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Everything posted by Toadmaster

  1. Re: Musings on Random Musings That was something I found quite humerous when I visited the big island. It was like a giant game of the old lady who swallowed the fly. Rats came with ships, so they brought in mongooses (mongeese?), but they are out during the day and rats out at night. Someone brought in Cane Toads to eat insects in the sugar cane fields, but the toads are on the ground, and the pest insects at the top of the stalk... I felt kind of bad about the Nenes, very sweet birds, but dumb as a rock. Loved all the fruit though, had many dinners of fruit salad the three weeks I was there.
  2. Re: Looking For Input On Potential New Fantasy Product Just to keep beating that dead horse... When I say included game world this is all I'm really saying. A place with starting scenario or two that can easily be expanded for use as a base of operations for future scenarios and generic enough to drop right into the game world of your choice whether that is Forgotten Realms, Greyhawk or Glorantha.
  3. Re: Looking For Input On Potential New Fantasy Product I completely missed the possibility of a pdf for added stuff. Never mind then, put all the specific bits into a free pdf and use the space in the book for more important things. I just think it is important to include a way for people to buy the book and get right into playing. A free pdf is a great way to do that.
  4. Re: Looking For Input On Potential New Fantasy Product
  5. Re: Looking For Input On Potential New Fantasy Product I am completely in favor of the complete game option, requiring Champions Complete or any other Hero core book just puts things where they currently are. Lots of good posts to explain that sentiment so I'll leave it at that. Re: buying multiple sets of rules. We did this in the 80s with Danger International, Justice Inc, Fantasy Hero and of course Champions. Nobody really griped about it, the obvious is that was just how things were done then, but the other part is the books were not identical. There were perks, powers, skills and other ideas in the various books that while not critical for the specific genre were useful. If you wanted to run a pulpy golden age low powered supers game, there was actually a point to buying Justice Inc and Champions. Anyway my point there is make sure there is a reason someone might want to eventually by Champions Complete, for the supers specific stuff (maybe some powers get left out that might be useful for really high powered wizards, monsters). Obviously don't do it in a way that the average player will feel that FHC is not complete, but when snipping stuff out don't feel that the core rules of Champions and Fantasy must be essentially identical with only some changes in wording / naming. I agree it would be wise to include a specific game world, but wouldn't spend to much time on it. Chaosium has Magic World coming out soon. It is a basically generic high fantasy game, but they include a small piece of a game world in the rules, and have a book of adventures planned for the same world. So the rules are written to appeal to those with a world of their own in mind, but there is enough of a game world included to allow a group to jump right into a game without a lot of pre-work. I think this is a very good thing. This could easily be done, I'd opt for a high fantasy, low magic world myself (aka Middle Earth) as that would remove the need for a ton of spells which take up space. I'd include some spells of course as no magic fantasy doesn't seem to be as popular, but not go the D&D route with lists and lists of spells. I'd see spellcasters more as very wise people, with healing and token magical abilities, maybe along the power level of Runequests folk magic, but with a hint of more powerful potential. That should leave room for a few playable races (elves, dwarves, hobbits etc) and some bad guys (orcs, goblins, trolls, and maybe a bad wizard to show off the potential of magic). Leave the world building to a small piece of a bigger land, just a jumping off point. There are people who will want to convert it to their game world of choice, so I wouldn't get to bogged down in filling in details of a game world, just provide enough to let people jump right in and start playing. If sales of the book are good it is a simple enough thing to offer reeditied versions of the valdorian age, turakian age etc or completely new stuff books (beastiaries, gazeters etc).
  6. Re: Storm Of Lead - Your Thoughts? They obviously didn't try every weapon. As a general rule of thumb not bad, but there are plenty it wouldn't work for. The Soviet PPSh-41 has a rate of fire 900 rounds per minute (15 per second) but it came standard with a 71 round drum, so about 6 seconds of continuous fire. On the other side the German MP-40 had a 30 round magazine and a rate of fire of 500 rounds per minute (just a pinch over 9 rounds per second) so it takes a little over 3 seconds to empty the magazine. The US M3 "Greasegun" has a marginally slower rate of fire (450 rpm) than the MP-40 so it takes about 3 1/3 seconds to empty the magazine. The Thompson M1928 "tommy gun" made famous by the St Valentines Day massacre has a rate of fire of 600 rounds per minute, with a 50 round drum magazine so 5 seconds of firing time. Uzi, 600 rounds per minute, 30 round magazine so 3 seconds of firing time. So 6 iconic automatic weapons, looks like a sloppy job by mythbusters (I assume the jr members? They don't seem to take the same care as Adam and Jaime).
  7. Re: Storm Of Lead - Your Thoughts? At one time we allowed for semi-auto rapid fire, basically using the autofire rules, but with a -2 on the initial roll and up to up to 3 shots fired. I believe we swiped this from Danger International but upped it from 2 shots to 3 shots possible. For autofire we used the 3rd edition version (I think 4th dropped the bonuses, maybe we just extended the bonus beyond 10 rounds) of autofire that gave +1 for a 3 round burst, +2 for a 5 round burst, +4 for a 10 round burst, and +2 for each doubling beyond that (+6 for 20 round burst, +8 for 40 round burst etc). We based max burst on actual cyclic rate, so most conventional weapons were limited to a 10 round burst, a few could do 20. Greater than 20 was mostly gatling style weapons (mini-guns, Vulcan cannons etc). While this didn't have a huge effect on ammo expenditure of automatic weapons where 3 and 5 round bursts remained the most popular, it did greatly increase ammo use on semi-auto weapons. We may have allowed 2 short (less than max rate bursts) with a -2 (so no bonus on a 5 round, and a -1 on each 3 round), but I really don't remember anymore if we did that or just talked about allowing it.
  8. Re: Tell me about Fantasy Hero 1st edition (the self-contained one). double post
  9. Re: Tell me about Fantasy Hero 1st edition (the self-contained one). The original Fantasy HERO is actually based on the 3rd edition rules, as were the various other non-superhero games. The 1st and 2nd edition only include Champions rule sets. 3rd edition added a greatly increased skills list among other changes, largely to support the non-supers gaming.
  10. Re: Spinning Pulp Racism Into Something Productive Stereotypes are kind of an important feature of pulps. It generally features over the top characterizations of people. While stereotypes may rub some the wrong way, most can be comfortably handled by keeping the stereotypes even (good and bad). The evil Fu Manchu just isn't the same if he isn't kind of a bad example of Asian culture seen through the eyes of a Westerner. He could be well done as a sympathetic villian defending his race and culture from the depredations of the West, but probably wouldn't be nearly as pulpy. I see Pulp as similar to comics, the Golden Age (and Pulp) is about larger than life figures in shades of black & white. Silver and Iron age introduce more human aspects and growing shades of grey. The racism and sexism is a more difficult subject, that I think needs to be handled on a group by group situation. Some groups want a full in your face experience with slurs and blatant disrespect, others would like to gloss over it completely. My personal preference is subdued. Obvious enough that a prudent player group will send the white adventurers to talk with the white sherriff, but not in your face with slurs and such. This prvides a nice balance in my opinion, those with a mind to fight the racism can, but those who prefer to ignore it largely can as well. Raism isn't always a bad feature in a game or literature, it provides tension and room for development. I've always liked the way it was handled in the movie In the Heat of the Night. There was no happy see the light moment in the film, but by the end the sherriff was forced to recognize his own limitations in comparison to a clearly better man from a "lesser" race.
  11. Re: Future Guns: Projectile Obsolete? I think another reason for the preference of energy weapons in sci-fi movies / TV is the taint of guns. Lasers, blasters and such are largely fantasy, they go woo woo, and shoot perdy colorful light instead of going bang bang. The target tends to just fall down, or maybe just vanishes instead of getting holes in them and bleeding on stuff. I think it really comes down some people feeling that showing killing with laser guns is less violent that killing with guns that resemble those in the real world. GI Joe was a kids show, nobody could hit the broad side of the barn and they used lasers. The A team, nobody could hit the broad side of a barn either but they used real looking guns, the A team was considered too violent for children and had to be shown in the later family time reserved for adults and older children.
  12. Re: Future Guns: Projectile Obsolete? Duplicate
  13. Re: Future Guns: Projectile Obsolete? One of the things I liked with Traveller 2300 was their use of projectile weapons. In particular the use of binary propellents which gave them a very high tech feel while also being practical and not being too Space opera. Magazines held the projectiles and one of the gasses, the weapon held a cartridge with a second gas. When a bullet was chambered the two gasses combined in the chamber becoming an explosive just waiting for the ignition spark from the trigger. Binary propellent weapons have several advantages over our current tech, they are completely safe when stored (no flammable / explosive propellent) unless the projectile has a secondary effect, they are caseless (less weight, one less step for the gun since it doesn't have to eject a case, and no need for an opening to eject the case which is also an opening for dirt), the velocity can be adjusted easily by changing how much gas is injected and the ammo can be more easily controlled (only 1/2 the binary propellent is kept in the magazine, the other gas is kept in the gun / spare cylinders). The other common sci-fi projectile weapon is the gauss or rail gun (electro-magnetically propelled projectile). While neither of thise are currently practical as a small arm, they have been successfully demonstrated in larger size weapons (cannon), so they are very beleivable for a hard science sci-fi game set in the fairly near future (50-100 years+).
  14. Re: Spinning Pulp Racism Into Something Productive I kind of think Pulp is about stereotypes, it is about big colorful, over the top figures, both good and evil. Traditionally pulp heroes are stereotypes of American and English men, all you are suggesting is the casting department opens up auditions for the hero to everybody. My only concern would be making sure everybody in the game understands the concept, because even positive stereotypes can be offensive. Stereotypes by their nature assume everyone of a type is basically the same.
  15. Re: looking for non-Causasian pulp roles As many have already mentioned, the media of the time tends not to spend time on many non-whites. To make things even more difficult to track now though, it was very common for people of other races to pass themselves off as white if they had the looks to pull it off. Lists of people (and links to more info) who appeared on the covers of Time Magazine in the 1920s and 30s. Most are caucasions but not all are. If they made the cover they usually are rather interesting, maybe some real people might be of some help to create fictional ones. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_people_on_the_cover_of_Time_Magazine:_1920s http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_people_on_the_cover_of_Time_magazine_(1930s) In fact the popular image of the western cowboy came from Mexico. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vaquero
  16. Re: Using Hero System for Zombie Survival Horror For part 2 provide the PCs with immunity. Don't tell them of course, and I'd probably still have them get sick, just not dead (and undead). I'm guessing knowing most players they will take care of the situation in a colorful way, and not even make you bring up the immunity, but on the off chance they decide to babysit a PC until they turn, hey guess what not everybody turns into a zombie when bit (and potentially some guilt for those who they have not given that opportunity to). In reality very few diseases are 100%, no reason zombie virus should be different from smallpox or plague.
  17. Re: What Are You Listening To Right Now? Timbuk 3 Field Guide (basically a best of compilation, and unfortunately about the only CD currently available from them) Best known for The Futures so Bright I Gotta Wear Shades, but they did a lot more.
  18. Re: DEA and local police If the villains are expected to be armed period, SWAT will probably be involved. Federal agencies are generally involved when crime crosses state lines, so if the drugs are being imported or exported beyond the state, then you are very likely to have involvement from the DEA, probably the FBI and maybe US Customs. This could be as simple as an agent or two to help with jurisdictional boundry issues, and access to better crime labs and such, or a whole team of agents. The FBI has several "SWAT" teams available for major operations, I know Customs also has some well armed teams with blackhawk helicopters, and I'm pretty sure the DEA has some pretty serious firepower as well. If you are dealing with a port you could also have the US Coast Guard involved. When expecting serious firepower the national Guard can be mobilized by the Governor. It is quite common for the National Guard to be involved in drug raids in the wilderness (primarily marajuana gardens). Some states do have state versions of the DEA and FBI through their state police and / or task forces from multiple city agencies. I would not expect much from the CIA or NSA, as they are primarily outside the US agencies. While I'm sure they do operate in the US they try to keep a very low profile, passing the info off to the FBI. As far as numbers I would expect a minimum of 3-1 odds in favor of law enforcement if it was a planned operation, vs a "we have 30 minutes before the ship leaves port with the drugs" spur of the moment thing (which of course is always how it goes down in the movies). In real life law enforcement tries not to play fair, they will bring overwhelming force. The US Coast Guard has cutters armed with 3" guns, helicopters and fixed wing aircraft so just leaving port does not get the bad guys into the clear. If they manage to clear the 12 mile coastal waters they may get to deal with the US Navy (a running gun battle on the open sea with the USCG is a good way to have the Navy decide they might be dealing with terrorists).
  19. Re: Honorable gangsters? There is kind of a scale, with your kind of outside the law (most PI shows, White Collar), to criminals through technicality (The A-team), to moral criminals (Robin Hood, Dexter), all the way to criminals with little respect for life, but they still have their own code of a sense. Even Hannibal Lector and Tony Montana had lines you don't cross. I think you just need to decide how criminal you want the campaign to be and make sure the players are on the same page. Without player buy in, you may have something like the old D&D Chaotic evil games most of us have heard stories of.
  20. Re: What Have You Watched Recently? True Grit, the remake with Jeff Bridges. Never saw the original (not really a John Wayne fan) but this was a solid western. Jeff Bridges was great as a burnt out, but still effective US Marshall, but the girl who hires him to find her fathers killer stole the movie. Two Mules for Sister Sara, seen it many times and it never gets old. Iron Man 2, somehow had missed this one. Almost as good as the first, and I'm really liking how Black Widow is fitting into the movies.
  21. Re: Superman Averts World War II? Nope did not see that, going back and rereading I see that several posts in. Disagree that Poland was the most important event without future knowledge of events, but if he arrived in 1938 that dismisses most of the events I listed.
  22. Re: Superman Averts World War II? Starving millions of Ukranians and setting up gulags was legal in the USSR? I guess that would fall under the "as long as you are only killing / oppressing your own people" rule. Also I guess he would just ignore China? Japan began its invasion of China in 1931 (Mukden Incident) and really got rolling by 1937 (Rape of Nanking). How about Italy? Mussolini invaded Abyssinia / Ethiopia in 1935 and it was pretty well known that he was using poison gas against Ethiopian troops. He also invaded Albania 5 months before Germany invaded Poland. Then there was that whole unpleasantness in Spain 1936-39, but I guess that falls back onto that whole as long as you are only killing your own countrymen thing again (although not sure that applies to the German, Soviet and Italian "volunteers"). Guess Austria and Czechoslovakia don't rate either. So what makes Poland so special to get the Man of Steel to take notice?
  23. Re: Interesting article about Sexism in Geek Communities Well you learn things. Socially awkward male geeks being uncomfortable around female customers is almost a cliche. That they could make a female geek uncomfortable in their awkwardness is not surprising. That there are some jerks in every group is expected. My wife is not the type to put up with crap or to be overly sensitive about perceived slights. Watching male geeks bumble about in the classic "ack its a gurl that groks our lingo" when a female geek turns up amuses her, so I did not expect her to say that yeah, about 1 in 4 comic book / game store employees give her the treatment described in the article.
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