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Brian Stanfield

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Brian Stanfield last won the day on June 21 2019

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About Brian Stanfield

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  1. I had some 12-ply tires on my Ram and they are almost indestructible, and boy do they ride rough! I say almost indestructible because I had to park the truck in a strange spot at work (when I was still working two jobs and doing construction) and had a two-inch puncture from who-knows-what?! Even those bad boys couldn’t withstand random shards of steel. Oh, and an emergency break stand on the highway to avoid a collision shaved one of the other tires flat on one side. So now I have everything arranged like you, only opposite: I rotated the two 12-plys to the rear, and two new normal tires up front.
  2. Hey, this new "Dump on Duke" game is kinda fun!
  3. Duke! I think you’ve been working too much this week! Hopefully you get some time off for Independence Day so your brain can recuperate.
  4. Just to recap: just think of an attack as a Skill roll. The degree of a Skill roll often determines how much success you have, so if you make it by a lot it is better than making it by a little. The lower you roll, the more you make the Skill roll by, and for an attack that difference is how good of an opponent you can hit. The lower the roll, the more DCV you can hit. Keep coming back to that. Make up a couple of sample combats for your own practice. Create some environmental conditions (darkness, terrain, whatever) and use a few of the maneuvers that modify OCV and DCV, and run a few rounds of combat. It'll get you used to the basic formula plus adding modifiers and stuff as you calculate.
  5. So if you don't care if your players know their opponents' DCV, just use the first formula. As @Gnome BODY (important!) said, just have them write down their basic attack roll of 11 + their OCV and focus on that number as a Skill roll (an Attack Skill or something), subtract the DCV (which is really just a penalty to the success of the Skill roll) and roll that target number or less. The second formula is really doing the same thing, with little more work for the GM but keeps everything secret if you don't want the players to know all the variables. If they just roll against their Attack Skill (11 + OCV) and tell you how much they made it by, you as the GM can modify that number with bonuses and penalties, and come up with the DCV they can hit. You'll know these numbers, and can determine the result. It's second nature once you do it a few times. Keeping track of all the modifiers is the problematic part, but if everyone keeps track of them for you from phase to phase, you'll do just fine. As @Greywind just wrote, here's a download that shows the OCV cross-referenced with the roll to show the DCV that you can hit. There is another version of this on 6e2, p. 36 which basically shows the same thing but more related to the first formula.
  6. It's best to think of it like others have suggested: Roll under a Skill (your "Attack Skill" of 11) on 3d6, with OCV acting like Skill Levels and DCV acting like penalties. Roll under that number. In older editions of Champions the formula used to be shown as this: 11 + OCV - DCV = target roll or less. Basically it looks like a Skill Roll. The main problem is that a GM may not want you do know your opponent's DCV, so in later editions they moved things around to keep the DCV secret. I'll show my work in steps like we used to do in math class (I'm trying to remember how to do that now!), not to be condescending, just to make sure you're following (and to check that I'm actually doing it right!): 11 + OCV - DCV = 3d6 or less + (DCV) 11 + OCV - DCV = 3d6 + (DCV) - (3d6) 11 + OCV = 3d6 + DCV - (3d6) 11 + OCV - 3d6 = DCV you can hit Another way to look at it is this: Think of 11+OCV as your Skill Roll, rolled at or under on 3d6. The margin of success ("I made my roll by 5") that you use on some Skill Rolls is equivalent to the DCV you can hit ("I can hit a DCV 5"). Again, the reason why in some games we announce how much we exceeded the roll, especially things like Perception rolls, is because there may be modifiers and stuff the GM is tracking that we don't know about. Easiest solution is to just roll and announce how much we made it by. In combat, that's the DCV we can hit. I hope I didn't just make things worse, or ridiculous with my math. But it was only recently, after more than 30 years of playing, that someone on these forums showed me how combat is actually a Skill Roll! Seriously, it's never really stated in the rules, but as Doc says, it's the same mechanic tacitly built into it. It was a mind-bending moment for me to suddenly see it so clearly after simply missing it for so long!
  7. I had to go look at the document, and although it doesn't come out and say it, my impression is that the combat roll is a "roll high" approach. This comes up in discussions every once in a while since many gamers are used to rolling over a target number rather than under. I think that maybe @drunkonduty applied this to his document, although you'd have to ask him. Maybe he can be enticed to comment on it . . .
  8. I'm right there with ya, buddy! There are too many other real problems to aggravate me lately, I don't need to go looking for more! I try never to outright disagree or flatly criticize someone's post in these forums because I much prefer the creative collaborative work that comes with at least partial agreement and concessions made to the spirit of the discussion. Sometimes I derail the discussion, as above, and take it in a direction that I mistook, but it's not done intentionally. I genuinely like the people I interact with here and prefer to foster those friendships rather than bull my way through a china shop in order to be "right" at all costs. Plus, it keeps me sane if I let the small stuff go.
  9. Ugh! I HATE the layout of the book for exactly those reasons. Character creation stuff ought to be presented in the character creation section. Duh. But if you look at the original Fantasy HERO it's laid out pretty much the same. So are all of the 3e/4e standalone books. That format has lasted for decades, and I can't believe someone hasn't come up with a better layout yet! It irked me so much I started a discussion about it here which led to a very long discussion which resulted in at least one "Fantasy HERO Basic" document, and probably solidified some ideas to encourage other people to write their own documents as well. I won't rehash the discussion here, but it's worth looking at because so many great ideas came up along the way! In the end, I realized that pregen characters are simply the easiest way to teach the game. I tailor-make characters to my players' specifications when they first play, let them learn the rules, play a while, and then hopefully hook them enough to want to read the books and create their own characters. The PDF "bonus" stuff with Fantasy HERO Complete helps accomplish some of this as well, and makes the game more quickly and easily accessible for new players, but the book itself is a crazy impediment to new players learning the rules!
  10. I think I was conflating what you said about “playing right away” with what @Spence said about “playing out of the box.” That’s my mistake, and I apologize to you both for my confusion. To get back to your point, I suppose Bill, Bob, and Boris could whip something up with the PHB, but just barely. The creatures provided are pretty basic if you’d like to fight a bunch of rats or a dire wolf. I just never would have even considered playing with only that book until you said it. It would be an interesting experiment for sure; it just never occurred to me before!
  11. Not moving the goalpost, just not making my point very clearly! Let me try to restate. So there are some mixed terms in the previous discussion: are we looking for a single book to learn to play a game, or are we looking to learn the game quickly? The point I was trying to make is that D&D does one or the other really well, but it doesn't give both. One other point that wasn't introduced, but is really important, is whether there's an experienced Game/Dungeon Master running the game. I don't consider the Player's Handbook to be a game that can be played "out of the box." It definitely wasn't in 1e, and my experience of 5e is that it can get a new player up and ready to play pretty quickly if there is an experienced DM to run the game. This is the big "if" that I was trying to emphasize. If there is an experienced DM, just about anyone can learn D&D pretty quickly. I'll grant that. Even if nobody is experienced, D&D has a starter box (actually playing "out of the box") that gives some rules, some pregen characters, and an adventure that can get everyone up and running in a weekend if they read the rules and set things up. But the Player's Handbook was never designed to do this, at least in my experience. So, as far as learning quickly, let's assume that there is an experienced DM to set up a game that a new player can slide into with just the PH to make a character and learn the basics. Cool. But how is this any different than an experienced GM setting up a game of Fantasy HERO that anyone can slide into, perhaps with pregens, after reading the brief introduction and learning the basics? My point above is that it really isn't any different in terms of new players learning the game. If I shift the terms and say that it only takes one book to learn and play the game, then D&D doesn't qualify unless you're talking about the starter box. The Player's Handbook doesn't accomplish this. You need the other books, and some adventure, which nowadays are huge campaign books. So we're almost $200 into learning D&D and it's still going to take some time to learn and play the game effectively. With an experienced DM, as I said, it is more probable that newbies can learn quickly because they don't have to read all the books. No different than Fantasy HERO Complete in my estimation. If I want one book to learn to play a game, Fantasy HERO Complete is that book. It's all there in one book, but it will take some time. A lot of time. Let's graciously add the Grimoire and the Bestiary and now we have a few books that provide pre-built stuff to populate a game with. And FHC includes a PDF of adventures and stuff that can be played with very little prep. If it's all new players, this is going to take some time, as I conceded already. BUT if we have an experienced GM, we only need the one book to get everyone playing, and that doesn't necessarily have to take very long. Pre-gen characters are the big difference here, but they simplify the game quite a bit because a lot of the rules revolve around building characters. Let's skip the chargen, as that's where all the time gets sucked up. With some pregens, the rules themselves can be learned very quickly if you have an experienced GM to lead everyone through them. People have heard of D&D, which has become the generic brand name like "Band Aid" or "Kleenex" that people use to refer to the whole genre. And it's beautiful and draws the eye. D&D obviously is the preferred game in any gameshop. That's a whole different discussion that has been debated to death already. They have the market share, they're propped up by a monster game company (Hasbro) that allowed them to take a loss for the first couple of years while they got traction. HERO System doesn't have that, unfortunately. The D&D books are beautiful and draw people's attention. They catch the eye. Nothing DOJ has produced in a decade can do that. So that's a comparison that Fantasy HERO Complete just can't win. I think, however, in terms of playability, ease of learning, and minimal of resources, FHC is at least as good as D&D as long as there is someone experienced to introduce people to it. Because we already know that nobody is going to be picking it up off the shelf on their own, IF it's even on the shelf at your FLGS. And that is where the comparison fails, as we all know. Anyway, hopefully I made my points a little more clearly. I'm not trying to be argumentative, just trying to offer a fair metric by which to compare the games. I play D&D with a group online, so it's not like I'm saying that game sucks. But I think maybe people are a little too harsh on Fantasy HERO Complete and its potential as a one-book rulebook, if we include the PDF that comes with it.
  12. In some ways you’re comparing apples to mangos. The Players Handbook isn’t playable out of the box either. It’s devoted to just introducing character creation and basic gameplay. Even with the Dungeon Master’s Guide and the Monster Manual, you still don’t have a game to play “right out of the box.” On the other hand, if you allow FHC to include the HS Grimoire and the HS Bestiary, then you’ve got an equivalent trilogy to D&D . . . but still no adventure to play, just like (D&D). Of course the production value is not nearly the same, but for less than half the cost you have a complete game to play. So in a lot of ways when it comes to reading one book and jumping into a game, D&D is less well equipped to do that than FHC. What D&D does so well, though, is make their books make people want to play, and they’ve set up the support network to play it. Any beginner can go find a gameshop on Wednesday night anywhere in the country and find a D&D Encounters game. That’s really the biggest difference, and that’s the benefit of having Hasbro prop your business up until it can get traction.
  13. That’s the scenario in Fantasy HERO Battlegrounds, by the way. Sort of a tried and true adventure!
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