Digest Archives Vol 1 Issue 32a

Desmarais, John
From: owner-champ-l-digest@sysabend.org
Sent: Thursday, November 05, 1998 4:23 AM
To: champ-l-digest@sysabend.org
Subject: champ-l-digest V1 #32

champ-l-digest Thursday, November 5 1998 Volume 01 : Number 032



In this issue:

Re: Physical Stat Limits
Re: Did you have to do that?!? (A Question rears it's ugly head)
Re: MUCH-OVERUSED FANTASY RPG CLICHES
Re: Requests for the list
Re: Star Trek Campaigns (was Re: Howdy!)
Re: Incorporating Myth without stepping on religion. (LONG)
Re: Expanded gestures and incantations
Re: Everyimmortal skills [long]
Re: Jumping on the latest fad...
Re: Plants
Re: RSR and VPP
Re: Everyimmortal skills [long]
Re: Followers/Vechiles/Automatons/AI in a VPP
Re: Look Out! It's Mr. Fist! (SFX: Multi-SFX Gauntlets)
Re: Game Preparation / was Need help with plot [long]
Re: Favorite NPC's
Re: MUCH-OVERUSED FANTASY RPG CLICHES
THIS IS BLOODY RIDICULOUS!!
Re: Limited Power: Statistic check negates power.
Re: What is Dark Champions anyway (the genre, not the book) (Re: Batman)

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Date: Thu, 10 Sep 1998 00:51:32 -0700
From: Rook <rook@infinex.com>
Subject: Re: Physical Stat Limits

What I've found works best is to not tell them the max. Tell them the
average they should shoot for. Then emphasize that going above or below
that average should result in a balancing off somewhere else (stats or
otherwise as you see fit). Don't let them know how you'll judge this;
but that you will force rewites if they get to far off.

This forces them to be very cautious the first time around. They know
you'll toss the sheets if they step out of bounds, but they don't quite
know what the limits are. So they'll likely be a bit more careful to be
sure they can justify anything they try. They're also much more likely
to stick to the average, or actually lower X if they raise Y.

On your own end; you can predetermine the max or just wing it by feel.
I myself never did determine the maxes I would allow. I've had decent
results comparing how well what I get compares to the averages I asked
for.

Tokyo Mark wrote:
>
> I'm working on a new campaign idea for a (relatively) human level game,
> and want to avoid a problem I've seen in past games I've run. The last
> game I ran was fairly fast and loose with limits and despite being human
> level the average Strength and Dex ended up being 20. I'm trying to avoid
> that this time around and would like input on how.
>
> I've considered two systems already. One is limiting the Strength+Dex to
> a set number. So, say, if the number is 30 (just an example) then they
> would have a Str and Dex of 15, or a Str of 18 and a Dex of 12, ect. Or
> it could be point costs. In that case, 20 points would mean they could
> buy a Str of 20, but a Dex of 13.
>
> Which system do you think would work best?

- --
Rook WebRPG TownHall Magistrate townhall.webrpg.com <0){{{{><
__ Super WebRing http://orion.supersoldiers.com/heroes/webring.html
/.)\ Nothing vast enters the life of mortals without a curse.
\(@/ http://www.infinex.com/~rook/SH/ Super Hero RPG Site

------------------------------

Date: Sun, 16 Aug 98 00:31:44
From: qts <qts@nildram.co.uk>
Subject: Re: Did you have to do that?!? (A Question rears it's ugly head)

On Sat, 15 Aug 1998 10:59:04 -0500 (EST), Jason Sullivan wrote:

>On Sat, 15 Aug 1998, qts wrote:
>> On Fri, 14 Aug 1998 17:05:52 -0500 (EST), Jason Sullivan wrote:
>> >On Thu, 13 Aug 1998, qts wrote:
>> >> On Thu, 13 Aug 1998 13:20:34 -0500 (EST), JASON SULLIVAN wrote:
>> >> >...I must tempt the fates.
>> >> > Followers in a Multipower.
>> >> > (Hides from the torch and pitchfork weilding pesants.)
>> >> NO Way - if you want a 'follower du jour' (qv generic romantic DNPC)
>> >> then use a VPP - we hashed this out a few months ago.
>> >What makes a VPP (a power framework) more valid than a Multipower
>> >(a power framework)?
>> It's very nature - it's a *Variable* Power Pool.
>
> It still doesn't explain the mechanical validity of having the
>Follower mechanic in a Multipower (which is a Power Framework) and the
>Follower mechanic in a Variable Power Pool (which is also a Power
>Framework). I believe, according to the guidelines of all Power
>Frameworks, there isn't any difference in what powers are allowed to be in
>a Multipower or a VPP. Special Powers and Talents are allowed in a Power
>Framework with special permission. In fact, while I think certain Perks
>could be appropiate in certain Power Frameworks under certain
>circumstances with special gamemaster permission, I do believe any Perk
>within a Power Framework is rules mechanics invalid.

I'm not too concerned about what goes into a particular Framework, but
I guess I don't grok the reasoning of putting Followers in a Multipower
(and Ultra Slots at that) when the HS already has a perfectly valid way
of modelling something that's changeable.
qts

Home: qts@nildram.co.uk.

------------------------------

Date: Mon, 10 Aug 1998 18:24:36 -0400
From: "B.C. Holmes" <bcholmes@interlog.com>
Subject: Re: MUCH-OVERUSED FANTASY RPG CLICHES

Guy Hoyle wrote:
>
> On 8/10/98, at 8:16 AM, Rob Davenport wrote:
> >But then that brings up the issue of
> >how best to have players know what their PCs know - "expository lumps"
>
> >of text handed out when starting the character or game; note on slips
> of
> >paper during the game; rumors etc. heard from NPCs and being told "you
> >remember having heard that as a child".
>
> If you can work it in as NPC knowlegde imparted to players during the
> course of play, that's preferable.

In a writer's group that I belong to, this is known as the "As you know
Bob" device, when handled particularly badly. Basically, one character
quips up, "Well, as you know, Bob, faster-than-light travel has been
around since the late 21st Century... ever since we first encountered
the Xoxoll Empire!"

> All the other methods you mentioned above work when something
> unexpected comes up.

Depending on the information, sometimes I use scene flashbacks.

Y'know, AmoebaMan meets The Salami Samurai for the first time in player
terms. FADE TO: AmoebaMan's college days, when he'd first met The
Salami Samurai on a nightly patrol... etc.

It's fun if you can pull it off. Brevity is a big factor...

BCing you
- ----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+--
B.C. Holmes http://www.interlog.com/~bcholmes/
"'The Mocking Priestess has a saying,' I told him. 'You can get what
you want most in life; not even the gods can guarantee you get your
second choice too.'"
- James Alan Gardner, _Commitment Hour_

------------------------------

Date: Tue, 18 Aug 1998 23:14:07 -0700
From: Rook <rook@infinex.com>
Subject: Re: Requests for the list

Hello;

In the future please send your list stuff in text format without the
netscape address card. It will help avoid confuzion what with the many
different formats used by people.

> 1) Anyone have a summary of the HEROIC ADVENTURES 1 & 2

I have both, but haven't read them in detail. I can say that HA 1 is
four color, and HA 2 is Dark Champions. But am told they can both be
used in other ways. If they're even 1% as good as San Angelo; then
they're worth their weight in diamonds. And since they come from GRG;
they're likely not that bad. So far I've been impressed with that
operation's products.

> 2) Is there any ideas for trick to use with strength or a metalic
> body. I don't want to have my BRICK character to be too one
> dimentional.

Well. One trick I used for a brick made of stone in my game was to add
a cumulative transformation linked to his punches. he slowly turns
everything he hits into stone.

> 3) Does anyone have any of the Electronic media
> A) Widows and Orphans
> B) The Ultimate Magician

I've got the second of these. Very decent item. I'm particularly fond
of it's section on Voodoo. The Ultimate Super Mage is definatly more for
super games. But it may have some advice for other genres. It's got just
enough occult wisdom that people like me can sit down in a game run by a
GM who has it and only be 80% disgusted with how poorly magic is
refelcted and a full 100% like usual.
And that's saying a lot.

- --
Rook WebRPG TownHall Magistrate townhall.webrpg.com <0){{{{><
__ Super WebRing http://orion.supersoldiers.com/heroes/webring.html
/.)\ http://www.infinex.com/~rook/SH/SHlinks.html Super Hero Links
\(@/ http://www.infinex.com/~rook/SH/ Super Hero RPG Site

------------------------------

Date: Mon, 10 Aug 1998 14:20:55 -0400 (EDT)
From: Michael Surbrook <susano@access.digex.net>
Subject: Re: Star Trek Campaigns (was Re: Howdy!)

On Mon, 10 Aug 1998, Bob Greenwade wrote:

> >> what about danger sence-'during starship combat'? i have a super-admiral
> >> character with both of these, does this sound valid? or is it an issue
> >> batter dealt with by aplication of skils like tactics?
> >
> >Danger Sense I think is more suitible for personal combat, not
> >ship-to-ship. Tactics sounds better. More a case of 'this is what he
> >*must* do in this situation!'
>
> Yes and no. Tactics is good for the general situation, but I've seen
> more than one work of fiction where the captain of a vessel (space or
> otherwise) had a sudden instinct that something was about to happen, and
> was ready for it. This is a pretty clear application of Danger Sense,
> rather than Tactics (though it could be Danger Sense which Requires Tactics
> Skill Roll).

Hmm... possibly. It looks like one can get a lot of mileage out of this
sort of power (linking one power to a specific roll - see my comments on
Finw Weakness requires Systems Operations roll).

Of course, do then disregard the roll normally used for the power?

***************************************************************************
* "'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: Sat, 29 Aug 1998 00:55:16 -0700
From: Rook <rook@infinex.com>
Subject: Re: Incorporating Myth without stepping on religion. (LONG)

> >When an author writes a book about, say, an espionage agent, he does not
> >have to have any idea in his head as to whether or not there really is a
> >"God" in his book, or what the nature of "God" is. He doesn't need to have
> >made any decision as to the truth of religion of any sort for his book. This
> >is true even if the character(s) is(are) very religious.
> >
> >The same is true, in my opinion, for a superhero or fantasy novel, comic, or
> >game.
> ><snip>
> >
> Until somebody wants to introduce God as a character. Or, at least, a
> character that someone THINKS is God. In a primarily Judeo-Christian
> environment, Thor is a viable PC. But what if someone wants to play
> Jehova? (The Christian outlook is that he costs way too many points, I
> believe. Followers of the Norse pantheon probabl feel the same about Thor.)
> In the superhero genre, people are always looking for a cool theme for a
> powerful entity, but some of those entities are sacred/important in some
> player's beliefs.

Very well said. This was the dilema I found facing me when I got a
player who proposed a character who in his mind was a valid choice; but
to others was very much a case of someone else version of Jehova. To add
to it was a declaration that not only was it the actual figure from
myth; but it was not a divine being just a very old superhuman.

Which started me down the line of thinking that eventually led me to
posing the issue here. While I found a solution to dealing with that
character and those like it; I had not found one that still allowed for
more minor mythical creatures like Angels, Muses, etc.

- --
Rook WebRPG TownHall Magistrate townhall.webrpg.com <0){{{{><
__ Super WebRing http://orion.supersoldiers.com/heroes/webring.html
/.)\ http://www.infinex.com/~rook/SH/SHlinks.html Super Hero Links
\(@/ http://www.infinex.com/~rook/SH/ Super Hero RPG Site

------------------------------

Date: Mon, 07 Sep 1998 13:03:18 -0500 (EST)
From: Jason Sullivan <ravanos@njcu.edu>
Subject: Re: Expanded gestures and incantations

On Mon, 7 Sep 1998, John P Weatherman wrote:
<snip, snip, snip>

> Is it possible that gestures should be upgraded to 1/2 and
> then allow it to cover the "non-standard" restrainable
> limitation as well? Or does restrainable need to be
> downgraded to 1/4 and used with Visible, an additional -1/4,
> to represent wings that are quite obvious when used, current
> gestures then becomming Visible & Restrainable by default?

Restrainable is useful for items that cannot be taken away
permantly, but can otherwise be targeted in combat and possibly
temporarily negated. It would be the same as Limited Power: Power does
not function if <insert body part/item here> is grabbed or entangled. So,
Restrainable is useful for ThunderGod's EB, the classic thrown but
returning mallet. Gestures would not allow such a construct.
Also, Wings, if they Cost END to use, would have Visible Power
Effects, as well as any other power, unless you count an additional sense
group, like movement or a 'common sense' sense group.
I do think Gestures is underpriced, but lies more in the territory
of Fantasy Hero, and thusly a -1/2 or -3/4 Limitation would make for a
particularily nasty bonus to such a regular genre staple.
You could always break Gestures down into it's component parts (as
you did in your last post) and assign values to each component on your
own, gauging it on how often the character is hit in combat (Limited
Power: Power not useable if hit in combat before action), how often the
character is Grabbed or Entangled (Limited Power: Power does not with
without free movement i.e. if Grabbed or Entangled), and Obvious gestures
(...not really a Limitation as much as SFX of activating the power).

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

------------------------------

Date: Tue, 11 Aug 1998 09:07:07 -0500 (CDT)
From: "Dr. Nuncheon" <jeffj@io.com>
Subject: Re: Everyimmortal skills [long]

On Tue, 11 Aug 1998, Michael Surbrook wrote:
> On Tue, 11 Aug 1998, Lockie wrote:
>
> > > > you got a problem with giant jungle ferrets? i just figured
> > > > it was a good tree climbing creature- if it was big enough
> > > > you could even wrap a saddle around it. i originally considered
> > > > a type of sloth creature but 'fast moving giant domestic sloth'
> > > > just sounded silly.
> > >
> > > Well... yes. Ferrets don't live in the jungle and (AFAIK) don't climb
> > > trees. OTOH, the large (extinct) ground sloth would make an interesting
> > > riding animal, and came with rather large claws for defence. If you're
> > > thinking of a tree-sloth, forget it, there is not practical way to have
> > a
> > > giant version one could use as a riding animal.
> >
> > hmmm. . well if it was REALLy big you could put a city on it. .
>
> Errr... if what was really big?

The tree-sloth? Damn, that's very cool. A city on a giant tree-sloth.
Maybe there's a whole bunch of these mobile cities moving (slowly) around,
and whenever the sloths come together, the cities can trade with each
other - or maybe they can control the sloth's movement...

The only thing I'd worry about is if the sloth decides to climb a tree (a
/big/ tree) and hang upside down or something...

Er. Or when it tried to mate.

But would the young ones have little villages on them?

> >and it's not like horses evolved to
> > have bits of metal nailed to their toenails. .
>
> What does that have to do with ferrets?

I think he's saying that since these riding animals were domesticated,
they could be trained/taught/forced/whatever to do things that they
wouldn't normally do in the wild.

J

Hostes aliengeni me abduxerent. Jeff Johnston - jeffj@io.com
Qui annus est? http://www.io.com/~jeffj

------------------------------

Date: Tue, 18 Aug 1998 00:26:18 -0500 (EST)
From: Jason Sullivan <ravanos@njcu.edu>
Subject: Re: Jumping on the latest fad...

On Mon, 17 Aug 1998, Michael (Damon) or Peni R. Griffin wrote:
> >Batman and Punisher are both vigilante types who have
> >lost loved ones by means of violence caused by the criminal element;
> Batman, however, absolutely despises guns, while the Punisher
> enthusiastically embraces their use. How do you resolve this for a single
> character? Multiple Personality Disorder?
I realized the odd paradox that arose from the combination. Bruce
Wayne, seeing his parents gunned down at an early age, probally avoided
firearms all together, while Frank Castle, an adult who had previously
used guns in his 'mundane' life, chooses them as tool to fight crime.
If I were to write him up as an 'Almagam,' I would need to
determine his modus operandi, and into that account of his life, I would
have to consder what his history was.

> I think crossing Batman with Daredevil would be a little more obvious:
Good idea... any takers as to who to 'blend' with Typhoid Mary?
> Wonder Woman and Hawkeye (or Green Arrow) Artemis is the alternate name for
Hawkeye and Green Arrow was going to be one of my 'easier'
combinations, since their methods of crime fighting are somewhat similar.

> As for the Punisher -- who cares? Never liked that whole concept. You got
> lots of big guns. You shoot at people with them. Either you hit them or
> you don't. If you hit them, they die and you become a murderer. If you
Well, also, remeber Mr. Castle is a normal human being with no
admantium skeleton or regeneration or any form of power beyond special
training and equipment. Honestly, if you were going up against 'villians'
who might (or might not) be super-powered, you'd better have something
that can do damage... It's not like he's using Nova fire blasts or heat
vision or spider-stregnth; just guns.

------------------------------

Date: Tue, 22 Sep 1998 15:21:45 -0400 (EDT)
From: Michael Surbrook <susano@access.digex.net>
Subject: Re: Plants

On Tue, 22 Sep 1998, Bob Greenwade wrote:

> At 01:08 PM 9/22/1998 -0400, Michael Surbrook wrote:
> >So...
> >
> >I'm tinkering around with designing a triffid (from "The Day of the
> >Triffids") and a question arose. Would a very low-INT plant, that doesn't
> >seem to have much in the way of pain receptors or other intellegence (as
> >we know it) qualify as an 'automaton'? ie. "Takes no Stun" and "Does not
> >Bleed" as well as immunity to PRE attacks and Mental Powers?
>
> I think there's something to this, at least the "Takes No STUN" and
> "Does Not Bleed" abilities.
> You could also define "Plant" as a separate class of minds (per TUM).
> That way they could still have EGO and be self-willed.

Yes, I mentioned that in the part of my post you seem to have cut out. Is
"Plant" a class of mind in TUM? I forget.

Hmmm... maybe I should just give them "Cannot be Stunned"?

> >And would it makes sense to just give the triffid scads of Mental Defense
> >with the SFX 'plant mind'?
>
> You could, but I think I'd lean more toward the "class of minds"
> approach.

I think I'll go for that approach.

***************************************************************************
* "'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, 24 Aug 1998 07:28:44 -0400 (EDT)
From: Michael Surbrook <susano@access.digex.net>
Subject: Re: RSR and VPP

On Mon, 24 Aug 1998, qts wrote:

> I've always played that you need a skill roll to change a VPP, whether
> you're in combat on out. However, it has recently been pointed out
> that, per the HSR you don't need a skill roll out of combat.
>
> So what should be the additional Limitation if you do? First off, it is
> a Limitation because the PC has to spend time changing the pool, time
> that he could be sleeping (eg resting overnight at a camp-fire) or
> otherwise socialising. And, of course, I want it difficult to change
> the pool.
> qts

Yes, but the PC should get large bonuses for spending extra time to change
the bool as well. And if it is goingto take that long to changethe pool,
just take 'can only chage in bag/between adventures/ and be done with it.
This is why Iput a flat activation roll on the pool I made, the character
spends 5+ minutes changing the pool, but it still might fail when he's
done.

***************************************************************************
* "'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, 11 Aug 1998 07:22:38 -0400 (EDT)
From: Michael Surbrook <susano@access.digex.net>
Subject: Re: Everyimmortal skills [long]

On Tue, 11 Aug 1998, Lockie wrote:

> > > you got a problem with giant jungle ferrets? i just figured
> > > it was a good tree climbing creature- if it was big enough
> > > you could even wrap a saddle around it. i originally considered
> > > a type of sloth creature but 'fast moving giant domestic sloth'
> > > just sounded silly.
> >
> > Well... yes. Ferrets don't live in the jungle and (AFAIK) don't climb
> > trees. OTOH, the large (extinct) ground sloth would make an interesting
> > riding animal, and came with rather large claws for defence. If you're
> > thinking of a tree-sloth, forget it, there is not practical way to have
> a
> > giant version one could use as a riding animal.
>
> hmmm. . well if it was REALLy big you could put a city on it. .

Errr... if what was really big?

> and anyway, ferrets can climb. .

Yes, but trees? Ferrets (and weasels and stoats etc) have awfully short
legs. Here in America the black-footed ferret is a *burrowing* animal and
lives in prarie dog tunnels.

>and it's not like horses evolved to
> have bits of metal nailed to their toenails. .

What does that have to do with ferrets?

***************************************************************************
* "'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: Fri, 14 Aug 1998 07:55:47 -0500 (CDT)
From: "Dr. Nuncheon" <jeffj@io.com>
Subject: Re: Followers/Vechiles/Automatons/AI in a VPP

On Thu, 13 Aug 1998 opal@technologist.com wrote:
> Jason Sullivan wrote:
> > Summoned creatures not necessarily "friendly", summoned creatures
> > not specific unique creatures specifically "trained" by the spawner to
> > assist in specific tasks.
>
> Niether are critters you grow in a vat... the mad
> scientist's creation turning on him is classic...
> well, or a cliche, at any rate.

But certainly not required - or are you saying that any creature a
character creates is going to want to turn on him? That sounds like the
game dictating the SFX, which is something that HERO tries not to do.

<snip vehicle stuff>

> I don't think that's how it works... or at least, I'd
> say it's also a valid interpretation to say that each
> follower can be different - they're just all built on
> the same points. At least there's nothing I've seen
> yet to indicate otherwise.

I was under the impression that when you paid the 5 points for x2, you got
2 of the same thing, which is why you were getting the big point break. I
seem to recall seeing bases and organizations built with Agents, security
guards, scientists and the like all listed and paid for separately.

I would allow some variation - if you had 8 'agent' followers, I
d say you could define them as having different WFs, etc and still get the
5 per x2 bonus - but if you had a scientist, a bodyguard, a gadgeteer and
the like, you'd have to pay full points because they're completely
different.

> OK, point taken. Still, it's a lot less of a stretch
> to Summon automata than to put followers in a VPP.
> Afterall, Automata have point totals, just like
> creatures.

Er...and Followers don't?

J

Hostes aliengeni me abduxerent. Jeff Johnston - jeffj@io.com
Qui annus est? http://www.io.com/~jeffj

------------------------------

Date: Fri, 14 Aug 1998 08:11:39 -0500 (CDT)
From: "Dr. Nuncheon" <jeffj@io.com>
Subject: Re: Look Out! It's Mr. Fist! (SFX: Multi-SFX Gauntlets)

On Thu, 13 Aug 1998, Remnant wrote:

> A quick suggestion that probably has lots of problems. Why not allow
> attacks that are combinations of Physical Damage and Energy Damage to be
> affected by Defenses proportionately. If the attack is 60% Energy and 40%
> Physical reduce the targets defenses by 40% for the Energy portion and 60%
> for the Physical portion. This only has a chance of being fair if the game
> has and adheres strictly to a DC/AP limit for attack powers. What do you
> think?

URK. And I thought Champs combat was slow already.

How about saying to the player, 'look, pick one or the other, and that's
what the primary source of damage is.' It /is/ supposed to be a
comic-book superhero-type after all.

Here's my idea(s), three of them for the player to choose between:

1) Pick at creation - you choose, either the flaming dragon punch does
physical damage or it does energy damage. We don't worry too much about
the actual physics - anything with a flaming dragon punch or similar isn't
very 'realistic' anyway.

2) VSFX (+1/4) - lets you switch between 'flaming punch vs. PD' and
'flaming punch vs. ED'. Go to town, try both, and see which hurts your
opponent more.

3) Limitation: always applied to higher defense (-1/4) - sort of the
reverse of 2) above, a kind of disadvantageous VSFX. Whenever the flaming
dragon punch is executed, it goes against the higher of the target's PD or
ED.

I guess you could say 4) goes against the average of PD & ED (+0), if you
really wanted to. There's a bit more math there but it can be done in
advance and only needs to happen once per person.

J

Hostes aliengeni me abduxerent. Jeff Johnston - jeffj@io.com
Qui annus est? http://www.io.com/~jeffj

------------------------------

Date: Mon, 10 Aug 1998 18:39:12 -0400 (EDT)
From: Michael Surbrook <susano@access.digex.net>
Subject: Re: Game Preparation / was Need help with plot [long]

> > > I'm amazed at the level of detail. Is this typical for game preparation ?
> >
> > Uh... no. The game is due to start soon so I've been thinking on how to
> > do a really cool slam-bang opening scnario. I hope to be able to create
> > more like this, but normally, I'm much less... detailed.
>
> I'd also meant to ask if this was so thorough because it was an introductory
> scenario. I'm kind of relieved to hear that you don't normally do this
> much preparation. I felt bad that I'd never played with a GM that evidently
> put that much preparation into a scenario, and that I'd never done it
> when I was running my Champions game regularly.

Yeah, well the game isn't due to start foe a while, so this thing keeps
bubbling away aand getting more elaborate.

> > I think that trying to write stuff like this in the future is the way to
> > go, it really allows me to plumb the depths of each character.
>
> True, but I would imagine you'd start getting into time problems depending
> on how often you run.

Hopefully, I'll be alternating with anotehr GM, giving me down time to
create these runs.

***************************************************************************
* "'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: Fri, 7 Aug 1998 13:12:39 -0700 (PDT)
From: "K. Ulstein" <kenhar@u.washington.edu>
Subject: Re: Favorite NPC's

On Fri, 7 Aug 1998, Bill Svitavsky wrote:

>Interesting NPC's have been mentioned as an element of "Great Campaigns",
>and I mentioned that a character in my current pirate game, Captain "Mad
>Jack" McPhee, is one of my all-time favorites.

I GM'ed an Ars Magica Campaign that has made me mildly superstisious.
One NPC in particular was the cause of my newfound irrationality. His
name was redric, he was an average run of the mill medieval thief &
street kid.

What set him apart was his dice rolling. No matter what dice we rolled
or who rolled them the DICE RESULTS would alternate between critical
failure and critical sucess. Because of this supernatural game
mechanic, he quickly became a favorate of the players who could count
on him to fall of his horse bounce to his feet and gain the inititive
in one fell swoop.

Over the course of 20 years he gave up his life of crime and became a
fudal lord with a heart of gold. His luck managed to hold for all
those years except for the day that everyone died. But that's off
topic. (Basicly the story is, don't roleplay on friday the thirteenth,
when you are the 666th visitor to the web page, at your friends house
where they accidentaly left a ladder leaning above the front door. If
you do your chracters will kill themselves with an amazing series of
accidents.)

____----------____
Kenji Ulstein http://weber.u.washington.edu/~kenhar

A knot is never "nearly right"; it is either exactly right
or it is hopelessly wrong...
-Clifford W. Ashley

------------------------------

Date: Tue, 11 Aug 1998 12:21:53 -0400 (EDT)
From: Michael Surbrook <susano@access.digex.net>
Subject: Re: MUCH-OVERUSED FANTASY RPG CLICHES

On Tue, 11 Aug 1998, Bob Greenwade wrote:

> The problem here is, how to implement it? I see three ways of working
> it out.
> 1) Role-play it out at the time it happens. If the players know how the
> flashback is supposed to end, this isn't too hard, but the problem with it
> is seeing that the conclusion of the flashback is compatible with the
> planned adventure.
> 2) Role-play it out ahead of time. If the flashback is one of those
> "Previously on our show..." things, this has already been done; the GM only
> needs to present it to the group (see #3 below). The GM could also work up
> earlier versions of the PCs' character sheets, have a separate "Flashback"
> session involving the elements he wants to flashback to, and then work in
> the conclusion so it leads naturally into the start of the new story.
> 3) Just write it out, and present it. But how? Write it as prose, and
> either distribute copies or read it aloud to the group? Write it as a
> script, and have each player take the appropriate part? Make a short
> animated video (which actually isn't as tough nor as expensive as it may
> sound)?

4) if everyone has e-mail, send it that way.

***************************************************************************
* "'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: Fri, 6 Nov 1998 02:42:48 -0600
From: "Logan Darklighter" <logand@cyberramp.net>
Subject: THIS IS BLOODY RIDICULOUS!!

I put on filters at work. Then didn't bother to get back online until a
couple of hours after I got home. I had to delete over 200 of those old
bloody messages!

I put up the filter at home and deleted all the messages from that asshole.
I have been online for about an hour now. I have my email program set to
check my email every ten minutes. Although it is deleting them off the
server and therefore not clogging up my mailbox at home, when I check to see
how many messages it has had to delete each time off the server, I am seeing
between 18 and 22 messages EVERY TIME!

Do the math people. We are being flooded on purpose for some reason.

I can't afford to go to bed and wake up and have my server clogged with over
1000 remailed and forwarded messages from this dickhead. Even if I don't
actually have to read them and delete them from my computer, it's going to
flood my server and start bouncing other emails if I don't keep my email
program running in order to keep up with it.

I'm going to go ahead and keep my email program running this night. But if
something can't be done to stop this by tomorrow, I will have no choice but
to un subscribe from the list and wait a couple of days before coming back.
If it's not taken care of by then, I'm just going to have to assume the
worst and drop from the list permanently. I hate to do it. But I refuse to
waste bandwidth like this.

- -Logan

- ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
- --
"God does not play dice with the universe; He plays an ineffable
game of His own devising, which might be compared, from the perspective
of any of the other players,* to being involved in an obscure and complex
version of poker in a pitch-dark room, with blank cards, for infinite
stakes, with a Dealer who won't tell you the rules, and who
_smiles all the time_."
-Neil Gaimen and Terry Pratchett
_Good Omens_
*i.e., everybody.
- ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
- --

- -----Original Message-----
From: Scott Nolan <nolan@erols.com>
To: champ-l@sysabend.org <champ-l@sysabend.org>
Date: Tuesday, November 03, 1998 10:01 AM
Subject: Re: Disadvantages for an angelic player character.


>>F> Angels, assuming they have free will,
>>
>>They certainly do; cf. the fall of the Devil and his angels.
>>
>>F> may very well be bound by "Thou shall not commit murder".
>>
>>Catholic schollars do not agree. Murder -- the willful and deliberate
>>taking of another's life -- is murder.
>>
>>F> Since killings that are ordained by God are not murder,
>>
>>Ordained murder is not a sin, at least not for the angel responsible for
>>doing murder.
>>
>>As I have said umpteen times already: mortal rules do not apply TO THE
>>CREATOR AND HIS MINIONS!!!
>>
>>Please, note the conjunction 'and' in that statement.
>
>While I agree with you, repeating something does not make it so. The
others
>may disagree. You correctly state Catholid doctrine. They may not be
>Catholic,
>or may not care whether the character reflects that origin. Champions being
a
>comic-book medium, they may prefer a comic-book angel.
>
>~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>For in far foreign fields, from Dunkirk to Belgrade,
>Lie the soldiers and chiefs of the Irish Brigade.
>~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>Scott C. Nolan
>

------------------------------

Date: Thu, 06 Aug 1998 13:30:39 -0500 (EST)
From: Jason Sullivan <ravanos@njcu.edu>
Subject: Re: Limited Power: Statistic check negates power.

On Thu, 6 Aug 1998, James Jandebeur wrote:
> > Another power that would work well with this Limitation would be
> >an Oil Slick (Entangle takes no damage from attack, AoE: Line; Set Effect
> >[only impairs movement], Does not prevent the use of most accessible Foci,
> >No walls, Limited Power: Effects of Entangle can be partially [or fully]
> >negated by a DEX roll).
>
> I don't know, here: it almost does it, but you can still break out of the
> oil slick with strength. Maybe a variation on the infamous "against EGO"
> entangle, but against Dexterity: you are free from the entangle when you
> have "broken out" using Dex instead of Strength. Unlike the Mental
> Paralysis, the target would be able to use what is usually a fairly high
> statistic to break out, though it would still have to be restricted to like
> a 2 DEF 2d6 Entangle, or maybe 3 DEF 3d6, so it's probably about a +1
> advantage... Need time to think.

While BOECV is already a sufficent game mechanic to represent an
Advantage on the power, there is no such precident for DEX. The only
Advantage I could think of that would be applicable would be NND, the
defense being Flight, Swinging, Tunneling to 'escape' (not touch the
surface) from the Entangle, and sufficent ammount of water, dirt, dust,
etc. to negate the effects of the power.
Also, the Limited Power: Only Along Ground would be needed to
represent the fact that you couldn't grease people in the air.

You could possibly also Link some kind of DEX drain, or some odd
kind of Backlash that would cause damage based on the speed your traveling
if you hit a solid object.
- -+-<-+->-+-<-+->-+-<-+->-+-<-+->-+-<-+->-+-<-+->-+-<-+->-+-<-+->-+-<-+->-+-<-+-
"Fools are my theme, let satire be my song."
-Lord Byron; English Bards and Scotch Reviewers. Line 6.
- -=-_=_-=-_=_-=-_=_-=-_=_-=-_=_-=-_=_-=-_=_-=-_=_-=-_=_-=-_=_-=-_=_-=-_=_-=-_=_-

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Date: Thu, 10 Sep 1998 16:27:06 -0400 (EDT)
From: Michael Surbrook <susano@access.digex.net>
Subject: Re: What is Dark Champions anyway (the genre, not the book) (Re: Batman)

On Thu, 10 Sep 1998, Brian Wong wrote:

> So what is meant by the term 'Dark Champions'?
>
> Street Level and no powers.
> Or the mood.

I think a combination of both.

> The book really should have been titled 'Dark Street Level Champions'
> as that's the genre it covers.

Yes, but there is marketing abd the room on the book cover to consider.

> Which is my biggest complaint about it. When I bought it
> I was hoping to get a book on running campaigns with dark moody themes. Not a
> book on running gadgeteers vs. the mob.

I found the intial book to have a lot of nice stuff on investigation and
criminal groups. There is also some nice stuff about criminal mentalities
and insanity.

As for gadgeteers vs. the mob? Well, a lot of the genre books (like the
Shadow, Batman, Punisher et al) has the hero using funky gear to give him
an edge.

> I think I see a lot of people here using the term 'Dark Champions' in
> two very different ways.
>
> Some of us use it to refer to street level, moody or heroic or campy.

I'd say yes to all but campy.

> Hopefully the second edition of Dark Champions will focus on mood rather
> than powerlevel; or rename itself to something more fitting. But I doubt it.

Steve Long is on this list. You can direct such a comment to him buy
putting his name in the header.

***************************************************************************
* "'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 *
***************************************************************************

------------------------------

End of champ-l-digest V1 #32
****************************


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