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Brian Stanfield

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  1. Like
    Brian Stanfield reacted to RDU Neil in Champions Now Information   
    I would "like" your post because I appreciate all the detail, but I'm out of "likes" for some reason. 
    So many things you described, like all the different campaigns (OMG we played the hell out of Danger International!) and such from the '80s... but I never had the issues that you described when we translated to 4th. It could come down to differences in expectations. I never tried to spell out huge campaign limits and write down significant house rules, and it wasn't until 4th Edition that we began playing Fantasy Hero in depth. I think that, while there were times where certain applications of powers broke the feel of the game (the use of force field by a mage and a character with wings, both of which were really over-powered), but I never ended up with player push back or frustration on that, as the "table" generally agreed pretty quickly that "whoa... that just isn't right" and we changed things.
    With supers, we felt the 4th Ed expanded skill list was cool, but not necessary. It wasn't until 5th that I felt the expectation had changed from "General broad skills, and you can get specific if you want" to "Must deconstruct all skills into fifty different knowledge skill specifics for every possible situation"

    The whole separation of Heroic level vs. Superheroic really worked for us. Over time, there were always questions of "Is this balanced?" but I never felt that it was up to a rule set to proscribe the kind of game to be played, but that Hero let us find our own.
    Perhaps it was that I always wanted my Champs campaign to actually do away with most comic book tropes (or at least question them) and move more into the "people with powers in a chaotic, dangerous world" type of campaign. On the surface, you had costumes and code names, but wrestling with issues of the law and vigilantism, killing or not, how to use your power to change society, not just beat up bad guys... what were the ramifications for normal in a world of supers, etc.  Those things were essential to the game, and I don't think could have been done with Champions as it was originally envisioned, that enforced tropes like secret id's, DNPCs, etc.
    Ultimately, I always found that rules and systems only went so far, and nothing in the book was ever considered absolute. What happened at the table determined what was right... work it out in play... then capture any change that meant to the rule set. This type of thing lead to dumping END as too much boring math in game, dumping the Speed Chart because it made SPD not just powerful, and the chart resolution clunky, but enforced some players as having more face time in the game than others.

    Eventually, it is all about the players. I found a good test. Give a prospective player the BBB, have them read through it a bit, and then, "Tell me what you think?" If they say something like, "So it seems like I can play any cool character... like this guy who fights occult crime like the Shadow, but with magical trinkets instead of guns" and I'd feel they have a good chance in the group. If, on the other hand, they say, "So it seems that the character I should play has desolidification and ego attack, affects real world, because then I can attack everyone, but never be touched, right?"   Then I take the book back and say, "Effort appreciated, the exit is over there."
    It was a good test about whether people wanted to role play, or game the system.
  2. Like
    Brian Stanfield got a reaction from Starshield in Champions Now Information   
    I started a thread on "indie" games here, with the idea of investigating why Champions/HERO System isn't presenting itself to the younger "indie" crowd. Setting aside what "indie" actually means, I think it should be considered an indie game. I wondered if it could be shown to a new generation with this in mind, and if perhaps this is what Ron Edwards might actually be tapping into.
    The news announcement, Why Now Champions Now, seems to reinforce that question. I've now reconsidered backing the project because any exposure is better than none! And if people discover it at Indie Press Revolution while scanning for Fate or some other popular game, so much the better.
    I'll save the problem of why it's not based on Champions Complete for another time. 
  3. Like
    Brian Stanfield reacted to RDU Neil in Champions Now Information   
    Agreed, as I'd like to understand the POV expressed here, as it is the exact opposite of how I feel. I have not ever, in my 40 years of gaming, enjoyed a pre-built adventure, and certainly never used anything more than a rough outline from one, like "Road Kill" for a one off "not everyone showed up for the game" type of thing. 
    To me, the experience of a game evolving and being defined "during play" is the real enjoyment I get... not spending massive time trying to create everything beforehand. Entirely different philosophies of gaming, so I'd like to read more about what is being expressed here. 
  4. Like
    Brian Stanfield reacted to Spence in Champions Now Information   
    Well, I wish it all success, but I'll be passing.
    I really haven't been doing much of anything with Hero even though Champs is my favorite RPG
    Pretty much the only gaming I do now is with fully supported systems.  And by fully supported, I mean systems that put out pre-built adventures.   I only know 2 people that are running anything homebrew, and one of them is running a full on crawl.  The primary reason is ee all work full time and most have family obligations.  Limited free time.
    So I am playing in a D&D 5th league game and when I run itbis usually a GUMSHOE or Call of Cthulhu scenario. 
    I love to run mystery/investigation games and have been working on a Supers campaign for a while.  But constructing a investigatve based campaign is detail intensive.  Once I complete the spine and enough side branches to a viable level, I'll decide on game system and begin plugging in Villians and stat'ing them out. 
    But for now I really do not need yet another ruleset or yet anothet advice document. 
    What I need in a gaming product is self contained general adventures that can played stand alone or pluged into a campaign if I ever start having enough time to actually write/run one again. 
    Pretty much every successful RPG found in full distribution in actual stores have full lines of adventures.  The local FLGS's can't keep them in stock. 
    For me I will have to shift my attention and funds to games I will actually have a realistic expectation of playing.  Ones with not just rulesets, but also a solid support in adventures/scenarios.
  5. Like
    Brian Stanfield reacted to Chris Goodwin in Champions Now Information   
    Ron and I had a video conversation via Discord over the weekend.  We talked a little about Endurance; that portion is here.  (I promise, in real life I do more than just go "yeah, yeah", and it was early Sunday for me so my resting grump face was in full force.)
  6. Like
    Brian Stanfield reacted to starblaze in Champions Now Information   
    Are you going to be running this at any Cons in the near future?
  7. Like
    Brian Stanfield reacted to RDU Neil in Champions Now Information   
    So, at the Indie games booth at Origins, there was a big sign for Champions Now, and they had a list of current games you can kickstart, but they didn't have a lot of explanation for it. 
    Personally, if there really is a Nar set of rules for doing Champions, I'm interested just to see how he resolves the extremely "simulationist" build structure of Champions with a rule set that actually encourage director/actor stance, moves, and other constructs of modern indie gaming. 
    I'm also confused about how he can seem to enjoy the old Champs math and structure of building a character, min maxing points at x3 breaks, etc. which always seemed to undermine actual story in my experience, as people were more worried about "did I get enough power for my points" rather than, "did I create an engaging character who can add to the narrative."
    Ron Edwards has always struck me as dichotomous in his projected design/game interpretation aesthetics.
  8. Like
    Brian Stanfield reacted to Christougher in Champions Now Information   
    Having read the playtest document, this is what this Kickstarter is. It's not about rules or settings.  It's about how to PLAY.
  9. Like
    Brian Stanfield reacted to Spence in Champions Now Information   
    Is there a transcript? 
    The over-reliance on PODcasts and videos is the primary reason my gaming related spending has plummeted to a fraction of what it was.  I have very little free time and I'd rather actually play then waste hours grinding through audio/video on the off chance someone might accidentally answer a question.
    I can read/skim the transcript of an hour long cast in minutes.  But 1, 2 or 3 HOURS of someone talking says: Go away I don't want your money.
    A concise written description is how you sell something to employed adults.
    It's not just this KS.  It is the overall laziness that has overtaken the gaming industry at large.  If I watched/listened all of the monthly 'cast/videos that now pass for company updates I would never be able to actually game again.
  10. Like
    Brian Stanfield reacted to Chris Goodwin in Champions Now Information   
    I remember trying to write a character creation program in BASIC on my Commodore 64.  ☺️
  11. Like
  12. Like
    Brian Stanfield reacted to Steve Long in MYTHIC HERO: What Do *You* Want To See?   
    Thank you for saying that, and for your breakdown of the way such things are presented in modern TV (etc.). I agree with a lot of your points, especially re: not mentioning specific church denominations and not making God a character on the show.  Honestly, if I reeeaallllyyy wanted to do it, I'd include a chapter on Christian Mythology and just say the heck with any repercussions. After all, I'm covering a lot of other mythoi -- Chinese, Voodoo, Hindu... -- that are living faiths. (Not to mention the possibility of "paganist" revivals of old religions, such as Asatru.) But at this stage, I'm just as happy to save myself the colossal amount of work a chapter on Christian Mythology would entail. After Mythic Hero comes out, if there's a tremendous hue and cry for Christian Mythology, there's more than enough material out there for me to do an entire book on the subject.
    Heck, maybe I could make that a Kickstarter stretch goal -- I already have an idea for the first stretch goal, but maybe this could be the second.
  13. Like
    Brian Stanfield reacted to Lord Liaden in The Academics Thread   
    That feeling you get when you've been struggling all year to motivate your students, spark some passion for learning in them, and feel like you're just not reaching them... and then one of them tells you that they really liked being in your class and that they learned something, and thanks you for caring.
    Makes all the rest worthwhile.
  14. Like
    Brian Stanfield reacted to Tech priest support in In other news...   
  15. Like
    Brian Stanfield reacted to bigdamnhero in Quote of the Week from my gaming group...   
    Oh, and here's a fun bit of Irish history I came across while researching the game:
    In 980, Irish High King Máel Sechnaill defeated & killed the Viking King Olaf of Dublin, bringing the Viking towns under Gaelic control. Afterwards, he took Olaf’s widow Gormflaith* as his own wife. But in 997, he divorced Gormflaith and married...her daughter (by Olaf) Máel Muire, who was then 18. Yes, he literally dumped his wife of 17 years to marry his teenage step-daughter who had been living with him since she was an infant. Ick.
    Gormflaith meanwhile fled back to Dublin, where her son Sigtrygg Silkbeard was now King. In 999 she convinced Sigtrygg to rebel against Irish rule, but that revolt was crushed by Brian Boru the King of Munster and High King Mael's chief rival. This victory solidified Brian's control of the southern half of Ireland. Afterwards Brian married his daughter Sláine off to Sigtrygg, while Brian married...Sigtrygg’s mother Gormflaith.
    So Gormflaith is simultaneously…
    The wife of Brian Boru, Over-King of the South. The ex-wife of High King Máel Sechnaill The widow of the late King Olaf of Dublin The mother of Sigtrygg Silkbeard, the current King of Dublin, And the mother of Queen Máel Muire, the High King’s current wife  
    * apparently pronounced "Gorm-lee."
  16. Like
    Brian Stanfield reacted to bigdamnhero in Quote of the Week from my gaming group...   
    And from this week's Historical-Fantasy Hero game:
    The PCs have journeyed to Ireland, to the Hill of Tara, seat of High King Mael Sechnaill mac Domnaill, who is currently losing a civil war against Brian Boru, the King of Munster...
    Player 1: "How would you like to be known to history as the Cheese King? No wonder he wants to take over, he just wants a better title!"
    The PCs figure out the High King is going blind, so the Holy Warrior and the Alchemist decide to try and cure him:
    Warrior: "Herbalism by 2, Medic by 4."
    GM: "OK, great." (to Alchemist) "Give me a SS: Medicine roll."
    Alchemist: (rolls) "...Well...crap."
    Priest: "Did we just poison the High King?"
    Warrior: "We were planning on leaving town anyway..."
    Alchemist: "Screw that; I'm going to blow a Hero Point to reroll."
    GM: "But it's funnier this way! ...Okay, fine grumble grumble."
    Alchemist: (rerolls - gets a natural 3!) "WOOT!"
    Priest: "As uses of Hero Points go..."
    GM: "Yeah, wow. OK, go ahead and give me an Alchemical Invention roll just for..."
    Alchemist: (rolls a second natural 3!)
    Warrior: "So not only is he no longer blind, now he has Super Vision!"
    GM: (singing) "I can see for miles and miles..."
    Priest: "Did you make enough for everyone?"
  17. Like
    Brian Stanfield reacted to bigdamnhero in Quote of the Week from my gaming group...   
    Last week's Star Wars game featured the Battle of Endor and destruction of the second Death Star.
    Except in this game, instead of the Ewoks being annoying midgets in teddy bear costumes, the GM turned them into terrifying CGI killbeasts who see the world as divided into into "Food" and "Things We Can Use To Kill Food." And the former category very emphatically does NOT include exceptions for sentient species. We manage to convince them not to eat us in exchange for helping them kill "The Food That Comes In White Shells" aka Stormtroopers.
    GM: "The Ewoks start singing a battle song..."
    PCs (all singing) "Yub yub, Ewok yub yub..."
    GM: "Actually their battle songs sound more like recipes." (singing in a low dirge voice) "Add 2 cups butter, parsley and simmer until tender."
    Another change in this game is that Luke died blowing up the 1st Death Star, so Leia (as an NPC) became a Jedi instead; while the PCs take out the shield generator planetside, she's the one who goes up to the Death Star to watch Vader and the Emperor kill each other. Afterwards, back on Endor she readies Dad's corpse for the big Viking funeral send-off.
    PC1: (to Leia) "Do you want to keep Lord Vader's shuttle?"
    Leia: "No, you guys can have it."
    PC2: "But you should at least keep his helmet. As a memento"
    Leia: "That helmet is a reminder of what my father turned into, a monster who killed millions. Why would I want to be reminded of that?"
    PC1: "Oh, you may not want it now. But someday your kids might want something to connect them to the grandfather they never knew."
    GM: "..."
    PC2: "Something to brood and obsess over..."
    GM: "STOP!"
  18. Like
    Brian Stanfield reacted to Pariah in I challenge you!   
    Only the most enlightened will transcend the implied conflict in this question. Meditate upon this wisdom.
    BBQ Blockbuster:
    Memphis or Kansas City?
  19. Like
    Brian Stanfield reacted to zslane in Need More HERO   
    My 6th ed. collection looks like everyone esle's.

    As do my 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th ed. collections, pretty much.
    But I also have a couple of books nobody esle in the world has.

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