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MrKinister

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    Los Angeles, CA
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    RPGs, Meditation
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  1. I found that this was not really necessary in my games. From my perspective, wizards had neat powers, but they, like the warriors, were limited by the total amount of energy available to them: END. Wizards do not put points into physical skills, they put them into spells. Warriors put points into physical skills. Both are capped by game and campaign DC maxima (at least at first) and they both specialize in their own particular way of doing damage and avoiding it. It just comes down to flavor. In my observations, the rapidly increasing power curve of wizards observed in traditional D&D systems does not exist in Fantasy Hero. A wizard with a lot of points simply has more spells and skills available, but they are still capped at the game's Active Point maxima. What they do have in their favor is the flexibility of spells which give them many alternative courses of action or even neat tricks, where warriors specialize in dealing and absorbing damage almost exclusively. Both can be enhanced with Magic Items, which may increase their ability to do damage, add to their durability in a fight, or add to their total energy, in addition to giving them all manner of bonuses, benefits, and buffs. But I don't see warriors competing for power or getting overshadowed at all.
  2. I see what you mean. This is the way I see your distinction: 1. Focus: the power comes from the focus "object" itself, not the character. This is the standard "Focus" definition. 2. The character has the power, but can't use it unless an "object" is in possession, at which point the power can be activated. Here is where I see the difference. This is essentially a limitation. You can build it using the focus rules, with durability, obviousness, accessibility, etc., etc. but you are just altering the "flavor" of the limitation special effects by saying that the power is actually in the character, but the character needs the object. From a technical point, there is no difference. From a flavor/special effects, sure, you can define it any way you want. You could even say that instead of a focus, it is a -1/2 limitation: power does not work without a given object ("focus"). Very straightforward. To me there are practically no differences there, just a slight change in flavor, if you choose to use the Focus Limitation rules as written.
  3. Ah yes, that is a frequent question. Personally, when I run games I like to limit the RSR roll to the Characteristic it is tied to. In my games it can be INT or EGO, depending on the type of magic wielded. If the Skill Roll is based on INT, and the character has an INT of 18, they cannot exceed 18- in their RSR limitation. They can, of course, always raise their INT, but they have to pay for that AND raising their Skill Roll as well. Of course, Normal Characteristic Maxima still apply. But, since I like more flexibility in my games, RSR is not a required Limitation for all domains of magic. You can have mages that only need Gestures and Focus to cast their spells, or RSR and Incantations, or Extra Time and RSR and Side Effects, what have you. RSR is not required. In my games, RSR represents "unpredictable" magic, or spells so complex that errors are likely. But it is not mandatory.
  4. Orcs... a fantasy staple race now popularized almost anywhere. I ran a game (past tense) where I decided that it made no sense for orcs to be so brutal, warlike, aggressive, unintelligent. A society of people like that simply would collapse without workers, farmers, or craftsmen. So I created a world where orcs were a true society. There were three varieties: urban, savage, and nomadic. The urban orcs were like any other civilization: intelligent, organized, specialized in their tasks (traders, farmers, craftsmen, soldiers, leaders, artists, philosophers, witches, shamans, etc.) The savage orcs were like the orcs we know today: brutal, tribal, aggressive, somewhat isolated, highly prolific, and relatively primitive. The nomadic orcs were a bit of both: civilized, intelligent, organized, but cunning and somewhat militaristic, raised with a philosophy of domination, and to some extent, xenophobia. But they did get along reasonably well with others, despite their xenophobia. You could talk to them. And within each subgroup you could find individuals who fell right into the stereotype and those would be far from the norm. Anything was possible. So, you could meet all types of orcs, and you had to decide how you personally would want to react to one orc or another, not because they weren't orcs anymore, but because you now had a choice. It no longer was "black & white". I liked the idea and it threw up a lot of interesting situations, like when the party was joined by a nomadic orc warrior detachment who encountered undead with the party. The orcs thought this was not acceptable and offered to join the PCs to destroy a common enemy. Not your typical orc interaction, but it was great for the story and the roleplay. Unfortunately I also had one player who could not tolerate the idea that orcs were not the "evil, ugly brutes" that he knew and loved to hate, so he almost immediately quit the game. To each their own, I say. So, then I decided that it was actually orcs who had been here longer than humans. They had an ancient civilization with magical and mechanical wonders that were lost thousand of years ago due to some cataclysm. But the remains of their cities and fortresses were scattered throughout the lands like pockets of buried treasure, ripe for the looting by clever thieves and research by enterprising mages. If they could get past the prodigious magical and mechanically animated guardians. It made for an interesting contrast to see how low orcs had fallen in recent centuries when compared to their ancient predecessors, and it gave the orcs historical significance and a past they could be proud of. It made for a very different game where players actually had to truly consider the orcs, and in some places, admire them, instead of just hating them by default.
  5. This just makes me laugh. 😃
  6. I have. The issue is not with the software package itself. Roll20, when empty, is just fine. It's people's energies where I have not yet fully learned to remain at peace. And it's not that people are bad, it's just that they are in a lot of pain, and I pick that up. In smaller communities, like, say, Fantasy Grounds, which is just a program, or Play-By-Post, it is not as strong, but on occasion I may run into a person who has a lot of "heavy" energies on them (unresolved trauma, physical pains, amazing work stress, what have you) and I have to leave a game almost as fast I wanted to join it. The problem is really mine. I am learning to get "neutral" to the energies. But, boy, they can get to be quite challenging at times.
  7. It's a bit of an interesting detail for me. I am an "empath", meaning I can sense other people's emotions and thoughts. It is a spiritual ability. The predominant energy vibration on Roll20 is of "competition" and "hostility". If I spend more than 15 minutes on the website, the amount of pain I pick up becomes unbearable. Don't get me wrong, I love Roll20. I like their system, and was subscribed to it years ago. But it's become a place where it is just harder and harder for me to be there. At this point I am just choosing to not go there. Problem is, of course, it is very popular.
  8. What sort of game would this be? But, most importantly to me, on what platform are you running it? I'd be interested as long as it is not Roll20.
  9. Here's my take on those two books (I own Champions Complete, Fantasy Hero Complete, Vol 1, Vol 2, and Fantasy Hero): Fantasy Hero Complete attempts to become a very concise "full system" book, in that it presents all the Hero System rules, in a deeply condensed form, along with suggestions for campaigns, spell systems, bestiaries, equipment, and some slight mentions on world-building. However, the primary focus of Fantasy Hero Complete is to present the Hero System rules in concise form, and does not go into great depth on all other related subjects. This book, however, is sufficient to become familiar with the rules and begin play with minimal fuss (world-building aside). This is a fine book for "players". Fantasy Hero Complete: 194 pages of 'hero system rules', 55 pages of 'source'. Fantasy Hero 6th Edition is a "Genre Book". It is intended to "expand the toolkit", as it were, that Hero System was designed to be. It explains the idea of Fantasy and how to apply it to the Hero System, 6th Edition. It talks about game mechanics and adaptations suitable for the genre, the various types and concepts that may be called "Fantasy", ideas and suggestions on how to build fantasy worlds: fantasy professions, fantasy spells systems, fantasy armor, weapons, and equipment, fantasy religions, fantasy races, fantasy societies, etc. It is a "fantasy world building" book that specifically deals with Hero System. It does not repeat the system rules. You can find those in Volume 1: Character Creation and Volume 2: Combat and Adventuring. You are going to need those if you actually want to learn the Hero System should you only have Fantasy Hero. This book is excellent for "GMs" and "World Builders". [Edit: as a side note, while Fantasy Hero does a great job of providing ideas for spell systems, it does present a meager set of examples. For more complete spells systems, you ought to take a look at the Grimoire publications.] Fantasy Hero, 6th Edition: 480 pages of pure 'genre/source', no repetition of system rules. Personally, I find that Vol 1 and Vol 2 have more of a full explanation of ideas, with many examples and discourse on how things work. They are very wordy, but offer greater depth. They are my preferred source. I would use the "Complete" books as "reference sheets" for players, especially if they are new to the system, or want to take something home to bite into, without spending the money to acquire the original volumes. Panpiper, if you already have Vol 1 and Vol 2, Fantasy Hero Complete will not give you anything more. You will get more out of Fantasy Hero, 6th Edition.
  10. I skimmed through this real quick, so I hope I am not repeating details, but don't forget you can add "Cumulative" to a Transform effect. This allows you to make the transformation take more time, and it lowers the cost (and hopefully other requirements as well). It should allow simple "road engineer wizards" to work in teams over a large stretch of land, turning dirt, grass, broken land, into a flat paved road. If you add a small-scale Mega-Scale effect (1m = 100m), this could go REALLY FAST. And if the cost is reduced with Cumulative it might turn out to be more effective this way.
  11. Caps are good. They help shape a character's capabilities when they first start, and won't let one character outshine another. However, in my games I remove the initial caps once the game starts and use a new set of caps that characters have to build to. I tend to think in terms of how "powerful" or how much "epic scope" I'd like the game to have. For example, this is how I think of combat competency among characters: a normal NPC will have a CV of 3, on the average, 2 if they are incompetent or just not focused on combat (not everybody is). A trained soldier may have +1 or +2 to their combat value. A veteran who keeps herself in shape might have +3 or +4. Where do your PCs fall into that range? Are they regular people? Are they heroic characters that outshine, outsmart, out-spell, and out-fight a common man? Based on this I see initial PC combat values between 6 to 9. Armor values I keep in the normal range, but add the possibility of extraordinary materials or enchantments, as usual. This often comes to between 3 to 8, sometimes higher. Damage is by weapons + skill + talent, plus enchantment where present, to a regular 5 to 9 DC. And if these PC stats are the heroic level, what is the epic level? What is the demi-god level? And at what level should an antagonist be at to present a challenge to the PCs? (Especially if you are considering a solo opponent.) In my perspective, these fantasy characters, at 175 points (6th Ed.) are strong PCs, roughly the equivalent of 7th to 9th level characters in D&D. Of course, these are my preferences. You may not be running the same type of game I am. Your mileage may vary. I am merely presenting a different point of view to bounce your ideas off.
  12. Hey, That's a fantastic map. Don't sell yourself short. "Arting" (much like "adulting") is a matter of practice. It looks like a great map, and it has all the elements you'd want in an image that will give you an idea of where you are and what you are looking at. Besides, don't make the (very common) mistake of thinking you have to produce art and design like people who've been doing it for decades. That's just crazy. If you just started, this is pretty awesome. Keep up the good work. 😃
  13. According to "Only In Alternate Identity", Vol 1, pg 386, 387, "A character can only use a power with Only In Alternate Identity (“OIAID”) while he’s in an alternate identity. Obviously, only characters who maintain two distinct identities can use this Limitation. For example, it’s commonly used by superheroes who maintain a Social Complication (Secret Identity), and by characters with some types of shape-shifting or body alteration abilities. It’s most appropriate for Superheroic campaigns. For this Limitation to be valid, the character must have some difficulty changing forms — the change must take at least a Full Phase, if not longer (during which the character can do nothing else), and/or there must be other difficulties or ways to prevent him from changing identities." So, the idea of "multiple identities" is important, with 'Secret Identity' being the most common one, at least in my understanding of Superheroic games. But your mileage may vary. Either way, there must be a risk, however incidental, where the transformation poses a chance of failure, or a chance of revelation. After all, the character may not want to reveal his secret identity and hence may have to deal with a dangerous situation in his normal identity. Personally, I like to use a full phase. In the case of secret identity, I find it is easy to have character 'earn' the complication when you put a lot of other people in the scene, and there are just no convenient phone booths around where s/he can change. The time it takes to find a broom closet, change, and come out again, not to mention what ever you need to do to convince the bystanders around you that you just need to touch up your hair/makeup is plenty when added to the actual change of identity. The character ignores a 'clean, unobserved change' at their own risk. I also find that a turn is too much for a Champions battle, as the battle may already be concluded (or the hostages taken, or the vault looted, or the doohickey transmogrified, what have you) in a full turn. Such a large amount of time usually means the character will have missed most of the fight, in my opinion. You battles may vary.
  14. "Help me, Star Hero Complete. You're my only hope."
  15. Well, personally, in my Fantasy games I used the "final to hit number, rounded down, -1" formula. This means that on an even 11 or less, a crit would come on a roll of 3 or 4. If you had higher numbers, you could crit easier, but anything below an 8 would not be able to crit at all. I also never allowed minions to crit, but minor and major bosses could crit freely. That made for a cautious approach from PCs when facing a major opponent. As for mirror, I agree with everyone else here: it depends entirely on 'how' it is happening. If it is magic, then sure... anything goes. If it is 'natural', there are plenty of observations here made on realistic 'this world' conditions that would say it is difficult. But it is your world, what do YOU think is appropriate and/or 'cool/cinematic/fantastic'?
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