Digest Archive vol 1 Issue 342

From: owner-champ-l-digest@sysabend.org
Sent: Saturday, May 15, 1999 8:42 AM
To: champ-l-digest@sysabend.org
Subject: champ-l-digest V1 #342

champ-l-digest Saturday, May 15 1999 Volume 01 : Number 342

In this issue:

Re: Fifth Edition
Re: 'Hero Points' in HERO
Variable Power Pool
Re: Alchemist
Re: Alchemist
Re: Alchemist
Re: Alien Limitations
Re: Amberite Question
Re: Re: Fifth Edition
The Ascendent
Re: 'Hero Points' in HERO
Dragon Magazine articles on Champions
Re: Off Topic = mail crashes ?
Re: Trigger
Re: Dragon Magazine articles on Champions
Re: The Hero system
Re: muscular men and slick chicks
SA:CoH Nominated for Origins Award!
Re: Fifth Edition
The Magus
Catagorizing Heroes (for creation purposes)
FTL Travel
Re: FTL Travel


Date: Fri, 14 May 1999 18:00:12 -0500
From: Ross Rannells <rossrannells@worldnet.att.net>
Subject: Re: Fifth Edition

Don McKinney wrote:

> > Steve Long wrote:
> > > For those of you keeping score at home, I thought you'd like to know
> > > that, after over a year of work, I've finally turned in the completed
> > > 5th Edition HERO System manuscript to Hero Games as of today. Time
> > > for editing and layout....
> >
> > Hey, would you know if artwork has been done yet? I'd like to know
> > who's beating Seeker up on the cover....
> All I know is SOMEONE better be beating up Seeker on the cover or I'm
> not buying it. I know how to identify a GOOD HERO product when I see
> it!
> (ok, I'll buy it anyway - but I'll be somewhat reluctant...)
> The instant sell cover would be a victorious Foxbat, brandishing his
> ping-pong gun, over a fallen and battered Seeker.

I'd buy just for that picture. I've always had a softspot for Foxbat...


Date: Fri, 14 May 1999 18:04:46 -0500
From: "Michael (Damon) & Peni Griffin" <griffin@txdirect.net>
Subject: Re: 'Hero Points' in HERO

At 02:46 PM 5/14/1999 PDT, Jack Scarecrow wrote:
>Also, the rules for Extra Lives was either in an old issue of AC or Dragon
>Again, I would appreciate any assistance in tracking these items down.

You wish is my etc.

<begin quote>
Extra Life 4 pts.
For every 4 permanent experience points, a character may buy
an Extra Life. An Extra Life is a one-use 3d6 Luck roll that's
assumed to come out as all sixes. Once used, an Extra Life dis-
appears. (The experience that bought it disappears, too.) Extra
Lives are a form of superhero insurance. They allow characters
hit with a mortal blow to somehow escape death, but they must be
bought before they are needed. Extra Lives may be used in any
other situation the player wants; the expense is presumed to prevent
totally outandish use of them. Extra Lives cannot save the life of
a character other than the one who bought them.
Example: Metalfist, an android martial artist, is trying to get
out of a deathtrap in which a supercriminal has put him. Unfortun-
ately, while leaping from one electrified pillar to another, the
player rolls an 18 on Acrobatics and Metalfist does a one-and-a-half
gainer into a vat of acid below. Luckily, the player bought an Extra
Life some time ago and expends this power now. Metalfist finds that
the acid reacts strangely with his synthetic skin. The mixture ex-
plodes, knocking Metalfist unconscious but also knocking him completely
out of the vat. Though damaged, he is alive.
</end quote>

Despite being characterized as a Talent (one-use Luck) and referred to as a
power ("expends this power now") in the example above, this entry seems to
have been listed among Skills in the Dragon article that featured it. I
think it was somewhere around #100, but I'm taking this off a photocopy
that was pasted into an old house rules notebook, so I'd have to dig
through my Dragon collection to be sure.



Date: Fri, 14 May 1999 19:25:33 EDT
From: Elearon@aol.com
Subject: Variable Power Pool

I have a question for people I am kinda new to champions and need help in
understanding how a variable power poole works. I understand how a multipower
works but not how a variable power pool works. Could one of you send me an
example character under the heromaker software of a super hero who uses a
variable power pool. I understand the basics of the power pool but I am not
sure exactly How the powers are developed under the pool. We have had some
extensive arguments on how it works So anyone willing to take a crack at
explaining it to me would be greatly appreciated.



Date: Sat, 15 May 99 00:34:31
From: "qts" <qts@nildram.co.uk>
Subject: Re: Alchemist

On Sun, 09 May 1999 14:24:30 -0700, Christopher Taylor wrote:

>>>| +1/4 Usable by self or one other.
>>>If you are using Focus, then you do not really need this, either.
>>You do, because a focus can be personal or universal. Only and independent
>>item is truly free form its owner.
>Rat will handle this well but you need to rethink how foci and independant
>items work. Any item that has a power that is not part of a person is a
>focus. By its very nature any person can use a universal focus, and thus
>can take your gun and fire it without you being even alive or present. You
>don't have to pay points for a focus to be used by anyone other than
>yourself, its simply a part of the nature of Foci.
>>>If no Charges, where does the END for the powers come from?
>>The End is paid by the spell caster when he makes the potion and sets up the
>>trigger. Don't you know how triggers and delayed effects work?
>This would be true if you were building the potion the way you did, but you
>spent points needlessly. As it presently is built, each potion that the
>alchemist makes goes against the suggested (and I second strongly) rule
>that you can only have one power/spell active per 5 points of INT.

I don't see this as a problem given the ubiquity of potions (depending
upon the campaign, of course). If it bothers you, why don't you add a
- -1/4 Lockout or Side Effects?

> It also
>means that if the alchemist passes out (you didnt buy persistent) the power
>shuts off, or if the alchemist dies it shuts off

Nope, the Trigger Advantage obviates that.

-- the potion becomes
>useless. In other words, its not really a potion in the usual sense at
>all, its a spell in the form of a potion. Independent cuts that off from
>the user totally, live, die, anything happens, the power still is ready to

So does Trigger.

Home: qts@nildram.co.uk.


Date: Sat, 15 May 99 00:38:50
From: "qts" <qts@nildram.co.uk>
Subject: Re: Alchemist

On Sun, 09 May 1999 19:59:48 -0700, Christopher Taylor wrote:

>>>>With the Trigger it doesn't matter if the alchemist is dead or not, it
>>>>stay active until triggered.
>>>Mothing about trigger says this or implies it. Trigger does not make a
>>>power persistent, nor Independent (the only way other than Transformation
>>>to make a permanent effect like you suggest in Hero terms)
>>I think you did not read trigger correctly. This advantage will allow
>>someone to set up a power and pay the endurance for it when it is set up.
>>Then when someone triggers the power, it goes off.
>>This could be the Great Mage Taylor who sets a web spell at the entrance to
>>his magic library and then promptly dies. One hundred years later the
>>Master Mystic Thief Mitchel comes across Taylor's library and accidentally
>>sets off the web entangle, trapping him in the entrance to the library.
>>That's how trigger works. There is no time limit because the spell caster
>>spends the endurance for the power when he sets it up.
>Yes actually there is. That only means he doesnt have to pay END again
>when it goes off, it says nothing about making the power persistent (a
>specific advantage and an important part of the game that they felt
>compelled to describe in the power summary list).

The example given in the FH Sourcebook - Arkelos the mage setting an
Entangle - tends to support the hypothesis.

Home: qts@nildram.co.uk.


Date: Sat, 15 May 99 00:40:41
From: "qts" <qts@nildram.co.uk>
Subject: Re: Alchemist

On Mon, 10 May 1999 08:52:58 -0500 (CDT), Dr. Nuncheon wrote:

>On Sun, 9 May 1999, Lance Dyas wrote:
>> SteveL1979@aol.com wrote:
>> > Hmmm. This is an interesting discussion; perhaps it would help to
>> > focus things if we determined what potions are, how they're made, and how
>> > characters use them. Here's the way I'd describe it all:
>Here's what I had in my notes for my FH game (reconstructed from memory,
>though, so they may not be totally accurate)
>Alchemy was handled as a VPP: changes only in appropriate circumstances.
>All powers in the pool were required to have the following limitations:
>One Charge (can be continuing)
>Extra Time (for brewing the potion)
>OAF (usually fragile OAF) potion vial
>Requires Skill Roll (type of potion) (skill rolled at time of making)
>And the advantage Trigger (potion is used - drunk, applied, whatever)
>I didn't have to worry about Delayed Effect (or Trigger being used
>multiple times), because each potion only had one charge - to brew two
>doses of healing potion, you bought the entire power twice, and you were
>limited by the points in the Power Pool.

Almost exactly the same here, adding UBO as a 'stylistic' limitation

Home: qts@nildram.co.uk.


Date: Sat, 15 May 99 00:43:02
From: "qts" <qts@nildram.co.uk>
Subject: Re: Alien Limitations

On Fri, 07 May 1999 10:34:14 EDT, Leah L Watts wrote:

>Superman, AFAIK, doesn't have any direct personal memories of life on
>Krypton. If this character came to Earth as an adult, though, you could
>have all sorts of Psych Lims. A "Code of Honor" that doesn't quite
>match up with what the culture he's now living in calls honor,
>"Agoraphobia" if he comes from a world like Trantor (at the beginning of
>the Foundation series, I understand it changed after the empire fell

If you look at the cover of Second Foundation, you see Arkady standing
on green grass, and in the distance a structure of metal.

Home: qts@nildram.co.uk.


Date: Sat, 15 May 99 00:46:24
From: "qts" <qts@nildram.co.uk>
Subject: Re: Amberite Question

On Tue, 11 May 1999 12:31:28 -0400, Scott C. Nolan wrote:

>The more difficult question (for me) is how to model the Amberite's
>ability to seek things out in shadow. For instance, without knowing
>the location in infinite shadow of his sword, Greyswandir, Corwin is
>able to simply move to its location. Is this a form of summoning?

I haven't read the Amber books, but could Greyswandir just be SFX for


Home: qts@nildram.co.uk.


Date: Fri, 14 May 1999 20:02:38 EDT
From: AndMat3@aol.com
Subject: Re: Re: Fifth Edition

In a message dated 5/14/99, 4:52:03 PM, HeroGames@AOL.COM writes:
<<The cover has not been done yet, but we're working on an abstract design.
This is the Hero System rule book, not Champions. The book is not specific to
a genre, and therefore the cover art will not be specific to a genre,

i think that i speak for many of us when i say that foxbat transends genre.
but, could i look at your abstract design and say "hey! that looks like
foxbat just after he got his @ss kicked!"?



Date: Fri, 14 May 1999 20:09:23 -0400 (EDT)
From: Jason Sullivan <ravanos@NJCU.edu>
Subject: The Ascendent


Val CHA Cost Roll Notes
13 STR 3 12- 150 kg; 2.5d6
14 DEX 12 12- OCV: 5 / DCV: 5
13 CON 6 12-
10 BODY 0 11-
13 INT 3 12- PER Roll 12-
11 EGO 2 11- ECV: 3
13 PRE 3 13- PRE Attack: 2.5d6
10 COM 0 11-

5 PD 2
5 ED 2
3 SPD 6
6 REC 0
26 END 0
25 STUN 1

Total Characteristics Cost: 40

Cost Skills
1 FAM: Bureaucratics 8-
3 Conversation 13-
1 FAM: Deduction 8-
3 KS: Stars and Constellations 12-
1 FAM: Navigation 8-
3 Oratory 13-
3 Persuasion 13-
2 PS: Professor 11-
3 SC: Astronomy 12-
3 SC: Astrophysics 12-

Total Skill Cost: 23

1 Professor of Astronomy

Basic Powers (all IDs)
5 Instant Change
45 Danger Sense, Mystical, Any Area, -16
45 Sense Individuals in Need, Discriminatory, Targeting, Ranged, 360
45 Clairsentience, Danger Sense/Need Sense Group, 1200"
15 Mind Link: Any willing target

Invulnerability Powers (OIHID)
12 EC: Indestructibility; OIHID (-1/4)
12 Armor: +10 PD/+10 ED; OIHID (-1/4)
12 Resistant Damage Reduction (Physical): 50%; OIHID (-1/4)
12 Resistant Damage Reduction (Energy): 50%; OIHID (-1/4)

15 LS: Self Contained Breathing, Vacuum/High Pressure, Intense
Heat/Cold, High Radiation; OIHID (-1/4)
8 Lack of Weakness: 10; OIHID (-1/4)
8 KB Resistance: -5"; OIHID (-1/4)
8 Power Defense: 10; OIHID (-1/4)
8 Mental Defense: 10; OIHID (-1/4)
8 Presence Defense: +17 PRE, Only vs. PRE attacks (-1/2), Fear based
PRE attacks only (-1/2), OIHID (-1/4)

Enhanced Characteristics (OIHID)
14 +17 STR: 30; OIHID (-1/4)
15 0 END STR: 30; OIHID (-1/4)
14 +6 DEX: 20; OIHID (-1/4)
6 +7 CON: 20; OIHID (-1/4)
16 +10 BODY: 20; OIHID (-1/4)
4 +10 COM: 20; OIHID (-1/4)

6 +7 PD: 15; OIHID (-1/4)
7 +9 ED: 15; OIHID (-1/4)
24 +3 SPD: 6; OIHID (-1/4)
3 +2 REC: 10; OIHID (-1/4)
4 +10 END: 50; OIHID (-1/4)
13 +16 STUN: 62; OIHID (-1/4)
5 Running: 6", 0 END (+1/2), OIHID (-1/4)

Mystical Equipment (can be used OIHID)
24 Flight: 12", 0 END (+1/2), No Turn Mode (+1/4); IAF: Cape (-1/2),
No NCM (-1/4) (Foci is Personal and Indestructible)

Ascendent Mystical Powers (OIHID)
36 45 point Multipower; OIHID (-1/4)
4u 3d6 EB, AVLD: Power Defense (+1 1/2), STUN (0); 0 END (+1/2)
4u Force Wall, PD:6/ED:6; 0 END (+1/2)
4u TK; Indirect (+1/4), Invisible to Sight & Hearing (+3/4), No Range
Penalty (+1/2), 0 END (+1/2)
4u 1.5d6 Transform: Inorganic material into "null atomic
particles"; Cumulative (+1/2), 0 END (+1/2)
4u 1.5d6 Transform: Characters into "null atomic particle statues";
Cumulative (+1/2), 0 END (+1/2)

8 Contact: Xeraphim, Watcher of the Cosmos, -14
8 Favor: (Only one), The Watchers of the Cosmos

100+ Disadvantages
20 Accidental Change: When he witnesses or senses someone in need
(Common, 14-)
5 Distinctive Features: Metallic armor-skinned hero with endless
space-speckled eyes when in Hero ID (Easily Concealable, Always)
15 Physical Limitation: Can only transform when someone is in need
(Can not transform voluntarily), Transforms back to normal when
things are "safe", Can not use powers for selfish gain or for
personal pursuits (even self-defense) (Frequent, Great)
10 Physical Limitation: Compelled to help others while transformed,
even if he does not want to (or is against his interests); Must
remain neutral, can not strike bargains or deals with any faction,
can not accept lasting alligences or compensation for his acts,
and must donate any gains to a charitable organizations
(Infrequent, Great)
10 Psychological Limitation: Unwanted power; Really doesn't want to
be a hero. Would rather be live comfortabally in obscurity
than have to do the entire do-gooder thing. Feels like a pawn in
the cosmic scheme. Being a hero makes him feel bound and a bit
depressed, if not occasionally miserable. (Common, Moderate)
15 Secret ID: Vincent Grae
15 Susceptibility: Uncommon, 3d6 Drain on all powers while in
non-Hero ID if he does something "bad" or "unheroic" (lie, cheat,
steal, etc.)
10 Watched: Watchers of the Cosmos (More Powerful, NCI, 8-)

There has always been an Ascendent since the dawn of mankind.
In this galaxy, there have been many Ascendents. Angels, saints,
gods, spirits, and legends- Ascendents have been mistaken for all these
things. Spawned from the primordial power of the cosmos, the Watchers of
the Cosmos have chosen a champion to bequeath their power upon. Mystical
strength, unrelenting will, indominatable courage, arcane powers, and nigh
indestructibility would be at the Ascendent's call. The Watchers would
act as advisors, guiding their living avatar to help preserve humanity.
When the Ascendent's time had come, they would choose a new Ascendent.

The Ascendent embodied that which the Watchers deemed as good.
Eon after eon, generation to generation, the power was passed to the just,
the worthy, and the true.

This generation, a haughty witted Watcher gave the power to a
mortal hastily, before his peers could stop him.

Vincent Grae wasn't an exceptional or gifted man. He never wanted
to be a hero... His Astronomy class at CCU (Campaign CIty University) was
in danger, held hostage by a team of super powered terrorists. He didn't
quite understand what he would be getting into, only that he wanted
himself, and his class, to be safe.

Now Xeraphim the Watcher is responsible for Vincent's destiny...
and the other Watchers are pleased. Vincent, for what he lacks in zeal,
he compensates in flexibility, open mindedness, and discretion. Vincent
is also more of a mouthpiece for the Watchers. So well spoken they feel
he will serve the cause well, and perhaps teach them a thing or two...

Designers Notes:
This guy is basically the antithesis of everything I look for when
I create a hero: He's very 4 Color kitsch- having a wide array of
inexplicable pseudo science abilities and Superpowers, he isn't built on
a base of 100 points with 150 additional points in disadvantages, and he
was built from statistics up with no regard for point values.
He can very easily be a force of "evil." Just invert the
particulars of his history and background. I was even toying with making
him a force of neutrality.

Vincent is a man in his mid thirties. He is rather unspectacular,
with brown hair and light brown eyes, a decent build, and better than
average looks. He likes to wear hound's tooth jackets (you know... the
ones with the patches on the sleeves). He is pleasant and tries to be
unbiased and respectful when he makes someone's acquaintance. Above all,
he is a great speaker and a wonderful teacher.
As the Ascendent, Vincent manifests as a tall, muscular man with
metal armor grafted into his pseudo-flesh hide. He also wears a royal
blue cape with a high collar around his neck with arcane gold border. His
eyes are hollow, but appear to be limitless, as if one were gazing into a
bright night sky to peer up at thousands of shimmering stars.

Powers Notes & Disadvantahes:
All of his powers are pretty much self explinatory... and if
you're not sure about anything, mail me and I'll post a clairification.
The Transform representys a "Mystical Freeze", where by all of the
atomic activity of an object is negated, and it turns gray. It is used to
temporarily freeze opponents and mechanical weapons.

(The Ascendent created by Jason Sullivan, character sheet created by
Michael Surbrook)


Date: Sat, 15 May 1999 13:21:48 +1000
From: "happyelf" <jonesl@cqnet.com.au>
Subject: Re: 'Hero Points' in HERO

another option is a *gasp* non-bought-powers approach. basically, buy a
talent with similar costs, ect to find weakness, but when you suceed a roll,
you can use another power on similar sfx, with ap equal to real cost
of the power it's based on. hence a 12d6eb would result in a 3d6 flash,
or a 1d6 transform, ect, with no additional points expenditure.

Another option is to buy a small vpp, to represent clever use of powers.
You could load it up with limitations and advantages, have it a 0
phase, skill roll required change, maybe even with requires skill roll
on all powers made from it.for instance:

energy blast power stunt pool:
40 pt pool, 10 pt control

requires skill roll -1/2
limited sfx(matches single power) -1/2

(for a more 'dynamic' pool which is used less, add in
'changes take zero phase' and 4 charges. costs
a tad more but that phase to change can be a real pain,
and the charges will prevent somebody
from reling primarily on theri pool)

Some people are snobby about vpp's,
but a 40 pool/10 control job can add a lot of low-powergame
high-rp value to a character.

- -----Original Message-----
From: Jason Sullivan <ravanos@NJCU.edu>
To: Dr. Nuncheon <jeffj@io.com>
Cc: HERO System Mailing List <hero-l@sysabend.org>
Date: Saturday, May 15, 1999 5:57 AM
Subject: Re: 'Hero Points' in HERO

On Fri, 14 May 1999, Dr. Nuncheon wrote:
> It occurred to me, after seeing a post mentioning 'Hero Points' on USENET,
> that while HERO does not have an official system for handling this sort of
> thing, the rules framework actually provides everything you might need to
> actually create your own system of, well, 'HERO points'.

There have been House Rules with things similar to this.

I know of at least two, one, having them refered to as special
magical points, the other as a standard superhero type thing.

Extra Lives (construct anyone?), is defined as a special one use

As far as Power Stunts, I suggested something similar a long, long
time ago in a post (that wasn't to well received- but I still thought it
was a dandy idea).

I siggest you compose these and post them, as I've been passively
searching for these rules to assimilate in to my own House Rules.

Perhaps then, you could tweak and get feedback from the fine
individuals on this list.

- -Jason


Date: Fri, 14 May 1999 22:35:10 -0500
From: "Michael (Damon) & Peni Griffin" <griffin@txdirect.net>
Subject: Dragon Magazine articles on Champions

These are all the articles I know of related to the Hero System and
appearing in Dragon Magazine. Clip and save the list, and please let me
know if I missed any:

Dragon #73/May 1983 - Patching the Cracks in Champions (3 pages, suggests
borrowing from Superhero 2044 the system of blocking out time for work,
sleep, patrol, etc. Also ties that system to the character's wealth, so
that the richer you are the more free time you have.)

#85/May 1984 - Lions, Tigers & Superheroes (2 pages, giving very basic
stats for 17 animals, all of which are no doubt covered in more detail in
the Bestiary.)

#86/June 1984 - Know Your Enemy: A Guide to Supervillain Groups (3 pages,
describing possible villain group motivations and resources...but not in
much detail.)

#90/Oct 1984 - Skills for the Super Agent (2 pages, describing skill
packages for agents of UNCLE, UNTIL, VIPER, ONI, the Pure Earth League and
the agents of K'Dsslok.) This issue also devoted 3 pages to new powers,
advantages and handicaps for Chaosium's Superworld game.

#100/Aug 1985 - Champions Plus! (3 pages, detailing about a dozen new
Skills and Powers.) Also in this issue: a variant magic system for MSH (3
pages), a new charisma system for V&V (2 pages), MSH writeups of the
Guardians of the Galaxy (3 pages) and Gargoyle, Cloud and Valkyrie of the
Defenders (2 pages).

#107/March 1986 - One in a Million (3 pages on superhero gaming in general,
not Hero System per se; lists number of superheroes per country if one in a
million persons was super) and The Crusading Life (3 pages on the day to
day activities of heroes, possible complications and tables for rolling
random crime and special events.) Also: MSH writeups for seven characters
from Alpha Flight/Omega Flight.

#108/April 1986 - An Honorable Enemy (4 pages detailing ONI and its
agents). Also: MSH writeups of the inhabitant's of Kitty Pryde's Fairy
Tale -- the Bamfs, Mean, Shagreen the Wizard, Lockheed the Dragon and
Pirate Kitty).


Date: Fri, 14 May 1999 23:46:24 EDT
From: DrklngMuse@aol.com
Subject: Re: Off Topic = mail crashes ?

Yep! It just happened to me.


Date: Fri, 14 May 1999 21:12:18 -0700
From: Christopher Taylor <ctaylor@viser.net>
Subject: Re: Trigger

>> It also
>>means that if the alchemist passes out (you didnt buy persistent) the power
>>shuts off, or if the alchemist dies it shuts off
>Nope, the Trigger Advantage obviates that.
> -- the potion becomes
>>useless. In other words, its not really a potion in the usual sense at
>>all, its a spell in the form of a potion. Independent cuts that off from
>>the user totally, live, die, anything happens, the power still is ready to
>So does Trigger.

OK you aren't the first to claim this, but I have yet to see in the rules
where it says this. I also would like to point out that Trigger at the
base level costs the SAME as Persistent, which seems to suggest (coupled
with the fact it is not stated nor implied in Trigger otherwise) that
Trigger does not make the power persistent. If it did, that seems like you
are getting persistent for free, which I suppose could be true, but seems
awfully odd.

I have no trouble if it turns out being other than my understanding of the
rules, but I just dont see that.

- --------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sola Gracia Sola Scriptura Sola Fide
Soli Gloria Deo Solus Christus Corum Deo
- --------------------------------------------------------------------------


Date: Sat, 15 May 1999 01:35:11 -0400
From: "Len Carpenter" <redlion@early.com>
Subject: Re: Dragon Magazine articles on Champions

From: Michael (Damon) & Peni Griffin <griffin@txdirect.net>
Subject: Dragon Magazine articles on Champions

>These are all the articles I know of related to the Hero System and
>appearing in Dragon Magazine. Clip and save the list, and please let me
>know if I missed any:

Here's another: #111/July 1986 - Quantum by George MacDonald (4 pages on a
heroine with multiple power ranges; not the same character as appears in
the BBB). The issue has pieces on Phoenix and Longshot for MSH, Supergirl
for DC Heroes, and a heroine from the future, Maxima, for V&V.

Also: #117/January 1987 - More Power to You (2 pages of new skills and
powers for Champions). By yours truly. The issue has the Marauders for
MSH and an article on criminal experience for V&V.

Incidentally, the piece on animals in #85 was by me as well--my second sale
to Dragon and first article published in the magazine.

Len Carpenter


Date: Sat, 15 May 1999 00:39:06 -0500
From: Lance Dyas <lancelot@radiks.net>
Subject: Re: The Hero system

Bill Svitavsky wrote:

> At 12:07 PM 5/14/99 -0500, Lance Dyas wrote:
> >
> >Chad Riley wrote:
> >
> >> I still like AD&D for fantasy.
> >
> >Yuch chad the magic system is so blechy, the montrous Hitpoint system
> >the basic assumption regarding relative ability level progression........
> >everything how could you.
> >
> It seems like everyone comes down on D&D's magic system. The magic system
> is one of the things I like best about D&D.

pfah... sure cast and forget it, mindless pish posh

> It's distinctive, it has an
> interesting logic to it,

no logic whatsoever... waving your hands actually does the magic?
sure confusing the ritual

> and it is explicitly unlike modern
> pseudo-rationalistic notions of psionic powers

Every mage... in every fantasy and every one in the real world who ever claimed to
be mages, the mage emphasizes the mental and the spiritual aspect of what is
done... DND turned it into the ritual does the
magic and you just cant remember how you did it that is so gauche and so wrong

> (which is why D&D has room
> for its own psionics.)

which actually had style but were so poorly written you couldnt tell what they

> If D&D hadn't borrowed its ideas of magic from Jack
> Vance's Dying Earth books, I might borrow them myself sometime for a campaign.

strict using of Vances writings might result in an interesting campaign


Date: Fri, 14 May 1999 17:11:58 +0900
From: Michael House <macross@gol.com>
Subject: Re: muscular men and slick chicks

Another recent example of female bricks is Art Adams's "Monkeyman and
O'Brien," published by Dark Horse, with the titular heroine, Anne O'Brien,
and her villainous half-sister, Oniko, both getting super-strength, speed,
toughness and intelligence in the series premiere.

Come to think of it, the heroine of Geisha (from the author of Skeleton Key)
is a female android bodyguard, too.

Be Seeing You...
Michael House, macross@gol.com
Opinions expressed herein are my own unless otherwise specified.
"Perfection is achieved only by institutions on the point of collapse."
- --C. Northcote Parkinson


Date: Sat, 15 May 1999 02:50:15 EDT
From: GoldRushG@aol.com
Subject: SA:CoH Nominated for Origins Award!

I am very pleased to announce that SAN ANGELO: CITY OF HEROES has been
nominated for the Origins Award Best Roleplaying Supplement!

I want to publicly thank everyone who had a hand in the book, and also to
put out a call for all Hero fans to make sure to get a ballot (soon to be
available in most industry mags and for download from the GAMA web site) and
vote for SA:CoH!

Believe me, knwing what the numbers were for last year's awards, I can
assure you that YOUR VOTE MATTERS! ;)

Mark @ GRG


Date: Sat, 15 May 1999 00:01:45 -0700 (PDT)
From: Dale Ward <daleaward@rocketmail.com>
Subject: Re: Fifth Edition


- ---Michael Surbrook <susano@dedaana.otd.com> wrote:
> Hey, we could take a vote! Who do *you* want to see beating up on Seeker?

Well, since it's supposed to be multi-genre... I suggest a large mob
consisting of knight, cowboys, spies, trolls, etc.

We wouldn't want to deprive anyone of their chance to bash Seeker.

Dale A. Ward
A PBS Mind In An MTV World

Get your free @yahoo.com address at http://mail.yahoo.com


Date: Sat, 15 May 1999 01:19:49 -0700
From: Chad Riley <chadriley01@sprynet.com>
Subject: The Magus

Okay, so I am cleaning up some of my old Champions stuff. Before I could
store characters on a hard drive or Floppy disk I filled these note
books with characters from every system I must have thousands of
character sheets written of hundreds of characters (I have always loved
tweaking existing characters - mine or others..) so I am looking in a
particular note book to come across the Magus.
Boy oh boy was this guy nasty. He was a hero. The concept is he is a
guy who one day meets himself. The other him, older and scarred from
battle, grabs this guy and they disappear in a dimensional portal. He
finds himself in a grand audience chamber surrounded by other
dimensional versions of himself. Some male, some female, some are of
different ethnic backgrounds, but they are all him and at one point in
their lives they became the Magus. The first of these was a Reed
Richards type intellect. He was a celebrated hero and champion of Earth.
Like Richards, he had an opposite number, this evil genius called
himself Daigon Conquest. During a battle with DC, the Magus is
accidentally transported to this pocket dimension (approximately 2 miles
in diameter). He ends up developing a fortress there. Mostly as an
exercise, and partly because Conquest thinks he's dead and this
dimension is a great place to plan strategies and such. However, the
first Magus doesn't realized that time function's differently here. He
returns one day to find that Conquest has taken over the world.
In desperation Magus attempts time travel from his Dimensional
Fortress. He encounters another Magus. Only this Magus is a super
strong, invulnerable brick who gave himself powers to battle Conquest.
Before Magus-1 can stop him Magus -2 is slain by the Conquest of this
time. Magus -1 escapes, he attempts the same trick. This time the Magus
is a practitioner of Magic. The Magus-3 ends up transporting himself and
Magus -1 to the D-Fortress when the fist Magus is critically injured
trying to protect his alternate self from a Conquest who also uses
The two Magi spend a lot of time discussing what should be done. It
seems that each of their actions are fragmenting reality. However in
each reality thus far, Conquest wins. The two heroes begin a series of
gathering various versions of themselves. Sometimes they are successful,
other times they're not. At some point a version of Magus (who is a
supernatural psychic) foresees a version of them who does indeed stop
Daigon Conquest. The other Magi begin a program that eventually allows
them to load their experiences and skills into a technomagical computer.
Then they search the infinite Earths for the Magus to fit the prophecy.
That was where this character appears. He is the one they believe
will be the savior. He is the only version of Magus that has been
encountered that had yet to take the mantle. So, Magus -76 is hooked up
to the computer and all the collected knowledge is "downloaded" into his
brain. A brief period of madness follows, then depression ( this man has
seen his friends and loved ones, and his very world destroyed over 70
times...) Anyway, after he recovers he makes his choice. He dons a
Batman-esque persona. He is a skilled martial artist and a genius on so
many levels it is insane.
The first thing he notices, (he is actually the only Magus to
actually use the computer) is that Daigon Conquest, in all of
his/her/it's forms, has always won. The Arch rival of the Magus always
seems on par with the Magus, even superior. No matter what any of the
Magi threw at him he came back and always won. This leads the Magus
Prime (as the others call him) to believe that Conquest also has some
dimensional hopping abilities. Since Conquest has yet to appear on this
Earth, at least publicly, Magus Prime decides to create and train an
elite group of heroes. Using the vast resources of the Magi as well as
their collected skill, he takes his closest friends and siblings and
turns them into powerful superhuman beings.
So that's where these guy were starting. The Magus, who was in
excess of 1000 points was actually not that mighty in combat. I think he
had a 29 Dex, 6 Spd and his Most powerful attack was 12d6. He had good
defenses across the board, a big gadget pool, LOTS of Skills, and like 4
overall levels (several Life's experience) Then his Base, and Vehicles
and such. The other characters were 500+ points and ran the gamut of a
Superman Wannabe, A magical personification of Unicorns (Based off of a
Jeff Dee Illustration), A cosmically powered personification of a
Phoenix, a master thief, a powered armor juggernaut, an elementalist, a
speedster, and a swordswoman (I think).

In the other corner I had Daigon Conquest. Who's concept was much the
same, but instead of being visited by other versions of Himself
(sometimes herself or itself) Conquest just amalgamated each of his
alternates subconsciously. He was a master tactician, often built a
powerful army and had an elite group of Bodyguards/Henchmen who tended
to correlate to Magus's allies. Conquest was also a master of many
scientific and esoteric arts. The idea for a campaign was that the
characters would start out very much standard super heroic fare, only to
realize that Conquest seemed to run everything. Then they became
liberators, trying to free the Earth from this madman while being hunted
by him and his loyal followers.

Never got off the ground tho' But the Characters are fun to look at.

Any of you guys look at old characters and either try to update them or
use them in you campaigns?
I'm thinking of just putting all of my notebook characters into CW and
saving them for prosperity.

Too much night at the end of my sanity.

Talk atchall later.....



Date: Sat, 15 May 1999 06:37:15 -0400 (EDT)
From: Jason Sullivan <ravanos@NJCU.edu>
Subject: Catagorizing Heroes (for creation purposes)

As of recent, I've been coming up with many, many write-ups.
In order to make organization a bit easier, I've decided on using
a particular format to list character information.

Here's an example of what I've been doing...

The character's name.
The general type of character (Superhero, Hero, Neutral,
Vigilante, Criminal, Villain, Supervillain, etc.), and brief
description of character type (Brick, Speedster, Gadgeteer, etc.)
The "special effect" of the character's powers (Innate Mutation,
Learned Magical Abilities, Alien Physiology, Psionic and Psychokinetic,
Special Training, Body Manipulation, etc.)
A description of the powers in laymen's terms.
A description of possible mechanics.
Modus Operand:
Tactics, strategies, and a general profile of how the
character operates.

I'm also using a "character grade", similar to the Campaign Tone
included in the Champions book.

An example of this would be...
Genre Physics:
How much reality suspension is needed.
(1) Outrageous & Fantastic- The impossible happens every
(2) Pseudo Mystical- The impossible, is on occasion,
(3) Pseudo Scientific- Amazing things can happen, within
loose boundaries.
(4) Certain stretches of logic and physical laws- unusual
things have been known to happen, and are accounts
of such are, perhaps, true.
(5) Firmly grounded in real life scientific principles.
Everything can be explained.

What ideology the character fits in best in.
A gauge of how well developed the character's personality and
motivations are.
(1) The character has lacks defining traits and
(2) Fluid- The character has flexible traits and
(3) Balanced- The character has a degree of distinctness
in regard to personality and motivation.
(4) The character is very distinct, and has clearly
defined motivations. The character has a history that is
somewhat flexible.
(5) Static- The character is distinct and greatly
motivated. The character's history is not flexible,
and is integral to the concept.

What genre type the character is best suited for.
What attitudes the character is best suited for.

I'm also trying to compile a larger bio and history sheet, with
possible motivations and other things (like quotes, personality tests,
moral questions, etc.) to try and "flesh out" a character.

Any advice or suggestions on what you include orhow you go about
character creation?


Date: Sat, 15 May 1999 12:54:55 +0100
From: "Simon David Taylor" <beron@labyrinth.free-online.co.uk>
Subject: FTL Travel

How would anyone handle this power: the ability to enable a ship to travel
at near or faster-than-light speeds by interfacing their nervous system with
the ship's circuitry? Would FTL flight with a limitation of "Requires Bulky
Focus" (to represent the ship) be sufficient, or do I need to add "Usable by
Others" in there as well? For that matter, just how can a character with FTL
flight carry?

Simon Taylor

"Rather than master and overpower our world, our highest aim is to cheat it
through sorcery." - "Guyal of Sfere", Jack Vance



Date: Sat, 15 May 1999 07:40:08 -0500
From: "Michael (Damon) & Peni Griffin" <griffin@txdirect.net>
Subject: Re: FTL Travel

At 12:54 PM 5/15/1999 +0100, Simon David Taylor wrote:
>How would anyone handle this power: the ability to enable a ship to travel
>at near or faster-than-light speeds by interfacing their nervous system with
>the ship's circuitry? Would FTL flight with a limitation of "Requires Bulky
>Focus" (to represent the ship) be sufficient, or do I need to add "Usable by
>Others" in there as well? For that matter, just how can a character with FTL
>flight carry?

If this is something the character can do with a particular ship (the one
he or his group paid points to own), then the neural interface is just SFX,
the ship itself has the FTL power and no Limitation is needed.

If the character can accelerate *any* [spaceworthy] ship to lightspeed,
which is what I think you had in mind, that complicates matters. It'd be
nice to just slap an AoE on the FTL Power and create a warp bubble with a
radius sufficient to encompass the ship; everything in the warp bubble
moves at FTL speeds while the Power is active. But this may be abusive
since AoE is assumed to be used with offensive Powers, so you have to make
an Attack Roll, you can Dive For Cover to avoid the area, etc.

If you use UBO, the simplest thing to to it to use the ship itself as the
"other" and common sense to realize that everything in the ship will be
moving with the same velocity as the ship. This avoids the need for
Range(+1/2), or the number of other characters who can use the Power at the
same time (+1/4 for every x2). Again, this could be considered abusive
since the ship isn't a character, it's an object.

Focus has its own problems in this case, though: is a ship Accessible (can
be taken away with a Grab maneuver!) or Inaccessible (can't be hit with a
ranged attack while the character is in combat)? Obvious (hard to miss
something that size) or Inobvious (you can't tell the character is powering
the ship unless you're right next to him while he's doing it *and* are
aware the ship doesn't have this capability on its own.) The biggest
problem with Focus is that it still only covers the character, not the
passengers and crew...so they are all smashed flat against the rear wall as
soon as the ship takes off :)

Tongue-in-cheek suggestion: buy enough levels of Growth to make the
character as large as the ship he wants to Power, link it to FTL Travel and
add the -1 Limitation "Only applies to the character's personal warp
field". Let's see...30 pts of Growth (4" x 8" ship, 6400kg) with Linked
(-1/2) and "Only...personal warp field" (-1) would add 12 points to the
cost of the FTL Travel. Not bad considering how underpriced it is now.

Heck, maybe we do need a "warp bubble" option for FTL Travel. For +x
points, the FTL Travel Power creates a 1" bubble, affecting everything
within the bubble when active. Radius can be doubled for +5 points.



End of champ-l-digest V1 #342

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