pretty good about it) or they say "well, that's either Duke or Talislanta...."  
     
    The entire crux of what's included or excluded in any GM's game is "this is how this particular world works."   Magic works this way, or that way, or not at all, and it's all good.  Everyone says "well, that's how this world works."  So one guy has a world where tavern culture doesn't include prostitute slaves.  _That's_ a problem?  I don't recall Tolkien wasting a lot of words on prostitute slaves, and according to people who aren't me, he is the holy grail of fantasy, particularly considering how many fantasy worlds are straight clones of his stuff.  Another guy declares that his world doesn't have taverns.  Fair enough: the cultures of his world don't think you need a special building to gather around inside of and get drunk.  Considering that I haven't been to a bar since I turned sixteen and didn't need a fake ID (it lost its appeal the moment it wasn't illicit), and yet I've still had considerable opportunities to drink with friends and loved ones, I find it pretty easy to envision such a culture.  
     
    I realize that the initial question was whether or not slavery is something that occurs in your campaign, but I have to assume that everyone who didn't answer simply "yes" or "no" was inviting a more involved conversation; it makes sense that this conversation moved on to other things that are or are not part of someone's campaigns, at least not routinely, but I don't get the complaints or aspersions about what someone does or does not want to play.  I am sure I will hear the term "realism" at some point, so I'd like to take a moment to say "elves, dwarves, dragons, magic" before that happens.     
     
    The simple fact is that the games occur in fictional worlds-- worlds created entirely by one group of people, for the enjoyment of that one group of people.  They are like any other form of entertainment: no one likes all of any given genre.  If they did, we'd have more games about midwestern waitresses having sex with vampires in order to create the ultimate spell to throw sand into the eye of Sauron and get her sheriff ex-boyfriend to admit his lust for his hobbit deputy and they'd spend all their spare time under the neon lights of some motel in New Orleans, at least until the kraken came and they had to time travel back to find Captain Nemo and Jaques Cousteau to deal with this problem, all while trying to single-parent a surly teenager who may or may not be one of the many sons of Zeus.
     
    We play in worlds that interest us.  How could it even make sense that we would play in a world that doesn't interest us?  "Dude!  have you seen this awesome new video game?!"   Yeah.  I played through most of it a couple of months ago.  I really, really hated it.  Setting was awful; art was dull.  Characters were uninspired; graphics were so weak I couldn't tell my pack animal from the communal well.  It just sucked, Man.  "Cool!  You should _totally_ play it!  It's really the only video game ever made!  Play it!"  I did.  It hated it.  "Yeah, but you should totally play it.  Any other game is just wrong."   Well, this one has lasers and spaceships.  I like lasers and spaceships.  "It's wrong.  It doesn't have elves; it doesn't have magic.  This one does."   Lots of games have that.  I fact, I beat Magic Elves I and II last year.  "Nope.  Those games aren't this game.  Only this game is worth playing."
     
    See?  It doesn't make sense.
     
    Pulling from the published stuff:  I have considerable respect (now, and mostly thanks to LL's thread on it some time back) for the "official" HERO System fantasy setting.  I don't _like_ it at all, but I can now appreciate it, on a level or two, for the work and the quality of all the things I care nothing about (politics?  Really?  I want _escapism_, not a new version of what I am trying to escape from).  I _love_ Tuala Morn, though.  Alas, I am the only person in my group who grooves on it, so I will never get to use it, but there it is:  the HERO System doesn't even have _one_ setting: Turakian Age, Valdoran Age, Atlantean Age, Tuala Morn-- and probably one or two that are escaping me.  These are very noticeably not the same.  So what's the problem with one guy's variant or even his homebrew being a bit different?
     
    I like hearing about the differences, honestly, but I am certainly not going to complain about or insult them-- they don't affect me _at all_ unless it's something that makes me think "ooh!  I like that!  I think I might try to work in a twist on that for my own game!"  It'd be like me screaming foul because someone says "I really like David Drake's stuff!"  I mean, I don't like it, personally, but when someone says that, the thing that _never_ comes to mind is "Eeeew!  Really?!"  What comes to mind is "Sweet!  He's a reader!"  followed by "Hello, fellow sci-fi fan!"   
     
    And that's pretty much where it ends.
     
    Worlds are big, and they are a lot of work.  The idea of your world not including something that doesn't interest you-- or perhaps personally offends you, or has proven to be a problem in the past-- saves not just the effort of having to build something you don't want anyway, then having to deal with the ramifications of something you weren't interested in personally, then having to play a game in a world that doesn't appeal to you-- but it saves games and possibly friendships.  Let's say for example that I hate Tolkien elves (because I do, so it's easy to select as an example), but I decided to cave to the "well, it's just not fantasy without a race of too-beautiful-for-words nigh-immortal better-than-everyone-at-everything supermen running around!" crowd.  Okay, fine.  Elves are real.  Have some elves.  Let me just sprinkle a few here, a few there, a few more yonder ways....  before you know it, I've got six players who are elves, who want nothing more than to roam through the elven lands, doing elven things, learning elven lore....   Well, I'm going to have a blast, aren't I?  Suppose I do the only thing I can think of worse than including elves, and decide "dwarven women look just like the men and have beards and everything" poppycock.  Well, the only two players I have who play dwarves at all are both female (even though one typically plays male dwarves), and I have heard enough of their opinions on that subject to know that it's going to wreck their good time, so....
     
    If I remove elves and dwarves entirely, have I customized the world to prevent problems, or have I somehow sanitized it?  If I remove sex slaves, have I sanitized it, or have I created a world where people find such things unthinkable?  Is removing taverns sanitizing?  Or have I created a culture where drinking is an intimate thing, done only with close family members and the closest, most dear of comrades, and exclusively in the privacy of one's own home?  Perhaps it's simply the culture that one _only_ drinks with friends, and only of the wine that he brings to the home of a friend?    Is it something new and different?  Perhaps fantastic?  Or sanitized?
     
    And even if it is completely, hopelessly sanitized, or hopelessly ruined, or whatever-- these are the private worlds of a private group of people doing things that will never affect anyone who doesn't like it.  Why the complaining?  It's really easy to not get forced into such a game: just keep doing whatever it is that you have been doing up until this very moment, and it will never affect you.  What logic is there in participating in what is essentially a "tell me this one thing about your personal world" thread and then complaining when others do the same?
  18. Like
    Christopher R Taylor reacted to Opal in Slavery in your game?   
    Oh yes, I'm quite familiar, and thought I'd wade into it, once again, since I hadn't recalled seeing it brought up as a way of discouraging actions (often, as in D&D, it's a way of avoiding a bad rule to keep the game playable, sometimes, even in games like Hero, it's a way of shaving points by not paying for "things we'll just RP through anyway") - and since it was easier and more on topic to address.  
     
    Punishing a player for straying into undesirable actions by changing resolution from rules/description/imagination/tokens to live-action calculated to make him distinctly uncomfortable has problems on other levels to.
    Not that players pushing the campaign out of it's intended thematic range is any better, in the first place.  ;(  
    That's my feeling - and has been my experience from both sides of the screen - and it goes further than that, IMHO, because for the whole range of character concepts and actions, at least on the TT side of the hobby, resolution can be handled abstractly, with rules, descriptions, imagination, with nothing more concrete than moving a painted mini on a play surface, some gesticulation, a little onomatopoeia. 
     
    That means we can play characters very different from ourselves, which I think is one of the great things about our hobby, we get to live in other times, places, bodies, and, well, roles.   
  19. Like
    Christopher R Taylor reacted to mallet in Fun new ideas   
    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. 
     
     
  20. Like
    Christopher R Taylor reacted to BoloOfEarth in So you really, really hate this other hero team...   
    Yes, please keep real-world politics out of this.  
     
    In my new Champions campaign, the heroes are based in San Francisco.  And one of the first news items concerned a hero team (Angel Force) forming in Los Angeles.  The PC team (Golden Gate Guardians) disliked Angel Force immediately simply because the NPC team formed before them.  I had planned to make Angel Force holier-than-thou, dismissive of the Guardians, too tough on criminals (taking the law into their own hands), probably start infringing on the PC team's turf, but haven't really needed to yet.  There's no Rivarly on any character sheets, or Watched, just plain old roleplaying.
     
    Now, if the PC team wanted to build, say, a base or team vehicle, and wanted to add Rivalry: Angel Force or Watched by Angel Force as a team-wide Complication, I think I'd be okay with that.  
  21. Thanks
    Christopher R Taylor reacted to Tjack in So you really, really hate this other hero team...   
    In the interest of keeping peace on the board, let me say that I will withdraw my comment about the previous President and simply state that the idea of a group of Paranormals who espouse beliefs the PC’s completely disagree with is still a valid role play opportunity for a rivalry.
  22. Like
    Christopher R Taylor got a reaction from Ninja-Bear in So you really, really hate this other hero team...   
    Possibly watched as well: either team constantly on the lookout for reasons to "cancel" the other
  23. Like
    Christopher R Taylor reacted to Certified in Free Adventure Seeds   
    If you are enjoying our Adventure Seeds, Patrons can vote for the next adventure. 
     
    https://www.patreon.com/posts/poll-may-seed-50061526
     
    Pick from one of three adventures: 
    The Alpha Force Shakedown, want to be a superhero?
    Join us or go to jail.
    Gator Bites, crocodile mutant hijinks!
    Party Crashers, defend the first space elevator, in space!
     
  24. Like
    Christopher R Taylor reacted to Opal in Slavery in your game?   
    D&D Stone and Iron golems were prettymuch that, magical robots.   Flesh Golems had some sort of vestige of consciousness, and clay golems maybe an animating spirt or something? - they could go berserk, anyway.
     
    The original golem of legend was more of a knock-off human, made of clay, like Adam was, and animated by a magic word (either inscribed on it, or written on paper placed in its mouth), it started out obedient but became rebellious and murderous.
     
  25. Like
    Christopher R Taylor got a reaction from Opal in So you really, really hate this other hero team...   
    I don't want to do any spoilers, but that was the entire concept of the Thunderbolts: an entire team of villains pretending to be a new hero team.  But... in the doing of heroic deeds and being a hero some of them changed their ways for real.
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