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Doc Democracy

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Everything posted by Doc Democracy

  1. My take on it was that the character would be a speed 4 character but that one of those four actions would have to be abort or nothing at all. So if the character attacked on segments 3, 6 and 9 then they would not be able to act on segment 12....not even to recover. A generous GM might allow the character to act on 4 8 and 12 and, if necessary allow an abort on any other segment. Doc
  2. I am astounded with what is happening in the USA for the past week. Growing up in the 1970's I looked at the US with envious eyes. It had all of the things that I admired and wanted. It was shining beacon of hope and optimism (even amidst the whole vietnam thing). America was the bastion of the free west and Russia was an omni-present threat. Obviously I was growing up in a white privileged world where I was oblivious to why the Cold War was not cold and many people (not white) were dying all over the Southern Hemisphere. Still - modern, wealthy, optimistic with access to all of the good things in life. People there seemed to get on with life better, produce better things and better tv programmes. The US also seemed to have a better outlook on life and to be aiming higher when the UK was aiming and failing just to stay the same. America in the late 70s seemed to be heading for the stars while we were sinking into potential for urban decay and uprising. Obviously I was growing up in Scotland during the Thatcher years where immediate relative poverty was omnipresent and there was nothing new or shiny in my life. I could only dream of growing up to move to move to America where my cousins in Long Island seemed to live an idyllic life. Over the years it is amazing how that changed. I still admired the core American Dream - I even came over and worked and lived in the US for a few years but my life, my awareness and my priorities were changing. I came back from the US because, after growing up within the security of a national health service, America seemed a dangerous place to be sick and too many people seemed to get caught in the financial nets of the health insurance people. I also watched as the number of school shootings became more and more commonplace until they were not worthy of top billing on news programmes and did not think I wanted to send my children to school in place where they were in danger of being shot. Even after all that I still saw America as a much better place to be, it was just my lack of robustness that led me to want to stick to the health safety of the UK. Now, as I watch the videos rolling out of the US every day with a sick fascination I am beginning to think that I was lucky not to have stayed. People getting huge bills for getting sick during a pandemic, police on the streets seemingly relishing spraying people with pepper spray and groups beating individuals with batons. I look at a population no longer scared of being killed by the police but accepting that this is the risk they live with every day and they might as well face it while shouting that it is not right than hoping it happens to someone else with the same colour of skin as they have. My experience of prejudice is anti-Irish, anti-catholic prejudice in the UK in the 70's and 80's. That lead to bombs and underground armies. I then look at the proliferation of weapons in the US and while the looting is bad, I cannot help but wonder how long it will be before a small group of people so sick of the disparity between armed police and unarmed protestors decide to switch it around. How many men with automatic weapons would it take to cause an atrocity? What would happen then? Are there enough cool heads to stop police and armed forces going out and killing many more? Enough to stop white folks going out with their own guns and killing more?? It really scares me. It is the first time in my 55 years on this planet where I would absolutely prefer to be in the UK than in the US (and that is in the context of Boris and Brexit which makes it even more poignant for me). I hope this current issue fades away but I do not see any hope that the underlying causes will be addressed and that the deployment of men with guns only deals with the immediate symptoms and that the next time, or the one after because there will be more, will be the one where the country goes up in flames. I mourn for the American Dream I admired so much when I was young...I miss it and I think the world does too 😞 Doc
  3. Pot meet kettle. πŸ™‚ Of course it is subjective, it is my experience.
  4. needs more context, it is one of those cases where the value might vary. In a SPD 4 game, if I was to buy SPD 3 and buy a fourth point with "only to abort" then I think I might be quite generous, possibly even to saying +1 or more. In a SPD 4 game, if I was to buy SPD 4 and buy a fifth point with "only to abort" then I think I might be quite stingy, possibly even to saying +1/4 or less. So what matters is how often that comes into play. If I have the same number of actions to burn as everyone else and I have an extra one as long as one of those actions is an abort, then I am not particularly inconvenienced by that.
  5. You disagree that you could drop manoeuvres?? πŸ˜„ Absolutely they are, and they will add to a combat and players may absolutely ask about dodging or throwing. It might be better to have players asking and being given than to be overwhelmed with everything upfront. However, the OP asked what could be dropped in the interest of making combats faster. Manoeuvres do not make combat faster, choices don't make combat faster. Doc
  6. I think you have had some goo advice already. It depends on how simple you want to get. You could ignore all manouevres. You lose some elements of complexity such as blocking an attack or dodging but it gets right down to the hit and record damage. You should be explicit with the group that you would like to do that for a session and then begin introducing manouevres as everything else becomes second nature. HERO does have the complexity of multiple forms of damage and it bears remembering (for us old timers) that it can be difficult for folk to get their head round that in the midst of all the rest of the numbers... Do not worry about breaking the system, it is designed to be modular and for things to be used or not used. There is no absolute 'ideal' way for the system to be used in a game. My big thing is looking very closely at the attacks and defences used. I use lots of the complexity to justify that I set the attacks and defences to mean that most folk will not be able to take more than a few hits before being taken out of a fight - I hate fights of attrition where folk have to whittle down opponents STUN scores. I much prefer a lot of manouevering and looking for advantage before going toe to toe. If a fight only lasts a couple of rounds of combat then it will indeed be swift but if you have no access to manouevres then it might seem a bit arbitrary as a few lucky dice rolls might swing it. That would be fine if everyone was aware that it was basic stuff to get used to hitting and damage. There are a lot of moving parts and so it is worth moving slowly to ensure that you are al comfortable with them.
  7. Is that a commentary on dystopia America? Or am I just reading it that way in the light of current news?
  8. If the ER etc is as empty as you have seen it might be safer than going grocery shopping. Good luck SF...
  9. You say that as if I have never read comics. πŸ™‚ Am running a Golden Age game right now. I do like a modicum of continuity - that is what a story is after all. I love the elseworlds stuff - every one a different look at a character, I loved reading in the 70's and 80's. However, the growing edifice of story made it hard to keep up to date with everything and there was the pressure to pick up other titles to remain current. I resented it. I think I would prefer a title, with a creative team writing a great story for a while. You would then get a new creative team which would have no constraint to be true to the previous creative team - just to the core spirit of the title. To show my own inconsistencies - I loved All-Star Squadron where Roy Thomas went all out to re-tell the DC Golden Age introducing an over-arching continuity. I loved that - it was a massive project that would be consistent within itself. So now I simply wait for self-contained graphic novels that catch my interest. I spend MUCH less money on comics, which annoys me because they were something I loved. Now the continuity puts up barriers to getting involved in things - I need to go back and learn too much. It extends to the films. My 14 year old self would be aghast that I would consider not going to see every superhero movie that came out. I look at the Marvel ones with weariness more than excitement, I refuse to go back and fill in the gaps which means that the gaps become wider over time until I am not going to see the movies. Talk about cutting off my nose to spite my face but it is the way my head experiences them... I think I have now seen about 60% of the Marvel movies and 40% of the DC ones. I guess I am not a fan any more...
  10. So I was general public? Because I do not adore tight continuity? There was no other pastime I was spending Β£30 or Β£40 a month, every month on, I'd bet HERO would have loved folk spending that every month.
  11. Not sure what I said entails a lone superhero. I absolutely hate the fact that every movie has to carry the weight of everything that went before. I am less inclined to watch a movie if I need to watch another in the franchise to appreciate it fully. Comics carry the same problem and there becomes a constraint on writers who cannot write a story because it disagrees with what happened before or makes changes noone is willing to wear for the future of the franchise. Mega cross-over events/stories are what finally turned a 10-14 title habit into buying the odd graphic novel. Doc
  12. Don't miss Ireland from that, they went into lockdown just over a week earlier than the UK and now have had several days with no COVID-19 related deaths. They are probably the most shameful comparison for the UK.
  13. I have learned that players, unlike comic book readers, hate recurring villains. Players like to β€œwin” and that means when villains are caught, they go to jail and if they are not caught, the players lose. as such, I am more of a flavour of the week. I like to have an over-arching villain that is behind a series of scenarios. I may use the over-arching for two arcs, never more. The series ends when they players face the big bad. No one escapes from jail, unless the players do it.... πŸ™‚ Doc
  14. Much of those words are economics. Hero needs to sell stuff to remain viable, it's best seller has always been rules, so we got them. However, I do not think I am playing a fundamentally different game than I was in 1983. I absolutely have more guidelines and I know more detail about how the designer expects all the component parts to work together. There has been a change of emphasis about the detail on the character sheet which has driven up the number of points spent (if you like that kind of thing). I would bet that watching folk play 'pure' sixth edition champions would look, sound and feel almost identical to those playing 'pure' second edition. It probably uses ShapeChange to do so. Doc
  15. If you never give the players the chance to build stuff you will never get to play the game as they will never build up the skills necessary to run the game. More experienced people are going to spend their time potentially chafing within your vision of how a power is built to concept. πŸ™‚ Otherwise it is a reasonable way to play with inexperienced HERO folk.
  16. I actually do not think we have 1800 pages of rules. I think we have possibly twice as many pages as we had in Champions 2nd edition with a HUGE cloud of advice, guidance and chat around how to use the rules. Now, it is sometimes difficult to determine what is rules and what is guidance because it all comes together. I would guarantee that if we removed ALL the guidance and doubled the size of the rules, we might have a better game but I am not 100% sure I would like it better in the long term. I liken it to management at work. There is absolutely no need for any rules about working relationships - as long as everyone behaves like a reasonable and responsible person. People dont, not at work and not at the gaming table. And so we get guidance, and more guidance and even more - some of it changing or amending previous guidance until it all needs to be re-written and formatted into a different document - often twice the size of the previous one. Annual performance reports grow in size when they are not usually needed for more than 10% of the workforce who are underperforming and may need to be sacked or to protect a chunk of that same workforce from someone promoted beyond their personal ability to work nicely with others. To make sure everyone is aware - I am equating the GM with the boss and the players with the workforce... πŸ˜„ Good employees under a good manager can effectively dispense with the HR rulebook.
  17. I am presuming we are talking about heroic campaigns as we are talking about fantasy, not fantasy superheroes. I am therefore quite keen to hear what the big problems with a rogue's player spending points in this way? It would be pretty big expenditure that would limit other abilities but it would be real defining schtick for that rogue character, one that makes him stand out in a world full of adventurers. I am asking because I am 100% interested in my players coming to me to ask for just these kinds of things for their characters. We spend a long time talking through how it is going to work in play and what its limitations are. However, I have absolutely no problems in principle with this. It is ALSO the kind o fhting I might see being developed into a multipower for non-mage types. Doc
  18. My son is fifteen, his school is delivering a full teaching week and has been since the first week of lockdown. He loves it, he is actually doing better as he has fewer distractions, has a bit more time between lessons when he grabs a coffee or chats with friends. He gets ALL his homework in on time. He is a social kid but I don't think he is looking forward to going back. Not fit for all, he has the space, tech and interested parents to make it work but it is a completely different model. I could see a school making it work, small modern office for staff, technology given to children to use, resources developed for that. Could be a hugely leaner operation than a brick and mortar school. Works best for wealthier parents who don't both work (and for poorer parents who don't both work). It lacks the childcare aspect of normal school but even that could be dealt with. It could also take children from anywhere in the country. Doc
  19. I notice that all of the 'good' uses are for magic and wizards. I think that if you are going to allow multipowers then all archetypes should have that access, otherwise you are facilitating some archetypes over others. I think that this is the point others were making in the other thread. Are there no multipowers that you might be able to think of for rogues, rangers, paladins, warriors and other types? Doc
  20. It is detailed and for investigative games, I think anything that breaks down the details aids the gameplay. I think it looks to math-y and fussy but I think it could be tatted up for the right games.
  21. Yup, you added it, got a discount for it. All I was saying was that the multipower did not have that requirement, it needed a disadvantage to create that "unified-ness" because that fitted the power you were designing.
  22. Have been following and while my instinctive response to Massey's statement about underlying theme was "really??!" but thinking about it, the mechanics of the system do not support an underlying theme. If you drain a slot, other slots are not drained, unlike Elemental Controls (or unified powers). Doc
  23. All of this comes down to how you see it playing in the game. You can have teleport, the character moves, they attack, they move again. One big issue with this is that there is a rule against moving (or acting) after you have moved. You could buy your teleport with a trigger that makes it go off after you attack with a blade etc. But all of this gets pretty messy mechanically. You could simply buy the teleport in, attack, teleport out as a ranged killing attack. The special effects of that are that the villain teleports in, hits, teleports out again. If you were to do that you could even limit the costs of the RKA. According to SFX then you would trigger (and take) any damage shield effects around someone if you hit them with this ranged attack. Your attack might be restrainable (someone might wait and disrupt the attack) it should also be able to be blocked, like a melee attack, though you might give penalties to the blocker in the first couple of rounds unless they have danger sense or something. You would also restrict the range of the ranged killing attack to be the same as the combat distance of your teleport. My inclination is for simplicity. You do however have to make sure that you do not simply rule that noone can catch him, that would not make sense. If the players come up with a decent plan to catch the villain as he teleports in, then you should allow that to happen - the attack has been disrupted and the villain is caught - you should not make this easy though, the mechanics do not support it and unless you limit it further, the villain has not opened up that potential except through SFX. Doc
  24. Thanks for the comments, I didn't actually pick up any negativity. When I throw soething like this out intot he ether it is exactly to gather up the issues that people might see. I agree about the difference in KA attack dice versus normal dice. However, you are not adding dice per se. The 12D6 blast, if you blow lots of black dice to add 3 dice to your roll means you roll 15 dice and pick the best 12. A different prospect from adding stuff. I think in many situations it would be better value to add a killing dice to the pool but in BOTH cases it is probably more value to add to the to hit roll than the damage roll. As for no defensive uses - you can use a dice to add to the GM's to hit roll - then the GM rolls 4 dice and takes the worst three. You can also add a dice to the GMs damage roll and instead of rolling 12D6 he will roll 13 and take the worst 12. There is the possibilty of rolling the dditional dice separately and then replacing one of the GMs dice with the bonus but I think it is better to ad it and make the roll better or worse as a pooled throw. I am inclined to use this as something after chance to abort is declared. It should be the last thing and have effects. I think there will be fewer dice added than you think - for every dice you use, you are giving the GM the chance to counter. If there are three players then the total dice pool will be 9 dice (black and white). If it is ALL white then the players have a huge advantage - it means they can really go for it and do heroic things, knowing they have a chance to push the vagaries of chance. When they have used that pool then it is likely that it is all black and they know the GM will have the same chance to hurt them and will have to be careful or begin pulling in complications to turn some of those blacks to white. It is here that I see some of the value come into the narrative as the players are incentivised away from directly hitting the main issue head on. As for the complication thing - I am inclined to be generous to my players. If they pull in a vulnerability then that is fine. I reckon the Starts all fights with a Presence Attack "Fighting solves nothing, let's talk it out!" and an Abort to Block is likely to add dice to the pool at the start but I am not going to add dice every time it comes up because it IS so common. That is not the player bringing a complication into the story, that is a complication that is already front and centre. There will be a bit of an art to this and I need to think it through but there should be a difference between the complications that contribute to the starting pool and those that are brought in by players. If it changes the way players buy their complications then I reckon I am fine with that. At least they will be doing more consideration of them mechanically and during play. As far as player dynamics go, I am content to play with that. We have played with a couple of shared pool concepts and my group is pretty consensual. I have even been known to switch a black to white when a player forgoes using a dice to allow one of his team-mates to benefit (as long as the narrative is suitably heroic). I think that is the key to it all. Accessing the pool requires some kind of heroic narrative. I want the players to justify using their heroic power pool in narrative terms rather than in simple mechanical ones. I really want to drive that narrative from the players. I do like your idea of the team coming together to get over the top results. :-) Doc
  25. I have always wanted the plot (and complications) to be something players brought into the game. I propose having a dice pool in the middle of the table made up of black and white dice. I will add one white die to the pool for every complication I have included in the session, and will add another each time a player chooses to introduce their complication. I will also allow such things to remove black dice from the pool. I will add a black dice each time a player asks for some narrative boon. Want to just find the clue, know of a useful person? Sure! Add one (or more) dice to the black pool. The mechanics? Well, players can use the white dice. They add the dice to an attack (or damage) roll by either the hero or the GM and it can replace a dice to change either the to hit or damage roll to the benefit of the player. Black dice work in favour of the GM. In general, only one die (either white or black ) can be used in a single roll. To add a second die, you need to add a die of the alternate colour to the pool. To add a third die you need to add two additional dice of the alternate colour to the pool. So for a player to add two dice to a hit roll, trying to guarantee a good result, they will need to add three black dice to the central pool. I think there needs to be a limit though. I am inclined to say the dice pool cannot exceed the number of players time three. So when it is maxed with black dice the players cannot access it until those dice are used by the GM. I think this might encourage a bit of narrative meta-play with the players incentivised to bring in their complications and seek to highlight the complexities of their characters (and reward players that do). Thoughts? Doc
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