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Doc Democracy

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Everything posted by Doc Democracy

  1. OMG, I was impressed that I managed to finish the thing once. I loved the first two books, enjoyed the next three and ground my way through the rest. I think the world is great, the story was worth telling but it took too LONG. I reckon there is an amazing five book series here, six at a push. I did not think the ending was good, at least not good enough to warrant the effort poured into reading the 14 books (or just short of 12,000 pages and 4.5 million words).
  2. Only in purely quantity terms, I would prefer 10 lashes to 11....
  3. My son is now 14. He is heartily sick of my repeated response to the question of who would win between two characters...."Whoever the writer thinks will make the best story". He has however started using it with his friends.... Doc
  4. I think it would be more helpful for the author to suggest what to do for characters that have a power you might not want in the scenario. If it clairsentience that would destroy the plot, then the author should seek to provide something that nobbles the clairsentience and provides something else for the character involved. It might be that an early encounter exposes the clairsentient character to an artefact that overwhelms the sense, taking it out of commission for the scenario. The character then discovers that if she focusses on an object like she was going to use the clairsentience, it suffers catastrophic integrity failure and falls apart (RKA, NND, Does BODY, inanimate objects only). That way the character gets a fancy new power to play with during the scenario. Doc
  5. If you want an active defence, why not just replace the static 11 with a roll by the defender, GM does not have to use it, all villain's could "take 11". you would then hit if your OCV+3D6 was greater than opponents DCV+3D6. Doc
  6. When I played with my last group of teenagers I switched from roll low to roll high and switched it all around to tell them every task in or out of combat required them to beat 10 on a modified roll. Skills were listed with modifiers rather than target numbers - so Counterfeiting +3 rather than 14 or less. So, in combat, they would roll 3d6, add offence, subtract defence and, if the end result was greater than 10, they succeeded. Out of combat they would roll 3d6, add skill bonus, subtract difficulty modifier and, if the end result was greater than 10, they succeeded. Noone ever asked me why we used 10, people like 10 more than they like 11. 11 is an awkward number... 😄 Doc
  7. There could be all kinds of ways of coming up with a base pool. In Neil's example the rolls made by players to contribute to the Plan would add dice based on how well they made their roll. The GM might decide to give them bonus dice for all kinds of things. You actually add fewer dice than you would add chits. If you think about it one chit is good for exactly one intervention. One dice could be used many times. I would probably add one die for every two chits you would normally have added - and the first dice are often worth more than later ones. When you roll 12D6 you might expect to lose 2 dice if not one or two more due to rolling so many dice. 12 drops to 8 faster than 8 drops to 4 (on average). The last few dice can last a long time. Do a couple of practices, just roll the pool until you have no dice left and see how many throws it takes to get to zero. Do it several times for 12 dice, 8 dice and 4 dice. You would need to get a feel for how many to give out and players need to get a handle on what the probabilities are of a pool suddenly vanishing on them. Doc
  8. Yeah but I reckon he is the fruiting body of this particular mycelium...it is now more obvious, more prominent and threatening to expel spores that may take decades to completely eradicate.... 🙂 Doc
  9. Try it once as a pilot. It worked really well at my table, the discussions were not as simple as "Is it worth spending a chit", it was what are the chances of us losing our pool, is this the thing we need?? It is interesting to watch them be very casual when they have a large pool (though this is when they have the real chance of losing lots of dice) and then become incredibly stingy as you get down below 6 dice. In the last session, the last two dice went on the first roll - 2 sixes. In the first session the last dice was used four or five times before they rolled a 6.
  10. I am firmly of the opinion that if Bush and Blair were corrupt enough to go to war on the basis of lying about WMDs that they would have been corrupt enough to ensure that we found WMDs. I think that Dean's right in that no-one believed Iraq when they said they had none and, I believe it is correct that, Iraq was, through back-channels telling its local enemies that it remained in control of sufficient quantities of chemical weapons. If they had none, they should have been more open with weapons inspectors, though that would have made them weaker in the local political context. I am concerned with the opinion that all politicians lie and that Trump is no different in that. I am constantly amazed at how he will dispute any issue that does not suit his message, even those that most of us would readily accept as factual. My bigger concern is that I am beginning to see other politicians take the same tactic. Look at those politicians in the UK defending Boris Johnson (police were called to his girlfriend's flat due to domestic disturbance) where, because police have not arrested anyone are talking like there was no need for anyone to be calling the police so it must all have been made up by politically motivated opponents. Dangerous stuff. Doc
  11. I fully intend to put all of the characters, villains and scenarios of my Golden Age game in the thread I made. Will not be professionally put together but I intend to have my GM notes there.
  12. OK. To use Neil's example. The players want heavier weapons. One of them suggests that the Plan should have included getting a cache of just such hardware on top of the lift. I say that this is eminently possible and for them to be there, they need to roll the Dice Pool (for this example presume there are 4 dice in that pool). The players decide if they want to use the Pool. There is no chance of the cache not being there. By rolling the dice they know there will be a cache. What the players do not know is whether this will leave them with dice in the pool or not. It is very unlikely (but not unfeasible) that they would roll 4 sixes. If they go ahead and roll the dice they might roll 6, 5, 3, 3. That means the Pool is now 3 dice. Next time they want to use the Pool to implement the Plan, they only roll 3 dice. They can keep using the Pool until there are no dice left to use. If they had wanted an EMP device above the lift then I might have said, yes, but only if you lose a dice from the pool if you roll 6s or 5s. In the above example, that would leave them with only 2 dice. I have only used it a couple of times myself and on both occasions it has added an element of tension to the table about decisions, without actually impacting the decision being made - even if they had rolled 4 sixes, the cache would have been there but they would have no Pool for the rest of the adventure...
  13. I think it is a half-way house. The plan is hashed out by the players in a really sketchy way rather than sitting down coming up with a million details that might never be relevant. There are some broad rolls that deliver a number of chits. Those chits can be used to fill in details that become necessary during play (such as "we need heavier weapons, good job I stashed a cache on top of the lift"). Or at least that is the cool aspect that I think I will be stealing from this! 🙂 Again, I like a bit of uncertainty among the players and might use the dice pool idea rather than the chits. If you would have had 12 chits, you get a pool of 12 dice, when you want to take control of the story you throw the pool and remove all the dice that roll 6s. That way the players are never 100% certain of how much resource they might be using to do this next thing. I have used this mostly for timing, when trying to complete a task before a bomb goes off for example, and I have also, when the players are asking for a HUGE thing, said that I would allow it if dice were eliminated on a roll of 5 or 6. It provides even more flexibility and a little bit of drama. Rolling dice for rolling's sake is a bad thing, rolling dice to heighten drama is good. 🙂 Doc
  14. I can see a use for it. Imagine the boss villain with multiple overlapping 50% Damage Reductions, each limited in a way that the team can overcome. The heroes would have to peel away the various defences so that their attacks are not nickel and dimes to ineffectiveness. would be a nice mechanic for that purpose.
  15. You might think about providing items that boost either the application of or resistance to magic. I like to give players things with limited numbers of charges, things that wear out. You can do that in the usual way but I have found using dice pools much more interesting. You have a wand of healing 4D6 with a pool [6]. When you use the wand you do the 4d6 healing then throw the pool. If the player rolled two 6's then the pool would reduce to [4]. The interesting thing about it is that you do not know when the wand will run out. You might throw four 6's in the next roll, you might get to a pool of 1 and then not roll a six in the next 20 uses. That little element of randomness raises the stakes in very interesting ways. I would reduce any charge limitation by +1/2 if you use a pool instead of straight charges and strictly limit the use to odd items otherwise you introduce too much dice rolling. Doc
  16. Lucius has it nailed (IMO). There is very little you actually NEED to get what you want and have the relevant game effects. A doctor diagnoses and does first aid. Being able to do surgery might need a bit more. All of this is based on knowledge and skills and he would be like most other doctors out there. If you want him to be special, not to make mistakes and to be able to do surgery on the spot to make people better then you need to think exactly what it is you want. You could build a special sense that allows him to diagnose at a glance and give MUCH more information than a casual glance or a cursory examination by a medical practitioner might glean. You might be able to heal damage and cure disease (requiring the usual foci of surgery and application of medicines but with MUCH better success rates). You might engender trust in people ("Let me through, I'm a doctor!"). In the same way you might get access to places that would otherwise be closed to you. It all depends of the picture you have in your head about the character...you need to be more explicit if you want us to help you achieve that. Doc
  17. Part of the genius of the Edge of Empire pool is the single pool, the idea that the players know by using the force they make their fate worse, giving the GM. My biggest bugbear with these Hero Point style mechanics is that the GM has access to them. The GM can ALWAYS outspend the players but even small expenditure by the GM causes players to spend just to keep up. I feel less guilty here, there is no competition on use and if I do use a point, I automatically give the players a point. Worse are systems like TORG, HeroQuest and DC Heroes where the points are also used for character development. It is invidious to ask a player to balance character success and character advancement. Almost like the better you do in a scenario, the less you will advance (spending more points than you gain).
  18. 1 - Snow White 2 - bard/jester, herald, woodsman, beggar... 3 - I am not sure where your balance concerns come from. If you reckon the magic will overwhelm the heroes, provide them with ways to nullify the magic, story clues which, if they find them mitigate the effects of the magic. Doc
  19. The idea I want to bring in from FFG Edge of Empire is the fate pool. It took the idea of Force Points and evolved it. Essentially the group has a pool of Force points, usually around six for a party of four players. The genius is that the tokens are light on one side, dark on the other. One point can be used in any combat round. If the GM uses it, he turns black to white, improving the fate pool. If a player uses it, a white turns to black, degrading the fate pool. When I ran a game, it was hugely useful. I allowed critical attacks to turn black to white rather than have immediate combat effects and suggested twists that challenged the players but turned black to white. I also constantly tempted them. "Don't roll a dice on this task, turn a white to black and you will sneak up on the guard, I will even give you a bonus to hit. It is amazing how much influence six tokens can have on the attitude of the players at the table! I think this would be perfect for replacing HERO Points in my game. You can also set the tone of the game by opening with six blacks, or six whites rather than an even split... Doc
  20. That is also poor comparison. I think there were one or two months recently where the longer term trend reversed but over the longer term, New York still has more murders (I think there are more murders in London early in the year but far more in New York in the Summer). Here is a ten year comparison (2007 to 2017) which shows the massive improvement there has been in New York. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-43628494 Doc
  21. It is the big advantage for fans and bad for the business model that the stuff I picked up in 1982 is usable with the current version of the rules with minor amounts of tinkering. Obviously it has not stopped me buying most everything I come across and then buying the pdfs as well, but for most folk there is no need to update either system or genre books.
  22. I reckon the statistics are more likely to vary widely when the population size is relatively low. The bigger the city, the more stable the statistics are likely to be. As with all statistics you are always better with a bigger sample size over a longer period...
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