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Brian Stanfield

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  1. Like
    Brian Stanfield got a reaction from BigJackBrass in Lucha Libre HERO: Designing a wrestling ape...   
    I encourage you to at least look at the first paragraph about Kayfabe. Not only is it fascinating as a sociological study, it fits perfectly into a wrestling hero. The audience and fellow wrestlers actively suspend disbelief in the interest of better drama. They’re all participating in mutually gaming the game. 
     
    Seems to fit into the spirit of your game here. 
  2. Like
    Brian Stanfield got a reaction from Doc Democracy in Simple Combat for Newcomer   
    For what it’s worth, there are a lot of playing aids in the downloads area. I mean a lot! See if there’s anything you like that you could use as handouts. Or get ideas to create your own handout. [Name redacted] is such a nerd that he actually owns a laminator to create player aids as laminated cards to have on hand each game session as [name redacted]’s players learn the game. 
     
     
     
  3. Like
    Brian Stanfield reacted to BigJackBrass in Lucha Libre HERO: Designing a wrestling ape...   
    I'm currently working on a Lucha Libre HERO character called "El Hombre Peludo" (which hopefully means "The Hairy Man"). In many ways he's a typical crimefighting luchador, but underneath the mask he's actually an orangutan; and nobody ever notices, because of the mask.
     
    EL Hombre Peludo is of human intelligence and can talk. Without the mask he looks like an ordinary orangutan, but when he's wearing it everyone treats him as they would any other luchador. I'm working on a Standard Luchador build (so, 5th edition rules, 200 + 50 character points) and taking the Bestiary entries for Gorilla and Chimpanzee, along with the 5th edition build for Dr. Silverback, as starting points for how to deal with the orangutan side of things. Has there ever been a published description of an orangutan in Hero terms? Haven't found one anywhere as yet. Anyway, the tricky part for me is how to treat the fact that everyone thinks he's simply a particularly hairy person when he's masked; and of course it's Lucha Libre HERO so he'll be masked for almost the entire time.
     
    I could make the actual mask a super item, altering perceptions so that onlookers see only what they expect to see, or I could simply handwave it as part of the genre: he's a luchador, so in a way he's simply a living embodiment of what the mask represents and nobody sees beyond that, just as a superhero in a domino mask is instantly unrecognisable. I'm not sure if making the mask an actually powerful object in its own right is terribly fair, since all of the abilities inherent in being an orangutan are going to be paid for as normal, it's simply telling the world who he is (and perpetuating a running gag).
     
    Any thoughts on this? If someone brought the character to your table and simply argued that because he wears a luchador mask then nobody will spot he's actually a short, fat primate, with orange body hair and exceptionally long arms, would you accept that as being reasonable?
  4. Like
    Brian Stanfield reacted to Duke Bushido in Simple Combat for Newcomer   
    Lots of good stuff on simplifying; lots of stuff on not simplifying.
     
    Welcome to the boards!
     
    My suggestion:
     
    Make a list-- a short, simple list-- of what you'd like to learn about combat.
     
    My own suggestion:
     
    Range modifiers.
    "Special" damage
    Skill levels.
    maneuvers -- I recommend taking those is small groups:  start with Strike and Dodge.  Once you've got that, add two more, then two more, etc.
    Endurance Tracking
    Hit Locations
     
    Seriously:  start just as simple as it sounds:
     
    11 + OCV-DCV.
     
    Run around; map it out (it helps with Range modifiers, which you'll get to next).
     
    Once you are very comfortable with that, add in Range Modifiers.
     
    Once your comfortable with that--
     
    yeah.  You see the pattern.
     
     
    See, here's the thing:   everyone has a "you have to include this or there's no point!" list.  Even me.  
     
    Ignore _all_ of it.    Strip down _everything_.  Learn each part one at a time, adding each as you go.  Or _don't_!  Maybe once you're nice and comfy with range mods, drop it completely and go to Endurance tracking _only_.   At any rate, if you focus _only_ on the basics, then focus on the other components _one at a time_, it comes quickly.  You'll have the hang of it in a few hours.
     
    Seriously.  I don't know you well enough to make jokes.
     
     
     
  5. Like
  6. Haha
    Brian Stanfield reacted to Logan.1179 in Funny Pics II: The Revenge   
  7. Thanks
    Brian Stanfield reacted to Ninja-Bear in Swords and damage   
    If I uploaded this correctly, here it is.
    NINFIX13.ZIP
  8. Haha
    Brian Stanfield reacted to Duke Bushido in Swords and damage   
    Oh Dear God!
     
    REPLIED!  I swear I was typing "replied!"
     
    I did _not_ mean that!  I _swear_ to you that this was an honest typo!             
     
  9. Like
    Brian Stanfield got a reaction from Scott Ruggels in Why NOT use a multipower for magic?   
    A similar conversation came up earlier this year, and I suggested a way to alleviate the perceived advantage of magic vs mundane items. The discussion can be found here. TLDR=make everyone buy everything as powers, just like in Champions. So spells, crazy maneuvers, rogue talents, barbaric rage, even armor and weapons, are all designed with powers. This may be a way to overcome the perceived imbalance. 
  10. Like
    Brian Stanfield reacted to Duke Bushido in No Damage Knockback   
    I can't speak for everyone here, but in truth, I have seen _lots_ of variations of this idea, from Fantasy to "Don't-call-it-a-jedi-or-Lucas-will-sue-me."  Traditionally, they are all built with Telekinesis, Area of Effect, only to push away from caster/jedi/psionicist/superhero.
     
    I don't know if that helps, but there it is.
     
     
     
     
     
    If you recall from our long and long-dead disagreement in the past, Skill Levels is _exactly_ how I do martial arts:  you buy a few, assign them where you want when you do a thing (OCV, DCV, Damage, effects (I'll let you burn a level to assure you knock a target over, even if you didn't do knock back:  It's a Skill Level, after all, and I take it as you being skilled enough in hand-to-hand to shove / strike in such a way as to unbalance your opponent), then yell "hi-YAH!"  
     
    Martial Arts. Easy peasy.  Lemon squeezy.
     
     
     
     
  11. Like
    Brian Stanfield got a reaction from Sketchpad in dark champions was...   
    High Rock Press had announced a plan to resuscitate Danger International a couple of years ago, but with the recent death of Michael Satran, Jason Walters said he's more interested in releasing some of his material before anything else. I'd love to see DI released again for "Action Hero" campaigns, but it seems like it will be a long way off at this point.
  12. Like
    Brian Stanfield reacted to Duke Bushido in Why NOT use a multipower for magic?   
    Every time this conversation comes around, it ends the same way:
     
    "Because I can break it,  it is impossible to use it in any way that isn't broken." 
     
     
    Every _time_! 
     
    Given the desire, I- and without a doubt the majority of the people here-  can break every single part of the rules: all nine hundred pages of them. 
     
    Guess we should just throw the frikkin things away, because there is _clearly_ no unbroken way to use any of them. 
     
     
    Fizbin, anyone? 
  13. Like
    Brian Stanfield reacted to L. Marcus in Why NOT use a multipower for magic?   
    I don't think Gandalf is the leading example of the type of character you seem to aim for, but I do see your point. The issue here, to me, is party balance and fair play among the players. If the arch-mage wizards are so powerful and awesome, why would anyone want to play anything else? And if only one of the players would be allowed to have such a character, couldn't this lead to resentment?
     
    The answer would be to throw the heroic style of play out the window and go full-on fantasy superhero, maybe á la The Atlantean Age. All equipment and all spells and everything would be bought with points, so martial and arcane heroes would begin on equal footing; no Hit Locations or Bleeding or Impairment rules ... The AA did really go full tilt on the High Fantasy, too much so for my taste, but it is definitely a solution to the balance issues.
  14. Like
    Brian Stanfield reacted to Chris Goodwin in Why NOT use a multipower for magic?   
    One idea of mine is: 
    Spells are in schools, colleges, whatever you want to call them.   Each school would be required to be a separate Multipower. No one is ever required to buy a Multipower. Any spell that is Constant, Persistent, or requires END to maintain automatically drops if the points are moved out of the slot.  Any Triggers end if the points are moved out of the slot.  Some spells that are Instant with continuing effects may end if the points are moved out of the slot, depending on the SFX.  Any spell bought Usable On Others ends if the points are moved out of the slot.   Starting wizards have to buy all of their spells at RSR: -1 per 5 Active Points.  Additional Skills are required before you can start improving this.  Like KS: Magical Theory 11- and a KS at 11- relating to a particular school of magic, before you can start buying the spells in that school to -1 per 10 Active Points.  You have to buy the Limitation down to at least -1 per 10 on all of your spells in a school before you can start learning new ones of that school at the -1 per 10 level.   You'd have to have KS: Magical Theory and the KS for the school at maybe 14- before you can start buying those spells down to -1 per 20 Active.  Characters can have an affinity for a school of magic.  This is some number of Skill Levels that can apply to all of the spells in the school.  These can be used on a KS roll related to the school; they can apply to the character's Magic Skill Roll with spells in that school; they can apply to the character's O(M)CV when attacking with spells of that school or D(M)CV when defending against spells in that school.  The character can also use them with any mundane Skills used for a task relating to the subject matter of the school.  (For instance, characters with an affinity with Fire can use their Skill Levels when attempting to start a fire with mundane tools, even if they're in a situation where their magic is useless.)    
  15. Like
    Brian Stanfield reacted to L. Marcus in Why NOT use a multipower for magic?   
    I designed an MP-based magic system for my own Fantasy campaign -- here it is. I was aiming at the lower end of High Fantasy, and I think I got it playable.
  16. Like
    Brian Stanfield reacted to Doc Democracy in Roleplaying in the Age of Covid-19   
    I think you can get a free OneDrive account?  Teams would also allow notes, pictures etc to be shared and organised via Teams.
     
    Would definitely not be a terrible solution.
  17. Like
    Brian Stanfield reacted to IndianaJoe3 in "Spicy" pulps   
    I came across some in-period guidelines about handling sex/nudity.
     
    Editorial guidelines from Spicy Detective magazine, 1935
  18. Like
    Brian Stanfield reacted to zslane in Community Content Program: Hall of Champions   
    I kinda agree with Spence on this. Adobe has effectively priced the hobbyist out of their product suite.
  19. Like
    Brian Stanfield reacted to Spence in Community Content Program: Hall of Champions   
    It went from a program you can purchase to a rip off subscription. I could justify buying a program for intermittent use over 3 or 4 years.  But i cannot justify paying that amount for a 1 year access. 
     
    I'll need to shop around for a similar program that is still on the market
  20. Thanks
    Brian Stanfield reacted to lou_tennant in The Turakian Age is Seriously Underrated   
    Late to the party but... absolutely.
    Just (today) uploaded a Ambrethel world map in colour that might interest folk.
  21. Like
    Brian Stanfield reacted to Duke Bushido in Reviews   
    Thanks, but I want to be certain to remind everyone who saw them that they are not my work; all I did was clean them up and make them printable.  
     
    They have been colored-- over many, many yea-- Good God!  DECADES!!!   Crap!  I'm old!  Still!
     
    I think one of the biggest appeals of Champions back in the early days wasn't the system itself-- Don't misquote me-- it was _awesome_, but I think the biggest "suck you in" thing about it was the character sheets.   No; seriously: you could picture a character in your head and you had your choice of mannequins upon which to draw it.  For years, there was _always_ a box of something to color with on our table just because _someone_ was going to show up with a character idea-- PC, NPC, hero, villain, background character-- someone was going to just _have_ to draw a character.  
     
    That kind of spread-- it became part of our group culture.  I have, at last count, eleven copies of the 2e Champions book, and easily half of them have the majority of the pictures colored-- a couple of them have _all_ the pictures colored.  And I was telling the truth: it's a variety of media, ranging from colored pencils (of quality running the full spectrum) to crayons to magic markers to other inks and the one watercolor  (he brought those with him; he was taking a painting class that met the afternoons before we gamed).
     
    Originally, I started out by scanning pages from a number of books in which "page X" hadn't been colored, which gave me a total of-- I think....  six pages?-- that I had scanned.    This problem ran through almost _all_ my 1, 2, and 3e stuff......  The BBB caught most of the magic marker...    Barbarians.....
     
    So I finally just scanned my original (which was coming apart already, as it was my favorite, and got the most use and abuse) and set about cleaning the colors out of all the pictures.  The reason that one particular image (which the painter then declared was "professional adventurer and alien medical prodigy Doctor Tarentela," if anyone's interested) is so large is because I'm not lying to folks when I tell them I have no artistic ability.  Even the scans I have done-- you have no _idea_ how much of that stuff was done pixel-by-pixel, changing one, zooming out, checking, going back in.....   Anyway, I found it much easier to work on a very, _very_ large image, at least at that level of attack, and so I scanned the colored images at 2400 dpi, so they'd be huge, did what I wanted to do, then reduced them down to fit back onto the image of the original scan, etc, etc, etc...  If you look, you'll see a colored image of Flare in that video, just a couple of pages after you see the one I cleaned the color out of.
     
    Somewhere along the way, looking at all those sterile black-and-white images, I realized just how much I actually _missed_ the desecration of my original books, so opened the original scans again and started cleaning up their appearance a bit, but not "uncoloring" them.  As I have multiple copies of a considerable amount of the early stuff, I have many pieces where I have to choose which one I want to keep  (which frankly, has nothing to do with the talent involved, and more to do with the memories of who did it   ).  I hope to one day have the time to finish the project and have it printed: my own personalized 2e book-- probably with a few house-rules hard-wired into the text, and combining the best of 2e Champs, Champs II, and Champs III  (and the vast selection of Advantages and Limitations I've collected over the years--- in color, filled with memories of people I haven't seen in as much as thirty years....
     
    So that's why that image was saved so large: by the time I got all the paper distortion and other problems out of the original scan, I actually just really _liked_ that picture.    
     
     
  22. Like
    Brian Stanfield reacted to Duke Bushido in Reviews   
    Last video on this subject;nothing about the book; just proof that the goal they claimed--creating a new book from high quality scans-- is _not_ hard   tedious?  No doubt!  But not hard. 
     
    Still the difference in the end results is determined _completely_ by how you start.   This last video proves that by taking a few really good starts, and finishing them with the crappiest materials available (pretty much the opposite of the POD approach: instead of trying to shine a turd, I ran a few diamonds through the mud, just to see (and show you guys) what would happen. 
     
     
  23. Like
    Brian Stanfield reacted to Duke Bushido in Reviews   
    POD for anything 6e and even 5e should be fine, at least as far as the interior goes: they will be printed from original PDF documents, which scale well and have precise mathematically-defined edges to stay crisp and clear-and of course, no one includes artifacts in the brand new document. 
     
     
    The only potential problem with POD for a modern book is poorly-formatted artwork.  JPG / jpeg are very old, very loss-heavy formats that people just won't get away from, but they will wreck your project.  Fortunately, if you want to print a 6e book, there is nothing remotely approaching nice artwork on the covers (I mean the blue backs, of course), so it's a non-issue u less you demand they look super-crisp.  Interior art, again, depends on how that art was stored, converted, etc. 
     
    That's why this 4e reprint is such a bomb:  is a series of photos.  Scans are just pictures.  These are pictures of words, sure, but they are just pictures at the end of the day, and they were taken at too low a resolution, stored incorrectly, and- itss just gone bad from start to finish. 
     
    . If you want to see what can be done with a Hugh quality scan, watch that third video. 
     
    If I find some daylight after work or this weekend, I will do a test with some of the Western HERO pages.  Though if you have western HERO, I e courage you to try it for yourself. 
  24. Like
    Brian Stanfield got a reaction from Chris Goodwin in Reviews   
    Duke, watching that first video with your "helpers" is like watching an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000! I was laughing out loud for the better part of thirty minutes! Thanks for the review(s), and for reminding us what we should be expecting when we pay money for a product.
     
    Big Jack, I have many of the POD books for 6e because I was out of gaming for several decades and missed getting all the books in their original form. I am very impressed with the quality of the books I got (the Equipment Guide, Skills, Grimoire, and all sorts of others). They don't suffer from the same problem as the new 4e book. They're clear and crisp and the paper quality is good and durable. The cover colors may vary a little bit, but I'm not sure the original books were even exactly the same anyway. In short, I have a shelf full of the 6e books and I couldn't tell you which are the originals that I was able to hunt down, and which are the PODs. They're worth getting. 
     
    I'm really embarrassed by the 4e POD release. Duke covers it pretty much in each of his videos. I "helped" (much like the "helpers" in the first video) to clean up the Western HERO book with Duke, although he did all the work. He did such an amazing job, I can't figure out why they'd release such a piece of garbage at the 4e Champions book when Duke has offered to volunteer his time and work for them to have a clean copy of a much superior quality. It doesn't really bode well for how decisions are being made for the HERO System (a common complaint I make and won't rehash here). 
     
    The 6e1 and 6e2 rulebooks were released as POD a couple of years ago, and then promptly disappeared from DTRPG because the interior text was having problems with the greyscale and whatnot. They had to re-work them to get them right, and then re-released them a while back. I was tempted to get copies of each of those books for reference copies at the game table, but after what I've seen from Duke's review here, I'm not a little bit wary of what those books look like! Essentially, they've lost sales (to my) for several of several copies of their POD books because of how amazingly bad the 4e book is! 
     
    I'd think, in all good conscience, they'd have to pull that POD and rework it because as it stands now, it's horrible. It looks like something I would have done with my first MS Paint program back in 1993 on my first homemade computer! Amateurish reprints of old titles have their place I guess, but not when they look so horrible that a nostalgic collector can't even enjoy the cover, let alone read the text inside. Really, PDFs are how we can "collect" titles these days. POD from a PDF shouldn't be that complicated, but somehow they've found a way to screw it up. Computers are much more sophisticated these days, guys, and the tools they offer for producing good books are widely available to people. Expectations are much higher these days, as they should be. As with many other things, DOJ needs to wake up to the 21st Century with their business model. 
     
    *Ok, quarantine-induced rant over*
     
    Thanks @Duke Bushido!
     
  25. Like
    Brian Stanfield got a reaction from BigJackBrass in Reviews   
    Duke, watching that first video with your "helpers" is like watching an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000! I was laughing out loud for the better part of thirty minutes! Thanks for the review(s), and for reminding us what we should be expecting when we pay money for a product.
     
    Big Jack, I have many of the POD books for 6e because I was out of gaming for several decades and missed getting all the books in their original form. I am very impressed with the quality of the books I got (the Equipment Guide, Skills, Grimoire, and all sorts of others). They don't suffer from the same problem as the new 4e book. They're clear and crisp and the paper quality is good and durable. The cover colors may vary a little bit, but I'm not sure the original books were even exactly the same anyway. In short, I have a shelf full of the 6e books and I couldn't tell you which are the originals that I was able to hunt down, and which are the PODs. They're worth getting. 
     
    I'm really embarrassed by the 4e POD release. Duke covers it pretty much in each of his videos. I "helped" (much like the "helpers" in the first video) to clean up the Western HERO book with Duke, although he did all the work. He did such an amazing job, I can't figure out why they'd release such a piece of garbage at the 4e Champions book when Duke has offered to volunteer his time and work for them to have a clean copy of a much superior quality. It doesn't really bode well for how decisions are being made for the HERO System (a common complaint I make and won't rehash here). 
     
    The 6e1 and 6e2 rulebooks were released as POD a couple of years ago, and then promptly disappeared from DTRPG because the interior text was having problems with the greyscale and whatnot. They had to re-work them to get them right, and then re-released them a while back. I was tempted to get copies of each of those books for reference copies at the game table, but after what I've seen from Duke's review here, I'm not a little bit wary of what those books look like! Essentially, they've lost sales (to my) for several of several copies of their POD books because of how amazingly bad the 4e book is! 
     
    I'd think, in all good conscience, they'd have to pull that POD and rework it because as it stands now, it's horrible. It looks like something I would have done with my first MS Paint program back in 1993 on my first homemade computer! Amateurish reprints of old titles have their place I guess, but not when they look so horrible that a nostalgic collector can't even enjoy the cover, let alone read the text inside. Really, PDFs are how we can "collect" titles these days. POD from a PDF shouldn't be that complicated, but somehow they've found a way to screw it up. Computers are much more sophisticated these days, guys, and the tools they offer for producing good books are widely available to people. Expectations are much higher these days, as they should be. As with many other things, DOJ needs to wake up to the 21st Century with their business model. 
     
    *Ok, quarantine-induced rant over*
     
    Thanks @Duke Bushido!
     
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