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About Shoug

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  1. I've been toying with an idea for a houserule I'm going to try to make death a little easier to avoid (just in case). Basically, after damage is dealt and it is lethal you may instantly heal 1d6 for every 10 points of complications you take. These complications augment your existing matching complications. You can have no more Injury Complilcations than would cost more than half of what your starting matching complications costed. If you left some matching complication points on the table during character creation, these can serve as a buffer for your max Injury Complications total (if you didn't buy 10 of your allotted matching complications, then you get 10 "Injury Save Points" for free, basically). I feel like this makes forgoing some complications at the start not as painful, which I appreciate as many players can become really stuck if they can't think of good complications to take but they don't want to leave points on the table. It also makes death a little bit less likely, but at a fairly major cost. Ways this could manifest include things like severed limbs, nerve damage, PTSD with a variety of symptoms, damage to a sense organ, etc. I think I'm gonna give it a shot.
  2. In the only other game I play, TFT, being able to appear to be a bird is called Glamor and it's an expensive, high level spell. Shapeshifting has never been an everyman ability in any game I've ever played, I don't know why it would be one in Hero.
  3. I don't think it's fair, if any noncombat abilities have costs at all, that one should just be free. The ability to shapeshift is not unlike a disguise or invisibility or mind control or blahblahblah, etc. Sure, you don't like the fact that noncombat abilities have costs. But the fact of the matter is that they do in fact have costs. And shapeshifting is a powerful noncombat ability and shouldn't be free. As an aside, I completely disagree that non-combat abilites are given too much credence. In fact, I'd say they're given too little weight. I wish that costs alone could balance combat characters against noncombat characters, such that if somebody in my group got a bug up their butt to utterly slay all evil and took only CV, Defenses, SPD, RKA, they wouldn't make all the psychics and climbers feel like dumb idiots all the time. The points should produce a result that makes everybody glad about their purchases, and giving away flexible noncombat abilites that easily emulate the effects of multiple existing powers to all the Martials is gonna make everybody who bought invisibility or clairsentience feel like a chump for spending all the points the did. "Wait, so your'e telling me I could have just chosen for my character concept to be a completely clear man? It's part of his SFX, his visual appearance is transparency!" /s
  4. I suppose I should consider the 6d6 a character does with his punch a reward for his creativity in using his fists on the enemy... /s I don't really consider, "Guys, we could easily sneak past/hide in plain sight if we were just birds instead of our normal characters. Later, we just turn back into our normal selves + all that useful information." so shrewd that any player deserves to be able to do it without paying for the ability to disguise himself as a bird somehow.
  5. This is my point exactly. There has to be some sort of point cost for what is essentially "Superpowered disguise." It can't just be... free.
  6. Don't get me wrong, I prefer the "It's all just SFX and Identities." way of doing things massively over multiform and shapeshift and whatnot. I'm just wondering what the point value of being able to fool others is. "Disguise" is a perfectly serviceable answer, but "You should be able to look like whatever you want whenever you want, it's all just SFX," is not. The reason somebody could always look closer at you and find out that you're really *not* a fly or a cyborg or whatever to me seems valid, because the idea is that you are only what you are. You aren't whatever you want whenever you want, you have to choose who you're playing as at the start. It can't cost nothing to be able to just... morph into something else such that nobody knows what you are anymore. Like, you can't just say, "I'm a shapeshifter." and then just buy any powers and stuff that you want, because you can always contrive a form that makes the power make sense. That's like... bypassing having a character concept. You're like, "Instead of having a character concept, I'm just gonna buy whatever mechanics I want, and then when I need to use them I will change my character into something that would have those mechanics, and nobody will know that I'm capable of anything else, because no matter how they look at me, I'll convincingly be whatever form I have chosen." The thing is, I would also be fine with that, if you took everything about those statements at face value. Say you wanted to shapeshift into a fly, so you take shrinking, and say "Only when in appropriate form." and then just become a fly. But I would make that player *roleplay* as a fly if he wanted people looking at him to only see a fly, thus trapping him in fly form for all eternity. And if he wanted to "become a fly, but retain his human consciousness," I would make onlookers see "A fly with human consciousness," at a glance and become wary and suspicious. *But*, I would also allow a kind of "Pretending" roll, something like "Acting" or "Disguise" or both, which allows the player to convince onlookers that his character is something that it is not. Then I would impose modifiers to the pretending rolls based on how well his character sheet at the time resembles the thing he is trying to look like. So, for example, if he turned into a fly but didn't shrink (or lose PD, STR, etc. whatever), I would make him take a modifier so extreme for trying to pretend to be a fly that I wouldn't even allow a crit success. What I'm trying to say is, I would say, "No." But if he pretended to be a fly and also made himself look like one, shrunk, and gained flight, I would make the pretending roll very easy, almost impossible to fail. I don't know, that's one way it could be done.
  7. What you have just described is a perfect example of chaos and order. You don't need to use DnD's silly worldbuilding and cumbersome, dated alignment system to include the themes of Chaos and Order and balance in your games. It's unlikely that you could avoid those themes in general, they're so fundamental to the human experience and story telling. Now, whether or not you explicitly talk about chaos and order during your games is a completely different matter. You absolutely don't have to do that, but if you do, there are a lot of awesome ways to do it that don't involve DnD's alignment. One could have a kind of "Chaos Luck" or "Order Luck" ability that pushes the situation into one of those directions. "Sow Chaos" could be used to start a riot that breaks up a police blockade, and "Sow Order" could be used to stop a tavern brawl. Alternatively, you could build Chaos and Order into the strata of your magic system, such that all fire magic is considered to be chaos magic and ice magic is considered to be order magic (and so on). Me and my friend used to roleplay mages called Ignar and Crynar who were brothers, each representing Chaos and Order, respectively. Ignar had access to chaos magic, which was primarily centered around fire, upset, and in general beginning chain reactions with wide spread consequences. Crynar had access to order magic, which was centered around ice, control, and in general cleaning up the messes Ignar would create. Ignar was a kleptomanic psychopath, and Crynar was an autistic control freak, and it was a lot of fun.
  8. This is also a funny coincidence with my setting. "Elf" is just the term for "Man Fae". "Fae" in the setting means "Is a Lens and is a living thing." They are usually animals but with distinctive "Fae" features. An Elf is just a man with distinctive Fae features (long wispy eyebrows, pointed ears, eyes with glowing pupils and no distinct iris/whites, fine/straight hair, etc.)
  9. In my setting, Dragons are basically the ultimate incarnation of a Demon. A Demon is a kind of spirit that infects mortals and perverts their nature. They're extremely common, and not conscious, intelligent actors either (they don't think or decide things, they are just... spirits, abstractly). If a person happens to become infected with a demon, they'll feel driven to indulge it. The thing is, by indulging a demon, it becomes possible to exercise their power. But the more of a demon's power a person exercises, the more they embody the demon. At the lowest level of embodiment, a person may take on normal physical features that somewhat make sense given the demon they're indulging. Indulging Gluttony would make you fat, Fear would make you gaunt maybe, Wrath would give you a viscous looking furrowed brow, Greed would give you... I don't know, a glint in your eye. Eventually a person crosses over and becomes a Ghoul or Fiend, and if they're powerful enough and can handle the demands the transformation makes on their body, and if they survive, they can become a Dragon. So Dragons couldn't give a rat's ass if you wear another Dragon's skin. They're way to evil for that.
  10. I wish the videos were longer. And I almost wish that they'd look at more than video evidence, because comic books can be quite detailed in their descriptions and explanations of a character's power. But I appreciate the distinction, it keeps the power levels down at a manageable level.
  11. Unfortunately, it's not easy to across the board boycott evil creeps. I mean, a lot of times their wage is payed with taxpayer dollars. Good on you for putting your foot down somewhere, though.
  12. This is funny. I get where you're coming from and, depending on the world we'd be talking about, I would tend to agree with you. But as it so happens, I have inadvertently build my own world in such a way that Elves are so varied that they cannot even be considered a race. "Elf" is a loose category of beings, virtually none of which are similar enough that you'd call them the same "denomination" of Elf. In my setting, an "Elf" is a Lensecrafter who has made himself into a Lens (a Lens is a kind metaphysical object related to the magic system (to massively simplify, they let you "see" magic, and therefore use it)). So Elves aren't born, they're made. And they're more like superheroes than mages, capable of powerful magic, but limited by what type of Lens they are (Lens of Fear, Light, Sky, Form, whatever). I could go on, but one must learn to reign it in when it comes to rambling about one's own fantasy setting on internet forums.
  13. I think many talents would be perfect for simulating integration with a computer system. Danger sense, combat sense, absolute range sense, absolute time sense, etc. These are *fantastic* candidates for being skinned as having 24/7 supercomputer integration. Personally, if it were my character, I would like the computer integration to be so seamless that I don't need the Follower mechanics. That would be cooler, to me.
  14. I think I need to see some more examples of building this thing as a follower being advantageous or significantly different then just making the computer an SFX. Like, what are some contexts where your character is doing one thing and the computer is doing another and you need them to be separate? He's been knocked out but the computer is still online, so he's just partially resistant to unconsciousness? What does he want to happen while he's asleep or knocked out? Hack something, acquire some kind information, communicate with teammates?
  15. I think of neutrality between these things as being the most optimal, "divine" state. In fact, I have toyed with a "Big Three" racial system where each race is biased towards a different aspect of chaos and order. Dwarves are cursed with an affinity for order, and so stay holed up in their halls, hold on to even their most ancient of traditions, and hoard treasure. Elves are cursed with an affinity for chaos, and so live by hunting and gathering in the woods, can never settle physically nor spiritually (these elves are obviously not like tolkein elves - instead they are modeled more like Wood Elves from TES). Humans are the most successful and prevalent race, because of their ability to find balance in chaos and order. They can settle down, but also reach out and explore. They hold onto old ideas, but can let them go when they get in the way of progress.
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