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Doc Democracy

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Everything posted by Doc Democracy

  1. Good stuff, as usual from Duke. I am going to talk game set-up. I think it is the missing bit from the rules. Despite there being a raft of design advice on genres etc, there is absolutely nothing about actually putting a game together. You, as GM, need to sit down and think hard about how you want to constrain the system to get the game you want. I had a similar game, normal people with "one" superpower. So, the bank teller got superspeed and the priest became invulnerable and the teacher got a death glare. None of the players knew how I built the powers but we sat down and did a 20 questions before I built them where I asked some questions about what the power meant and what its limits might be. In effect, we got on the same page narratively. The mechanics that came later allowed me to manage use in game as to how it affected those around them. I said "one" power because that was what I asked them for in a narrative sense. In reality, most of the powers were an amalgam of game powers. The priest did not mean for invulnerability to mean walking unscathed from a nuclear bomb or to be completely unaffected by a rocket, he might be knocked out but nothing broke the skin. The teacher did not want to instantly kill people with her death glare, she wanted to be able to make people fear death, feel death and THEN experience death. The superspeed needed so much more than lots of running. 🙂 The mechanical details meant MUCH more to the players in game than the mechanical ones. If you want blessing and curse, you need to think of the downsides. Why do the players not use the powers at every opportunity? I say players deliberately because the narrative reasons why the characters would not use them often go out the window when players encounter problems in-game. Are they painful to use? I know that would make me (real person) loath to use them, a player is likely to consider a few STUN a minor consequence for the character. So you need to make consequences real for the player. If it hurts to use, make the player roll a PRE roll to activate the power modified by how often it has been used recently and how heroic they are trying to be (truly heroic acts should not be prevented by a dice roll). Again, explain to the players what you are trying to achieve and work through the narrative implications before building stuff. This kind of game can be deadly. If one character has a death glare and most heroes and villains have no enhanced defences, many people will die. After all that narrative work, players will be heavily invested in their character and will not want them to just up and die at random, you need to think of how you will provide some narrative defences for the player characters that does not break the internal reality. In my game there were incredibly few killing attacks, like A Team style stuff where 10 guys with machine guns and an exploding truck did not result in multiple casualties. A machine gun forced people to take cover and required rolls to advance on, even though the players knew the machine guns were not deadly, the characters did not. In another game, I had a card that indicated to the players when we were in four colour scenes and when we were in graphic novel scenes. In graphic novel scenes, killing attacks would kill, in four colour negative BODY simply meant a visit to the hospital and missing the rest of that scene. You, with your players can set the game to deliver the experience you want, you just all need to be on the same page before you start. Doc
  2. I think it is an advantage because he would be able to fire at those caught in entangles without worrying whether he might hurt or damage the person inside, the fact he can turn it on and off cements it as an advantage as he is not deprived of the chance to hurt someone or damage something else when he wants to. Doc
  3. It is amazing, given that I am confident I could pick up any supplement from any edition and use it in my 6th Edition game because the system is close enough that I could integrate on the fly. Obviously, us fans are invested in the rules and versions of the rules, the marketplace demands new product. To that end, a company will repeatedly update, refresh and republish its rules, it needs to constantly produce money to stay in money and over time, a new edition is a more guaranteed money generator than anything else. Beyond that, most writers began as fans and want to see their vision of the game immortalised in an edition - they want to show everyone else their vision of the game. In the olden days this was an issue - the rules were printed and bought, and if a new edition came out, it was impossible to get enough copies of older editions for a new group (and there was no ebay to scour). Today, there is ready access to the text of EVERY edition. Everyone can play the edition they most enjoy and access those rules for any players in their group that wants them. There are no edition cops who will swoop down on you to confiscate illegal rulesets and to punish BadWrongFun. We should, now, be able to watch new editions with interest, choose to change our games in the light of that edition (or not) and to ponder the merits of old versus new without the heat, there is nothing at stake beyond personal opinion. New editions HAVE to change things if they are to be worth producing - I would be SEVERELY upset if I bought 7th edition and it was essentially a word for word rehash of ANY previous edition. I have them all... Doc
  4. I agree with the principle of character sheets being clear as to powers etc, but clarity about abilities and/or point limits are not the issue here...
  5. Am pleased I supported Champions Now and Chivalry and Sorcery before this came to a head.
  6. Hmm. Been watching this closely but I have to now say that, until Kickstarter resolve their issues with their staff, I will no longer be supporting any Kickstarter based projects. https://www.currentaffairs.org/2019/09/kickstarter-to-workers-and-project-creators-drop-dead Earlier in the dispute, workers asked folk not to boycott Kickstarter, I think that my conscience will not allow me to support a company fighting it's workers. Personally, I need to get better at doing that consistently. Was going to post this in the Kickstarter forum but I don't support enough projects for it to be particularly relevant there, but the dispute may harm the viability of future projects. Doc
  7. You don't allow naked advantages? His energy blast has the special effect of a cloud of summoned imps attacking a foe. This would be concentrating on ensuring they helped someone out of entangling materials. It does mean that I need to take care with how I build manacles etc or provide some in game latitude. It makes narrative sense, just musing on how much it would/should cost.
  8. One of my players wants to be able to “switch on” an advantage on his EB, ‘only against entangles”. Obviously this would limit the effect of a power but becomes an advantage because of context. I am thinking +1/2, though might be persuaded on something different. Any thoughts? Doc
  9. I lived in Tennessee for two years and throughout that time I saw adverts for a well known battery where a toy rabbit beats a drum. The strapline was "Still going...." I laughed every time because I imagine an advertising executive sitting at his desk wondering how he can get away with an ad campaign that essentially says that "this battery goes like a bunny". I have no idea if that phrase means the same in the US as it does in the UK, but it still makes me laugh.
  10. Welcome back, it is a much quieter board than it used to be. Same old arguments though. 🙂
  11. I am SO embarrassed... https://twitter.com/gigiglasgow72/status/1174969505530777602?s=20
  12. A lot of truth in that. I think people should be judged on their actions. If someone has done something wrong in the past and spent a significant amount of time since then acting better then it probably shows that they have learned something and is probably a better person for it. Who better to understand the actions than someone who has done them himself and knows where it came from. It does mean a lot of positive action subsequent to the negative one. If someone has done something wrong in the past and spent a significant amount of time since then acting as if it never happened and their first reaction when confronted with the bad behaviour is to deny it and say they would never have acted that way, and there has been nothing since to demonstrate any significant change of mind or positive action contrary to the wrong thing in the past, then they have probably not learned or changed, they have simply learned to better hide their worse personality aspects from those who would think they were wrong. Personally I think Trudeau is more likely to belong in the former category, and there is a supreme court judge who probably firmly belongs in the latter. Doc
  13. Personally, I would go to that GM and find out what he did. It is likely that he has done a LOT of personal work to get it working like that and he might have made all of that available for other people to use. Doc
  14. I may have said it before but, if someone wanted to do a seventh edition, they could do worse than making a truly electronic version of the rules. Even if they did not change any of the system (though like any HERO player there are LOTS of things I would (and in my own games do) change) they could find a market for a system that seamlessly utilises the technology that almost anyone has to hand. If you start with HERO Designer and think about what would be needed for a player and what would be needed for a GM to play and run the system at the table rather than design a character, you could probably come up with something very cool. I am not sure what ability HERO might have to use some of the images and animations from Cryptic but being able to actually see your character come alive, to activate powers, to get sound effects. There are lots of cool enhancements that could be there, even for a game designed to be played face to face at a table. If it could then drop things into virtual tabletops like Roll20 to be used, you potentially plug into an online community. Previous posts have demonstrated that the HERO community is a mature one - most folk that play the game know how they want to play and are unlikely to pick up small game refinements in a new edition, they may not even want a new edition as the books they have deliver all they need (or all they KNOW they need 🙂). Game companies need a constantly buying audience and there is only so much HERO can do to add to what they already have available in the traditional way of things. D&D feeds off a constant influx of new players buying rulebooks, HERO does not have that core influx and so it should be thinking of doing something different. Superheroes are SO visual, they derive from a drawn rather than a written medium and they would be ripe for gaming in a more visual way. Of course, if noone wants to hear my flights of technical fancy, there are a few dozen pages of changes to the rules I could re-hash. 😄 Doc
  15. I am quite interested in why you think doing this as a power gives a victim a chance to escape where the mundane use of environmental stuff does not. I agree that making the whole thing an escape from an Entangle makes it far more straightforward but it might also rob it of some colour. Doc
  16. And this is the point where paying points is of value. If you rely on "free" kit then the GM has narrative control over that kit. If you get hit with a flame blast and the GM wants to remove your access to the cellphone, then he can say that the heat causes it to fritz out and may indicate when you might get access to it again. If you pay points and use the focus limitation to make it cheaper then you cede a little bit of narrative control and bring the functionality within the rules. If you simply pay for it then you should expect to have the functionality at all times - you have narrative control. With a weapon bought with a focus, you may be disarmed but expect the GM to provide you with access to it when you escape. If the weapon was given to you as kit from a patron then when it is removed from you there should be no expectation that you will ever get it back. Doc
  17. Low level indeed. Lets give him SPD 5. 40mph is roughly equal to 60kph, or 1000m per minute, or about 200m every 12s. You know that flat out running is twice normal movement, so you need to buy enough movement to move 100m every 12s. At SPD 5 that works out to 20m a phase, or 10". So 40mph is what a SPD 5 character can attain with 10" running at non-combat velocity. Doc
  18. He is asking why this is something that needs to have points spent on it. Personally the only reason for it, in my head, is that, if you get the hit roll necessary, then it all happens without a hitch, the ground is not too rocky, noone stumbles across you during the digging, etc. My biggest concern is that a normal person, if they push their STR will roll 4 sixes (8 BODY) one time in a thousand or so and spring free from this grave. More often they will roll 6 BODY or more. I can definitely see normal folk escaping, even 2D6 gives 4 BODY one time in 36. A heroic character will have more damage and likely may be allowed to push that. Doc
  19. Like Archer says, it means he runs 9" in every action phase (one phase for each point of Speed characteristic). I think for superheroes that SPD 4 is often the low end of the range, so 36" in 12s. In HERO, up until 6E, inches were used instead of metres for table top gaming purpose. Each inch is 2 metres, so the character can run 72m in 12s while retaining all his combat effectiveness. If he sprints and drops any thoughts of defending against attacks then he can double that to 144m in 12s which blows away every Olympic sprinter. Agreed, it is not hugely superheroic but it did not use very many points to get there. It is pretty cheap to get to huge speeds. As for where things sit on the character sheet, there are plenty of different views and styles of character sheet out there. As with many things on the boards, opinions differ. 😁 Doc
  20. I would contest that the legislature is ignoring the results of the referendum, it has talked about nothing else for almost three years. The problem is that the Government failed in its job to deliver a policy that the legislature could agree to. That slim majority for a referendum was followed by a General Election where the Conservatives were elected promising to honour the referendum by delivering a "smooth and orderly departure". Labour promised a deal that protected the economy and jobs. Nobody stood on leaving without a deal that the Conservative party swung hard toward when the Conservatives lost their small majority in that election. Personally I think the General Election was the last test of the opinion of the electorate. Boris exemplifies the swing to no deal and does not represent the manifest will of the electorate for a deal. Doc
  21. I have been known to fudge the odd roll or damage for dramatic effect but my players know that I will not avoid a TPK if their gameplay "deserves" it. My last TPK was in the Sunless Citadel adventure for D&D 3.5, the party had ground their way through all the politics above and entered the dark druid's lair beside the Gulthias Tree. It is a great story but they were now focussed on bearding the druid (though they had not quite worked out that is what he was) they ignored the numerous rooms with books and stuff in it and even avoided the recipes of weedkiller that I had also put in there to make their life easier. In the final battle with what were obvious undead, the cleric failed to try a single turn and they went for a straight head on battle. I captured them first when they could have been killed, gave them a second chance and they still made the same mistakes. They all died. I then gave the players a choice of semi-revenant characters, their original character after it had been rescued from the Gulthias Tree - a wooden man (with some damage resistance and a weakness to fire) - or new characters with abut 90% of the XP of the original. Half of them went for something new, half for their originals. I think the players need to know you are willing to wipe the floor with them to give adventures that element of risk and danger that you need to make decisions relevant. All I need now is to believe that doing this encourages them to learn a better way! 🙂 Doc
  22. Yeah, or you might simply buy N-Ray vision with enough levels to counter range penalties and the limitation, only what nearby cameras can see. I would give night vision benefits for free if there are such cameras in existence. Of course, this gives the character an absolute power, it would not matter the security levels or relative disconnectedness of the cameras to anything else (which might be what you are looking for) or you might also add that it requires a skill roll that you might only require as a GM when there are well protected systems. Doc
  23. I think all of this means that the GM needs to think through what it means to live in a world where there is magic. In such a world is a drought purely meteorological or does it mean that there are magical forces at work that might take against those who counter their drought? Are there competing divine forces at play? Obviously the odd little creation of water to ameliorate the edge of the drought for people is overlooked but a concerted effort to counter the effects of the drought might find that certain divine magics are blocked or drought-beating clerics might find themselves subject to the personal attention of divine messengers who want this to stop. So many stories can come from players thinking that they can exploit magical abilities without thinking through the metaphysical consequences. I think I would refrain from countering magical abuse with scientific explanations... 🙂 Doc
  24. My favourite stand down quote from Clint was in The Outlaw Josey Wales when bounty hunters come looking for him... Bounty hunter #1: You’re wanted, Wales. Josey Wales: Reckon I’m right popular. You a bounty hunter? Bounty hunter #1: A man’s got to do something for a living these days. Josey Wales: Dyin’ ain’t much of a living, boy.
  25. Well, if we go for a General Election in the next month or so, those people will not be allowed to stand as Conservative candidates, effectively ending their political careers. The expulsion of those people, who are effectively the most moderate of conservatives, is a sign to voters that the party has lurched to the right and was, I think, a key factor in the Prime Minister's brother resigning from both the Government and the Party. That resignation will be very significant in any campaigning in the future. The Prime Minister indicated, when Ed Miliband stood against his brother David for the Labour leadership, that only a socialist would do such a thing to his brother. It is possible that action by Ed contributed to him losing the 2015 General Election. Of course, the Conservatives ran that election on a message of strong and stable government as opposed to chaos with Labour... Doc
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