Digest Archives Vol 1 Issue 32f

Desmarais, John
From: owner-champ-l-digest@sysabend.org
Sent: Thursday, November 05, 1998 8:49 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: Everyimmortal [Dr. Nuncheon]
Re: Everyimmortal skills [long]
Re: Champions Play by e-mail
Re: High points/uneven matches
META: Problem update
Darkside Blues (was Dark Side (???))
Re: San Angelo Opinions
Re: Did you have to do that?!? (A Question rears it's ugly head)
Re: Race central to concept? (was Anglo-HERO)
Re: Everyimmortal skills [BobG5]
Re: The Tons-o-XP versions
Re: Jumping on the latest fad...
Re: Is a VPP apliciable for skills?
Re: Breadth vs. Depth


Date: Tue, 11 Aug 1998 09:46:50 -0500 (CDT)
From: "Dr. Nuncheon" <jeffj@io.com>
Subject: RE: Everyimmortal [Dr. Nuncheon]

On Mon, 10 Aug 1998, Michael (Damon) or Peni R. Griffin wrote:

> The original problem, raised by another list subscriber, was that he was
> trying to build an immortal character; it seemed reasonable that he should
> have a long list of skills, but the cost was proving prohibitive as is
> often the case with skill-based characters. I suggested that *some* of the
> skills an immortal would logically be expected to have might be coverable
> as Everyman Skills, which would cost nothing.
> What I was trying to accomplish was making a skill-based character more
> cost-effective by taking advantage of certain aspects of the character
> concept.

As for the cost of the skills being prohibitive...hmm. I think that that's
a separate problem, and one that isn't being addressed by the current
debate over the Everyfoo skill list - and the original post was so long
ago that I've quite forgotten it...

I think the reason that a lot of people think skills are overpriced is
that they aren't used enough - let's face it, especially in a Superhero
game, 75%+ of your points are probably going to combat powers,
combat-related attributes, etc - skills are tacked on at the end. To fix
that problem, you need to fix the GM or the campaign.

Basically, if the skills are worth the points, buy 'em. If the GM doesn't
make buying skills worthwhile, talk to him - either ask for more
skill-based stuff, or say, "look, I'd logically have lots of skills but
the way your games are, PS: Blacksmith would be a waste of points. Should
I skip buying it, or can we make a deal?"

In a modern game, I might be tempted to either make 'archaic/obsolete'
skills cost less by fiat, or to offer a Skill Enhancer to do the same:

Archaic: 3 pts.
The 'Archaic' skill enhancer reduces the cost of skills that are no longer
useful parts of daily society. It can reduce the costs of Professional
Skills, Area Knowledges, Languages that have changed significantly from
that time period to modern day, and any other skill the GM deems to be
'Archaic' or 'obsolete'.
Possessed by: Immortals, dedicated recreationists

This would help the Immortal character a lot - it'd let him buy Languages,
old PSes, AKs, etc at a discount rate. I might even stretch the rules a
bit and let him pick up some 8- skills for 'free' using this.*


* - I've pondered doing this for all the Skill Enhancers. I was thinking
something along the lines of allowing you a certain number of free 8-
skills, or alternately, the opportunity to buy 2 Familiarities with 1
point by using the Enhancer. This also alleviates the problem of (for
example) a Scientist having an 11- (or more) in absolutely every
discipline he studies.

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


Date: Tue, 11 Aug 1998 21:17:59 -0500
From: Ross Rannells <rossrannells@worldnet.att.net>
Subject: Re: Everyimmortal skills [long]

Dr. Nuncheon wrote:

> On Wed, 12 Aug 1998, Lockie wrote:
> < cities borne by giant ground sloths >
> > > 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?
> > >
> >
> > there'd probably be a semi-nomadic race. . possibly simian, who was
> > capable of changes of direction and branciation themselves. . the houses
> > could be
> > built up, ot they could be 'pods' attached by braided fur which could move
> > aorund a
> > a bit, even hang upside down without too much trouble.
> That's good...of course, they couldn't ever leave anything lying around
> loose - it'd be like living on a ship, but even more so. Maybe the
> house/pods would be giant hollowed-out seeds from the massive trees that
> these giant sloths climb - sort of acorn-ish - that hook onto the sloths'
> coats sort of like burrs. Normally they just hang there for a while and
> then drop off to grow into a new tree, but if a family wants to make them
> into a home, they braid and tie the sloth's fur around the seed-pod's stem
> and attach it more firmly...then they chop holes in it and hollow it out -
> and incidentally provide food, too.
> Hmm, I wonder what they make their tools out of? Do they climb off of
> the sloth and gather rocks and such, and then run to catch up with the
> sloth before it walks too far away? Or do they have claws sufficient to
> pierce the hard shell of the seed-pods and burrow out the meat?
> Do these sloth-things have parasites? What's the relationship of the
> sloth-dwellers to those parasites? Do they domesticate them, or do they
> hunt them and kill them (thus being in more of a symbiotic relationship
> with the sloth?
> And what happens when the horribly unthinkable happens, and a city-sloth
> dies?

More importanly how do the sloth cities interact with each other. Are they all
nice and friendly like or do they have wars between different factions/families.
What styles of matial arts are available to the various factions of sloth
dwellers. What is the tech level of the sloth dwellers. Are they stone age,
bronze age, or iron age weapons. Do the sloth dweller have a mages and priests
for spell casting. Have any of the sloth dwellers reach a post industrial age
with exotic super powered sloth dwellers running/jumping/flying/teleporting
around fighting evil. Most importantly, what kind of Ice Cream do the sloth
dwellers like?


Date: Sun, 11 Oct 1998 08:22:07 -0400 (EDT)
From: thomas deja <tdj723@webtv.net>
Subject: Re: Champions Play by e-mail

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There are plenty of CHAMPIONS PBeMs around--the Golden Hawks Universe
and the Vieux Carre Universe are two I know of that have several PBeMs
running at once (I am one of the GMs for the VC Universe).

To find one, you can always check the posts at the newsgroup listed in
the Hero Games' links page.

"'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

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From: "Dave Felton" <Dave@waltzingtroll.freeserve.co.uk>
To: <champ-l@sysabend.org>
Subject: Champions Play by e-mail
Date: Sun, 11 Oct 1998 08:58:46 +0100
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Does anyone know of a Champs pbem. There are rumours of one but as yet I
have been unable to find one. Or if anybody has the engine that is supposed
to exist please forward it and I will do the hosting...


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Date: Sat, 12 Sep 1998 12:18:07 -0700
From: Shelley Chrystal Mactyre <scm@mactyre.net>
Subject: Re: High points/uneven matches

>My questions to you are: Who on the list plays characters at these point
>levels and what kind of limits do you have on active points in a power?
>What about stats and skill rolls? Do other GM's have campaigns with wide
>ranging point levels for the characters? How have you maintained interest
>and challenges for the players?


I enjoy running high-powered (starting at 400 points) Champions, but I
always have an active point cap. When the Hudson Hawks game
(http://www.mactyre.net/scm/hh/) started, the players were limited to 80
active, and after they'd gained some experience (I think around 50 EPs or
so) I let them raise attacks to 90 active (or was it 70 and 80? Something
like that). I am generally pretty lenient about power level and skills
being high, but at the same time "no" is "no," so I didn't have many
problems with things I really didn't want in the game.

As for keeping things challenging, I just had to beef up book villains a
little to make them viable, and automatons are always fun. The plots
required lots of roleplaying and skill usage to solve, and conspiracy plots
are great for fostering paranoia. I mixed citywide threats with global
threats, and everyone had NPCs to mess with....<evil grin>

[Old members of the list have probably heard the following before, sorry!]
The funniest moment of that campaign for me was when I just didn't have a
clue about what to run one night, and I pulled a Call of Cthulhu adventure
out of an old Challenge and just randomly generated Champions stats for
low-powered monster or two that they could wipe out easily. I got to play
on the *players'* paranoia that time -- their 450 point characters were
tiptoeing around like the most terrified of CoC investigators, until one
player sat up suddenly and said, "Hey, you're running a Cthulhu game!"
Another good twist was when they knew that someone had a video tape of them
in their secret IDs - and they really wanted to break in to steal it.
They'd used their skills to find where it was, and they were stymied by the
fact they didn't want to break in dramatically (and come to PRIMUS'
attention) -- but no one had any thief skills.

I think the key is that the PCs all had something to lose, the players
themselves were civic-minded and really were in it just for the common
good. I'm not sure that game would have worked as well if I'd had a
different mix of players. Whenever I bring new characters into an existing
game, I don't start them at the same point level the original characters
started at (I've been that 400 point character when the older PCs were
600+) -- I split the difference, so that a new PC in the HH game entering
when the highest powered PC was 500 points would be let in at 450 points,
not 400.

Shelley Chrystal Mactyre

A man shares your table; the dog is banned and stands by your threshold.
What a shame that the dog is faithful, while a man bites the hand that
feeds him!

- --Sa'di


Date: Thu, 05 Nov 1998 08:19:22 -0500
From: "John Desmarais" <john.desmarais@ibm.net>
Subject: META: Problem update

It didn't work. The stuff is still coming. My sysadmin is trying to chase it down for me.
More to follow.


Date: Tue, 08 Sep 1998 15:44:58 -0400
From: TokyoMark <bastet@iquest.net>
Subject: Darkside Blues (was Dark Side (???))

At 02:50 PM 9/8/98 -0400, Michael Surbrook wrote:
>On Tue, 8 Sep 1998, Dr. Nuncheon wrote:
>> > I have never heard of a anime character named 'Darkside'. I'm willing ot
>> > bet the character is 'Darkseid' from DC comics. If any further details
>> > are known, please pass them on.

Odds are the character refered to is is Darkside from the anime Darkside
He was sealed away on a corporation space station orbiting Earth until he
escapes at the start of the anime, in a horse drawn carriage that can
apparently fly, even through space. He takes the name Darkside because he
lands in an area called the 'Darkside of Tokyo'. He dresses somewhat goth
and stylish, in dark colors of course, and if described as good looking
enough to be an illusion. He perpetually looks languid. Exactly what he
is is mysterious. He's called a mystic on the cover of the anime, then
later is refered to as a 'life form' as if he was not human. I think at
one point they refer to him as maturing in another dimension.
He seems to have the power to create darkness, illusions (seemingly
connected to the pasts of people in the darkness), he can project energy
attacks, though he only does so after others attack him with energy blasts,
so it seems likely he absorbs them and sends the same attack back. He's
highly resistent to energy attacks, has a form of knockback resistance that
allows him to be pushed back but not knocked down. He also seems to be able
to disappear into the darkness he creates.

>> The only anime character that comes to my mind would be 'Dark Schneider'
>> from the series _BASTARD!_ (I understand that it's now available
>> commercially here in the US - the version I saw was fan-subbed and left in
>> all of the original 'heavy metal' name puns)
>Heh... I've have the fan-subbed tapes with all the original puns as well.
>I picked up a subbed copy, but haven't watched it yet, but based on the
>back cover, they've hacked up some of the names bigtime.

I saw that also, but as dubbed (ugh). It looked so messed up I just
skipped it. they have had official showings of the fan subbed Bastard the
past two years at Gencon and both were great. The crowd was really into it.

>> If Dark Schneider is who they want to play, well...he's an incredibly
>> powerful sorceror, so I hope you're giving them a lot of points. (On the
>> other hand, if Darkseid is who they want to play, I guess I'd have to say
>> pretty much the same thing...)
>Dark Schneider has a mega-point spell called "Megadeath!" that can wipe
>out whole castles. Yeah, he's a lot of points...

Add in the fact Dark Schenider (I keep wondering if this name was taken
from Deke Schneider) was virutally unkillable unless he inflicted the
damage on himself. Mega points.



Date: Thu, 20 Aug 1998 00:22:01 -0500 (EST)
From: Tokyo Mark <bastet@iquest.net>
Subject: Re: San Angelo Opinions

On Wed, 19 Aug 1998, Rook wrote:

> I dunno. If he'd been anything but a blond haired blue eyed white male
> in his prime I could have handled him better. As is; I'm fed up with
> that being the definition of human perfection. Though I did think it was
> funny that he got his powers from using a homemade drug; and now works
> in an anti drug campaign. And it is true that our society views the
> blond haired blue eyed white male as perfection. In my game's he'll
> definatly have something sinister about him.

Well, a couple of things. The serum he uses was created as a research
project by a team of scientists, so I'm not sure what is meant by
homemade. New drugs are created this way. If the 'blond haired, blue
eyed white male' thing bothers you, why not change it? His appearance
doesn't seem all that central to the character concept. In games I'm
usualy in the PC's would naturally spend alot of time trying to find his
'dark side', that's partially why I like the swerve that he really is a
good guy. He seemed so set up to be the cliched 'Seems too good to be
true..and is."

The dicotomy of his powers being based on a drug could make for a good
debate, along the lines of the debate in Capt. America over his powers
being based on a drug.

> That would be unfortunate. Cause then I'd have to spend every game
> starting out with "Why the real heroes of the city can't handle this."

Not really. Justice Foundation are five 250 point heros, why do they have
to be the 'real heros of the city'?" The team can be broken up into
individual supers. Simply disappear, leaving the void for new heros to
step into. Or the PC's could even join. If you don't use the team and
the PC's start out already established in the city there are already
things mentioned about Justince Foundation that you can use, simply
substituting the PC's group. Or the PC's could even share the city with
the Justice Foundation without being thought of as 'lesser heros'. If the
Fantastic Four shows up to help someone in Marvel's New York, no one is
going to say 'Hey, where are the Avengers? We want the 'real heros' of
the city." I would rather have the material included where I can change
it and modify it as neede, then left out so I have to create it totally

> I'm loving almost every other aspect of the book I've encountered so
> far however.
> The author has included so much stuff that makes me keep thinking "gee;
> why didn't I ever think of that before? It's so obvious you'd need to
> know that." Only thing is that every page of this 256 page book seems to
> have 1-2 of those in there. Things that are so obviously useful but
> which no one had ever put in a game book before.

Have to agree here. Some of the quotes by normal citizens have really
stood out in my mind.


Date: Thu, 13 Aug 1998 18:24:48 -0500
From: Ross Rannells <rossrannells@worldnet.att.net>
Subject: Re: Did you have to do that?!? (A Question rears it's ugly head)

Michael Surbrook wrote:

> On Thu, 13 Aug 1998, Jason Sullivan wrote:
> >
> > > I believe that that is totally illegal not to mention massively abusive.
> >
> > ...the only reason I brought the Follower in a VPP up is because
> > I'm creating a character who carries a number of robots with him that
> > changes every adventure. All of them are very different.
> I can see that sort of effect, but in a Mulitpower? You pay a reduced
> rate for the Follower (what? 1/5 points, base of 20?) and then get a 1/10
> Ultraslot cost? No way!
> > In 'Underworld Enemies' there is a listing as follows for the
> > villian _Idiot King_ on page 14:
> > ---------------------------------------------------------------------
> > Cost Powers
> > ---------------------------------------------------------------------
> > 267 | 200 Point Mastermind Power Pool: Can be used for Followers
> > (Thugs), Vechiles, Bases, skills and powers appropiate fro his schemes.
> > Only change between adventures (-1/2)
> >
> > ...is this an throwback to an earlier edition? A fluke? Anyone
> > care to comment?
> There used to be the Mastermind Option, which was a 50 point power that
> allowed the character to use buy bases, thugs and vehicles equal to his
> point total. This idea was brought back in Golden Age of Champs. This
> works better, as the character pays the real cost of the power, not a
> reduced cost, as your Multipower suggestion would allow.

One way to get a Mastermind under the current rules is to use the Follower perq
and applying diasavantages to the followers with lower point bases. I wrote an
electronic hero article demonstrating this a couple months ago and submitted it,
but it still hasn't appeared. Using this method you can get a pretty hefty
number of followers, donate a couple of points to your organization and buy a KS
for knowing whats going on in your org for 50 points (the old mastermind cost).
You then have all your followers donate a point or two to the organization for
building a base and purchasing vehicles and other equipment. It comes out
costing about the same and gives an exact total of each type of agent and
operative that are available. Like everything else I do, it is math intensive
and you need a scientific calculator to do all the base 2 logarithms but it
works out quite nicely.

One quick question, how many agents does a standard vipers nest have? In a
campaign I'm currently working on I gave them 150 100 point agents and 225 75
point agents with a total of just over 1000 total followers. Does this sound
like to many to the rest of you?


Date: Thu, 20 Aug 1998 14:21:11 -0400 (EDT)
From: Michael Surbrook <susano@access.digex.net>
Subject: Re: Race central to concept? (was Anglo-HERO)

On Thu, 20 Aug 1998, Jason Sullivan wrote:

> Sometimes, race does play a major part of a character's
> background. There's no doubting that Wonder Woman is an Amazon of
> supposedly Greek decent (I think) and Thor is as Norse as they get.

Yes, the Amazons are a part of the Greek mythology, although their
supposed home is in north east Turkey.

> Also, some comics have made characters that move beyond
> sterotypes, such as Grunge from Gen-13 (who is Chinese but has none of the
> Chinese sterotypes you commonly find in comic books).

And, in fact, knows no kung fu (AFAIK) amd managed to be part of a riotous
send up of martial arts flics in "Grunge: the Movie".

> Some characters don't have a clearly defined race. I thought
> casting Dean Cain as Superman in _Lois and Clark_ was a good example of
> progressive casting, since Dean Cain is a blend of many different races.
> Eric Draven (in all of his incarnations) played by Brandon Lee and (soon
> to be on TV) Mark Dacascos are both racially out-there.

The Crow as a TV show? Give me a break.

While developing my Silent Mobius Zeta campaign, I discovered something
interesting. The original Silent Mobius manga is rather racially diverse.
The main character, Katsumi Liqueur is Japanese/French who grew up in
Hawawii. The rest of the cast is an ethnic Jpanese Shinto priestess, an
Australian ex-cop (who is dark-skinned), a mixed-race (but
Japanese-looking) esper/telekinetic, a japanese Buddhist sorceress, a
Chinese magican/warrioress, and American netrunner and a half-human half
'entity' leader.

Of the whole crew, the American is the biggest stereotype. She is tall
(5'9"), busty (37"), thin, long-legged, blond (waist length) and
blue-eyed. Oh, and from California. About as sterotypical an 'American
female' as you can get (at least, I think, to Japanese eyes.

When running my game, I wanted diversity and my current game reflects
this. We have an American Indian shamaness, a Quebec ex-cop, an American
vodoo priestess of Mexican/Creole origin, an English sorceress, another
American Indian and a Japanese swordswinger.

Oh, and the NPCs, an ethnic Japanese, an American of Japanese/Norse
descent and the blonde American I mentioned above.

* "'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, 10 Aug 1998 08:33:07 -0500 (CDT)
From: "Dr. Nuncheon" <jeffj@io.com>
Subject: Re: Everyimmortal skills [BobG5]

On Sun, 9 Aug 1998, Michael (Damon) or Peni R. Griffin wrote:

> I want to give Booster Gold an ES list based on his 25th Century
> background, which would include TF: Hovercraft, but not TF: Automobile.
> You don't want me to do that because if gives him a skill 20th Century
> characters don't have, without having to pay for it.

No. We don't want to give certain characters lots of useful extra skills
for free.

> You want me to give
> him TF: Automobile as part of the standard 20th Century ES list, then sell
> it off for 1 point, then use that point to buy TF: Hovercraft, for a net
> expense of 0 points. The result? Booster Gold knows how to operate a
> hovercraft (a Skill which his 20th Century teammates do not have) and he's
> paid a net 0 points to get it. Mathematically, there is no difference here
> whatsoever. I think you're just getting hung up on the mechanics of
> getting from "A" to "B".

Swapping one TF for another is trivial - I'd allow it, as would (I think)
any GM. There are plenty of people in the modern world who'd have TF:
Bicycle but not TF: Auto.

What /I/ object to is 'swapping' TF: Auto for:

TF: Horse (12th century England), TF: Sleigh (13th Century Russia), TF:
Wagon (15th Century Poland), TF: Camel (17th century Arabia), TF:
Motorcycle (The 1950s when I toured the country on my Harley), /and/ TF:

By your logic, if I made a 80-year old character, I should get more
everyman skills than a 20-year old. Let's say he was in a 1920's
campaign. "Well, when he was born, the base TF: was Horse...but now the
base TF: is Auto, so he should get both for free." I don't buy it, and I
don't buy it for an immortal character either.

> >>Perhaps I don't understand this last question. If you were to add KS:
> >>Personal History to the campaign-standard ES list, then restrict AK,
> >>Language, TF and PS to only one free item per category, then my Immortal
> >>list would look exactly like the campaign standard list. There'd be no
> >>difference at all.

That's correct - and that would be fair to the immortal and to the other
players, as well.

Look at it this way:

Two characters, A and B. Both start out with exactly the same thing: 250
points and a set of Everyman skills. They spend their points on exactly
the same things. Both are 'immortals'. The difference: A has just
discovered his immortality, while B has been at it for 500 years.

Now...A wants to know hwo to ride a horse - he has to pay for TF: Horse.
B gets it free.

A wants to know how to speak several European languages. He has to pay
for them.
B gets them free.

How do you explain this to A's player without him thinking (and rightly
so) that you're arbitrarily rewarding B for having a different concept?
The only difference in their concepts is that B has been alive for 500
years longer.


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


Date: Thu, 15 Oct 1998 11:06:46 -0400 (EDT)
From: thomas deja <tdj723@webtv.net>
Subject: Re: The Tons-o-XP versions

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I think the other updated Champions were going to be used in the
ULTIMATE books related to their speicalties--Obsidian in THE ULTIMATE
BRICK (which I know was planned at one time), Defender in THE ULTIMATE
POWERED ARMOR (ditto), etc....

"'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

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To: champ-l@sysabend.org
Subject: The Tons-o-XP versions
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From: llwatts@juno.com (Leah L Watts)
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(Sorry if the subject line is vague, I was trying to keep it short.)

"Watchers of the Dragon" gave us the tons-o-XP version of Seeker. "The
Ultimate Mentalist" gave us the tons-o-XP version of Solitaire. Has
anyone done tons-o-XP versions of the other members of the Champions?
I'd like to see, say, the Mark 12 version of the Defender armor, or
Quantum with even greater control over her powers (justifying all sorts
of power tricks). I'm not sure how one would jack up Obsidian or Jaguar,
though; their powers are part of their (alien or kitty-cat) nature.


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Date: Wed, 19 Aug 1998 12:55:10 -0400 (EDT)
From: Michael Surbrook <susano@access.digex.net>
Subject: Re: Jumping on the latest fad...

On Wed, 19 Aug 1998, Rook wrote:

> > > Unless you're fighting a war of 'ethnic cleansing', it's better to
> > >wound your opponants than kill them.
> >
> > This assumes that you're fighting people of similar ethics. Don't try
> > this against China.
> We chinese are not unethical monsters. And even the government
> currently in power over there stops to help it's wounded. There isn't a
> stable civilization on earth that doesn't look out for it's own. Even if
> a government becomes monsterous; there is still individual morality.
> Otherwise you get a situation like Kmer Rouge (sp?) Cambodia that gets

Khmer Rouge.

> easily overrun due to extremely low morale and in general doesn't last
> long.

Well, the general in question (Pol Pot) held on to his power for quite
some time, mainly becuase he slaughtered everyone that might be able to
organize a resistance *and* the military was backing him. It's hen things
break down to the point where even the top guys can't get waht they want
that the dictator find himself in a mess of trouble.

> Now I know the classic western knee jerk reaction is to point to
> Tianamen Square. But that case actually supports my point very well. The
> students put a lot of effort into getting their wounded out. I don't
> know if any soilders had been hurt there; but I imagine if they were
> they weren't left to die by their side.

Since I'm not certain what the intial poster was referring to (do the
Chinese have a reputation of ignoring casualties on the field?), I fail to
see how this exactly proves *your* point. Sure, the students tried to
pull their wounded out, and the soldiers most certainly looked to their
own, but my question is: "What kind of government condones mass slaughter
of its own citizens?"

This same question can be directed at the Nixon adminstration, which spied
on the American people, tried to discredit and harass thousands of
'dissidents' and was in power during Kent State and the 1968 Chicago
Democratic convention.

And then there is Stalin, killing 20 million of his own people *and*
executing freed Russion POW since 'proper' Soviet soldiers *didn't* get

China isn't alone in having done terrible things to its people, but
neither is it the world's best example of 'human rights' either. And
neither is America, for that matter.

* "'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, 03 Aug 1998 22:18:06 -0500
From: Ross Rannells <rossrannells@worldnet.att.net>
Subject: Re: Is a VPP apliciable for skills?

qts wrote:

> On Sun, 2 Aug 1998 19:01:17 -0500, Schlepp Boy wrote:
> >At 1:47 PM -0500 8/2/98, Jason Sullivan wrote:
> >> Jared, the Pretender, is such a genius that with minimal ammounts
> >>of intensive study, he may learn skills at a comptent level.
> >>
> >> Xian-La, the monk who is one with the universe, can tap into the
> >>universal subconcious and use skills from it.
> >>
> >> Cloud Dancer is a shaman in the Wild West. He has the ability to
> >>channel the spirits of various totems and his ancestors' spirits.
> >>
> >> Could you use a VPP: Skill Pool with the above SFX? Anyone want
> >>to take a shot at the power sets mentioned above?
> >>
> >
> >I'm not sure if I can help at all but here are a couple ideas for your
> >consideration. First, below is a list of "Concept Pools" that I got off the
> >net a few years ago. I can't find the original document but they are from
> >another GMs house rules that I liked and adopted for the game I was running
> >at the time. If the originator of these concepts is looking in feel free to
> >take the credit as I am unable to give it to you. I believe the basis for
> >these pools is the "Universal Translator" talent.
> >
> >
> >The following "Concept Pools" are allowed for some characters(GMO):
> >
> > ULTIMATE CONTACT - Represents the ability for a character to know
> >someone almost anywhere they go. 20 points for an 11-, +1/ 3 points.
> >
> > ULTIMATE SCIENTIST - Represents a character that has studied almost
> >everything scientific at some level or another. 20 points for an 11-, +1 /
> >5 points.
> >
> > ULTIMATE SCHOLAR - Same as Ultimate Scientist.
> >
> > ULTIMATE TRAVELER - This character has been almost everywhere. 20
> >points for an 11-,
> >+1 / 3 points.
> >
> > ULTIMATE "JACK-O'-TRADES" - There aren't many things this character
> >hasn't done (as Professional Skills go). 20 points for an 11-, +1 / 5
> >points.
> >
> >Obviously these are GMs approval only pools so if you think easy access to
> >too many contacts is going to be a problem then don't allow it or only
> >allow it at base level.
> These seem a little on the cheap side - having over 20 pts in KS is
> quite common for mages, though some would be at the >18- level - but
> prima facie this looks like a good concept. The Ultimate Traveller,
> Ultimate Contact, and Ultimate Scholar (-1 Limitation: Only historical
> subjects) make a good basis for an Indiana Jones type character. Marcus
> Brodie would have Ultimate Traveller limited with Ancient civilisations
> only :}
> As you're basing the cost off Universal Translator, then I'd point out
> that UT is one-way only whereas these are two-way. How about doubling
> the cost to 40 pts?
> qts
> Home: qts@nildram.co.uk.

I'd say 40 points is fair a little to cheap. It would certainly make the PhD
NPC's in my campaign a lot cheaper. 20 points to be a world class chemists,
biologist or hitorian seems to be to cheap to me.


Date: Wed, 2 Sep 1998 01:45:04 (-0600)
From: Robert Rutherford <mirage@dhc.net>
Subject: Re: Breadth vs. Depth

On Tue, 1 Sep 1998 23:55:17 EDT,
HeroGames@aol.com wrote about Breadth vs. Depth:
> I'd like some opinions on a basic question regarding Champions supplements.
> Would you prefer to see more information about one location (a city), or
> would you rather see a broader picture of a number of locations? In other
> words, we could do several books detailing all of the people, organizations,
> story seeds and so forth in an area, or we could do a less detailed job with
> several locations. Or, for another type of book, would you rather see more
> detail on fewer characters, or a larger number of characters with less
> detail? Our original Enemies book had about a paragraph on each villain,
> where some of our more recent books have spent pages on key characters.
> As another example, we've sometimes dealt with villain groups in just about
> a page (plus the character writeups), yet it would be possible to do an
> entire book on a group such as Eurostar. At that level of detail there'd be
> plenty of story lines and adventures ideas, ways to hook in backgrounds of
> Eurostar members with heroes, and so on. Then again, you're getting far
> fewer characters overall in such a book.
> So what do *you* like? Putting more characters into a book, or fewer
> characters with more detail? More depth or more breadth?
> -- Steve Peterson, Hero Games

I love the original Enemies book. The lack of detail on most of the villains
made it very easy to set them where I wanted them in a campaign. However the
tendency now is to produce large books on one subject, like a city. (The
Night City Source book for Cyberpunk was an execelent supplement of that
nature). I've only read through part of San Angelo, but it looks good so far.
I'd like to keep seeing a variety of supplements, like Viper and Classic

But you might add a section for plot ideas to the simple enemies books, give
each organization a few pages of plots, with perhaps an outline for a detailed
adventure. There should be more depth to the groups, but very few groups
deserve an entire book. Something like the Zodiac Conspiracy would be good
for Eurostar or TI, but something like Viper would be overkill even for

There is definately something to be said for a quick and dirty book 'o

- --
|Rob Rutherford |Mandatory Disclaimer: |
|A.K.A. mirage | |
|E-mail |If my views were those of my university |
|mirage@hpserv.keh.utulsa.edu |my tuition wouldn't go up every year. |
| URL http://hpserv.keh.utulsa.edu/~mirage/home.html |


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