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Scott Ruggels

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  1. Like
    Scott Ruggels got a reaction from Duke Bushido in Fantasy Immersion and the Things that Ruin it.   
    Read the Jaggiri Thread to get an idea of how I put things together (Blast from the Past Part Two, in the FH Sub-genre).  But I was a little disappointed that the players voted to do the Near future thing, as that was one of three campaigns I proposed, So I have to work on that and I have a lot of id3as. Technically they "ARE" atomic rockets as they are using Helium 3 to keep their engines thrusting all the time at 1G or less. for manned ships to get anywhere in the solar system in any reasonable time and without the crew deconditioning into noodle armed invalids due to prolongues Zero G Exposure.  So it became an interesting mental excercise, though as I said before writing out all the background materials is slow, and comes after my paying artwork.
  2. Like
    Scott Ruggels got a reaction from PhilFleischmann in Fantasy Immersion and the Things that Ruin it.   
    It's Steam Punk, but with magic and D&D creatures, and Industrial magic, and "air ships", with floating hulls and sails. Steampunk for me is a turn off, because I do like Victorian Steam. I do not like uneducated, style over substance, Pseudo-victorian steam.
     
     
     Awwww man, I love maps.  But I do get your point. However seafaring maps, and Roman Ground maps were different things and Roman Maps, like what the PCs would get a hold of, would look like the London Tube poster or map with lines and vague directions and "times" to various stops on the road.
  3. Like
    Scott Ruggels reacted to Shoug in Fantasy Immersion and the Things that Ruin it.   
    Honestly, the superhero model is a good one to use as the foundation for a generic system like Hero. Supers have come to have an enormous influence on Anime, and therefore Fantasy. In superhero settings, everybody has a few powerful and unique abilities of enormous implication, unlike fantasy where everybody for the most part shares the same abilities and the story is about characters and plot surrounding those abilities and how they're concentrated. Fighters do violence, rogues have skills and backstab, wizards have magic. But Anime has bridged the gap with increasing success over the years with shows such as Naruto (where Ninjas are warrior mages with completely unique magical Jutsus), Demon Slayer (where Demon Slayers are warrior mages who use breathing techniques to empower themselves until they are strong enough to cut through boulders and use special moves mostly unique to each character), and JoJo (where Stand users are able to exercise the physical manifestations of their own fighter spirits to be warrior mages). 
     
    The days of the "Warrior, Mage and, Rogue" are over, Hero system has ushered forth unto me the dawn of taking a character concept as far as you want to go mechanically with no restrictions. I wanna be a pyromancer? I don't have to look through the spell tome and find all the fire themed spells, pick all but one them because that one basically sucks, and I'd rather just have something useful like misty step or greater illusion. I want to be a battlemage? I don't have to multicast and then just be a mediocre fighter who can sling a few spells that a wizard could use since lvl 3. EDIT: In Hero, I'm able to make a barbarian who accidentally goes berserk, which turns him into a "whirling devil of burning red elemental rage" granting him fire breath and flight. 
     
    It's awesome.
  4. Like
    Scott Ruggels reacted to DShomshak in Fantasy Immersion and the Things that Ruin it.   
    Speaking of worlds on turtles...
     
    I've enjoyed many of the Diskworld novels. Often funny, often pointed in its satire. But for me at least, hardly ever immersive. No matter how much I enjoy the story, I am fully aware this world "exists" to comment on other stories or aspects of RL. It's never a world that feels like it could exist in its own right.
     
    Again, at least not for me.
     
    Dean Shomshak
  5. Like
    Scott Ruggels reacted to Hermit in Fantasy Immersion and the Things that Ruin it.   
    Gods, Religions, and Religious institutions as unimportant and lacking any power or purpose save as healing shops.
    It's such a waste of material to use it that way. And it often throws me off. Even if the gods don't feel chatty, religious leaders can still exert enough influence and power to hobble or raise up rulers, they can direct codes as strong as any secular set of laws. And, unless one is speaking of 'chaching, the God of #$#You, Payme!', their entire purpose should never be confined to just taking gold and then curing that STD you got at Madame Stonegate's House of Dwarven pleasures.
     
    Not meaning any disrespect to anyone who follows Chaching
     
    And I always appreciate when the not priestly types still have a spiritual side, and pay a bit of respect to the gods. NPCs who are farmers, bartenders, or the like who tip their hat to the local holy man, or pray for good weather etc are small touches, but it shows off nicely. Heck, even creative ways of using a god's name in anger can reflect wel. But when a fantasy village seems to be entirely secular to a man, unless there's an in setting reason, it kind of jars me a bit. I don't expect Hozanas and Psalms all the time, but the idea of "Who do these god people think they are anyway?" Should not be the norm unless you're going for a Monty python skit
     
     
    But that's just me.. just sort of makes me roll my eyes and disrupts my immersion a bit.
     
     
  6. Haha
    Scott Ruggels reacted to Cassandra in Fantasy Immersion and the Things that Ruin it.   
    I always defined Electrum as taking a swig of rum while getting shocked with a stun gun.
     
    I guess I went to a different college they you guys did.
  7. Like
    Scott Ruggels got a reaction from Chris Goodwin in Fantasy Immersion and the Things that Ruin it.   
    Oh, I am not at all against climbing the tech tree in fantasy at all. In fact I wanted to run a "Early Nation states colonizing a distant continent." which would be 17th Century, or so, with plusses and minuses due to magic, but with Firearms, massed tactics, and printing presses.  The players, however wanted something else, and opted for a near future solar system game, which I am finding hard to write.
     
  8. Like
    Scott Ruggels got a reaction from Chris Goodwin in Fantasy Immersion and the Things that Ruin it.   
    oh, man... Where do I start?
     
    Mythic or Fairy tale Cosmology.  Said on the other thread. not a fan of Geocentric flat earths on the backs of turtles going all the way down,  and "breathable space".
     
    Eberron. Nope.  related: I dislike steam punk because it all ways devolves into  goggles,, and gears on hats, and two gun feminism. It's about as related to anything Victorian, as Star Wars is to NASA
     
    Illiterate does not mean stupid.  Peasants had to know the land, the seasons and the growing cycles , and how to make and repair their tools (outside of blacksmithing), and manage their animals.  Unsuccessful peasants starved to death or became wards of their smarter relatives.  Barbarians aren't stupid, they just have different priorities.
     
    I could go on, but I will keep this one short.
     
     
     
     
     
  9. Thanks
    Scott Ruggels reacted to zslane in Heroic Narratives, Or I Love Champions But...   
    Well, if it isn't obvious from what I've said about RPGs over the years here, I'm a sandbox player not a storytelling player.
     
    I want the GM to present a setting/world with a premise and a crisis to be met, and then I want the GM to let the players do what they will with that. If the players aren't interested in that crisis, then the GM will have to adapt. The players don't have to "go along with the plot" and should never read too much into any given situation (e.g., they should never assume that every encounter is winnable just because it is--or appears to be--put in their path on purpose). Consequences flow from every choice, whether anticipated or not, and the world reacts accordingly. The "story", such as it is, is what happens rather than what is "supposed to happen", even if that results in a TPK, or the unexpected early demise of the Big Bad Villain in the first encounter.
     
    To me, that is the heart and soul of TTRPG play. A "heroic narrative" may be the hoped-for goal, but it won't necessarily be the outcome. That depends on smart player decisions, a good GM and, usually, reasonably decent dice rolls along the way. It should never depend on a lot of DM fudging to "keep the story on track" towards a "satisfying dramatic conclusion."
     
    And as for dice rolls, there's an old saying that good luck is merely where opportunity meets preparation.  The unpredictable nature of randomizers like dice can be mitigated by good planning, good tactics, strong team cohesion, and smart decision making. If you aren't looking for ways to earn modifiers to your rolls to nudge the odds in your favor, you aren't gaming, you're just acting. Dice, and dice mechanics, are not the enemy of role playing, they are the means by which the unmanageable forces of chaos are accounted for in a consistent and impartial manner. And that impartiality is extremely important. Impartiality is a key element of sandbox play; the GM isn't some benign god looking favorably on Our Heroes. He is, first and foremost, the impartial adjudicator of the fictive game world's internal reality.
     
    If the above does not describe what TTRPGs are to you, then that's perfectly fine. It just means we will never find ourselves around the same gaming table.
  10. Like
    Scott Ruggels got a reaction from bluesguy in Tabletop Simulator   
    The Tabletop Simulator module is in playtest. 
    https://youtu.be/UJcEtNXG2n4
  11. Downvote
    Scott Ruggels got a reaction from Old Man in Fantasy Immersion and the Things that Ruin it.   
    Look up Greek Fire sometime. It is what the Byzantines used to flame Muslim ships. It may be an early form of Napthalene, and original Napalm, was NApthalene and PALM oil as a thickener. Gasoline though was more plentiful and economical. 
  12. Thanks
    Scott Ruggels reacted to Hugh Neilson in Magic Systems: To Divide or Not?   
    Doc, to me, this is a great example of how a Game Powered by Hero System could look.  You don't need the build, just the results.
  13. Like
    Scott Ruggels got a reaction from tkdguy in Fantasy Immersion and the Things that Ruin it.   
    oh, man... Where do I start?
     
    Mythic or Fairy tale Cosmology.  Said on the other thread. not a fan of Geocentric flat earths on the backs of turtles going all the way down,  and "breathable space".
     
    Eberron. Nope.  related: I dislike steam punk because it all ways devolves into  goggles,, and gears on hats, and two gun feminism. It's about as related to anything Victorian, as Star Wars is to NASA
     
    Illiterate does not mean stupid.  Peasants had to know the land, the seasons and the growing cycles , and how to make and repair their tools (outside of blacksmithing), and manage their animals.  Unsuccessful peasants starved to death or became wards of their smarter relatives.  Barbarians aren't stupid, they just have different priorities.
     
    I could go on, but I will keep this one short.
     
     
     
     
     
  14. Like
    Scott Ruggels got a reaction from dsatow in Dundracon 2020: The San Ramon Farewell   
    Just wanted to drop a short convention report. Had a great time reconnecting with my people. Though I was too slow in registration to get into any games as I was just there Sat; and Sun, I did manage to reconnect with my gamer people at the show. It was a bit over stuffed, with the Hotel having to convert a store room into extra gaming, but the con moved very smoothly, and the Hotel staff was very helpful. Hero was a bit under represented; but In did note a few incidences of Hero in the wild. All in all,  it was a fine send off for the Marriott San Ramon. I cannot was other confirm or deny a conspiracy for as many people as possible running Hero next year in Santa Clara for the 40 anniversary of Champions. 
  15. Thanks
    Scott Ruggels got a reaction from pawsplay in Heroic Narratives, Or I Love Champions But...   
    I can, but not always do. Sometimes I let the TPK Or equivalent happen, some times I dont, but it depends on reading the room YMMV. But yes I agree that limits breed creativity. 
  16. Like
    Scott Ruggels got a reaction from Greywind in Heroic Narratives, Or I Love Champions But...   
    To a point.  As a GM I do not  tell the players where to go, or what to look at. I may be forced to quickly fill in NPCs and backdrops for places I had not foreseen the characters to go.  But the die rolls are the die rolls in front of the screen.
  17. Like
    Scott Ruggels got a reaction from Greywind in Heroic Narratives, Or I Love Champions But...   
    It is cooperative in the sense, we all want to have fun at the table.  But which side of the GM's screen a person is sitting determines  the final authority about control of the narrative, or in my case, situation. Players do not get a veto on GM dice rolls. 
  18. Like
    Scott Ruggels got a reaction from Greywind in Heroic Narratives, Or I Love Champions But...   
    Back from the con, and not having to type on an iPhone.   Having an adventure or plan come down to one roll may be dramatic, but it's not very smart, In the provided scenario of  it all depending on Hawkeye-expy to make a clutch shot at the buzzer, to take down Mechanon is poor planning on the heroes part.  You have a table full of heroes who can do something.  Never  every make a plan that is dependent on one  die roll for a win.  Mechanon usually needs a whole team to beat on him to take him down, and that needs the active cooperation and participation of most if not all of the characters present. Everyone should get a chance to deliver that finishing blow, not just The Hawkeye expy, who could blow his roll.  What's the fallback plan, then?  There had better be one. 
     
     The difference between HAP, and Fudging the rolls is that the HAPs are player controlled, and the Fudged die rolls  or poor but internally consistent decisions by the villains are secret from the players, and so the emotional tension is not diffused for the players, and the perception of the stakes is not changed.   The GM is basically stage managing things for the players to move through the situation presented, to provide a fun experience, and for me the fun is keeping the players players, and NOT having them make authorial decisions outside of their roles are active participants in trying to solve the situation I have presented to them.
  19. Like
    Scott Ruggels got a reaction from PhilFleischmann in Fantasy Immersion and the Things that Ruin it.   
    oh, man... Where do I start?
     
    Mythic or Fairy tale Cosmology.  Said on the other thread. not a fan of Geocentric flat earths on the backs of turtles going all the way down,  and "breathable space".
     
    Eberron. Nope.  related: I dislike steam punk because it all ways devolves into  goggles,, and gears on hats, and two gun feminism. It's about as related to anything Victorian, as Star Wars is to NASA
     
    Illiterate does not mean stupid.  Peasants had to know the land, the seasons and the growing cycles , and how to make and repair their tools (outside of blacksmithing), and manage their animals.  Unsuccessful peasants starved to death or became wards of their smarter relatives.  Barbarians aren't stupid, they just have different priorities.
     
    I could go on, but I will keep this one short.
     
     
     
     
     
  20. Like
    Scott Ruggels got a reaction from Logan.1179 in The Best Song Ending   
    Lynard Skynard's "Freebird".
  21. Haha
    Scott Ruggels reacted to Duke Bushido in Breaking Universes   
    I strongly dislike the phrase " the original series." 
     
    It implies that there were others.... 
     
     
  22. Thanks
    Scott Ruggels reacted to ScottishFox in Breaking Universes   
    Just don't allow a Star Wars captain to end your universe by letting her be the first person to ram an enemy vessel at hyperspeed.
     
    Because then all capital ships are a waste of resources as they get annihilated by droid-operated ramming drones just large enough to have a hyperspeed drive.
     
    Or Force Lightening.
     
    Palpatine:  Hi guys, I'm back in town for a couple of weeks.
    GM:  Hey, good to see you.  Still got your Dark Lord of the Sith character from before?
    Palpatine:  Sure do.  The DM where I live now runs a higher point campaign, but I'm sure I can make it work.
    .
    .
    Two Session later

    .
    Palpatine:  Rebel fleet is advancing on my temple?  I'll show them.  I use Force Lightning!
    GM:  On who?  Rey or Kylo?
    Palpatine:  No, the Rebel Fleet.  I raised my Force Lightning to 10d6 RKA - Cone - AoE.  From here I can hit everything between low orbit and where I'm standing.
    GM: . . .
  23. Like
    Scott Ruggels got a reaction from ScottishFox in Dundracon 2020: The San Ramon Farewell   
    Just wanted to drop a short convention report. Had a great time reconnecting with my people. Though I was too slow in registration to get into any games as I was just there Sat; and Sun, I did manage to reconnect with my gamer people at the show. It was a bit over stuffed, with the Hotel having to convert a store room into extra gaming, but the con moved very smoothly, and the Hotel staff was very helpful. Hero was a bit under represented; but In did note a few incidences of Hero in the wild. All in all,  it was a fine send off for the Marriott San Ramon. I cannot was other confirm or deny a conspiracy for as many people as possible running Hero next year in Santa Clara for the 40 anniversary of Champions. 
  24. Thanks
    Scott Ruggels reacted to Greywind in Heroic Narratives, Or I Love Champions But...   
    But not by the players. If the players want to be doing that then they'd be running the game.
  25. Thanks
    Scott Ruggels reacted to Greywind in Heroic Narratives, Or I Love Champions But...   
    A lot different.
     
    As a GM I run the villain. If I wrongly evaluated the opposition level of my villain to the point where the players have no chance, then I do have an obligation to make necessary adjustments. Unless I want the campaign to end and the players to lose any interest in continuing. It is one thing to adjust a villain on the fly or have something happen randomly in the game that gives the heroes a chance or a necessary breather. It is entirely another to influence a die roll or out-and-out altering the result to suit someone else's agenda.
     
    All my die rolls to-hit and damage have long been done in the open where the players can see.
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