Digest Archives Vol 1 Issue 18

Desmarais, John
From: owner-champ-l-digest@sysabend.org
Sent: Wednesday, November 04, 1998 3:16 PM
To: champ-l-digest@sysabend.org
Subject: champ-l-digest V1 #18

champ-l-digest Wednesday, November 4 1998 Volume 01 : Number 018

In this issue:

Re: Incorporating Myth without stepping on religion.
Re: CHAR: The Commando
Re: CHAR: The Commando
Re: Anglo-HERO (Re: San Angelo Opinions)
MAIL: Odd thing
Re: Disembodied Brains are People Too.
Re: Question about Luck
Re: Danger International / Justice Inc
Re: something odder
Re: Is this as abnormal as I think it is? (Minority Gamers)
Re: Power Concept: Short Circuit
Re: Cyber-Hero
Re: Teleport question
Re: Cyber-Hero
RE: Traveller
Ultimate Super Speedster
Re: Natural Disasters :)
Re: Language Questions
Re: Combat Cards (was: Re: Cyber-Hero)


Date: Sun, 30 Aug 1998 10:32:16 -0400 (EDT)
From: Michael Surbrook <susano@access.digex.net>
Subject: Re: Incorporating Myth without stepping on religion.

On Sun, 30 Aug 1998, Rook wrote:

> I'm actually rather suprised that, as far as I can
> tell from your statements; in all your time gaming you have never been
> presented with a situation that aggravated you in terms of the nature of
> it's context. Unless I'm missreading you.

Actually, I am in this same situation to an extent. In the two langest
running supers game I was involved in, the question of the 'truth' (as you
are describing it) never came up.

In the first game (which ran for about 8 years), the GM started out with a
totally normal world and decided that supers just 'appeared' (much like
Marvel's White Event in their New Universe). Since the best explination
(and rational) he could come up with was magic, a lot of PCs (and NPCs)
had magical origins and powers. For some reason, a *bunch* of people
ended up with 'god-like' powers. It was decided that these people were
Avatars of various dieties. This of course brought up the question of
'who were the gods'? The GM decided that gods were created from magical
energy by the collective conciousness of humanity. Get enough people
believing and worshiping and the god would form out of whatever.

After a time, the god would be self-powered and continued to exist. After
the campaign s 'white event' these gods began to wake back up and tried to
reassert their control in the universe.

Such questions as 'who created everything?' and is their a 'God?' were
not asked as no one really cared. Demons existed, but the GM went with
the Myth Adventures explanation of a 'demon' - a demon was a Dimensional
Traveller, so any one from an alternate plane was a 'demon'. As to
angels, and muses and well... stuff... no one tried to play that, so the
question never came up.

In the second campaign (that lasted for about 5 years), I decided that the
'Avatar' origin from the first campaign (see above) was a cop out, used
by people who couldn't think of anything better. I also didn't want time
travellers, extra-dimensional beings, self-aware robots and aliens. I
wanted people. Heros that were human. So, at the beginning of the game,
I said 'you cannot play gods, aliens, extra-dimensional beings, self-aware
robots, aliens or time travellers'. If someone wanted to play a 'god'
I might have said yes, with the understanding that he was just calling
himself Heracules, or Thor, or Susanoo-no-Miko or whatever and had *no*
connection to any actual god.

I never decided the Supreme Being question, as if never came up. I knew
that magic existed and there were alternate worlds and dimensions and some
'demons' were powerful magical beings from those alterante worlds and that
was good enough for the game.

As it was, no one ever palyed a magician in the game and no one really
worried about metaphysical origin of the universe, the PCs were too busy
stopping crime and battling assorted meglomaniac, costumed nutcases with
delusions of grandure. All in all it worked out.

I will state that both games had a scattering of beliefs in them.
Christian, Catholic, Baptist, agnostic, athiest, Jewish etc, but no got
bent out of shape of the 'mythology' of the game. We accepted it as a
game and moved on.

* "'Cause I'm the god of destruction, that's why!" - Susano Orbatos,Orion *
* Michael Surbrook / susano@access.digex.net *
* Visit "Surbrook's Stuff' the Hero Games resource site at: *
* http://www.access.digex.net/~susano/index.html *
* Attacked Mystification Police / AD Police / ESWAT *
* Society for Creative Anachronism / House ap Gwystl / Company of St.Mark *


Date: Tue, 4 Aug 1998 10:02:16 -0400 (EDT)
From: Michael Surbrook <susano@access.digex.net>
Subject: Re: CHAR: The Commando

On Tue, 4 Aug 1998, Jason Sullivan wrote:

> > >The Commando
> > >18 Cammoflauge: Invisibility, 0 END; Requires Stealth Roll
> > > <snippage>
> > > Only in Hero ID(-1/4), Variable Special Effects
> > He doesn't seem to have a distinct hero/normal ID, so why the 'Hero ID'
> > limitation?
> He does have a distinctive Hero ID. When he puts on the make-up,
> the mask, and the cammo suit, he is the Commando. It is the case more
> often than not he is wearing his cammo, with or without the mask, so I
> decided to go with the OIHID instead of an OIF.

This isn't a Heero ID. This is his 'costume' To me OIH is for people
like the Human Torch or Iceman or Devil Hunter Yohko or them stupid Sailor
Scouts. Anyone who undergoes a minor transformation to switch into their
'heroic ID'. Putting on a costume isn't it.

> > > 15 Mystery ID: No record of the Commando's true identity
> > >exists anymore. Wartime trauma has stripped him of all recollection
> > >of any sort of family ties or friends he may have had, and was
> > >even sufficent enough to make him totally forget his name. The
> > >Commando does not have any form of insurance, medical records, or
> > >identification. Bureaucraticly, he does not exist.
> >
> > Exactly how does this limit him? It looks like a Perk to me. It doesn't
> > limit him as a Public or Secret ID would. The loss of memory is part of the
> > amnesia disad, below. Basically he gets no records for enemies to trace *and*
> > gets 15 points for it...
> No records to trace is covered under the John Doe perk. In
> addition, he has no 'alias' he can fall back on. Ever try to get a gun
> permit or a driver's licence without an identity? What about applying for
> a credit card or starting up a bank account? How about medical insurance
> when you have gunshot wounds in your arm? A passport? What about his
> rights as a citizen; no citizenship? No voting rights? What about owning
> property? No house, no car, no possibility of marriage licence or
> college education, no normal job 'on the books.' ...and heaven
> forbid he should ever get caught by the police.
> ...also, Mystery ID means that -someone- *might* know who he is,
> but he doesn't, and that's where the real fun begins. :) I was thinking
> of doing some very Manchurian Canditate things with him.

Okay, but you should cough up more than 2 points for 'John Doe'. And
rephrase Mystery ID to a Phys Lim. Something like Phys Lim: No Legal
Identity, unable to operate in normal society.

> > > Most are self explainatory. I decided to limit the
> > >Distinctive
> > >Features because he can always ditch the cammo and wear civilian
> > >clothing
> > >if need be.
> >
> > Then it really *isn't* distinctive features.
> It's pretty distinctive to those looking for him, and considering
> he can't divorce himself from his 'hero' identity for very long (and it's
> easily concealable to begin with), I decided that the DF fit the character
> conception quite nicely.

So is Batman's costume, adn Superman's. I don't like the idea of a
costume being a DF, unless it's *very* unusual for the world.

* "'Cause I'm the god of destruction, that's why!" - Susano Orbatos,Orion *
* Michael Surbrook / susano@access.digex.net *
* Visit "Surbrook's Stuff' the Hero Games resource site at: *
* http://www.access.digex.net/~susano/index.html *
* Attacked Mystification Police / AD Police / ESWAT *
* Society for Creative Anachronism / House ap Gwystl / Company of St.Mark *


Date: Tue, 4 Aug 1998 09:56:05 -0400 (EDT)
From: Michael Surbrook <susano@access.digex.net>
Subject: Re: CHAR: The Commando

On Mon, 3 Aug 1998, Jason Sullivan wrote:

> The Commando
> 18 STR 8 13- 300kg; 3 1/2 d6
> 18 DEX 24 13- OCV: 6 / DCV: 6
> 13 CON 6 12-

Since you bought up his ED, END and STUN, why not but this up to 15 or 18
and save some points?

> 15 BODY 10 12-
> 11 INT 1 11- PER Roll 11-

I'd buy this up a touch if he's supposed to be pretty savvy and a good
tactical fighter.

> 11 EGO 2 11-
> 16 PRE 6 12- PRE Attack: 3d6
> 10 COM 0 11-
> 6 PD 2 Total: PD 12/ PDr 6
> 5 ED 2 Total: ED 7/ EDr 4
> 4 SPD 12 Phases: 3, 6, 9, 12
> 9 REC 4
> 38 END 6
> 38 STUN 7

See my comments on CON. With stats like these, he should have a higher

> Cost Powers & Skills
> Equipment:
> 11 Composite Kevlar Body Armor: Armor +6 PD/+4 ED, Hardened (+1/4);
> OIF (Body Armor,-1/2), Offers no protection against knives or
> falling damage(-1/2), Activation 12- [or protects locations
> 6-17](-3/4)

Someone's using Dark Champions I see...

> 18 Cammoflauge: Invisibility, 0 END; Requires Stealth Roll
> (-1/2); Only works in dimly lit or other areas appropiate for
> cammoflauge while wearing appropiate type of cammoflauge(-1/4);
> Only in Hero ID(-1/4), Variable Special Effects
> (different cammoflauge,+1/4), can change Variable Special
> Effect only at base(-1/2)

Very cinematic.

> 34 Equipment Power Pool: 30 Point Pool, 14 Point Control Cost, No
> Skill Roll Required(+1); May only change equipment at base(-1/2),
> Limited Special Effects: "real world" mundane technology, weapons
> and equipment(-1/2), Must be a Foci of some sort, representing
> equipment taken or used(-1/4)

I'll point out that if you can only change equipment at base, you probably
don't need 'No Skill Roll'. You can change your power pool with out a
skill roll, it just takes a while. The skill roll is for changes in
combat. Note that 30 points limits one to pistols, and you can't buy a
.44 Magnum (2d6 RKA +1 STUN) for 30 points.

> 14 Special Training: DEX +7; Only works to act first in a phase(-1/2)

I have this power, but that's me. Note: I swear that 'only to act first'
is more than -1/2.

> 10 Exceptional Willpower: CON +10; Only to prevent being
> stunned(-1/2), Requires an EGO roll (-1/2)

Okay, not bad. I'd like to point out that your EGO roll is 11-, this is a
- -1 limitation if you treat it like an Activation roll.

> 6 Sniper Training: Range Skill Levels w/ sniper rifle: +4 OCV
> 3 Range Skill Levels w/ sniper rifle: +4 OCV;
> Only vs. Hit Location Modifiers (-1)

Nope. You can't use Range levels to reduce hit location mods. You use
normal combat levels. This is a 10 point power.

> 3 Transport familiarity: Scuba, Helicopters, Parachute
> 2 Transport Famaliarity: Group: Ground Vechiles
> 3 Wesponsmith: Slugthrowers, 11-
> 1,1 WF: Knives, Thrown Knives
> 2 WF: Group: Small Arms
> 1,1 WF: Flamethrowers, Heavy Machine Guns

Having written up a zillion character sheets, I don't see why you don't
list all these one one line. Makes it easier to read and more compact.

> Perks & Talents:
> 2 John Doe

? What Perk is this? DC's 'Deep Cover'?

> 20 Find Weakness w/ sniper rifle, 13-


> 8 Distinctive Features: Full Cammoflauge (Easily Concealable; Is
> always noticed); Only in Hero ID (-1/4)

Okay, I disagree with a limitation on a disad. For this case you should
make it a conditional DF and subtract -5 points. Note: if this is his
'hero costume' you normally don't get a DF for this. And what is his Hero

> 15 Mystery ID: No record of the Commando's true identity exists
> anymore. Wartime trauma has stripped him of all recollection of
> any sort of family ties or friends he may have had, and was even
> sufficent enough to make him totally forget his name. The Commando
> does not have any form of insurance, medical records, or
> identification. Bureaucraticly, he does not exist.

This is not a disad. This isa major perk.

> 15 Psychological Limitation: Loner; fears for the lives of innocents
> too much to endanger anyone else (Common, Strong)

I hope this character isn't meant to be part of a team then...

* "'Cause I'm the god of destruction, that's why!" - Susano Orbatos,Orion *
* Michael Surbrook / susano@access.digex.net *
* Visit "Surbrook's Stuff' the Hero Games resource site at: *
* http://www.access.digex.net/~susano/index.html *
* Attacked Mystification Police / AD Police / ESWAT *
* Society for Creative Anachronism / House ap Gwystl / Company of St.Mark *


Date: Mon, 21 Sep 1998 09:10:51 +1000
From: Mad Hamish <h_laws@postoffice.utas.edu.au>
Subject: Re: Anglo-HERO (Re: San Angelo Opinions)

At 11:08 PM 9/19/98 -0500, you wrote:
>> >well actually there something to be said for propoganda and money
>> here.American
>> >indians get land back, make money out of it.
>> Well seeing as I'm in Tasmania I'm not in the best place to comment on this
>> but my understanding of the issues are
>> - not all of the American Indians have land
> Right. If the government didn't treaty with them to begin with, they
>don't recognize them now.

Not that the treaties that were made have had much attention paid to them.

>> - some of the tribes have refused compensation in an attempt to
get the US
>> government to live up to the treaties that they signed.
> Many of the tribes actually. They want the land back, not the money.
>The Pine Ridge Dakota reservation is incredibly impoverished. The
>governement awarded them a settlement somewhere in the 100 million plus
>range. It remains in an account, untouched, as they don't want the
>money. Over 300 million, last I heard.

Well they want the terms of the treaty adhered to, I forget the name of the
land that the treaty recognised them as exclusive owners of (The Black
Hills??) but as I understand it there is a growing minority of the tribe
who think that they're just going to have to take the money because the
government can outstubborn them.
> Quite simply, many/most of the tribes want their sovreignity back.
>Their tired of being a colonized people. Don't be fooled, we are
>definately not in the post-colonial era.
Nope, but especially here in Australia we're much closer to it than 30
years ago.

> There is a couple of interesting facts, actually. Did you know that
>the people of Greenland are petitioning for independance from Denmark?
>Quite true.

Nope, I didn't know that.

> Did you know that the population is approximately 15 Yupik
>(Native American Tribe) to 1 European? Do you realize that, if
>independance is granted, we will have the first Native American Nation
>recognized as sovreign by the UN?

Well I'd rather call it a sovereign nation which is largely made up of
Native Americans, because I'd certainly hope that Native Americans and
Europeans there would have equal rights.

> Do you realize that the US and Canada
>are very much against this independance? Do you realize why?

Not a nice precedent for them to have to try and deal with.
> Also, the tribes located in Quebec have threatened to succeed from
>Quebec if Quebec succeeds from Canada. Taking about 75% of the land
>with them.

So does this imply that they trust the Canadian government more than they
trust the people they think would run Quebec?

> Also, the Inuit people in the NW territories want
>sovreignity. Lots of politics.

Lots of politics, but it beats the hell out of fighting.
It also depends exactly what it meant by sovreignity, there are a lot of
problems which are involved in settling anything that complex.
>> I think you have to distinguish between anti-Aboriginal attitudes and
>> disagreeing with some policies of governments and the like.
>> i.e. I don't agree with many of the approaches put forward to try and
>> reduce the disadvantages of the Aboriginal people, because I don't think
>> they'll work.
> What will work is letting them have their property back.

It sounds so simple....
Know how many aboriginals there are? Know how many Tasmanian aboriginals
there are?
Know what proportion of aboriginals are largely of european decent?
Exactly what do you mean by giving their land back? The _whole_ of
Australia? Where do the Anglos end up? Can't go to the USA because that has
to go back to the Natives Americans, can't go to Africa, anyone want to
move to Antartica?

>> That doesn't mean that I'm anti-Aboriginal.
> I'm not sure I agree with that based on your statements.
>> similarly you had situations with Abstudy where an Aboriginal _did_ get
>> more financial assistance from the government than another student with a
>> different ethnic background and the same financial conditions. I don't
>> consider that fair.
> Why not? The Aboriginals, as a colonized people, are entitled to much,
>much more.

I don't believe that it's a sensible way of addressing the real problems,
nor is it sensible to deliberately single out one community group for
individual assistance.

I _would_ like to see the money currently channeled towards ATSIC
(Aboriginal and torres strait islander commision)instead put into a fund
that the Aboriginal communities can draw out of to solve their own
problems. it costs a _lot_ of money to run ATSIC and it has achieved very
little in terms of health, education, sanitation levels etc.

I believe that currently the first priority has to be addressing the
immediate problems of Aboriginal communities (high infant mortality rate,
low life expectancy, high rate of alcohol abuse, petrol sniffing,
sanitation, education etc)

Like it or not there is no way that the clock can be turned back to
pre-settlement times and the 20th century has unleashed a _lot_ of problems
on Aboriginies which are having immediate effects (alcohol abuse, petrol
sniffing, western diets etc) as well as having many of the benefits pass
them by (education, medical care etc). I see these as areas which have to
be addressed now because they are in many ways easier problems _and_ will
put the Aboriginies into a better situation to see the other injustices

>> Instead the media kept publishing overinflated claims about what could
>> happen and the situation _wasn't_ helped by ambit claims by Aboriginal
>> groups (I don't say it's their fault, if you ask for more than you should
>> get you may get what you deserve, if you ask for what you deserve you
>> _won't_ get it)
> More than they deserve? Did they ask for more than the entire
>continent? That's what they deserve.

Let me rephrase that as more than they are entitled to under the current

I'm not looking at it in terms of rights I'm looking at the reason why
there was a lot of problems with fear straight after the Wik decision. When
a farmer hears that (from memory) 90% of Queensland has had native title
claims made on it that _is_ going to cause fear.
>> Sorry, but I don't think that's a certainty. If your family has been using
>> land for, say, 150 years and your use is suddenly thrown into doubt protest
>> and anger about it is hardly unreasonable.
> If your family had been using land for thousands of years, and all of a
>sudden were forced off by violence, they would have no claim to retake
>it? That's what you are saying.
I seem to recall writing that in response to the claim that the protests on
the Wik decision were based on racism. Now in a lot of cases the basis for
the fear was ill-informed but I don't agree that it was clearly
demonstrating racism.

That's a _lot_ different from saying that the Aboriginals don't have a fair
case to the land. Ially yes, I'd be in favour of giving it all back to
them. The problem is what happens then?
I see it as raising a _lot_ of problems and probably triggering a _lot_ of
anti-Aboriginal violence.

Frankly the whole "let's give it back" argument ignores a hell of a lot of
problems which have to be solved, before it's a reasonable solution.
The Wik decision establishes (from memory) co-use of land where Aboriginies
can demonstrate a continual cultural attachment since white settlement, I
forget the details of what the Mabo decision established.

I don't think that there is currently a better solution than that
available, but I sure as hell hope that Australia keeps looking for one,
hopefully with a lot better media coverage of the process so that the
"average Australian" understands what is being suggested.


Date: Wed, 4 Nov 1998 03:20:07 -0500 (EST)
From: owner-champ-l@sysabend.org
Subject: [none]


Date: Wed, 04 Nov 1998 08:09:04 -0500 (EST)
From: Jason Sullivan <ravanos@njcu.edu>
Subject: MAIL: Odd thing

I just saw two of my posts on this list in my New mail box...
...from August.

Anyone else get these?

- -+-<-+->-+-<-+->-+-<-+->-+-<-+->-+-<-+->-+-<-+->-+-<-+->-+-<-+->-+-<-+->-+-<-+-
"Fools are my theme, let satire be my song."
-Lord Byron; English Bards and Scotch Reviewers. Line 6.
- -=-_=_-=-_=_-=-_=_-=-_=_-=-_=_-=-_=_-=-_=_-=-_=_-=-_=_-=-_=_-=-_=_-=-_=_-=-_=_-


Date: Mon, 02 Nov 1998 16:42:00 -0600
From: "Guy Hoyle" <ghoyle1@airmail.net>
Subject: Re: Disembodied Brains are People Too.

On 8/3/98, at 12:22 AM, Michael Surbrook wrote:

>On Sun, 2 Aug 1998, Brats Incorporated wrote:
>> Also, when I was
>> >young and read through my old Superman encylopedia, I recall having
seen a
>> >villian whose brain could move from body to body (will find out for
>> >reference on this list).
>> I think that would have been the Ultra-Humanite. But I'm probably
>No, I think that's correct.

I always wondered how the Ultra-Humanite was always able to find crooked
brain surgeons of a high enough caliber that he could train them in his
brain translplant technique so easily. If they were easy enough to
blackmail into it, I'd assume that they could always make a "mistake"
during the transplant itself ("Oops! Left the medulla oblongata behind!");
if they were ethical enough to avoid this, how did they do something bad
enough that the U-H could blackmail them over it?

Also on this topic: read DC's THE GOLDEN AGE. Can't tell ya more without
giving it away.

PS Isn't the list spewing out a lot of months-old messages?



Date: Wed, 04 Nov 1998 00:54:54 -0800
From: Chad Riley <chadriley01@m7.sprynet.com>
Subject: Wierd

I just got some messages that were 0ne to two months old. Anyone else?


Date: Wed, 04 Nov 1998 00:40:45 -0800
From: James Jandebeur <james@javaman.to>
Subject: Re: Question about Luck

> What I do is as follows; for characters with Luck, each point allows them to
> change a roll by two points _after_ it's been rolled...that effects them in

Just for clarification: what is a "point" of Luck? Are you referring to
getting 6's on the dice roll? If so, when do you allow it to be rolled?



Date: Wed, 04 Nov 1998 00:34:17 -0800
From: James Jandebeur <james@javaman.to>
Subject: Re: Danger International / Justice Inc

Christopher Taylor wrote:
> >> What IS missing, which if I ever do War Hero will be addressed, is some
> >> kind of courage under fire structure, so that people who arent trained
> >> might freeze and lose phases, or even cower and hide for several at a time.

Actually, in addition to Presence attacks and so on, this is covered by
the Speed characteristic itself. What is the speed 2 character doing in
the firefight? Are they actually standing around for six seconds at a
shot, only to then go into a sudden flurry of activity? No, certainly
not. Depending on the character, they might be slow and creaky to react,
or they might very well be freezing in panic and losing phases. Combined
with Presence attacks and the optional rule about going "ouch" and
ducking with injured, this seems to cover it fairly well.



Date: Tue, 13 Oct 1998 13:38:08 -0700
From: Shelley Chrystal Mactyre <scm@mactyre.net>
Subject: Re: GURPS: GURPS

I'm not generally given to this, but...

Amen! I play GURPS and Hero equally and love them both. I'm about to
start a new GURPS Traveller campaign -- something my husband's been doing
for years, on his own -- and I can't tell you how thrilled I am to see SJG
involved in my favorite SF setting.

Heck, my Malinois puppy is named "Norris," for goodness' sake! =)

At 3:03 PM -0500 10/13/98, Dr. Nuncheon wrote:
>OK, enough GURPS-bashing. Yes, GURPS licenses a lot of stuff. They also
>produce a lot of original material. Let's look at what's in print, shall


Shelley Chrystal Mactyre


Date: Fri, 30 Oct 1998 15:39:49 -0600
From: Guy Hoyle <ghoyle1@airmail.net>
Subject: Re: something odder

> Ahh, yes. The Super-Boxers. I remember that guy. I think he may well
> have been the inspiration for the Guiding Hand, from Daedalus' Feng Shui
> RPG. I read the description and said, "Wow. That's kinda neat. I
> might use him in a campaign once. Or even twice if the campaign went on
> for several years." There's a villain in Fantasy Hero who does a
> similar thing, turning villagers into demons. It's in one of the sample
> adventures. Again, a fun one-shot menace.

Ba Kien. I downsized him quite a bit, made the "Transformation" power a
type of alchemical powder, and have made him a "Son of Fu Manchu" type in
my Pulp (Odysseus League) campaign.



Date: Thu, 01 Oct 1998 17:36:36 -0700
From: Tanom <tanom@gate.net>
Subject: Re: Is this as abnormal as I think it is? (Minority Gamers)

Guy Hoyle wrote:

> On 9/30/98, at 9:33 PM, Rick Edwards wrote:
> >I'll have to agree with Bob. I'm black, and I've only very rarely met
> >any minorities in my gaming circles so far. (This excepts when I ran
> >with my cousins or my current PBeM).
> Now that I've had a chance to think about it, I think that I have only
> gamed with one person of Hispanic background, and no other minorities (if
> you consider all the European Cacasians as one ethnic background).
> Religiously, I think I've gamed with various brands of Protestants, several
> Catholics, a few Pagans, some Mormons, some Agnostics, and at least one
> Atheist. (I myself came from a lacksadaisical Presbyterian/Church of Christ
> background with some Baptist exposure, currently an Agnostic).
> Guy

Sorry to set things in the wrong direction but I game with 2 hispanics every
week and have gamed with at least 4 other hispanics and 2 blacks. I guess that
is out of the norm?


Date: Sun, 11 Oct 1998 21:10:32 -0500
From: Ross Rannells <rossrannells@worldnet.att.net>
Subject: Re: Power Concept: Short Circuit

thomas deja wrote:

> Okay, time to pick your brains:
> I just started playing a character called The Tide, who controls water.
> One of the abilities I'd like to buy for her in the future is the
> ability to short out high-tech weaponry by flooding their systems with
> water.
> I've been thinking about how to build it, and I'm not sure. My ideas
> (and they're vague) include: a Minor Transform, an AP KA usuable only on
> high-tech electronics, and a suppress. Your thoughts?

I would think a dispel is what you are looking for. Since this type of
attack would be an all or nothing atttack. You either short out the power
and make it useless or you don't harm it at all.

> "'N I fell for all that'die-like-a-warrior' crap. I've seen clowns fall
> off their bikes with more honor"
> --Xander Haris, BUFFY TVS #1
> ____________________________________
> THE ULTIMATE HULK, containing the new story, "A Quiet, Normal Life," is
> available now from Byron Preiss and Berkley
> _______________________________
> MAKE UP YOUR OWN DAMN TITLE, Tom Deja's webpage
> www.freeyellow.com/members/tdj


Date: Mon, 2 Nov 1998 15:52:29 -0800 (PST)
From: "Steven J. Owens" <puff@netcom.com>
Subject: Re: Cyber-Hero

Wayne Shaw writes:

> >Michael Surbrook writes:
> > Reasons to use Hero for doing CP: 1) transgenre games, 2) your
> >players want to come up with odd things outside the scope of typical
> >CP games, 3) your players want the tactical options that Hero combat
> >provides (and are good enough both with the system and as players to
> >keep from bogging down combat).

Actually, that was me writing above.

> Don't forget 4) Your players are comfortable with the Hero System, know the
> mechanics well, and don't see a reason to learn a new system simply to play
> a new genre. System portability is often one of the draws of games like
> Hero and GURPS.

That's pretty much assumed in (3). RTG (at least first edition)
was much simpler and more streamlined, and very quick to learn. If your
players know the hero system *really* well, then they'll feel constrained
in the RTG system, both in tactical terms and in character design. But
if they're anything less than experts at the Hero system, I predict the
game will bog down.

Random Thought:

Someday I want to actually make and playtest a set of "combat
cards" for use in hero combat. These would be cards representing each
standard combat maneuver (and maybe martial artists) and listing
cumulative DCV/OCV/etc issues, plus in small print the issues of which
maneuvers can be used with which other maneuvers, and describing
ancillary effects. Maybe even build in the SPD issues, though I
can't think of any easy way to do this offhand.

Each player would have a deck customized to only list valid
maneuvers for the character (i.e. the martial artist probably doesn't
need the "spread" manuever) and could lay cards down to represent what
the player is doing. In theory this would make play go more smoothly
and keep more "state" on what each player is doing out in plain sight.
It would also help introduce new players to the game, and might even
get experienced players to use more of the various optional maneuvers
and modifiers.

Steven J. Owens

P.S. Anybody know of a game near Pasadena in Los Angeles? I'm out
here visiting for a couple months.


Date: Fri, 9 Oct 1998 09:09:46 -0400 (EDT)
From: Michael Surbrook <susano@access.digex.net>
Subject: Re: Teleport question

On Fri, 9 Oct 1998, David W. Salmon wrote:

> Hi all,
> I don't have my BBB handy and was wondering if someone could answer a
> question. If I fly straight up there is a 2 for 1 cost for the movement.
> Meaning if I have 20" of flight I can fly straight up 10". Does the same
> rule apply to Teleport?

I would say no, since Teleport is defeined as moving from point A to point
B without crossing the space in between. Thus, you don't have to 'climb'
to gain alttitude and can Teleport straight up 20" with 20" of Teleport.

* "'Cause I'm the god of destruction, that's why!" - Susano Orbatos,Orion *
* Michael Surbrook / susano@access.digex.net *
* Visit "Surbrook's Stuff' the Hero Games resource site at: *
* http://www.access.digex.net/~susano/index.html *
* Attacked Mystification Police / AD Police / ESWAT *
* Society for Creative Anachronism / House ap Gwystl / Company of St.Mark *


Date: Tue, 13 Oct 1998 16:58:37 -0400 (EDT)
From: Michael Surbrook <susano@access.digex.net>
Subject: Re: GURPS: GURPS

On Tue, 13 Oct 1998, Bryant Durrell wrote:

> > I would like to point out that the trend (in the last year or so) is for
> > GURPS to do GURPS: "Some Other Game System". Yes, they have made a mess
> > of fine books in the past (I still want to get a copy of GURPS: CHINA &
> > JAPAN) but recently, it seems that GURPS is publishing a GURPS version of
> > other games. An interesting trend to say the least.
> The only GURPS: Other Game System published within the last year was in
> fact GURPS: Traveller. (GURPS Goblins was also adapted from an original
> system, but I believe that came out more than a year ago.)

I ssaid last year or so... I don't remember when SJG started their
adaptions of White Wolf's stuff.

* "'Cause I'm the god of destruction, that's why!" - Susano Orbatos,Orion *
* Michael Surbrook / susano@access.digex.net *
* Visit "Surbrook's Stuff' the Hero Games resource site at: *
* http://www.access.digex.net/~susano/index.html *
* Attacked Mystification Police / AD Police / ESWAT *
* Society for Creative Anachronism / House ap Gwystl / Company of St.Mark *


Date: Mon, 2 Nov 1998 22:35:18 -0800 (PST)
From: "Steven J. Owens" <puff@netcom.com>
Subject: Re: Cyber-Hero

I wrote:
> > Someday I want to actually make and playtest a set of "combat
> > cards" for use in hero combat. These would be cards representing each
> > standard combat maneuver (and maybe martial artists) and listing
> > cumulative DCV/OCV/etc issues, plus in small print the issues of which
> > maneuvers can be used with which other maneuvers, and describing
> > ancillary effects. Maybe even build in the SPD issues, though I
> > can't think of any easy way to do this offhand. [...]

Melinda and Steven Mitchell writes:
> We are using a modified version of this kind of thing for FH right now, and
> have been since '92. We don't have a card for every maneuver, but we do
> have one card for every weapon, with all the typical maneuvers listed.
> Each card is custom designed for the player. (We use a Word '97 page,
> divided into four cards.)

Sounds like a good way to organize the player's weapon info, but
I was thinking more of a way to help the player (and the GM) track the
actual flow of combat. I.e. the player decides to dodge, lays down a
"dodge" card, which shows the plus to the DCV in big bold letters in
one corner (and maybe in smaller letters shows the player's adjusted
DCV, assuming the dodge is the only maneuver card down). The card
stays down for the length of the player's phase. The GM can recall,
just by glancing at the player, what the player was doing and what the
current combat values, etc, are.

To choose a more complex example, the player makes a half-move,
lays down the half-move card (it's been a while, but if I recall
correctly, that's a -1 to OCV). Then the player lays down an attack
card, say an offensive blow, which has additional OCV and DCV
modifiers. The cards stay down until the beginning of the player's
next phase. The GM can tell the cumulative OCV/DCV/etc by glancing at
the player and also can recall what the player was doing. The novice
player can tell just by glancing at the cards whether he's allowed to
abort out or not, etc.

> As far as SPD is concerned, I heartily recommend
> using an action die instead. Not quite what you are saying, but it does
> accomplish exactly the goals you state in the second paragraph.

Using an action die is a good idea, but I was thinking more of
building the SPD into the cards. I'm still not sure how to pull this
off, but I have vague ideas of, for example, the card listing the
phases on which it can be played and when it goes away, or perhaps
some other way of looking at the SPD system which preserves the
mathematical integrity but is more visually accessible.

Personally, one of the flaws in the hero combat system I've
always been aware of is the "stutter" of combat SPD. Realistically
actions are a smooth progression. I realize the hero system is a good
compromise between playability (or just sheer feasibility) and
realism, but it'd be interesting to come up with alternatives. Here's
an example alternative off the top of my head:

Actions take a certain number of fractions of a second, modified
by the character's SPD. Each action has a number of fractions to
commit, and a number of fractions of followup. The followup has good
and bad alternatives. The action has to continue long enough for the
commit in order to get the effect (i.e. strike or grab or whatever).
If the action is interrupted by another character before the followup
is finished, however, there are negative consequences (worse DCV
minus after the strike, or weakened the grab, etc).

This kind of thing is, of course, annoyingly complicated and
awkward, but I wonder if some such system might become feasible with
the introduction of maneuver cards or some other playing aid. This is
not a fully fleshed out concept, so I don't expect it to stand up
under rigorous examination, but I would like to hear ideas, opinions,

Steven J. Owens


Date: Thu, 15 Oct 1998 10:45:54 -0400
From: Brian Wawrow <bwawrow@fmco.com>
Subject: RE: Traveller

> > Traveller was, or at least was proported to be, the very first
> sci-fi RPG.
Wasn't there a SF game that predated even D&D called Space
Opera? I think I saw an article on it somewhere talking about how
detailed and math-heavy the rules were. Does anyone know anything about


Date: Thu, 22 Oct 1998 23:22:46 -0500 (EST)
From: Tokyo Mark <bastet@iquest.net>
Subject: Ultimate Super Speedster

A little while ago there was a threada bout super speedster powers, did
anyone collect that? I've been working on a super speedster and could
always use more ideas.



Date: Thu, 29 Oct 1998 13:14:01 -0500
From: Mathieu Roy <matroy@abacom.com>
Subject: Re: Natural Disasters :)

qts wrote:

> >Amputation can also be used in some cases, such as Quebec's current Premier.
> You mean, at the neck level? :}

No, no, I said Quebec's Premier, not Canada's Prime Minister! =)



Date: Wed, 21 Oct 1998 11:31:19 -0400
From: "...jason schneiderman..." <werther@hilander.com>
Subject: Re: Language Questions

At 6:12 AM 10/21/98, Bob Greenwade wrote:
> (On a tangent: I know the names of most diacritics, like the tilde ~
>and the circumflex ^ for instance, but I forget the name of this one -- the
>double dot over a vowel. Anyone here know it, other than "double dot"?)

Yeah - that's an "umlaut".

yöurs trüly,
- -J


Date: Wed, 4 Nov 1998 14:12:01 -0600 (Central Standard Time)
From: Tim Gilberg <gilberg@ou.edu>
Subject: Re: Combat Cards (was: Re: Cyber-Hero)

> >First, I don't think -1 OCV for a half move is standard. Is that a house
> rule in your campaign?
> That is a hold over from the earlier editions. 4th drooped it.

Are you sure?

I seem to remember it being in 4th edition.

Though I recall it as about the most ignored rule ever for Champs.

-Tim Gilberg


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