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Scott Ruggels

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  1. Thanks
    Scott Ruggels reacted to Gnome BODY (important!) in Totally Mundane to Secret Magic Campaign   
    Talk it over with your players and figure out if they're actually onboard with this first.  The possible "twist value" isn't worth the possible "this isn't what I signed up for" factor.  And once you've had that conversation you're in a perfect place to transition into mining them for ideas which will be vastly better than anything we can give you since they'll come from the people you're playing with and who best know their own tastes. 
  2. Like
    Scott Ruggels reacted to Dracones in Hero Designer   
    My biggest stumbling block with a lot of modern RPGs is the 500 page rulebooks you need to memorize just to start playing. Pathfinder 2 is 600+ pages, Shadowrun is a mere 300+ pages, unless you want to go with 5th edition which is 500. Numenera is two books clocking in at 400 pages each, Shadow of the Demon Lord is pushing 300(quite the lightweight!). Even the 5e D&D player's handbook is 300 pages, with another 300 for the dungeon master's guide. Fantasy Hero is only 250 which makes it practically a modern marvel though it still feels like a 'build your own fantasy game' kit. Also, props to Hero Basic which is 120 pages. It's the only thing that got me started into Hero.
     
    The old D&D box sets(BECMI) were around 50 pages for the players and 50 for the DM books. The advanced D&D books? 100 pages for 1e players book and 120 in the DMG, with another 100 pages of treasure and tables. Even the GAZ setting books were about 60 pages a pop with modules clocking in at 30.
     
    So yeah, I think the old red box D&D was probably the sweet spot. A light afternoon of reading the rules, 5 minute character creation, and a blank fantasy sandbox to play around it.
     
     
  3. Like
    Scott Ruggels got a reaction from pinecone in Puffin Forest’s In Depth Review of Pathfinder 2e   
    This is why MUs have horses (Shadowfax), or donkeys. Or maybe even Tenser’s Floating Disk. They don’t want pack straps to muss their robes or collar. 
  4. Thanks
    Scott Ruggels reacted to Spence in Hero Designer   
    You are correct in CharGen being an initial stumbling block.  And a intro that only contains a condensed "play book" for rules, uses pregens and has a small number of adventures that can be played individually or as a micro-campaign is very much a thing.  There are several RPG's that have done exactly that to very good effect by allowing players to actually "play" the game before they try to create a viable PC.  Making a viable PC can be a daunting task for a new player when the game uses limited or focused build routes like class/level style games like D&D, Pathfinder or C&C.  Even games like Shadowrun or Star Wars channel players down archetypes.  Hero on the other hand falters on having too much flexibility for the first time player. 
     
    I've said it dozens of times.  Character Generation and Adventure Building are not and never have been PLAYING an RPG.  They are tools needed to get to the RPG. 
     
    I was just thinking last night about creating a very basic set of intro-rules for Champions and one for Fantasy Hero.  Game play rules, not build rules. All of the rulesets that Hero has put out are "complete" rulesets in that they cover everything in detail so the players can expand on them as a "tool kit". 
     
    An introduction rule-set only needs to contain the specific parts needed in that introduction/demo.  The pregen character sheets would have ZERO BUILD ANNOTATION.  There is no need to print numbers on the sheet when they are not explained anywhere.  Instead the sheets need to be annotated with needed information for just that sheet. 
    For instance:
    Polaron Dude has a 8d6 energy blast, yes I am a 5th Ed person.  ENERGY blast
    Normally you might write it on the sheet as "Polaron Beam 8d6 EB  - 40 Pts - 4 END", but in a pre-built adventure with no build rules those numbers are meaningless.  So instead we say "Polaron Beam - 1 to 8d6 - pay 1 END for every 2d6".  The flavor text can describe the powers an what a Polaron Beam is. 
     
    Each character sheet, PC or NPC, needs a short description of each skill/ability because there will be no mention of them in the "rules".  A short blurb in the "rules" on skill die resolution, but no list of skills because they are not needed.  Any skill would be on the character sheet. 
     
    Many RPG's have a quick or intro ruleset that are not near complete, but are just enough to play a basic game.  The idea is that once you play the "Starter Game" you will want to buy the main books.  The RPG's D&D, Pathfinder, Shadowrun, Star Wars and Call of Cthulhu have all used them.  Some games have repeated it over multiple editions as they enable new players to "test drive" a game and have nearly immediate enjoyment without the need of investing a large amount of time.
     
    Since success of this style of "starter" requires a set of minimalist rules, it would need Hero to be open to reviewing a quick-start ruleset and OK its use.  Otherwise you are back to the same point of requiring potential players to buy the full rules at the start in order to use the adventure.
     
    The best way would be to have four sets of quick-start rules.  Supers, Fantasy, Modern and Scfi that are no more than 5 pages long in total with the differences being not in content, but flavor.  Bow instead of Rifle instead of Blaster and so on.  They would be inserted into the intro games along with pregens.  I would have sidebars that tie each item to the page in the full rulebook.  For 5th ed the core Rulebook and Sidekick.  For 6th ed it would be 6th Ed Vol 1&2, Basic Rulebook, Champions Complete or Fantasy Hero Complete.   The idea being, we gave you a taste here is the meal. 
     
    The important thing is that the quick-start have just enough pertinent information to play a pre-build session, but not enough to build a complete game from scratch.  The document Hero In Two Pages is already a solid core for quick-start rules, only needing a few particulars aimed at specific genres. 
     
    Something to ponder. 
     
  5. Like
    Scott Ruggels got a reaction from pinecone in Puffin Forest’s In Depth Review of Pathfinder 2e   
    Makes my a little nostalgic for FGU titles like  Chivalry and Sorcery, or Bushido. I think Living Steel was similarly complex, but not as well designed as P2. Thankfully, it does not seem to have a narrative economy system. 
     
    Puffin’s summation on character creation, and his ambivalence on the subject because of how long it takes, and character ownership in general, was fascinating, in that he is so different than I am, and that I believe he would be a poor fit for Hero. 
     
    which leads my to my thoughts of trying to recruit new players from D&D 5e is a bad idea. We should probably recruit from PF2 players. 😁
     
    but is also leads some strength to the idea that and FLGS introduction to Hero, should have pregens only, and avoid character generation entirely. Make things easy for the players and the shop referee to just put out the mat, tokens, dice and play. 
     
     
  6. Haha
    Scott Ruggels reacted to Ragitsu in Puffin Forest’s In Depth Review of Pathfinder 2e   
    Never before have I encountered a system that is quite as simultaneously simple and complex as Pathfinder 2nd Edition. I prefer a Chime of Opening that just...opens locks. End of story. PF 2e makes damn near every magical item so very granular and overly mechanical in how it interacts with the world.
     
    Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition ->
     
     
     
    Pathfinder 2nd Edition ->
     
     
    I don't hate granularity (you're talking to someone that enjoys GURPS and HERO), but I do expect my Dungeons & Dragons or D&D-flavored games to be on the chunky side.
  7. Thanks
    Scott Ruggels got a reaction from Duke Bushido in Puffin Forest’s In Depth Review of Pathfinder 2e   
    Puffin Forest has posted and extensive review of the Second Edition of Paizo’s Pathfinder rules. In terms of crunch. It is a step away from the simplicity of D&D 5e, and that may have been a problem for him and his two game groups. I. Was mentally comparing his analysis to how gaming used to be,  to how it is now. See what you think of this 
     
  8. Like
    Scott Ruggels reacted to Shoug in Hero Designer   
    I know people here might be desensitized to this specific recommendation, but My Hero Academia is, IMHO, the finest superhero genre fiction in all the Lords' Realms. All Might is the best, most regal, most literally awesome "Superman" archetype ever manifested.
  9. Like
    Scott Ruggels got a reaction from Chris Goodwin in Hero Designer   
    Marketing wise, being "Generic" is about as attractive as the store brand Macaroni & Cheese.  Rather than Generic is has to be specific, and maybe  even a bit trendy, hence Manga. Another YouTuber explained that  going after a niche market, while still servicing your core market is a winning strategy. We aren't trying to toss the old fans and bring in new ones. We are trying to attract new players to the existing group. I suppose you could do a VERY abbreviated Turakian Age, centered in one geographic area, if there is a desire/requirement to use existing IP. Or any of the other ones, BUT the game must have pre-gens. simple explanations and no legalism in the base rules. Show slim stat bars in the books and extended , point costed stat bars in the Appendix.
  10. Thanks
    Scott Ruggels got a reaction from Duke Bushido in Hero Designer   
    The more I think about it, the more it seems, a manga sort of game, with pre-gens, no character creation, with an enclosed, but somewhat open ended adventure in three or four parts that covers an arc within a Manga might work. The goal is getting new players comfortable with the system. without overwhelming them with character generation. Because the system in combat is pretty elegant.
     
    Introduce character creation by having an index of how characters and powers are created. But keep it separate from the main book ( different, smaller type face for the index). The people who are motivated will seek out more materials and will want their own game backgrounds to build, but the rest, will be players comfortable with the system and stat bars, so they can pick up a pre-gen or GM-gen and sit down and play. For all the talk of how flexible the character generation is, the fact that 6e Hero comes in two volumes and looks like a tax law text book is not attractive to new young players. 5e D&D does not require a separate program like Hero Designer to create a character. 

    Apparently, you just need the PHB, and an animated character to berate you, to create a Character. 
  11. Thanks
    Scott Ruggels reacted to Spence in Hero Designer   
    An understatement if I ever heard one about US Comics.  It has been years since they have published any worth reading.  I check every so often to see if they may be making a return, but they just get worse. 
     
    I do actually read more manga these days as well as lite novels.  RPGLit as well. 
    Some are better superhero stories than anything current in comics, and there are several Fantasy ones that would be great in a RPG using Hero.
  12. Like
    Scott Ruggels got a reaction from Chris Goodwin in Hero Designer   
    This is exactly the situation. We aren't getting new players. If you judged by this forum alone the audience for Hero is the same Audience that was around in 199, minus deaths and gafiation.  Fortunately, this is not entirely true, but the growth is limited. The Discord Server seems to be attracting new players, but their question seem to be of the same sort of questions that most new players are asking, or they are asking how to make (Popular D 20 Based system's) flavor into Hero.  Sure it can be done, and that miiiiiight be a way to bring in new blood, but I am not so sure.  But since newer players are just now discovering virtual table tops like Roll 20, Fantasy Grounds and TTS,  because of the current plague, something simpler, and "complete" needs to be prapared, and available as a PDF or SRD for the online players.  No telling when we can get back to face to face.

     
    This is a shame.  But the reasons are completely understandable.  However, Hero if they do want to attract more new players to the systems and products, they might consider offering a prize, or a contract to people submitting such products directly to them.  Leave Villain and monster supplements to Hall of Champions, but a complete background with NPCs Monsters, Spells and equipment, and a nice explanation of how combat works, ala The Fantasy Hero Primer, could be made into a slim, attractive product, and then Hero could see through sales, what is attractive and serve their market accordingly.  Grow the business back  slowly, through metered support to the various games, or release a new one if there is no interest. The books should be thought of in the size and page count of Champions I. Complete, but flexible, and cover original background material, or a low page count distillation of one of our illustrious GM's Homebrew campaign (not Champions*). givi9ng a discussion of how to GM it, and what players need to know. Low page count, Nice but not expensive printing, and some nice art, that is relevant to the text, and not Public Domain art that is vaguely r3elated to the subject. 
     
    *If it is Champions related it needs to be a set up for new heroes, and have something related.  The problem with Champions is the Current slate of American Comic Books is unattractive, badly written, and that whole industry may go away.  Manga might be more of a positive example, and would attract the current fan audience, however acquiring rights and permissions would be a bureaucratic mess, what with the language and legal barriers, but it would not be insurmountable.  In fact, you may want to skip any sort of character creation within that Manga Based product, and just provide them the characters from the story. I think the licenses would be a little cheaper than anything American. 
  13. Like
    Scott Ruggels got a reaction from Spence in Hero Designer   
    This is exactly the situation. We aren't getting new players. If you judged by this forum alone the audience for Hero is the same Audience that was around in 199, minus deaths and gafiation.  Fortunately, this is not entirely true, but the growth is limited. The Discord Server seems to be attracting new players, but their question seem to be of the same sort of questions that most new players are asking, or they are asking how to make (Popular D 20 Based system's) flavor into Hero.  Sure it can be done, and that miiiiiight be a way to bring in new blood, but I am not so sure.  But since newer players are just now discovering virtual table tops like Roll 20, Fantasy Grounds and TTS,  because of the current plague, something simpler, and "complete" needs to be prapared, and available as a PDF or SRD for the online players.  No telling when we can get back to face to face.

     
    This is a shame.  But the reasons are completely understandable.  However, Hero if they do want to attract more new players to the systems and products, they might consider offering a prize, or a contract to people submitting such products directly to them.  Leave Villain and monster supplements to Hall of Champions, but a complete background with NPCs Monsters, Spells and equipment, and a nice explanation of how combat works, ala The Fantasy Hero Primer, could be made into a slim, attractive product, and then Hero could see through sales, what is attractive and serve their market accordingly.  Grow the business back  slowly, through metered support to the various games, or release a new one if there is no interest. The books should be thought of in the size and page count of Champions I. Complete, but flexible, and cover original background material, or a low page count distillation of one of our illustrious GM's Homebrew campaign (not Champions*). givi9ng a discussion of how to GM it, and what players need to know. Low page count, Nice but not expensive printing, and some nice art, that is relevant to the text, and not Public Domain art that is vaguely r3elated to the subject. 
     
    *If it is Champions related it needs to be a set up for new heroes, and have something related.  The problem with Champions is the Current slate of American Comic Books is unattractive, badly written, and that whole industry may go away.  Manga might be more of a positive example, and would attract the current fan audience, however acquiring rights and permissions would be a bureaucratic mess, what with the language and legal barriers, but it would not be insurmountable.  In fact, you may want to skip any sort of character creation within that Manga Based product, and just provide them the characters from the story. I think the licenses would be a little cheaper than anything American. 
  14. Like
    Scott Ruggels reacted to Shoug in Hero Designer   
    This is a fair assessment. I mean, I kinda like the way 6e supplemental material is structured from a spiritual standpoint, with categorized resources that remain relatively genre neutral. I think they fit the paradigm of the game well, "Here's a book that covers *all kinds of creatures* that your GM may want to use, here's one that covers all martial arts." 
     
    But I think you're completely right. I think Hero is a game that depends on it's players to be confident gamers with solid experience and deep gaming wisdom. The GM has to hold all these complications that can have variable "frequencies" in his mind, and there's all kinds of Pandora's Box mechanics in the game that need to be used with caution and wisdom or they can get incredibly weird. Even Speed, one of the fundamental cool parts of the game, can't be used correctly without having a strong understanding of how disparities therein actually *feel.*
     
    I absolutely agree that, *if* relevance with a newer audience is a concern, simplification and content supplements are not the answer. *Stand alone games Powered by The Hero System* are the answer. If you already Grokk Hero System, these games will be transparent, narrowly focused genre supplements. But to the larval acolyte, these games must be opaque, shielding them from the vertigo of peering into the abyssal well of dark power that is the whole, unbridled Hero System. The core 6e volumes should be referenced only within the introductory or conclusory texts of the game book as "The toolkit that will unlock omnipotent homebrewing capabilities," never as a required or even an optional reference manual for actually playing the game. It should stand on it's own two legs, and prove the fun that is possible with the Hero System as a "Game" and not a "System."
     
     
  15. Like
    Scott Ruggels got a reaction from Shoug in Hero Designer   
    If you aren't going to Homebrew everything. The everyone else neds to step up and  make "powered by Hero" types of books. And to "work" properly they need to be put together in an organized fashion for GMs, similar to how 5e D&D does it.  I am an artist, not a writer, much, so I'll have to leave that to others.  But I do believe in this modern age, there needs to be a bit more handholding.
  16. Haha
    Scott Ruggels reacted to archer in Teen Champions Supervillains   
    Time-travelling teens arrive from the future to invite the group to join the League of Super-Dudes. 
     
    Being a member of the LSD includes perks such as getting a flight ring, living in the future, and having lots of groupies. 
     
    The group takes the medicine to protect their bodies from the ravages of time, enter the time bubble, and they're off to the future.
     
    After an indeterminate amount of time adventuring in the future, the group discovers that they really just been high on a hallucinogenic drug for a very long time.
     
    Your call on whether their adventures with the LSD have all taken place completely in their minds or if they've gallivanted all over the city while fighting "future-villains". 
  17. Thanks
    Scott Ruggels reacted to Spence in Champions Begins!   
    I hear that. 
    I started with 1st, played through to 6th.  From 1st to 5th the changes felt more like small adjustments rather than something actually changed.  5th to 6th was jarring and just felt off.  I could never get comfortable with 6th and play.  So it is back to 5th for me.
  18. Haha
    Scott Ruggels reacted to archer in Increased Range?   
    You can offset that penalty to a certain extent by using area of effect attacks and targeting the ground near what you want to hit. That's tough on the background environment and on bystanders but you have to break a few eggs to make an oubliette. 
     
     
  19. Like
    Scott Ruggels got a reaction from Spence in Hero Designer   
    If you aren't going to Homebrew everything. The everyone else neds to step up and  make "powered by Hero" types of books. And to "work" properly they need to be put together in an organized fashion for GMs, similar to how 5e D&D does it.  I am an artist, not a writer, much, so I'll have to leave that to others.  But I do believe in this modern age, there needs to be a bit more handholding.
  20. Like
    Scott Ruggels got a reaction from Chris Goodwin in Hero Designer   
    If you aren't going to Homebrew everything. The everyone else neds to step up and  make "powered by Hero" types of books. And to "work" properly they need to be put together in an organized fashion for GMs, similar to how 5e D&D does it.  I am an artist, not a writer, much, so I'll have to leave that to others.  But I do believe in this modern age, there needs to be a bit more handholding.
  21. Thanks
  22. Like
    Scott Ruggels reacted to death tribble in What Have You Watched Recently?   
    The Man Who Could Cheat Death
    This is a Hammer Horror with Anton Differing as an artist who has lived for over 100 years but needs a surgery every ten years to get a new gland to continue living. He goes up against Christopher Lee's doctor. Interesting.
     
    Macbeth
    This is the Michael Fassbinder version with Marion Cottilard as Lady Macbeth. It is eerie and mayhaps underplayed.n Worth a look at the very least.
     
    Escape from Zahrain
    Yul Brynner is an Arab leader sentenced to death who escapes in an ambulance and makes for the border. Again worth a look.
     
    War for the Planet of the Apes
    I have also got Dawn recorded but watched this first. The CGI is impressive in converting human actors into apes. And it links into the original films very nicely.
     
    Logan Lucky
    Two brothers decide to rob a race track but end up robbing it on one of the biggest race days of the year. Has Daniel Craig and Adam Driver do American accents. It is small scale but comedic and touching.
     
    The Dancing Years
    This is based on a musical that ran in the Second World War but looked at Austria pre and post World War 1. It did not follow the full script of the musical. It follows the fortunes of a composer and a musical star who becomes his muse until a misunderstanding blights their lices.
  23. Haha
    Scott Ruggels reacted to archer in What Have You Watched Recently?   
    Don't you mean "how bipolar Captain Janeway is"?
  24. Like
    Scott Ruggels got a reaction from Black Ops in Reboot the CU Uuniverse, WWYD?   
    I'd probably say that  previous History has occurred. continue forward. Milenium City was founded 20 years ago in the ruins of Detroit. Dr. Destroyer ist todt, so stop talking about him 😁.  I'd n up and convert as many of the villains (and Allies) as is possible, add some new ones. i'd rather not see CU history put through "The New 52". or some other current year bull.
  25. Like
    Scott Ruggels reacted to Lord Liaden in Reboot the CU Uuniverse, WWYD?   
    Our long-missing forum colleague, Lord Mhoram, posted here years ago that he pitted Doctor Destroyer as written in Conquerors, Killers, And Crooks not long after it came out, against his team of veteran Justice League-level PCs, and that they killed him -- killed him -- in two Turns of combat.
     
    There are Champions campaigns at a level where such opponents are appropriate. I've played in and run some myself.
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