Digest Archives Vol 1 Issue 196

From: owner-champ-l-digest@sysabend.org 
Sent: Monday, February 08, 1999 9:13 PM 
To: champ-l-digest@sysabend.org 
Subject: champ-l-digest V1 #196 
 
 
champ-l-digest        Monday, February 8 1999        Volume 01 : Number 196 
 
 
 
In this issue: 
 
    Re: Desolidification 
    Re: Multipower Questions  
    Re: Desolidification 
    Re: [RE: The 3d6- system sucks!] 
    Re: Mimic & Cosmic Pools 
    Re: Desolidification 
    Necromacy Limitation / Fantasy World - Decission 
    Re: Multipower Questions  
    Re: blocking the heavy hits 
    Re: The 3d6- system sucks! 
    Re: Desolidification 
    Re: [Re: blocking the heavy hits] 
    Re: [Re: blocking the heavy hits] 
    Re: Desolidification 
    Re: The 3d6- system sucks! 
    Re: Desolidification 
    Re: blocking the heavy hits 
    Re: Desolidification 
    Re: Dark Champions 
    Re: Character: Gollum 
    Re: Necromacy Limitation / Fantasy World - Decission 
    Re: Multipower Questions 
    Re: [Re: blocking the heavy hits] 
 
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
 
Date: Mon, 08 Feb 1999 15:46:48 -0600 
From: Lance Dyas <lancelot@binary.net> 
Subject: Re: Desolidification 
 
Oh I think i just understood this entire argument.... 
in classic understanding of the astrally projected 
individual is out of his body... and is a mind 
no longer protected by the structures of his 
brain/nervous system... 
If a non projected character has a cheaper cost 
on his mental powers affecting the desolid... 
then something may actually be simulated by 
the unfairness someone was noting. 
 
Boy that is a messy use of language... 
did i just make any sense 
 
 
Filksinger wrote: 
 
> From: Michael (Damon) & Peni Griffin <griffin@txdirect.net> 
> 
> <snip> 
> 
> > 
> >So my only question was, it is entirely fair to make the Desolid mentalist 
> >pay triple the cost for his mental powers in order to affect the physical 
> >world *with those powers* when the reverse isn't true? 
> 
> Its because the two situations are not truly mirror images of each other. It 
> isn't a matter of "Does it seem reasonable that it only works one way"; its 
> a matter of "Is it balanced if it _doesn't_ go only one way." 
> 
> If characters with Desolid who were vulnerable to mental powers could use 
> them without the requisite Advantage, you end up with this situation: 
> 
> The character can attack mentalists. Mentalists can attack the character. 
> The character can attack non-mentalists. Non-mentalists cannot attack the 
> character. 
> 
> This gives the character an unbalanced edge vs others, without paying for 
> it. 
> 
> OTOH, if you wanted to declare that, because of their unusual ability to 
> affect the minds of Desolid characters, mentalists and only mentalists 
> _could_ be affected by the mental powers of Desolid characters ( a sort of 
> "I can reach your mind, you can reach mine"), then go for it. It seems to 
> balance just fine. 
> 
> Filksinger 
 
------------------------------ 
 
Date: 8 Feb 99 15:51:18 MST 
From: ANTHONY VARGAS <anthony.vargas@usa.net> 
Subject: Re: Multipower Questions  
 
>>I rather think it is in the description of the MP - the Limitation only 
>>applies to the MP if it is *identical*, not merely alike. So with a 
>>Focus, it must be the exact same focus; with Charges, it must be the 
>>exact same Charges, not the same no of Charges, but the *same*; with 
>>Burnout, it must be the same Burnout, not one for each. Et cetera 
>> 
>> 
>>Even this doesn't help in one case; what happens once you hit the break 
>>even 
>>or Advantage level? [of charges] 
 
Nothing.  It's not a Limitation anymore, so the bit about aplying the 
same limitation to the Reserve doesn't aply. 
  
 
 
 
____________________________________________________________________ 
Get free e-mail and a permanent address at http://www.netaddress.com/?N=1 
 
------------------------------ 
 
Date: 8 Feb 99 14:44:56 MST 
From: ANTHONY VARGAS <anthony.vargas@usa.net> 
Subject: Re: Desolidification 
 
> [Desol Mentalists must buy Affects Real World 
> >This almost seems unfair, though, unless the character has spent the  
> >extra 20 points to be unaffected by mental powers. 
> 
> Compare a mentalist trying to use his on the Harbinger of Justice and a 
> Desolid Mentalist trying to use his mental Powers on the Harbinger of 
> Justice.  One winds up riddled with bullets one winds up untouched. 
> (Until the Harbinger can get his special "Affects Desolid" bullets...) 
 
I think we're comparing the wrong things here.  Compare a fully Desolid  
(including Mental) Mentalist, and how he's likely to fare, with one who 
is Vulnerable to Mental Powers, but otherwise Desolid.  The first one 
can basicly anoy anyone (2d Ego Attack) who lacks Ego Defense - heck, on 
a bad day, he might not even be able to keep ahead of his victim's post- 
12 REC.  The second, OTOH, is in the same boat until he meets a fellow, 
solid, Mentalist.... then he's toast.   
 
To take a similar example, say you have a character whose Desold to 
Physical /only/.  He has an EB, which, even though he's still affected 
by Energy, has to be bought 'Affects Real World +2' ...  Now, in most 
supercombats, there will be characters with energy attacks... 
 
To invert the original idea, a character who was Desolid, /only/ to  
Mental Powers, still has to put that +2 Advantage on all his attacks - 
even though the fact that he's 'Desolid' will only come up occasionally. 
 
It all becomes particularly extreme if you adhere to strict Apt caps... 
 
One possibility is to stagger the Advantage, like so: 
 
Affects Solid: This is a +2 if you are applying it to a power that the 
character is not vulnerable to, +1 if you are applying it to a power that the 
character is vulnerable to that is fairly uncommon, and +1/2 if it is a common 
power that the character is vulnerable to. It is always a +1/2 if applied to 
senses or other non-aggressive powers.  
 
(taken from: 
http://www.javaman.to/heropowers.html 
BTW) 
 
So, for the above examples: 
 
Desolid to everything but Mental Powers Mentalist needs a +1 Advantage - 
so he gets a 3d Ego Attack, instead of 2d.  He still has to pay the +2 
if he wants a physical KA, Energy attack, or whatever, since he's not 
vulnerable to those.  Also, if he went and bought 20 or 40 pts of Ego 
DEF, (excuse me, Mental Defense), he'd be hard pressed to claim  
'vulnerability' (no, not the Disad), to Mental Powers... but, that's  
getting into GM call territory... 
 
Desolid to /everything/ Mentalist pays the usual +2 for everything. 
 
Desolid to all but Energy Energy Projector, need only put a +1/2 on his 
EB (in a typical Superhero game, where agents carry blasters, and so 
forth) - giving him 8d (enought that he'll be useful in a fight), if he 
wanted a physical attack (even an EB defined as doing physical damage), 
he'll have to pay the +2. 
 
And, Desolid to Ego /only/ man, gets to buy most of his stuff with the 
low +1/2 advantage, so he'll be a bit week in a strickt 60Apt game, but 
viable... and he'll really anoy Egoists... If he wants to buy any sort 
of Mental Power, he'll pay the +2.  If he takes a less common non-Mental  
attack (say a ranged power drain), he'll have to take the +1. 
 
Not a bad idea. 
 
Another option is simply to let a 'reasonable' desolid character break 
the active point limits enough to get a viable attack. 
 
Yet another option, is to look at alternatives to Desolid... Desolid- 
to-all-but-Energy Man could have Desolid, but when he uses his EB, he 
could switch to 3/4 resistant Damage Reduction vs Physical Attacks... 
 
 
 
____________________________________________________________________ 
Get free e-mail and a permanent address at http://www.netaddress.com/?N=1 
 
------------------------------ 
 
Date: 8 Feb 99 15:31:31 MST 
From: ANTHONY VARGAS <anthony.vargas@usa.net> 
Subject: Re: [RE: The 3d6- system sucks!] 
 
> > So, we want a system in which a character who's overmatched 
> > to a specific 
> > degree simply has no chance of success?  Not very dramatic, IMHO. 
> 
> Not at all. The present OCV/DCV system uses CHA/3, and allows for 
> dramatic conflict. I simply suggested that the same scale be applied 
> to skill rolls, to allow more readily for certain character types. 
>  
> Filksinger 
 
Oh, I guess it was someone esle who brought up target numbers... 
 
Personally, I think that would work fine in 'low end' games, as a 
way of dealing with Hero's 'granularity problem.'  A Fantasy game 
where stats range from  5 (pathetically whimped) to 25 (amazingly 
heroic), for example.  The regular system would still, IMHO, work 
better with the greater variations you see in Supers games (normals 
to Supers).   
 
Actually that works out about like Hero->Fuzion conversions of 
STR, but applying to skills rather than damge... 
 
____________________________________________________________________ 
Get free e-mail and a permanent address at http://www.netaddress.com/?N=1 
 
------------------------------ 
 
Date: Mon, 8 Feb 1999 18:23:55 -0500 
From: "dflacks" <dflacks@ican.net> 
Subject: Re: Mimic & Cosmic Pools 
 
- -----Original Message----- 
From: CptPatriot@aol.com <CptPatriot@aol.com> 
To: champ-l@sysabend.org <champ-l@sysabend.org> 
Date: Monday, February 08, 1999 1:47 PM 
Subject: Mimic & Cosmic Pools 
 
 
>A friend of mine asked a question regarding the following: 
> 
>What if a character with a mimic pool, tried to mimic a character with a 
>cosmic power pool? 
> 
 
Danger!  Danger!  Power overload! 
 
I'm Melting.  Oh what a world.... 
 
Seriously, I would probably let the mimic attempt to copy the powers 
currently in the pool, and attempt to copy any new power the Cosmic power 
pool user activates.  The mimic can only copy powers his target has.  The 
target's power pool is a framework, not a target, and I would use that to 
justify my decision if forced to.  Basically, I think only allowing the 
mimic to copy whatever powers the cosmic user currently has is probably more 
in keeping with the character concept. 
 
All this is, of course, my opinion only and should not be taken as law. 
YCMV (Your Campaign May Vary) 
 
 
Daniel Flacks   dflacks@ican.net 
 
Give me ambiguity or give me something else 
 
------------------------------ 
 
Date: Mon, 08 Feb 1999 17:39:10 -0600 
From: "Michael (Damon) & Peni Griffin" <griffin@txdirect.net> 
Subject: Re: Desolidification 
 
At 02:05 PM 2/8/1999, qts wrote: 
>>Suppose the Harbinger of Justice wants to be able to shoot Desolid 
>>characters.  He must buy an attack with the Affects Desolid Advantage in 
>>order to do so.  It is only right and proper that a Desolid character who 
>>wants to shoot the Harbinger (or indeed affect him with any physical or 
>>energy-based attack) must buy an attack with the Affects Physical World in 
>>order to do so.  I have no qualms about that. 
>> 
>>However, suppose Mind Slayer wants to attack a Desolid character.  She has 
>>an EC of Mental Powers which give her a variety of attack and defense 
>>possibilities.  She can attack the Desolid character with impunity, without 
>>any need for an Affects Desolid Advantage on any of her powers *because 
>>Desolid characters are affected by Mental Powers by default*. 
>> 
>>So my only question was, it is entirely fair to make the Desolid mentalist 
>>pay triple the cost for his mental powers in order to affect the physical 
>>world *with those powers* when the reverse isn't true? 
>> 
>>The mentalist should absolutely pay for the advantage to affect the 
>>material world, for any power which would require that a solid character 
>>buy the Affects Desolid Advantage in order to affect the immaterial world; 
>>mental powers do not carry that requirement for solid characters, so I'm 
>>not sure its fair to require it of Desolid characters. 
>> 
>>That last paragraph was poorly worded, but I think you can get the sense of 
>>it. 
> 
>I would suggest that the character would be required to have his 
>Desolid with the Desolid to MA advantage (+20), and attacks with the 
>ARW (+2) Advantage. Otherwise this is an exceptionally lethal combo. 
 
That constitutes a dramatic alteration in the character concept; the 
character I've been discussing does not have the +20 MA advantage.  If he 
did, there'd be no basis for my speculation about the possible unfairness 
of requiring him to pay for a +2 ARW advantage. 
 
Damon 
 
------------------------------ 
 
Date: Mon, 8 Feb 1999 18:40:34 -0500 
From: "dflacks" <dflacks@ican.net> 
Subject: Necromacy Limitation / Fantasy World - Decission 
 
Thanks to everyone who replied to my Necromancy question.  I have been 
suitably inspired and have come to a decision on how Necromancy will work in 
my campaign.  So as not to keep any of you in suspense, I will tell you what 
I plan to do.  Bellow is an excerpt of the newly written Necromancy section. 
Fine details have not been included, just the relevant overview. 
 
 
Necromancy is magic powered by death.  All spells require the death of a 
living being to be cast.  This counts as and Obvious Inaccessible Focus 
limitation (-) , with Bulky (-) and Expendable (-1/4). The focus is 
considered inaccessible even though the victim is usually quite accessible, 
because most spell do not required a specific individual.  Thus they have 
OIF, Bulky, Expendable, Sacrifice of opportunity.  A smart, powerful evil 
Necromancer may have some extra potential sacrifices on hand in case the 
heroes free the virgin princess strapped to the alter of evil. 
 
When added to the required Necromantic Channeling skill roll, this brings 
the minimum limitation to -1 3/4. 
 
The sacrifice need not be sentient.  However an appropriate sacrifice must 
have an average of EGO and BODY at least equal to one pip per 3 active 
points in the spell being cast.  Rounding, of course, in the casters favor. 
Note that if a creature is intelligent but no EGO score is given, use the 
INT instead.  For example, Fluffy the pet poodle has an INT of 3, and a Body 
of 6.  Using his INT as EGO, Fluffy averages out at 5.  Thus Fluffy could be 
sacrificed to power a spell up to 15 active points.  Multiple beings can be 
sacrificed together to make and appropriate sacrifice.  Thus really powerful 
spells require sentient sacrifices or large expensive animals.  In a large, 
repressive, slave owning regime, the Necromancer would find it easier to 
have a stable of slave / sacrifices that keeping a herd of cows in the city. 
 
Because of the time required to kill large unwilling victims in blood 
soaked, if highly entertaining, rituals many Necromancy spells have the 
extra time limitation.  Because of this time, a lot of Necromancy spell have 
the Trigger advantage, allowing the Necromancer to sacrifice now and trigger 
latter. 
 
Necromantic spells usually have a death motif.  This is generally do to the 
temperament of the Necromancers.  It is possible to use Necromancy to cast a 
flaming hand spell, but more fun to cast the dreaded touch of decay spell 
instead. 
 
Finally, unlike most of the other six types of magic, Necromancy spell MUST 
have the 0 END cost advantage.  The power for Necromancy comes for the death 
of the sacrifice, not the caster. 
 
More later as I conjure my campaign universe. 
 
 
Daniel Flacks   dflacks@ican.net 
 
Give me ambiguity or give me something else 
 
------------------------------ 
 
Date: Mon, 8 Feb 1999 15:39:00 -0800 (PST) 
From: shaw@caprica.com (Wayne Shaw) 
Subject: Re: Multipower Questions  
 
>>>I rather think it is in the description of the MP - the Limitation only 
>>>applies to the MP if it is *identical*, not merely alike. So with a 
>>>Focus, it must be the exact same focus; with Charges, it must be the 
>>>exact same Charges, not the same no of Charges, but the *same*; with 
>>>Burnout, it must be the same Burnout, not one for each. Et cetera 
>>> 
>>> 
>>>Even this doesn't help in one case; what happens once you hit the break 
>>>even 
>>>or Advantage level? [of charges] 
> 
>Nothing.  It's not a Limitation anymore, so the bit about aplying the 
>same limitation to the Reserve doesn't aply. 
 
And that's a problem, since it's still more advantageous to have 16 charges 
on each slot than 16 charges on the pool as a whole...and there are 
legitimate constructions that should be built each way. 
 
------------------------------ 
 
Date: Mon, 8 Feb 1999 15:37:11 -0800 (PST) 
From: shaw@caprica.com (Wayne Shaw) 
Subject: Re: blocking the heavy hits 
 
>ooh very severe.... and not correct if the martial artist is using technique 
>read what i sent about diverting parries versus blocking parries 
> 
>Wayne Shaw wrote: 
> 
>> >I understand that there's nothing in the rules that says you may have a 
>> >problem blocking super heavy attacks. I'm bringing this up in the interest 
>> >of realism. I know that realism is something of a dirty word with some 
>> >members of the list here but it's important to my game. 
>> 
>> On that criteria, I'd suggest you allow any damage classes past those of the 
>> user to leak through.  So a martial artist with a 15 STR blocking a fellow 
>> using a 6D6 club on blocking would take 3D6.  If the attacker has as much 
>> casual Strength as the blocker has damage classes, let him ignore the block 
>> completely. 
 
Read what I said...damage classes, not strength for the first part.  A good 
martial artist may well have extra damage classes, and therefor get to 
divert more.  In a normal heroic game, that's still a pretty impressive 
difference; depending on the strength of the blocker, it takes anywhere from 
2 to 4 dice off an attack that will most likely be in the 4-8 dice range. 
 
------------------------------ 
 
Date: 08 Feb 1999 19:32:25 -0500 
From: Stainless Steel Rat <ratinox@peorth.gweep.net> 
Subject: Re: The 3d6- system sucks! 
 
- -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE----- 
Hash: SHA1 
 
"F" == Filksinger  <filksinger@usa.net> writes: 
 
F> It still remains that, if the child could succeed, there should be 
F> virtually no chance that the weight lifter could fail, 
 
In which case there is no point in wasting time rolling dice, is there.  In 
that case, the only chance that I see of the lifter failing is if it is 
imperative that he gets through that door and he has Unluck. 
- -----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE----- 
Version: GnuPG v0.9.2 (GNU/Linux) 
Comment: For info see http://www.gnupg.org 
 
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- --  
Rat <ratinox@peorth.gweep.net>    \ Happy Fun Ball may stick to certain types 
Minion of Nathan - Nathan says Hi! \ of skin. 
PGP Key: at a key server near you!  \  
 
------------------------------ 
 
Date: Mon, 08 Feb 1999 18:09:03 -0600 
From: "Michael (Damon) & Peni Griffin" <griffin@txdirect.net> 
Subject: Re: Desolidification 
 
At 03:46 PM 2/8/1999 -0600, Lance Dyas wrote: 
>Oh I think i just understood this entire argument.... 
>in classic understanding of the astrally projected 
>individual is out of his body... and is a mind 
>no longer protected by the structures of his 
>brain/nervous system... 
 
This would seem to describe a Vulnerability to mental powers on the part of 
the disembodied.  It's an interesting idea for an individual character, but 
what I'm wondering about is cost, not effect. 
 
Based somewhat on your suggestion, OTOH, you could argue that without the 
support of the physical brain, a mind doesn't have the necessary *oomph* to 
be able to affect a mind that *is* supported by a physical brain.  Such a 
rationale would allow Desolid mentalists to affect each other normally, 
solid mentalists to affect each other normally, and solid mentalists to 
affect Desolid characters (mentalist or otherwise) normally, but would 
require Desolid mentalists to buy the +2 Advantage to compensate for their 
lack of a physical brain. 
 
This isn't even a silly notion, it's just that I read nothing in the rules 
to suggest it was the default assumption.  But the fact that Desolid lists 
no such side effects for characters (most of whom can presumably turn the 
power on and off) argues against its use.   
 
Damon 
 
------------------------------ 
 
Date: 8 Feb 99 17:08:31 MST 
From: ANTHONY VARGAS <anthony.vargas@usa.net> 
Subject: Re: [Re: blocking the heavy hits] 
 
> At 11.45 05/02/99 -0600, you wrote: 
> > 
> >>uhm... wait a moment.  I have seen, both in comics and in other 
> >>genres/media, scenes where person A has tried to block person B's atatck 
> >>and falied miserably because person B's blow was too 
> >>powerful/strong/heavy 
 
Well, when an unarmed normal is facing a normal with a weapon (like 
a knife or sword) he suffers a -2 to his Block (if he just throws  
up his arm and swats the sword aside, it'll likely cut him).  Something 
that simple could work.  8 PD martial artist tries to block 60 STR 
Brick's pushed Haymaker... if it hits, it'll do around 12 BOD to him, 
so, he has to use some finesse, just like he would if he were facing 
a more normal character with a katana or some such, thus, -2 Block. 
 
Of course, I could see the character not taking the -2, in which case, 
if he succeeds, the attack just automatically hits his arm (which is  
half damage, anyway)... 
 
____________________________________________________________________ 
Get free e-mail and a permanent address at http://www.netaddress.com/?N=1 
 
------------------------------ 
 
Date: 8 Feb 99 16:58:59 MST 
From: ANTHONY VARGAS <anthony.vargas@usa.net> 
Subject: Re: [Re: blocking the heavy hits] 
 
> "F" == Filksinger  <filkhero@usa.net> writes: 
>  
> F> Maybe Batman bought the power, "50% Damage Reduction, BODY only, only vs 
> F> attacks that do 1x BODY or greater", for just such emergencies? 
>  
> Batman is a highly skilled but pysically normal person.  That means he 
> cannot buy powers.  Please justify the discrepancy between character 
> concept and violation of character concept. 
 
That's so easy, I'm surprised you bothered asking for the F/X, lessee, 
some possibilities: 
 
It's an instinctive move to minimize damage from lethal attacks  
(analogous to 'Roll w/Blow,' but he's /so/ good at it he doesn't need 
to make a roll, or use an action).  The product of his years of combat 
training and experience fighting very deadly opponents. 
 
Koshing - in a desperate situation, a brawler can throw up an arm to 
take an attack that might otherwise kill him.  Usually, it's normal 
people and knives.  Again, thanks to his rediculous skill level, he 
does it without needing little things like a roll or action...  (and, 
superhero games don't normally take hit locations). 
 
Luck - he takes it in the shoulder, not the heart, the blow hits his 
forearm instead of crushing his skull, etc.  There's no Hit Locations 
in a supers game, so it's actually not that unrealistic.  It doesn't 
represent an actual power, just Fate. 
 
I'm sure you could continue if you wanted to add limitations or vary 
the power slightly... secret martial techniques, high tech reactive  
armor, Thanokilomine injections.... 
 
 
 
____________________________________________________________________ 
Get free e-mail and a permanent address at http://www.netaddress.com/?N=1 
 
------------------------------ 
 
Date: Mon, 8 Feb 1999 15:43:05 -0800 (PST) 
From: shaw@caprica.com (Wayne Shaw) 
Subject: Re: Desolidification 
 
>> [Desol Mentalists must buy Affects Real World 
>> >This almost seems unfair, though, unless the character has spent the  
>> >extra 20 points to be unaffected by mental powers. 
>> 
>> Compare a mentalist trying to use his on the Harbinger of Justice and a 
>> Desolid Mentalist trying to use his mental Powers on the Harbinger of 
>> Justice.  One winds up riddled with bullets one winds up untouched. 
>> (Until the Harbinger can get his special "Affects Desolid" bullets...) 
> 
>I think we're comparing the wrong things here.  Compare a fully Desolid  
>(including Mental) Mentalist, and how he's likely to fare, with one who 
>is Vulnerable to Mental Powers, but otherwise Desolid.  The first one 
>can basicly anoy anyone (2d Ego Attack) who lacks Ego Defense - heck, on 
>a bad day, he might not even be able to keep ahead of his victim's post- 
>12 REC.  The second, OTOH, is in the same boat until he meets a fellow, 
>solid, Mentalist.... then he's toast.   
> 
 
A properly designed mentalist will likely be hitting most non-mentalists 
with an Ego attack 90% of the time.  Given that, 2D6 stun will put most 
normals down in three hits, and even many supers in six.  In that time the 
opponent can do exactly nothing to him in most cases.  That's still a very 
profound combat capability. 
 
The mitigating factor on this is that there are a certain percentage of 
opponents...mentalists, those with AD attacks, and those with attacks within 
the vulnerable special effects range that _can_ attack them back...but for 
all those who don't have one of those three (and that's a very large 
percentage of opponents most likely) he's utterly invulnerable. 
 
------------------------------ 
 
Date: Mon, 8 Feb 1999 17:03:00 -0800 
From: "Filksinger" <filkhero@usa.net> 
Subject: Re: The 3d6- system sucks! 
 
From: Stainless Steel Rat <ratinox@peorth.gweep.net> 
 
>In which case there is no point in wasting time rolling dice, is there.  In 
>that case, the only chance that I see of the lifter failing is if it is 
>imperative that he gets through that door and he has Unluck. 
 
 
Which I would agree with, save that, under the present system, he does have 
a chance to fail, and a fairly good one. And before you tell me that he 
should get a pass on this, because of character concept, I disagree for two 
reasons: A) A single high characteristic is not a "character concept", and 
B) if the character with the much higher CHA or Skill were opposed by a PC, 
that PC would scream bloody murder if the rules say he could win, but I say 
he couldn't arbitrarily. 
 
Additionally, this still doesn't address the original contention, which is 
that sometimes the very X and the very non-X are two close to each other in 
their chances of success of using X under the HERO System. Not rolling dice 
if it seems obvious that it is unnecessary doesn't change this; it is merely 
a different response to the same situation. If the situation didn't exist, 
arbitrarily declaring some things automatic wouldn't be necessary. 
 
Filksinger 
 
------------------------------ 
 
Date: Mon, 08 Feb 1999 17:56:51 -0600 
From: "Michael (Damon) & Peni Griffin" <griffin@txdirect.net> 
Subject: Re: Desolidification 
 
At 10:56 AM 2/8/1999 -0800, Filksinger wrote: 
>From: Michael (Damon) & Peni Griffin <griffin@txdirect.net> 
>If characters with Desolid who were vulnerable to mental powers could use 
>them without the requisite Advantage, you end up with this situation: 
> 
>The character can attack mentalists. Mentalists can attack the character. 
>The character can attack non-mentalists. Non-mentalists cannot attack the 
>character. 
> 
>This gives the character an unbalanced edge vs others, without paying for 
>it. 
 
He paid 40 points for it.  The imbalance you describe above is an effect of 
his Desolidification, not a rationale for saying the phantom character's 
Telepathy is three times as valuable or powerful as a solid character's 
Telepathy.  You can't base the cost of one Power on the utility of another, 
or vice versa.  As I argued before, a Desolid character must pay for the +2 
ARW Advantage on his energy-based and physical attacks because they 
represent an imbalance:  he can use attack forms from which he himself is 
immune.  This is not the case with mental powers. 
 
Suggesting that -- having already paid a high base cost for Desolid -- he 
should pay more because he, as a mentalist, can attack anyone but only 
mentalists can attack him...well, the reasoning seems flawed.   
 
Suppose we have two solid characters, one with mental powers and one 
without.  The mentalist can attack anyone with his mental powers.  The 
other character *can't* attack anyone using mental powers, because he 
doesn't have any.  If this confrontation is imbalanced, it's okay, because 
the mentalist paid for his mental powers.  It's probably no problem for the 
non-mentalist anyway, since he has other attack forms.   
 
If the mentalist decides he wants to be immune to these other attacks, he 
buys Desolid.  And again the perceived imbalance is being paid for. 
Simultaneously tripling the cost of the mentalist's psychic abilities seems 
like gross overbilling. 
 
Damon 
 
------------------------------ 
 
Date: Mon, 8 Feb 1999 16:26:25 -0800 
From: "Filksinger" <filkhero@usa.net> 
Subject: Re: blocking the heavy hits 
 
From: Stainless Steel Rat <ratinox@peorth.gweep.net> 
 
 
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>"F" == Filksinger  <filkhero@usa.net> writes: 
> 
>F> The _genre_ shows that, if the hero is hit with a potentially fatal 
>F> attack, it will somehow fail to kill him. 
> 
>Then by convention of genre, such an attack is not lethal.  I choose to 
>dispense with the idea of a non-lethal attack being lethal as the oxymoron 
>it is. 
> 
>At this point it is the GM's responsibility to find a way to model this 
>phenomenon as simply and as fairly as possible.  Your method gives low DEF 
>characters defenses that are inappropriate for their concepts.  Either you 
>give it to them for free, or you force them to spend points they should 
>not.  Either way, I think that is unfair. 
 
 
I disagree that they are inappropriate. 
 
Furthermore, I contend that you are giving them this defense for free, as it 
stands. By making attacks that could kill them just not happen, or be 
reduced due to "casual STR" and other mechanisms, you are giving them the 
equivallent of increased DCV and Damage Reduction, for free. 
 
>Likewise, it is unfair in its implementation: by your method and mechanics, 
>a character with 10 Body gets more out of your construct than an otherwise 
>identical character with 15 Body for the exact same point expenditure. 
 
 
Since when? Characters less likely to take damage this high compared to 
their BODY total get a greater Limitation value, because the power is less 
likely to come up. 
 
 
>F> In a dice controlled environment, eventually a potentially deadly 
>F> situation _will_ kill. 
> 
>Ah, this is the root of our disagreement, I think.  My take is that dice 
>control nothing.  They are a tool, a guideline, a crutch if you would.  My 
>methods reflect that.  I control the dice, they do not control me. 
 
 
I agree, though I disagree as to what those disagreements are. 
 
If you bias an entire game in favor of things happening a certain way, you 
are playing genre. If you bias events, dice, and player's behavior to give 
certain characters greater protection, effectiveness or playtime, etc., than 
others, then you are playing favorites or giving them the equivalent of 
additional DCV, defenses, or Luck for free. I object to this. 
 
I happen to think that the tendency of whimpy superheroes to be missed or 
only clipped by attacks that could kill them to be an example of a genre 
convention that so protects one class of heroes over others that this class 
of heroes should have to pay for it. 
 
I additionally object to the GM fudging, whether it is the situation, the 
die rolls, or by biasing player's behavior in order to get them to not do 
what they would otherwise do, save as called for by predeclared Psych Lims 
or campaign biases. If he declares a building is going to fall down at time 
X, and a PC is inside who is going to get smashed, I object to his A) 
delaying the collapse in order to save the character, B) giving that 
character automatically less damage just because he can't take it, or C) 
biasing the behavior of the player to attempt to drive him into not taking 
actions the player finds appropriate for the character. 
 
Quite frankly, I want an actual random element, an actual element of risk, 
to my gaming. This includes such things as the possibility that my character 
will die due to a bad die roll, for example. If my character is truly being 
heroic, then there should be actual risk. If something to reduce this risk 
is called for by the genre, then I want it spelled out in black and white 
exactly what the mechanism is; and I want it either applied universally and 
with fairly even frequency, or I want my character to pay for it when he 
needs it. 
 
Filksinger 
 
------------------------------ 
 
Date: Mon, 08 Feb 1999 18:47:04 -0600 
From: "Michael (Damon) & Peni Griffin" <griffin@txdirect.net> 
Subject: Re: Desolidification 
 
At 12:04 AM 2/8/1999 -0800, Wayne Shaw wrote: 
> 
>>First, let me stress that I began my original comment by saying "this 
>>*almost* seems unfair".  I wasn't suggesting any part of the system was 
>>broken or in need of revision, just making an observation.  I'm afraid I 
>>don't see your point about the Desolid character being subject to other 
>>attacks forms.  How is that relevant to the fairness, or lack thereof, of 
>>making Desolid characters pay for an Advantage that is not required of 
>>solid characters in *exactly* the same circumstances?  Why should the use 
>>of mental powers be a one-way thing? 
> 
>Because vulnerability is not symmetrical.  Everyone is effected by mental 
>powers, but not everyone has one.  A desolid character doesn't expect to run 
>into a mentalist constantly...even if there's one on an oppositing group he 
>has to deal with, most of the group can be ignored.  On the other end, he 
>can _always_ use whatever power he has for the most part...at least within 
>the run of normal people, all his targets are vulnerable to attack. 
 
Sure, Desolid characters are better defended than typical characters, and 
are able to ignore many types of attack.  This is why Desolid is an 
expensive Power, and carries a stop sign.  It does not, however, explain 
why mental powers, which aren't affected by the Desolid condition when a 
solid character uses them against a phantom, suddenly *are* affected by the 
condition when that phantom tries to "return fire" using the same mental 
power.  For that matter, forget return fire, the Desolid character has to 
put a +2 Advantage on his Mental Defense just to avoid being psychically 
mowed down by his opponent's Telepathy, Mind Control or whatever. 
 
Damon 
 
------------------------------ 
 
Date: Mon, 8 Feb 1999 19:39:54 -0500 
From: "Michael Sprague" <msprague@eznet.net> 
Subject: Re: Dark Champions 
 
>The Goldtree Engine was DOS-based, but Kingspoint was for Windows 3.1. 
>Hudson City Sector One was meant to be used with Kingspoint, but the Hudson 
>City software is no longer available from Goldtree.  The Goldtree website 
>notes that Hudson City was written by "Steve Long and a team of really 
>talented and dedicated individuals". 
 
 
I bought Kingsport and Hudson City at the same time.  Both were DOS 
programs. 
 
Hudson City was okay, but I felt I paid way to much for it.  Dislikes were: 
 
1)    The installation program didn't work!!  I had to use my knowledge of 
DOS, look into their batch files, and play around to make the software work. 
If one didn't know DOS, one was screwed!!  If memory serves, they way they 
had it set up, it was looking in a sub-directory whose name had the form 
"name.ext.ext" for files.  This is invalid in DOS.  Fortunately, the 
reference file was in ASCII, so I could edit and correct the problems and 
run the software.  I can't remember if Kingsport had the same problem or 
not. 
 
2)    The program must be installed in your root directory, be it C:\Hudson 
or D:\Hudson.  I don't remember if it worked on any other drives (at the 
time I had 4 logical drives).  I tended (and still do) organize things like 
this into subdirectories. 
 
3)    You could customize any of the pull up tables and even add your own, 
which in itself is neat.  However, even though this was intended to be a 
generic modern city based on Hudson City in the Champs universe, all the 
tables were for AD&D.  Included were D&D character classes, hit tables, 
saving throws and magic spell lists.  For the price I paid, they could have 
at least gone to the effort of including basic Champions tables instead.  If 
memory serves, you also had to edit these tables from within the program, so 
even if you already had some of this stuff typed in, you still had to key in 
everything. 
 
4)    Default time scale, as per installation, was about 1 hour ever second 
of real time, or something like that.  If really flew by. 
 
5)    It required Expanded memory.  This in a time were Expanded memory was 
obsolete except in legacy games. 
 
6)    There was something about graphics.  I don't remember what it was 
specifically, but I think it had to do with the lack of ability to tie a map 
of a building in with a building.  I don't remember the specifics any more. 
 
7)    Finding the menu item to exit the program was not intuitive.  It was 
in a menu that made no sense, and was not simply labeled as Exit or Quit.  I 
don't remember what the label was now. 
 
All in all though, it was not a bad program and had a lot of potential.  It 
certainly did not live up to my expectations, however, which were based on 
the full page advertisement I read before I purchased it.  It program was 
way over priced for what was delivered.  I suspect it was put out before it 
was really ready. 
 
 
For those wanting the features, they are listed below (copied of the box): 
 
Software Features: 
o    Designed for all levels of Role Players 
o    Works with any Role Playing Game System. 
o    Completely edit all rules, charts, characters and buildings. 
o    Hundreds of intelligent character generations and random occurrences. 
o    Comprehensive tracking of all player activity. 
o    Map navigate the entire city on multiple levels. 
o    Increases game time up to 85%. 
o    Intelligent character behavior, weather patterns, and population flow. 
o    Supports all standard graphic file formats. 
 
System Requirements: 
o    IBM and Compatibles 
o    EGA Recommended 
o    570KB free RAM 
o    4 MB Hard Disk Space 
o    Mouse Recommended 
 
~ Mike 
 
------------------------------ 
 
Date: Mon, 8 Feb 1999 20:10:27 EST 
From: ErolB1@aol.com 
Subject: Re: Character: Gollum 
 
In a message dated 99-02-08 14:08:13 EST, jeffj@io.com writes: 
 
> > Was Gollum that strong? I'm not so sure - when he made his grab for the 
>  > Ring he was probably Pushing his STR. 
>   
>  Well, recall that he /was/ strong enough to strangle goblins. (Sure, he 
>  preferred to kill the small ones, but I got the impression that was mostly 
>  out of cowardice.) Presumably if he only had a 5 STR or so the orcs would 
>  be able to just peel him from off of their necks and stomp him into 
>  Gollum paste. 
 
An Uruk-hai could have peeled Gollum off and stomped him into paste. But the 
Misty Mountain goblins were mostly wimpy 'mountain maggots' smaller & weaker 
than humans. Besides, I figure Gollum to have some sort of martial grab 
maneuver. (Or maybe two: A grab with a chokehold follower) 
 
Erol K Bayburt 
Evil Genius for a Better Tomorrow 
 
------------------------------ 
 
Date: Mon, 08 Feb 1999 17:15:04 -0800 
From: Christopher Taylor <ctaylor@viser.net> 
Subject: Re: Necromacy Limitation / Fantasy World - Decission 
 
>Necromancy is magic powered by death.  
 
Actually, I would argue that the power of necromancy is life :)  And thus 
the Necromantic Spells in the Grimoire Im working on use BOD as the 
powering stat rather than END... but you can sacrifice someone to charge an 
item with BOD and cast spells with thier life force. 
 
- -------------------------------------------------------------------------- 
Sola Gracia		Sola Scriptura		Sola Fide 
Soli Gloria Deo    	Solus Christus		Corum Deo 
- -------------------------------------------------------------------------- 
 
------------------------------ 
 
Date: 08 Feb 1999 20:11:21 -0500 
From: Stainless Steel Rat <ratinox@peorth.gweep.net> 
Subject: Re: Multipower Questions 
 
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"WS" == Wayne Shaw <shaw@caprica.com> writes: 
 
WS> And that's a problem, since it's still more advantageous to have 16 
WS> charges on each slot than 16 charges on the pool as a whole...and there 
WS> are legitimate constructions that should be built each way. 
 
While I agree that they should be built that way, strictly by the book they 
are not legitimate.  In one of its rare instances of saying you cannot do 
that, the BBB says you cannot do that. 
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- --  
Rat <ratinox@peorth.gweep.net>    \ Ingredients of Happy Fun Ball include an 
Minion of Nathan - Nathan says Hi! \ unknown glowing substance which fell to 
PGP Key: at a key server near you!  \ Earth, presumably from outer space. 
 
------------------------------ 
 
Date: 08 Feb 1999 20:18:57 -0500 
From: Stainless Steel Rat <ratinox@peorth.gweep.net> 
Subject: Re: [Re: blocking the heavy hits] 
 
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"AV" == ANTHONY VARGAS <anthony.vargas@usa.net> writes: 
 
AV> Well, when an unarmed normal is facing a normal with a weapon (like 
AV> a knife or sword) he suffers a -2 to his Block (if he just throws  
AV> up his arm and swats the sword aside, it'll likely cut him). 
 
Thing is, most melee weapons are built with OCV bonuses to represent things 
such as reach.  Since other melee weapons are bought with OCV bonuses, this 
tends to cancel out.  But an unarmed character does not get those inherent 
'weapon accuracy' bonuses, so the Block modifier is already there. 
 
AV> Something that simple could work.  8 PD martial artist tries to block 
AV> 60 STR Brick's pushed Haymaker... if it hits, it'll do around 12 BOD to 
AV> him, so, he has to use some finesse, just like he would if he were 
AV> facing a more normal character with a katana or some such, thus, -2 
AV> Block. 
 
To this I have a knee-jerk reaction against.  Strength matters almost 
nothing when it comes to neutralizing an attack. 
 
Of course, an 8 PD martial artist in a world with 60 STR bricks has 
defenses woefully below what qualifies as a minimum for that type of 
campaign.  As the GM I would have required the character to have at least 
12 PD and ED. 
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- --  
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Minion of Nathan - Nathan says Hi! \ accelerate to dangerous speeds. 
PGP Key: at a key server near you!  \  
 
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End of champ-l-digest V1 #196 
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