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Doc Democracy

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Everything posted by Doc Democracy

  1. I do rule on the morality of the character and their actions when I stipulated a heroic campaign. ? However, I do understand the need to encourage heroic action and not to incentivise behaviour that I think inappropriate for the genre I want to run. If I have villains continually rise from the ground to re-enter the combat, I encourage curb-stomping, if I continually allow villains to escape from prison then I encourage players to take alternative action when they capture villains. As such, I tell the players that while I may allow them to re-enter combats when they go down, villains will rarely re-enter combat, if they do recover, it will be to run away and then only if I really need it for the scenario. I also tell them that when villains are put away, they will not escape unless it is an integral part of a planned scenario that the players participate in. Once it is a shared responsibility then the players need to live up to their part of it too. Doc
  2. Yeah, but to draft a new edition (which this would be) is a real job and the presentation etc would be sufficient to warrant calling it 7th Edition - or coming up with a new name (like Champions Complete). I think there are always pressing issues. Personally I think that the power system is where all the focus has been in past editions. The core gameplay remains essentially the same as it was in 1980. Gaming has moved on and I think some real thought into how the game runs and plays might bring the game into the 21st century. There are lots of things about the SPD chart, heroic actions etc that might be improved. Even the thread on END/fatigue by RDU Neil shows how things might be made better. As it stands, I stick with having all editions and the next one will be my favourite. ?
  3. I don’t really grok the question. I have played Champions since it was a poorly typeset black and white rulebook. Each Edition has a different kind of feel and they are on a continuum. There is a lot of love for 4th edition, and I think that is probably because it was created with an emphasis on the genre rather than the rules, 5th and 6th focussed on the mechanics over the genre and the rulebooks reflect that. i think what we have is a rulebook preference. I think, rulebooks aside, I prefer having 6th edition. I note most of those who prefer earlier editions port in the things that they like from later editions. I also think that while many call later editions bloated, these very forums demonstrate a desire for more detail on how things work - that indicates that the drift to textbook like rulebooks was a response to what the fan base seemed to want. I appreciate all of the detail when I am getting into debates here on the forums, it explains the detail of how the power is intended to work. as such, I do not have a favourite edition. I prefer more information over less, I like having all the editions as they provide me with alternative ways to do things. Personally, I am looking forward to a new 7th edition which utilise modern technology, a true e-book that focuses on utility. It should deliver the core system with virtually no detail upfront. I would bet you could make the system look really streamlined that way with lots of colour and art. The detail would be readily available on virtual pages that explained the detail necessary when building characters or thrashing through a rule query in game. It would also provide a ready GM reference for in-game reference. I write in for 7th Edition (interactive). ? Doc
  4. Such a shame, in the shower I was thinking that SPD could be related to AP and status. You get a base SPD and add one for every opponent of your status or higher in the combat. If you are 15 AP lower than everyone else of your status you get an additional action. it begins to provide an advantage for being underpowered and means there is a mechanical reason that the big bad does not hit very often but when he dies it could be devstating.... anyway. I think all that could go to different threads, we should try to pull it back to the END/AP/fatigue system you want. Doc
  5. I think there can always be an easy formula but finding it might not be so easy. Neil has the beginnings of a great idea, it is obvious we both see potential and we are talking details. HERO is indeed complex with a lot of moving parts. The question is that when you change a fundamental mechanism how far you have to change the other bits. I think that we either have to change almost nothing, just like Neil has with his group, or you need to make wholesale changes (and this is where you lose the advantages of a system played for decades that you can balance on instinct). I am a tinkerer and so wholesale is attractive to me. The idea that we have an element of the build that explicitly dictates the relative power of the character is interesting. I wonder if you need a different way of buying powers. If you are an 80AP character then you simply buy the powers you have access to. You pay for access to offensive powers - maybe 40 points for full AP, 30 for 75% AP, etc. That makes AP a multiplier in power. You also pay for access to defensive powers. This is needs to balance to offence and so you pay (1/2 AP) points for half campaign max defences, 3/4 AP (for 3/4 defences) and AP points for max defences. This means the more you pay for access to high offences, the more you need to pay for defences. I think SPD also needs to balance against offence and so I want to have SPD 4 for free and each additional point of SPD cost AP/2. This requires a campaign to have a max defence listed (which players can exceed if they want to pay for it). This is all completely off the top of my head but it is attractive because it is actually quite simple. God knows if it is balanced. I also need to think about non-offensive or defensive powers. I don't think Neil was thinking of going this far, it is essentially re-writing the system but it is the direction I think the conversation is going. If we want something more limited then I think we want to stick almost exclusively to how END and fatigue works. ?
  6. That is probably a better way to compare. Substituting components of the compound power for equivalent ones. I can agree with this way of costing...
  7. There is a different potential to this you might want to think about. Often in the JLA the villains focus on the big hitters first. Perhaps, in game, villains preferentially target the highest AP heroes until one of the minor ones actually does some damage... As for the haymaker issue. The haymaker, in my mind, is the "finish him" manoeuvre, an opponent is left vulnerable and one last hit puts them to sleep. In early Champions that was achieved purely from added damage. Perhaps we should be looking at a different effect - perhaps a chance to make the damage NND, or to apply 4D6 drain to END (which might effectively take the opponent out of the fight). This is HERO, there is more than one way to skin a cat. Doc
  8. This is my biggest issue with your numbers, I do not think that any decent consideration on the shrinking can result in 10 levels giving you 28 points. ? I do think there is an issue with shrinking - it is very effective due to reduced PER and the DCV. You're effectively saying that the ability to pass through small spaces and an increase in knockback is a disadvantage of almost 30 points... I would probably set the shrinking at a cost of 28 (-1/4 for the PER, -2 for the DCV) That would come to 85 points for 10 levels, maybe 9 per level...
  9. I like this idea and am also of the opinion that there is something here to manage fatigue in superheroic games in a very different way. I think I have read everything any seen any difference between constant and instant powers. There is little difference between traditional armour and force field in this system. This ties a bit into the issue with density increase. Might there something about running a constant power that would decrease the AP cap for other powers? I was trying to think of something that might be used to dictate how many different powers might be active at the same time. I have considered REC, BODY, REC/3, CON/5 and I am thinking that possibly END/10 might be best, it would be an additional disincentive to push too often. Doc
  10. It is overwhelming. I hesitated for months before running a game for my friends (and this was back when the rules were in one (very) slim volume...). Turns out the best thing was a couple of quick one-shots to get used to the rules, everyone running pre-made characters. There are a LOT of resources on the internet now that were not available back then. Choose one site and raid all your characters from the one site as the build decisions will be more likely to be consistent. After a few one-shots there will be things you want to do. That is what we are here for. When it comes down to it, you guys are getting together because you all want to have fun. Set up a scene that highlights each players schtick in the first game. One scene where the strong guy needs to lift/throw/smash something. One scene where the martial artist sneaks in and takes out a guard. One scene where the energy blaster flies past and takes out the generator that is powering the bad guys doom machine. Every player has something they want to get out of their character, find out what that is and make it happen. System details and other stuff can come later. Your job is to make the players feel like superheroes, doing that according to the detail of the rules can come later. The greatest piece of advice I got was: if a situation comes up and you don't know the details of the rule, tell the players you aren't sure of that rule but are going to make it up and check the rules after the game. Making it up means taking a decent guess at something that seems fair and fun. Players LOVE rolling dice, give them a decent dice chance and they will take it. Tell a good story, treat them like heroes, make heroic stuff work and have a good time. System knowledge will come later. Doc
  11. I will need to think about the costing. I get the scaling difference but now wondering why you are suggesting additional KB. If the dispersed character is “spongier” or “dislocated” that allows him to squeeze through spaces, wouldn’t he be less likely to get knocked back? Essentially it all comes down to costing and I haven’t had time to crunch any numbers. Doc
  12. I wonder if you are deliberately breaking the square-cube law as you reduce size and mass by the same proportions. Isometric scaling happens when proportional relationships are preserved as size changes during growth or over evolutionary time and is governed by the square-cube law. An organism which doubles in length isometrically will find that the surface area available to it will increase fourfold, while its volume and mass will increase by a factor of eight. Why do you think a new power is needed? Could you not accomplish by buying a limited Shrinking alongside a linked Damage Negation. Really all that you are doing is adding the reduction of damage to the shrinking and removing the DCV and PER bonuses of Shrinking.
  13. This is gold for long campaigns. If the players are reliable then you can, at the time of the pointless death, have the player make a roll. It is meaningless but it allows you the opportunity to pass a note. Tell the player that they are, by the dice, dead. They can decide to die right here, ignominiously, and roll up/design another character, or they can use that roll to spot a magical mushroom that heals them, on the agreement that there will be a dramatic moment in this or the next session where they will achieve something huge but die in the achievement. That moment will be down to the GM but the player can, if they spot an opportunity, suggest a heroic action to the GM, knowing that this will be their last moment in the campaign. Eventually your players will know this is something you do and there will be no need for subterfuge, but this allows a few WOW moments before it becomes a feature of the campaign. Doc
  14. Dunno about Canada but in the UK there is no job description for being an MP. Each Member decides what is needed in a particular constituency. Having thought a lot about it, I think that is a practical situation for one of the most unusual ways of making a living. As I said, there are too many things to become informed on, so Members will seek sources they trust. If we, the electorate allow it, that source, most often will be their party and they will follow the party whip on all policies except for those they have a particular interest in. I think that Members often refer questions for information on an issue to a Minister because it is a way to engage the resources of the civil service. It also ties the Government to a position. I can understand why Members do this (especially having seen the size of their mailbags). I think that Members are sometimes less sensitive to whether you are asking for information or asking for their opinion. Doc
  15. It is a rubbish job and, in the UK, a pretty intense one. They are expected to be informed about everything which is obviously impossible. They also get huge numbers of people coming to them with all kinds of requests. The key part of their job seems, to me, to consist of deciding which issues they want to become informed about. They CAN become informed about anything they want, they CAN choose to believe whichever information source satisfies or suits them to believe. In many cases they choose sources that are politically convenient rather than spending time becoming informed as many issues will not interest them personally. Well, that might be describing our behaviour and politicians behavioural response to that behaviour. It is not yet the system we operate under. The UK definitely elects a person rather than a party as shown by the lack of any requirement for an MP to seek re-election if they choose to change party. For most OST things I blame the press rather than MPs for many things, the way they are reported drives a lot of their behaviour. Doc
  16. I just thought I would weigh in here. I am not going to argue that the UK tax system should be simpler but I disagree that complexity essentially renders a subject incapable of democratic oversight. It is not just tax that is complex, general economic theory, social science, real science, diplomacy, everything gets complicated. As such you have your experts informed commentators and interested commentators. Everyone is seeking to influence Government policy. Ministers in the UK set policy direction. They do so with the advice of career civil servants and politically appointed advisors, each of these will be producing extensive briefing designed to inform the Minister. The Opposition has its own advisors but no access to the civil service. Parliament has its research Library and the select committees that allow it to scrutinise Government policy in a more detailed fashion than any individual MP might manage. These Committees have the power to send for people and papers as part of their inquiries. I think that there is indeed a decently supported system of scrutiny that allows MPs to properly engage with the most complex of subjects, if they want to. It is indeed democratic to expect any one of us to be able to stand for election and subsequently engage with any topic necessary in scrutinising government or passing legislation. The desire to do so harks back to the political structure of our political parties and is thus more of an issue of culture than ability. Doc
  17. You have some good advice there. If I was to add anything it would be to find ways for heroic actions to succeed. If the players try to do something heroic and the dice don’t quite make it work then find a way to say that the action worked BUT... and then come up with a downside. For example, the hero wants to use his power to distract the villains long enough for a hostage to break clear. The dice don’t work out, so instead of just saying it doesn’t work, you say it does work but the hero has not just distracted the villains, he has drawn their attention to him, along with several others. He has saved the hostage but left himself in a perilous position... Doc
  18. I really enjoyed running a one-off FFG Star Wars (Edge of Empire flavoured). It ran pretty well, I coped with the strange dice but LOVED the destiny mechanic (which delivers cinematic/heroic action rather than a SF feel). I think I will import that to the next Champions game I run. Doc
  19. They were not really parties as they are recognised today, more loosely affiliated voting blocks for the purposes of Parliamentary process and MUCH more fluid than today. I think political parties in the UK became more of a thing in the late 19th century (after the Great Reform Act) and definitely in the early 20th century when we actually had universal suffrage.
  20. We have gotten ourselves into a bad place with politics. We vote (in the main) based on tribal loyalties rather than on the people we are electing. If we elected people we trusted to do the right thing rather than the party brand that we have invested in, the political incentives of those seeking power might change. I speak as someone who sees the inside of politics in the UK but I still feel those tribal loyalties influence my vote at almost every election. Parties are new things in western politics and they make it easy for politicians to decide how to vote. I think that anything that makes it easy for politicians to decide how to vote is probably bad for democracy. I want my politicians to go to their parliament, to become informed and to make decisions that I am not able to make. I want my politicians to base their decisions on what they think is right rather than on the uninformed opinions prevalent on the internet or the pre-baked policies of the parties to which they are affiliated. The onus is on us, the electorate, to engage with the system, I believe we get the politicians we deserve and as long as we base our voting decisions on shortcut things like what party the politician declares allegiance to, we will continue to get politicians that game the system. it is like D&Ders that declare their character is chaotic good, but effectively play as neutral evil. ?. We need to find a way to label politicians with the label that fits their actions rather than the label they want to wear. I think the only way is for us to be willing to take a greater interest in who our politicians are and on building institutions we can trust to provide us with real information rather than the selective presentation of data we currently get. No idea how we get there though, most people are content in their tribalism either because they like their tribe or see supporting the other tribe as the only way to defeat the one they like least... Doc
  21. Hmm. well, it is difficult for a mechanic to carry things but, you need to think of something that allows the game to capture the feel of the setting. I think for 40K I might build characters as a squad. You need to allow for individual units to die without losing the continuity of the campaign. I think as an everyman ability, each character would have 128 duplicates. As they say in the film "You cant kill a squadron", it should allow play to continue whether or not individual duplicates are killed off in particular encounters. Each casualty is replaced as soon as central command can arrange reinforcements. everything else I would leave to settings and story.
  22. In HERO, this is key, and perhaps the weakness of the system in the market. To shine, HERO needs the GM to do a lot of work behind the scenes. An example of this is the holy symbol effect. If the GM ensures all undead creatures are bought with particular physical and psychological complications, then all anyone needs to do is buy the perk, Holy Symbol, to make things work the way people expect. It does however mean the GM has to think of it, in advance, and build it into the setting. So, Zslane, what mechanics do you see in dedicated SF RPGs that evoke an SF feel? Doc
  23. You might consider flipping some undead categorisations on their heads. Skellies are often the weakest variety of undead, moving up through vampires and liches. In your world skeletons might be the greatest form of undead and vampires bestial blood drinking vermin that are actually quite easy to kill. It is never a bad thing to sometimes stand things on their heads and pervert player expectations.
  24. Just after I finished my last post I remembered reading a novel recently (Battle Mage by Peter Flannery). Despite lots of good reviews I did not enjoy the books but the battle scenes are relevant - the enemy are called the Possessed and defeated foes become Possessed. Might be worth scanning if you can do it cheaply (library or borrowing - I cannot in good conscience recommend spending money on it). Doc.
  25. War is an interesting element here. If soldiers are undead then you are destroying the labour backbone of the country if the war does not generate more undead than it consumes. The undead army is also going to want to utilise weapons that do not break, rend and tear opponents, you do not want to spoil potential future labourers. Other nations might find it difficult to drive its soldiers to war, they are not just risking death but unlife... The driver for the campaign might be a new technology that allows the Kemeti forces to disable their opponents at range, thereby tilting the balance to war being almost certan to deliver more undead than it consumes...
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