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Everything posted by PhilFleischmann

  1. I never expected that defending the Hero System on the Hero System Forums would be so controversial.
  2. Well, you could try reading the posts. I promise it won't take "a year of solid study". There's a simple solution to that: Stop deliberately trying to be obtuse. Brian's exact words were: "..who is going to invest a year of solid study to get the system mastery that it would take to even begin to design a game that others may want to play?" Do you really think it takes a year of solid study to gain sufficient mastery of the Hero System to begin to design a game that others may want to play? Yes or no? What exactly do you think is the difference between "learning the system enough to begin playing/GMing/designing" and "mastering the system enough to begin playing/GMing/designing'? Does either of these take a year of solid study? So, for better or worse, I said, "It does not take a year of solid study to learn the system." You may think this was an inaccurate paraphrase of Brian's statement, but regardless, Hugh responded to my statement, "I disagree." What exactly is so difficult to understand about that? Well, now you can do it again. I was going to respond individually to each of your insults in your post, but that would seem to be a waste of my time. Your post seems to indicate that you either didn't read my posts, or didn't understand them. When I said: You seem to have read that as "All of you are lazy whiners, and I'm not." And when I said: and: You seem to have read that as, well, I don't even know. You changed "Myself included" to "Myself excluded"; and "...opposite of lazy and whining" to "...lazy and whining"; but you insult me for changing "mastery" to "learning".
  3. Yes, that's exactly my point. What game system do you propose that is better than Hero? What are your arguments and sales pitches as to why it's better than Hero? I have, in fact, eagerly invested time and effort into other systems - by no means all of them. And no, I am not qualified to say it was worth it, because I don't believe it was worth it. I *do* believe it is worth it for Hero. In case it wasn't clear: I believe that the Hero System is indeed better than the D&D/d20 system, and as I understand it, so does everyone here. We've discussed the reasons why on many different threads on this very website. I also believe Hero is better than GURPS. Anyone remember Villains & Vigilantes? Well, I think Hero is better than V&V, too. There are some other RPG systems I am familiar with, and I think Hero is better than any of them. If you know of one that is better than Hero, I'd like to know about it, and what makes it better. And BTW, even without GMing a game, or even playing extensively, in a particular system, you can still learn what the system is about and how it works. And you can see if it seems to be what you like or what you want. What I want is the freedom that Hero gives me that other systems don't. I'd say it's far more than enough. A high school student spends about that much time learning trigonometry - about five hours a week in a classroom, and the rest studying/doing homework outside of the classroom. And it's only for nine months. And trigonometry is far more difficult than the Hero System. And in case it wasn't clear: Learning the system does not require memorizing the 6e tomes, nor even reading every word in the 6e tomes. You learn how Characteristics work and are purchased, you learn how Skills work and are purchased, you learn how Powers work and are purchased, et al., and you learn how the combat system works. You don't need everything in the tomes to "begin to design a game that others may want to play." I would assume most new players who started with 5e or 6e learned from friends who were already playing, either from that edition or an earlier one. These are not solitaire games we're talking about. You don't have to be locked in solitary confinement with the tomes to learn the system. The most important resource in playing (and learning) RPGs is other people. This makes it much easier to learn, so that it never takes "a year of solid study". There's a huge difference between the GM setting limits and the system setting limits. Yes, the players have to conform to the GM's setting and genre and rules being used, or else find a different GM. If the GM decides, "There are no elves in this world," then you can't be an elf. But the GM has total freedom to make that call, or any other he wants. Agreed. That's all perfectly fine.
  4. So you think it *does* take a year of study to learn the Hero System? Granted the 6e books take longer to read than the 1e book. But you don't have to read it cover to cover to start playing, or even to start GMing. And also granted, if you devote one hour of study every other week, due to the schedule of your life, then it might take you a year to learn the system, but that's not a year of study, that's 26 hours of study. And granted again, that the 6e books (or 5e, or even 4e) might not be organized in the most efficient way to get people to quickly acquire enough mastery of the system to begin playing/GMing - but that's not the fault of the system, but the way it's presented. And whether you or your group plays like everyone else is not really relevant. That's certainly possible. I appreciate the opportunity to clarify: When I say, "many players and potential players are lazy whiners," I do not mean, "DOJ's marketing strategy should be to call their potential customers lazy whiners." When I say, "laziness and whining are part of human nature," I do not mean, "The easiest approach is to change human nature." When I say, "Some people have to be dragged, kicking and screaming to try anything new," I do not mean, "We have to force people to play Hero." When I say, "selling people on the idea that the work they'll have to do is indeed worth it," I do not mean "Make them do the work, and then convince them that it was worth it." When I say, "All that being said, I sadly have no idea how to overcome this problem. But it might help to at least acknowledge it." I mean "I don't know how to overcome gamers' natural resistance to a new system and the work required to learn it. I don't know how to overcome their laziness, or to get past their whining. But we need to understand the nature of the problem." If you've ever worked in a job where you deal directly with customers, you've probably had "difficult" customers occasionally. The way to deal with them is not by telling them they're "difficult customers". This thread is not intended as an advertisement for Hero. What I, or anyone else, says here is not intended as a sales pitch. I strongly believe in the Hero System's superiority over all other RPG systems I know about*. It seems to me that the aspects of Hero that I found to be better than other systems, would also be appreciated by other gamers. I think there is a market out there for game systems that don't spoon-feed you a limited menu of "classes" and other specific options to choose from. There are gamers out there who, like me, want a system that allows for complete freedom in character design, character advancement, genre, world design, powers/magic design, etc. It may be that this market is smaller than the market of gamers who prefer to be spoon-fed. But markets can be changed by effective marketing. *(Granted, I don't know about all of them. In fact, my knowledge of many other systems may be very limited, because, having found Hero, I haven't actively looked for other systems to play.)
  5. I made no ad hominem attack. I did not attack you. I attacked the thing you said. Your exact words were: "...who is going to invest a year of solid study to get the system mastery that it would take to even begin to design a game that others may want to play?" "System Mastery" is not the same as "the system mastery to begin to design a game that others may want to play". If someone wants to invest a year of solid study into the system before they begin to design a game, let alone play, they certainly can. But I doubt anyone has ever done this. As I said before, it took my group no more than a week or two of "study" to begin playing - including character creation. And it didn't take much longer than that for any of us to begin GMing. Yes, GMing takes more learning than playing. And designing a setting/genre/story arc takes longer than that. But you really don't need "a year of solid study" to start actually GMing the game in your own game/world. You learn and gain mastery by playing, by jumping in with both feet and doing it. I may be a bit overly sensitive to this kind of thing. I occasionally encounter people whining that it's too hard to learn to play simple card games like 6 Nimmt, or simple board games like Tsuro.
  6. I think a good rule of thumb is that the darkness field remains attached to whatever you put it on, so long as the thing is larger than the darkness field. If the Darkness field is larger than the whole ship, then it doesn't move with the ship, but stays in one area of the sea. Just like if you cause Darkness in one area of the surface of a planet, it moves along with the planet's rotation and revolution.
  7. Which is why I suggested making an 80-page Champions book for 6th edition. No, you're not. You've already put in the work to learn the Hero System, and you come here and discuss it and contribute to it. That's the opposite of lazy and whining. That's not really a rephrasing at all. The first part rephrases my first part - Can we do something to make learning and preparing a game less work? But my second part was about selling people on the idea that the work they'll have to do is indeed worth it. And no one has said otherwise. Well, maybe it's just that I'm an outlier. I LOVE the toolkit! And I LOVE building a game! I assume no such thing. I have no idea how you got that from what I wrote. I think I said something close to the exact opposite. Well, I'm sorry. But it really does not take a year of study to learn the Hero System. IMO, such a claim goes beyond the realm of mere exaggeration,into the realm of a lie.
  8. So do the players of all the other games that are selling well have more hours in the day than Hero players? Nothing I said is an attack on anyone here. We've al already done the work to learn the Hero system - which by the way, you only really need to learn once - you don't have to re-learn the system every time you play. Once you've learned it, you can play it for the rest of your life. I don't know why anything I said is particularly controversial. Perhaps I misunderstood the purpose of this thread. I thought we were talking about marketing, and increasing the market share among RPGers for the Hero System. We're talking about various ideas that DOJ could implement to gain more players. Was I wrong? Is that not what we're talking about? Well, assuming that is the idea here, there are many different questions we might want to answer: Why do people play other game systems and not Hero? Why are other game systems selling better than Hero? Are people put off by Hero's toolkit approach? Do people want to be "spoon fed" a game? Are people reluctant to learn a new game, even when it's better than their current game? And if so, why? Do people not enjoy building their own games, game settings, characters, enemies, and adventures? Do people prefer to have all these things built for them? Laziness and whining are huge parts of the human condition. (Myself included.) At any given moment, there are probably at least a hundred times as many people watching TV as playing a game - any game. And probably at least a thousand times as many people watching TV as playing an RPG - any RPG. Why? Because watching TV takes no work or thought or learning or preparation time. I'm just trying to identify what we're up against. None of this is intended as an insult to anyone.
  9. Nope. I didn't mean that at all. A lot of gamers who play D&D and Pathfinder and all the other games that are selling well also have jobs and mortgages and parents and kids. Likewise with everyone else that takes the time for any other hobby, golfing, fishing, music-playing, woodworking. People find time for their hobbies, regardless of all the other stuff they have to do,. EDIT: Don't take it personally. I'm not talking about anyone here. We here have all put in the work to learn the Hero system. We have all taken the plunge and tried something new, whether we came from some other system that spoon-fed us, or if we had never played an RPG before. And presumably, we are all glad that we made this decision and put in this work.
  10. I know it's in FH 5th as well, but IDHMBIFOM. And I'm sure it must be in 6th as well, but I don't own that book. Yes, there are many credible reasons to believe that historically, the flail is not a very good weapon. But if you're a peasant farmer, and you have this tool for threshing grain, and you suddenly need to defend yourself, it works better than bare hands. And if you think you might need to defend yourself in the near future, then your threshing flail can be easily modified to make it more effective as a weapon. As a farmer, you know how to construct a flail, but not a sword. However, as inferior a weapon the flail may have been to a sword, it adds some variety to the "cinematic realism" of a fantasy game. Just about every medieval weapon was inferior to the sword, but for a game, it might seem a little boring if every character wields a sword and never uses any other HtH weapon. A flail was a tool for threshing grain. An axe was a tool for chopping wood. A spear was a tool for hunting. A pick was a tool for mining. A hammer was a tool for hammering. Most polearms were just household tools attached to the end of a long stick. A sword was specifically made to be a combat weapon.
  11. I think a lot of the problem is whining and laziness - on the part of gamers and potential gamers. As reflected in some of the posts above. "I don't want to have to spend a year studying the system in order to begin playing." Back in pre-4th days, when my regular D&D group decided to try Champions (and we never went back), it took us at most a week or two to learn the system, create our characters, and set up a "module" to begin playing. Don't give me this "year of study" crap. "I don't want to have to get a Ph.D. in Hero to play." It's not brain surgery, folks. You learned to drive a car, you learned to do your job, you've probably learned to do a lot of things that were never going to lead to anything fun. If you put the effort in, you'll find that your brain is not full - there's still plenty of room in there. And you can have a lot of fun. I've encountered this attitude with other games - even board games that are at least an order of magnitude simpler than any RPG. And I've seen the same attitude with respect to things that have nothing to do with games at all. Some people have to be dragged, kicking and screaming to try anything new. All that being said, I sadly have no idea how to overcome this problem. But it might help to at least acknowledge it. All new things, no matter how good they are, need to be gotten used to. And some of them need to be learned, and maybe even a little bit of work might be required. Everything worthwhile in life requires some work. Do we try to reduce the amount of work required, or do we sell the idea of the work being worth it?
  12. How 'bout something like the 1st, 2nd, 3rd edition Champions box? One thin rulebook, one thin booklet of an adventure or two, maybe one thin booklet of additional enemies and NPCs and plot seeds, and maybe some blank character sheets, maybe a (two-sided) location map, with a street corner scene in Campaign City on one side, and a large park in Campaign City on the other side. Include everything that was in the 1st Edition, except for the parts that no longer exist in 6e (such as Elemental Control), change whatever point costs and rules need to be changed to conform to 6e (such as no longer having figured characteristics), and include whatever newer game elements are most likely to be needed and there is room to fit. Include a few sample PCs, showing how they are built. Include a few sample enemies, and a run through of a sample combat. The setting is based on the real,modern-day world, with superheroes added. That's all you need to start playing. Leave out Background Skills and Perks (unless there's room for them). Leave out the more complicated powers like Duplication and Multiform. Leave out VPPs. Leave out any complicated Advantages and Limitations. Include a line somewhere that if they want to build more complicated characters with more options and other kinds of powers, buy the two-volume 6e rulebook.
  13. It comes from the quote of yours that I quoted. The Flail Maneuver, as described in the rules, takes a -1 OCV in exchange for ignoring the opponent's shield. If you're always doing the Flail Maneuver when you use a flail, as you propose, then if your opponent isn't using a shield, you suffer the -1 OCV penalty for no benefit. You use the flail in a different fashion if the opponent is using a shield from the fashion you would use if he isn't using a shield.
  14. I wouldn't know. Just like I wouldn't know how a Martial Strike with a sword looks different from a regular Strike with a sword.
  15. Which means you get a -1 to OCV if the target isn't using a shield. If you're using a two-sided weapon, like an axe-hammer (featured in a recent movie I think we've all seen), you can choose whether to hit with the axe side or the hammer side. Likewise, if you're using a flail, you can choose to do a regular strike, or you can choose to use the flail maneuver. It's most beneficial to use the flail maneuver only when the target is using a shield. And if it's only a small shield (one that provides only +1 DCV), then it doesn't matter which you use. Just like any other weapon - you choose what maneuver you want to do with it. Strike, Block, Disarm, etc. In this particular case, Ninja-Bear is proposing a Martial version of the Flail Maneuver, just like there are Martial versions of Strike, Block, Disarm, etc.
  16. This was something I was also going to suggest. You beat me to it. It might be worth emphasizing even more: that there aren't whole sets of separate rules for fire-powers and for lightning-powers, and for ice-powers. And it was a complete game. With just that one thin book, you could play. And people did. I did. Why not do that again? I know this overlaps with the other thread, but why not make a Champions booklet, the size of of one of the 1-3 edition booklets? All we'd have to do is update the rules to be 6e compatible - so no figured characteristics, and the prices of things change in places. But you don't have to include all the complicated powers and other options that didn't exist in 3rd edition. So (IIRC), no Duplication, no Multiform, maybe don't bother with Background Skills, or Perks. And maybe with the stuff that can be left out (Elemental Controls), there might even be room to add in some of the "newer" stuff.
  17. In my experience, this is what players often do when presented with a person or place name that's too long or too hard to pronounce. And readers of fiction do this too, in their minds when reading. There's a character named "Frolistheckdilowpiriasnemquod", and because you just want to continue reading the book and get on with the story - and not ruin your immersion - you just move on. You vaguely remember the sequence of letters for when the character makes his next appearance, but in your mind, he's just "F-man" or "Fred". And even within the work of fiction itself, other characters may call him by shorter, easier names, like "Froli". Long names are no problem at all, as long as you understand the language they're in. This is why I often like to use real words or phrases for names - because that is indeed where real names come from. I have characters in various games named Cobweb, Winecork, Sun and Mars, Moonstaff, et al. And I have place names in my fantasy world called Bear Head Keep, Pepperrose, Middlemarch, Lion's Port, Madman's Watch, et al. Ask your doctor if Whandurashaneshir is right for you.
  18. YES!!!! OMG! One of the most annoying things you see in *some* fantasy sources - and almost always RPGs, rather than novels or movies. (My Rep Wand is out of charges for the day.) Yes, I know elves have very long lifespans so they have plenty of time to learn and say each other's names, rather than getting anything useful done. Maybe elves have an inclination to procrastination even more than humans. They say each others' full names when they're avoiding doing work. But it still doesn't make much sense, since they still have to interact with the real world in real time. An animal you're hunting won't run slower to accommodate your slower action. The sun is going to set at the same time, regardless of how much work you got done today. etc. Two things: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yYMRjnM6j6w Are you familiar with the "Bulwer-Lytton" contest? "It was a dark and stormy night." If not, go look it up now, I'll wait. Back? Good. On another website, they held their own version of the Bulwer-Lytton contest, but specifically for fantasy and similar genres. This is my entry, which won the contest: The night was as black as the scales on a rock dragon of the mountains of Thrûng’gahhrnix, but not one of the albino ones, born with an eerie lack of pigment and bizarre psionic powers, but one of the regular black ones, from the mountains, not the ones from further west, near the shores of the Zwěill’k’bołian Sea, which is still part of the kingdom of Thrûng’gahhrnix, but not the mountainous part, because the rock dragons there tend to be more of a dark gray, rather than true black; and of course, not one of the red ones either, because those come all the way from the haunted steppes of Bŗœđ’ĵæȥ-Ƙųźŵűƀ, five hundred leagues away, which look very different, even though the venerated sage, Gølåȶ of the Free City of Sęôţ’ǧäħ, says that they’re really the same species. No, it's not from Tolkien. Tolkien's names were excellent. Even the longer ones were pretty easy to pronounce. Although it's possible that this practice was started by someone who was trying to imitate Tolkien without really understanding Tolkien's methods. I'm not saying you need to invent six languages to come up with good fantasy names, like Tolkien did. But it wouldn't hurt to put a little thought into what the names mean in their own languages, After all, names mean something. Names are not just made out of random letters and phonemes - they start out as words, with meanings. I remember seeing a shallow attempt at this recently, but I don't remember where. It might have actually been in The Turakian Age (or maybe The Valdorian Age). A character with a name something like "Lifo-Mok", and the text explained that his name means "brave explorer of the northern sea and slayer of mighty serpents" or something like that. Really? So how do you say "brave explorer of the western sea and tamer of mighty serpents" in the same language? Ans speaking of The Turakian Age, does anyone pronounce "Thûn" any differently from "Thoon" or "Thune"? Diacritical marks are added to make your fantasy setting look more like an 80's heavy metal band.
  19. I would suggest rephrasing the "you get what you pay for" part to emphasize fairness. Something like, "While two different players buy two completely different power sets, they are balanced with each other, having spent equal points." Obviously, that's not the best way to phrase it either, but something along the lines of "two players build on equal points are equally powerful despite their vast differences in abilities." That second one is better. Maybe "even with" instead of "despite their". Maybe say, "No one ability or set of abilities dominates all the others." "A character can be very different from the usual archetypes, and still be competitive."
  20. Fair enough. Then the main concern is what zslane brings up: Are they indeed gradually learning the game system? If so, then I guess all is well. Maybe it's my own vestigial remnant of the D&D "box" that I still want my character to get better, more skilled, more powerful, over time. I want those experience points! And I want to spend them sooner or later, to gradually improve my abilities, or maybe to buy new ones. OTOH, I think that's also part of my desire to play a hero - something very much not in the D&D box. I want to be one of the good guys - not just to say it and be recognized for it, but to actually do as much good and heroic work in the fictitious world I'm playing in. And the more powerful I am, the more good I can do. I want to rid the world of evil and create my own line of hair care potions. I want to eventually defeat Kal-Turak/Doctor Destroyer/etc. And I can't do that as a starting-level character. I don't just want to be, as some here have put it, a "murder hobo".
  21. That sounds a lot like what I said before: They don't really want to play. I would say the same thing about any game, or indeed any hobby. If you're not willing to learn the rules and strategy of chess, then you don't really want to play chess. If you don't want to learn how to play golf, then you don't really want to play golf. If you don't want to learn to play piano, then you don't really want to play piano. There's no instantaneous, magical way to get the knowledge into your head without making the effort to learn it. Pick any hobby or any human activity. If you don't have sufficient motivation to go to medical school, then you don't have sufficient motivation to be a doctor. Anything in life worth doing is going to require work. Fortunately, learning the Hero System is much easier than medical school.
  22. I like it! (My Rep-stick is out of charges for the day.) +2 OCV for any circumstances would only cost 2 points. And based on the rules, a third +1 to OCV would probably normally cost another 2 points (as does the third +1 of DCV). So +3 would normally cost 4 points, but in this case, it only applies to the negation of a shield bonus, so it's worth less. In fact, it seems that 3 points might be a bit high. But then again, 2 points might be too low, so you're stuck with 3 points. Because of the (IMO, slightly high) 3-point cost of ignoring a shield, I might allow it to ignore an even higher DCV bonus - on those very rare occasions when a shield somehow provides more than a +3 DCV. Like maybe a giant, using a giant-sized shield. Or a group of soldiers fighting in formation so that they share each others' shield bonuses (at least partially), by forming a shield wall, gaining more than +3 each. But your breakdown looks really good to me. So you could design a whole flail-based martial art, with custom maneuvers, some of which are based on the standard flail maneuver. I've never really liked flails, but now I want to build a Flail-Fu Martial Art!
  23. I certainly did not intend to be dismissive of real-world time constraints - I have them, too. But it seems to me most people interested in role-playing games, who are actively involved in an RPG campaign would at least take the time to read *some* of the rules of the system they're playing in - even if only the specific parts relevant to their character. They don't have to buy the book - the GM can lend it to them. And likewise, I would assume that players interested in the game have some goals for their character. And they would get at least a little bit excited about gaining a few XP to spend, and put at least a little thought into what they might buy with them, or what they're saving up for. If they were interested in the previous game session, it seems to me that at some point they would think, "Boy, it sure would have been handy to have Skill X in that last adventure, maybe I should buy it with my new XP," or "My X Skill roll was not quite up to the challenge last time, maybe I should buy it up," or "This X-limitation on my power was annoying, maybe I should buy that off," etc. It seems to me that not being interested in XP is like not knowing to unwrap your Christmas present.
  24. IIRC, it also prevents you from doing Multiple Power Attacks with it. That is, you can't cast multiple spells at the same time.
  25. Fine. It wasn't obvious from your post. I could see it being fun if that was the kind of game the players wanted. And even if it wasn't what they wanted, I could still see it being fun for a session or two. It can "suck majorly" for a few reasons: * Repetition. * No role-playing, no character development * Humiliation - you are slaves for the gladiator arena, and you'll never be anything else. * No world to explore And probably others. But depending on the GM and the players, it may be that not all of these are problems. Some players (not me) might enjoy the tectical puzzle of "how do we defeat this particular enemy with this particular power set? (presumably different from the last enemy's power set)" And they might not care about role-playing or world-exploring. The kind of game Shoug mentioned above could be quite good, even though it starts with the same premise: You're gladiatorial slaves, but eventually (and presumably fairly soon), you're going to escape and be free, and explore the world or do whatever you want.
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