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Durzan Malakim

HERO Member
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About Durzan Malakim

  • Rank
    Standard Hero
  • Birthday 12/29/1969

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  • Gender
  • Location
    San Diego, CA
  • Interests
    Champions & Fantasy Hero
  • Occupation
    Technically, I'm a writer
  1. Does all magic risk Breaches or just the magic of the Blooded? If some Breachers can cast magic, why wouldn't they use it to intentionally create more Breaches? I would suggest making Breaches a potential side-effect for all magic. The beings that come out of a Breach are hostile to the caster and the caster's realm. This explains why the Lost Legion doesn't intentionally go around creating Breaches and instead only focus on recruiting potential allies from other's Breaches. Here is my suggested explanation for why mortals aren't more aware of Breaches. The government runs and supports the Crimson Cabal and actively suppresses Breach events. The government knows magic is real and is desperately trying to close the magic gap in this arms race. Their solution to Breach incursions is to capture or kill the mythic beings that enter our world. Some beings they study trying to learn more about magic. Some beings they kill and convert into spell components. Perhaps Crimson Cabal magic exploits a loophole in magic. Since spell components are the flesh of other magic users, any Breach side effect gets redirected to that flesh. Crimson Cabal mages are essentially casting spells by proxy. This actually gives the Crimson Cabal an incentive to find and exploit Nameless. They can Capture a Nameless, force them to create a Breach, clean up the mess, and then gather more spell components. The Blooded don't care what happens to the Nameless, and The Nameless have an even bigger incentive to stay hidden and not draw attention to themselves. You can use the Crimson Cabal as both Men In Black and boogey men used to scare Blooded children into behaving themselves. This also helps explains why there is a First Law. When mortals learn of mythic magic, they exploit it with literal flesh and blood.
  2. Talk about character portraits giving me the wrong expectations. The big barrel-chested he-man has STR 13. The athletic-looking woman has STR 35 and can grow to STR 50. Red Giant never has to ask anyone to open jars for her, unless it's to do so without breaking the jar in the process.
  3. 6E-HTML-Complete View File This export template is intended to present everything you need to play in four pages as long as you keep the number of items to display within certain limits. Exceeding the limits adds a page, and usually doesn't look good doing it. The first page can support around 5 to 7 Perks, 5 to 7 Talents, and 10 to 12 Complications. The second page can support around 40 Skills and 20 to 25 Martial Maneuvers. The third page can support around 30 to 35 powers and equipment descriptions. The fourth page can support a page worth of Background and Personality description. Submitter Durzan Malakim Submitted 03/06/2019 Category Export Formats Output Format HTML (Browser) Rules Version HERO System 6th Edition  
  4. Version 1.0.0


    This export template is intended to present everything you need to play in four pages as long as you keep the number of items to display within certain limits. Exceeding the limits adds a page, and usually doesn't look good doing it. The first page can support around 5 to 7 Perks, 5 to 7 Talents, and 10 to 12 Complications. The second page can support around 40 Skills and 20 to 25 Martial Maneuvers. The third page can support around 30 to 35 powers and equipment descriptions. The fourth page can support a page worth of Background and Personality description.
  5. This reads so much better when I imagine it being said in Yoda's voice. Although he might actually say, "Within your concept, an answer find."
  6. I feel for GMs who have to find that sweet spot between cake-walk and flip-the-table-in-frustration combats. HERO System has many rock-paper-scissors power interactions that over time can promote the creation of characters with adaptable power builds over static ones. For example, most of the villains mentioned in this thread have high DCVs and high resistant defenses. Such opponents will be a challenge (or nightmare) to characters with static powers who have no choice but to overcome these defenses. However, characters with adaptable powers may find this same opponent a pushover if/when they can find the weak spot in their opponent's defenses. Suddenly these hard-to-hit and hard-to-damage opponents face attacks built specifically to negate defenses such as area of effect, attack versus alternate defense, and penetrating. The large number of possible attack/defense combinations is why a simple point-total comparison does not accurately describe someone's overall power level and combat effectiveness. Generally, the fewer points you have to spend, the more choices you have to make between attack/defense combinations. My 400 point villain might be great at defending against targeted physical and energy attacks, but not have any Flash or Mental defenses. Such a villain will be stronger versus characters whose attacks match those defenses and weaker versus those whose attacks are met with little to no defense. Given that most games have multiple players, chances are someone has a character build that will be effectively stronger versus any given opponent. That is unless and until the villain has an unlimited budget or the GM chooses to only use villains who have appropriate defenses versus the player's available attacks. One thing I haven't seen in my Champions games lately is the recurring villain who you eventually beat because you learn over time how to best deal with them. The first fight you lose or the villain gets away because you don't know what to expect. The second fight might be more of a draw. You adjust your attacks, and the villain adjusts their defenses. Then you "think outside the box," spend some XP, or train to specifically defeat this opponent. If/when you win you feel a sense of accomplishment. I don't know if that story arc depends on point totals. It may just depend on an eventual mismatch in attack/defense combinations. Maybe my GMs have been trying to introduce such arcs and the clue-by-four has yet to penetrate my skull.
  7. The timing of this topic is interesting because this weekend I got to experience what groups of "weaker" enemies could do a "stronger" character. A group of 200-point minions completely pwned my 300-point hero. Granted, this was a case where the GM had three really good dice rolls targeted directly at a hole in my defenses, but from a pure point-total versus point-total perspective it should not have been as one-sided as it was. Point comparisons are only as good as the assumption behind them. Are the limitations on villain powers really limiting if the GM never plays the villains when their powers would be limited? If villains can ignore campaign limits, does it matter how many points they're built on? Is a lower-point villain who is spectacular at one thing really weaker than a higher-point hero who's just good or moderate at multiple things?
  8. This topic highlights the differences between what makes a good superhero story and what makes a good superhero role-playing game. Superhero stories usually delay the fight scene for as long as possible because once the fight is over, the story is over. The drama and interesting bits of a superhero story are the chase, discovering what's going on, and identifying who's responsible for it. In fact, there are superhero stories such as Batman where the super villain specifically does not target or want to directly fight their superhero nemesis. In the Dark Knight movies, the Joker doesn't attack Batman, he attacks normal people and institutions. The Joker creates situations where Batman must respond to his schemes rather than confront him. Losing a fight is usually part of the Joker's plan. "While you've been wasting your time fighting me, my minions have been busy strapping Harvey Dent and Rachel to explosives." Superhero games tend to devote most of their rules to combat resolution and HERO System is no different. Players expect to use their powers to fight. I don't know what your games are like, but in the Champions games I've played most fights are completed in one turn or less. That's true even when a team of superheroes fights a more powerful opponent who also has minion support. Having weaker super villains might change that dynamic to fights lasting one to two phases, and there's nothing wrong with short fights as long as everyone enjoys it. Such games become less "Superhero fight club" and more like the source material where heroes spend their time and effort chasing and overcoming obstacles between them and their super villain targets.
  9. I suggest creating some myths that reinforce and explain your core religious beliefs. From what you describe I'd say this religion is based on the principles of growth and obligation. Here's a sample myth using these ideas. Long ago, in a game world far, far away, there once was a Divinity who created the first mortals and charged them to create and grow their world. The Divinity invested a portion its power into a group of mortals who became the first paragons. Each paragon was responsible for creating a different part of the world and strove to impress both the Divinity and each other. Paragons could also invest other mortals with the powers of creation. These new powers were often refinements or compliments to the paragon's power, but each person's power was different. Strangely, to our way of thinking at least, investing others with power did not diminish a paragon's power. Quite the opposite, investing power in others increased the overall magic/power available in the world. Over time the first paragons and their successors created the world we know today. As powerful as the paragons were however, they were still mortals, and when they perished their powers returned to the Divinity. The Paragon's legacy is the world they produced and the purpose to continue creation. This is why the church shares it power with others, so that they may continue the Divinity's mission. As the church invests in you, one day you too shall invest in your children and students. Thus we pass the power of creation from generation to generation.
  10. "VIPERware: villain tested; Champion approved."
  11. I look forward to NPC me (Valiant) having to talk to PC me (whoever I play). So far the gold standard of talking to yourself goes to our time-traveling mage Hexen who had to talk to his younger self. It's a high-bar.
  12. It may not feel right for PCs to loot NPCs toys, but there's nothing preventing one NPC group from looting the wonderful toys from another NPC group. Isn't VIPER always trying to get PRIMUS tech? Aren't Dr. Destroyer's and Mechanon's creations the envy of others? Ideally, the PCs feel they have the powers and resources to be heroic without having to loot the opposition, but there are stories to be told about keeping wondrous toys out of the wrong hands. I think the temporarily use wondrous toys you didn't pay points for is fine as long as PCs routinely encounter their side-effects or limitations. Does the press start calling a hero a VIPER agent because he's always got one of their toys? Does that Mechanon-built power rifle hack your base computer? Do the heroes really not have any Psychological Limitations about staying on-brand or being heroic?
  13. I could see a newly awakened Malvan wanting to tour the lost empire to remind themselves of earlier days. Or perhaps they would want to see for themselves these strange Terrans who bear traces of the Elder Worm and yet ended their curse.
  14. I believe the Kickstarter in question was: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/herogames/champions-now, which is discussed on this very forum here:
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