Digest Archive vol 1 Issue 366

From: owner-champ-l-digest@sysabend.org
Sent: Tuesday, June 01, 1999 10:28 AM
To: champ-l-digest@sysabend.org
Subject: champ-l-digest V1 #366

champ-l-digest Tuesday, June 1 1999 Volume 01 : Number 366

In this issue:

Re: Stats for dolphins & orcas?
Re: SPD chart and timing issues was RE:(null)
Underwater Combat
Re: Underwater Combat [long]
RE: Hexless Combat
Re: Fantasy HERO & Questions about it...
Re: SPD chart and timing issues was RE:(null)
Re: Underwater Combat
Re: Underwater Combat - Reply
Re: Underwater Combat - Reply
RE: Hexless Combat
Re: Underwater Combat - Reply - Reply
RE: Hexless Combat
RE: Hexless Combat


Date: Sun, 30 May 1999 15:03:31 -0700
From: Bob Greenwade <bob.greenwade@klock.com>
Subject: Re: Stats for dolphins & orcas?

At 11:33 AM 5/30/1999 -0500, Dr. Nuncheon wrote:
>Like the subject says...does anyone have a set of stats written up for
>dolphins (or porpoises) and/or orcas (killer whales)? If so, could you
>please send them my way?
>Are they in the HERO Bestiary? Are there other useful undersea critters
>in the Bestiary?

Dolphins and killer whales are indeed in the Bestiary (under those
names), along with electric and moray eels, rays, sharks, giant squids,
humpback and sperm whales, and a few mythical water creatures.
- ---
Bob's Original Hero Stuff Page! [Circle of HEROS member]
Merry-Go-Round Webring -- wanna join?


Date: Mon, 31 May 1999 11:00:56 +1000
From: "happyelf" <jonesl@cqnet.com.au>
Subject: Re: SPD chart and timing issues was RE:(null)

- -----Original Message-----
From: Lance Dyas <lancelot@radiks.net>
To: Christopher Taylor <ctaylor@viser.net>
Cc: champ-l@sysabend.org <champ-l@sysabend.org>
Date: Friday, May 28, 1999 2:30 PM
Subject: SPD chart and timing issues was RE:(null)

>1) Contretemp (pardon my french: against the timing) attacks rely on
breaking the
>rythm of combat on purpose to take your opponent off guard.

held action, ocv bonus for various ma strikes.

>2) Ripostes involve making an extra opportunity out of a good parry.

block gives first strike.

>3) Flurries involve making a series of extra quick short stroke attacks to
>your opponent on the defensive.

anything from a presence attack to a dex drain. please stop taking the
mechanics as having inherent sfx, they don't.

>These are very poorly described by HERO combat they are also very standard
>combat cinematic or otherwise. The speed chart hard wires combat timing
too much
>fails to simulate too many
>really common elements of combat particularly sword play. The dance of
death has
>a lot of broken steps in it that may not be immediately obvious and they
are some
>very effective steps.
>Variable Speed Anyone? kind of like a more significant form of rolling
>2 = D3
>3 = D5
>4 = 2D4 -1
>5 = 2D5 -1
>6 = 2D5
>No I dont like it either.. anyone take a shot at designing the Maneuvers
>"Contretemp Attack, Riposte and Flurry"? Auto-fire might be applicable to
>not sure it really simulates the lost opportunities your oppenent gets when
>finds himself responding defensively though is this a presence in combat
>Would some hero rules guru help me simulate combat a little more
>Wierdly enough one of the best simulations of fencing rythm and its broken
>is the Highlander CCG and it does it in some very odd ways. Another more
>applicable to converting into highlander is the system used in the
>pompously written game Aria RPG.
>Christopher Taylor wrote:
>> >range to see the mods and if you made it, etc. The estimating really
>> >>helps, especially for people who 'rule play' and use the SPD chart and
>> >
>> >Personally, I think 'using the SPD chart' often perfectly adequately
>> >simulates what seems to go on in both the real world and even moreso in
>> >heroic fiction where the heroes take advantage of their superior
>> >time to effectively take down slower opposition by using their sluggish
>> >response time against them.
>> I really like the speed chart. People complain that if you know the speed
>> chart well enough you can time your actions to when people act on their
>> phases but if you watch any real combat (or even cinematic) you will see
>> people do just that. They wait til they know their opponent will have an
>> opening, they will act when they can move, it isnt exactly a flaw.
>> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
- -
>> Sola Gracia Sola Scriptura Sola Fide
>> Soli Deo Gloria Solus Christus Corum Deo
>> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
- -


Date: Sun, 30 May 1999 20:31:04 -0500 (CDT)
From: "Dr. Nuncheon" <jeffj@io.com>
Subject: Underwater Combat

After my last post (asking for stats for dolphins, etc), I realized that I
was mistaken, and the BBB and NH /don't/ actually have rules for fighting
underwater (beyond the fact that you take 1d6 less knockback). Are these
rules in any existing HERO product, or done as house rules on anyone's

Here's some rough ideas I've scribbled down this evening. Any comments on
these would be appreciated.

* Thrown weapons are useless underwater.
* Because of the resistance of the water, STR is effectively halved for
damage purposes. (There are exceptions: grabs, crushes, etc)
* Hand-to-Hand attacks suffer a further 1 DC penalty because of the
difficulty of getting leverage on your opponent. This penalty can be
avoided by Grabbing the opponent or by being in a situation where
leverage can be applied (able to brace self against ground, etc)
* Throws do not do damage underwater, but instead put the opponent in an
awkward position, reducing their OCV on the next turn. (not sure by how
much - suggestions?)
* Humans are at 1/2 DCV underwater.

More questions:

Does anyone know if you can use a (properly designed) crossbow underwater?
I'm sure the range wouldn't be that good, but I would think that it could
work like a speargun.

J, working on an undersea science fantasy game now...

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


Date: Sun, 30 May 1999 21:51:10 -0400
From: "William K. Bushway" <bushway@us.hsanet.net>
Subject: Re: Underwater Combat [long]

Here you go, comliments of Capt. Spith and my own pack-rat mentality
(Pardon the formatting, I'm cutting and pasting here):

Date: Sun, 03 Aug 1997 23:15:59 -0700
From: Captain Spith <cptspith@teleport.com>

Okay, I've finally got a bit o' time, so here are the major
highlights of how an underwater environment affect landlubbers...


Underwater, it's harder to see, and increasingly so at a distance.
Fresh water is actually worse than salt water, since there is generally
more suspended matter in the water to obscure vision, thus the following
modifies Range Mod chart for PER rolls;

0-4" -2 -3 -3 -4
5-8" -5 -6 -7 -8 This chart is for water
penalties and normal
9-16" -8 -9 -11 -14 range mods combined; _don't_add
these mods to
17-32" -11 -12 -15 -19 existing range mods
33-64" -14 -15 -19 -24

Make sure that telescopic modifiers _only_ negate normal range mods,
and not water condition mods

Heat dissipates quickly in water, so in addition to any and all other
modifiers underwater, IR takes another -2 _per_range_doubling
(basically, IR is about useless)

UV works normally underwater

While sound travels better in water, it is much more distorted
(remember the space-born 'whale song' in Star Trek IV?) so all hearing
PER rolls are at -3, if missed, the sound may be heard, but is

All radio hearing suffers -6 underwater

High Range works a little better; only -4 to all PER

Okay, now we're TALKIN'! If both the character and target are
underwater, sonar works at +2, with, of course, the normal limitations
of sonar (large groups of small objects may appear to be one large
object, etc.)

About as well as HR Radio, -4

If you can't breathe underwater, you can't smell underwater. If you
CAN, it works normally, but shifting currents may move smells about in
strange ways, this specifically would also affect...

which takes a -4 to start, and add'l -2 per hour that the trail is
- ---------------------------------------
This brings us now to COMBAT!

OCV in HTH is reduced by 2, all DCV is at -1, and ranged OCV is
unaffected. Atlantis(TM) offers the new talent "underwater movement"
with which all OCV/DCV penalties are ignored.
All attacks based on STR are reduced by 2 Damage Classes after all
other damage modifiers are applied (such as Martial Arts modifiers).

Just don't even try. The only useful thrown objects for underwater
use would be javelins (and their ilk), but those would fall into the
category of underwater weapons.

The gist of it is; most normal weapons (like guns, for example) just
won't work. Things like lasers or 'blasters' should work normally if
the actual circuitry/mechanisms are sealed water-tight. HTH Melee
weapons (clubs, swords, etc.) will only lose the aforementioned
'STR-based attack' 2 DC, unless the weapon is large/wide/bulky, then
damage may be reduced by up to 2 add'l DC.
- ------------------
- ---------------
Even air-based powers which supply their own air will dissipate
quickly in water, and will operate between 5 and 50% effectiveness.

surrounded by water, you may end up damaging yourself as much as anyone
Force Fields/Walls will act as damage shields at 1D6 normal damage per
15 active points. This affects the user as well as any legitimate
EBs and RKAs will add 1DC for every 20 active points in fresh water,
add 1DC per 15 active points in salt water. If an attack channels
electricity to the target, it will act as an Area Affect Line (attacker
to target) Explosion (OUCH!), and both target and attacker will take
damage. If an attack fires a projectile which doesn't deliver a charge
ubtil impact, it will act as an Explosion only.
Of course if the Electrically-powered character has full insulation or
the Personal Immunity advantage, (s)he can ignore the damage everyone
else is enjoying...

If the fire requires air for combustion, yer outta luck. Chemical or
Magical-based fire (and others not requiring air) will be fine.

If the ice is produced by the character, the objects of ice will tend
to immediately begin to float to the surface (no specific modifiers are
If the character produces a field of cold by which ice is then
formed, the effects will tend to be enhanced (due to abundance of raw
material as it were) add 1DC in dirty, salty water, 2DC for clean salt
or dirty fresh water, and 3DC for clean fresh water.

The only limitations here are maintaining line-of-sight. PER rolls
should be made every phase to maintain mental contact (except in the
case of Mind Link, of course)

Water SFX are generally unaffected, though non-attack powers like TK
or entangle may be increased by 1DC per 20 active points.

Since light is diffused by water, light-based powers are less
effective. Treat as if they had "reduced by range" in clear water,
subtract an additional 1DC per range doubling in murky or clouded water.
Powers using UV light will not be affected, Powers using IR light
will work at point blank or 1-hex range, but not at all beyond that.

directional, so the source of sound powers does not take damage from
his/her own powers.
Force Fields and Walls add 5 pts. per 20 active.
EBs act as if they are Area Affect Cone. A character may attempt to
focus the blast with a Control roll (INT roll)modified by -1 per 10
active points in the power.

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

Okay, that's part 1. Next is skills, powers and power modifiers. I
will try to get them posted within the next day. They should go faster,
being less general then most of the preceding.

All information is taken from 'ATLANTIS(tm) a sourcebook for
Champions', though I do not gaurantee completely accurate regurgitation
of information.

- --
-Capt. Spith
Savior of Humanity
Secular Messiah

Date: Wed, 13 Aug 1997 04:32:05 -0700
From: Captain Spith <cptspith@teleport.com>

Sorry for the interminable delay, but here is the second part of
underwater rules from "Atlantis", which covers specific effects on
powers, skills and their ilk.

- ------

Acrobatics rolls are made at -5 due to water resistance. Characters
with swimming or the Underwater Movement Talent (also from Atlantis,
cost 3 points) ignore Acrobatics penalties.

Breakfall is mostly unaffected underwater, due to the water's effect
on knockback and STR.

Climbing speed is halved underwater, but usually is unnecessary
(characters can usually swim up any slope), except possibly for a highly
dense (lots o' Growth or D.I.) character who can't swim.

Due to decreased PER, concealment underwater becomes very
effective!(No specifics are given, but I believe Concealment rolls are
made normally, but detecting concealment is vastly more difficult)

Preparing a disguise underwater is more difficult, but a successful
disguise is much more effective due to the aforementioned PER penalties.

Assuming there are people speaking with exposed mouths underwater in
the first place, lipreading is limited only be PER roll penalties.

Blocks and Dodges are unaffected, but attacks are affected as listed
in the previous post (waaaaaayy back). OCV and DCV penalties also still

This would be affected by any DEX penalties for under water use.

Rolls made at -3

This skill may be totally useless underwater, unless the target is
travelling along the bottom. All PER penalties apply to tracking.

Due to the efficiency of sound underwater, this skill's effectiveness
is greatly increased, receiving only -1 per 3" of distance. (I believe
this effect presupposes Life Support; can breathe[speak] underwater)

- -------
Water broadcasts the various movements of others well, so combat
sense gains +2 to rolls.

You've tried to move quickly underwater, haven't you? -2 to Fast

Attempting to Find Weakness requires first a PER roll to see target
(with appropriate modifiers). (The book doesn't say so, but I would
think that PER modifiers would be at least partially applied to the find
weakness roll as well)

Assuming one CAN sleep underwater, this is very effective; +2 to
detect any intruder or movement-based (or sound-based)

- ------
Non-focussed armor will work normally. Focussed armor may limit
movement - particularly swimming or running - up to 1/2, depending on
the armor's SFX. If the armor is part of a suit which also enhances
swimming or running, then the penalties for movement is/are ignored for
the enhanced movement(s).

This power's effectiveness will depend on its SFX. Each case of
Clinging should be judged individually by the GM.

Hearing with Clairsentience is at +2, all other PER through
Clairsentience is at normal underwater PER penalties.

The POWER is unaffected by underwater use, but a dense enough
character may sink into the bottom muck more easily that other, or may
even be unable to swim. Heavy/Dense enough characters may have to make
a STR roll to move across the bottom of any natural body of water
(moving along the bottom of a swimming pool is unaffected :-)> )

As per the SFX changes from last post.

Water soluble Entangles will lose 1 BODY and DEF per turn
underwater. If the Entangle is thrown (net, gernade, etc.) then it is
subject to the 'thrown things' penalties. (Most likely next to

Mostly as per SFX changes. Light-based flashes affecting sight will
reduce in effectiveness, sound-based flashes vs. hearing will be more

Flying movement will be at least halved, unless the limitation "Works
Only Underwater"(to represent superspeed swimming) or advantage "Works
normally underwater" are bought. Different SFX will yield varying
results; flame-based flight may not work at all, flight defined as
'wind-riding' won't work, winged flight may work at 1/2 speed or less,

As per SFX changes.

Not at all, unless gliding is bought with "Underwater use" advantage
or limitation to represent something else.

If based on light projection, the will suffer normal penalties for
light SFX generally. Other SFX need to be judged on an individual
basis. Images which do appear normally will be more effective due to
PER penalties against those trying to 'see through' the artifice.

Penalties vs. thrown objects and penalties to movement virtually
cancel each other out for these purposes, so MD works 'normally' vs.
thrown weapons/attacks. MD vs. Energy attacks suffer the standard
OCV/DCV penalties.

Usually not the best mode of travel. IF a character is weighted down
or has enough Density Increase, running is halved, or worse depending on
the 'muckiness' of the surface being run upon. If the surface is
slippery (algae-covered, for example) a DEX or Acrobatics roll may be
necessary to maintain full (which is 1/2) movement.

Oh, come on. The book says it's at 1/2 or less or none. I say that
Swinging underwater is just swimming while holding onto a line of some
kind. You be the judge.

Once a successful PER roll is made to 'lock on' to the target, TK
then works normally, barring any 'bad' SFX.

- ----------
Physical explosions are particularly effective; add 5 points per 20
active points in the power and double the explosion's radius. Also,
everyone caught in the explosion is subject to 1D6 Flash vs. hearing
sense GROUP for every 3DC they are hit by.
Energy explosions work normally, subject to 'normal' SFX changes.

Effectiveness depends on SFX.

- -----------
Characters must make a DEX roll underwater to use a power requiring

If the character can breathe/speak normally underwater (or has a
focus to do so which does not restrict his/her mouth) then Incantations
are unaffected. Otherwise, you're up a creek (so to speak).

Well, that's it. Of course many of the various movement limitations
would be negated by the Talent "Underwater Movement" (3 points), but
those cases should be reasonably obvious.
Also offered in "Atlantis" is the Advantage "Power works normally
underwater" (+1/4). This can apply to enhanced senses, flight,
Entangles, Missle Deflection, etc. It does not apply to offensive
powers. (Hey, that's what they told me, I'm just the messenger).

All information is from "Atlantis(TM) a sourcebook for Champions",
though I do not promise 100% accuracy in my translations.

Enjoy all!

-Capt. Spith
Savior of Humanity
Secular Messiah


William K. Bushway
"Don't count your weasels before they pop, dink!"
- -The Tick, The Tick vs. The Tick


Date: Mon, 31 May 1999 00:30:00 -0700 (PDT)
From: shaw@caprica.com (Wayne Shaw)
Subject: RE: Hexless Combat

>How to speed up combat has come up here on this list before, I think. Each
>player paying attention and being prepared for their action seemed to me to
>be the best way to keep things moving.

Unfortunately, it's also almost unenforceable with many larger groups. A
mechanism for dealing with the unprepared player without robbing them seems
to help though; I use looser rules on saving actions than are in the game,
and if someone is not prepared they're just holding an action, and I move on.

>This brings up a point I only recently became aware of. I had always known
>that different people make their characters different ways, but I hadn't
>realized completely how much the style of gameplay affects character
>creation. A large part of my frustration with the game I played in a week or
>two ago had to do with my missing this important point. I had built a
>character for the type of game I was used to playing: he had 8 or 9 MP
>slots, lots of movement, combat and range skill levels, but only a few
>strange skills (this fit the character's background--he knows nothing but
>lightning bolts and spandex costumes). In the game I played though I think I
>need a different character: fewer MP slots, movement didn't really matter,
>no range skill levels, and lots of skills (duplicating skills of other
>characters in this campaign seems to be a good thing--more characters with
>Computer Programming means more data retrieved from the villains computers
>and so on).
>What this has to do with anything I'm not sure.

Well, it has to do with the fact that different gaming cultures prioritize
different things, sometimes to a degree that they almost aren't in the same
hobby sometimes.

>On this list we often see "in my campaign" and similar qualifiers on powers
>suggestions, but now I wonder how often that warning doesn't only apply to a
>specific campaign but to a whole style of play.

But often a single gaming group is almost a style unto itself.

>Do other game systems run into these same considerations? I mean, can't
>pretty much anyone roll up a DnD character a play a game, or am I assuming
>way to much about ADD2Ed games based on my 7th-grade experiences?

That might be true if people didn't do house rules, and if optional rules
didn't have heavy impact in a lot of games, but both of those are the case;
even in systems where character generation is unchanged, the way you have to
_play_ the character to be viable changed enormously.


Date: Mon, 31 May 99 10:35:45
From: "qts" <qts@nildram.co.uk>
Subject: Re: Fantasy HERO & Questions about it...

On Tue, 25 May 1999 22:57:45 -0400 (EDT), Jason Sullivan wrote:

> You have to forgive my ignorance when dealing with the Heroic 75
>base + 75 point Disadvantages Fantasy HERO standard campagin. I'm very
>used to using the 100 point base + 150 point Disadvantage Superheroic
>Campagin rules from Champions.
> My first question arises:
> What to do about "Special Weapon Maneuvers."
> For example, in a Champions game, if I wanted a two-weapon knife
>fighter, I would buy a standard HKA with OAF, and then buy Autofire, OAF
>(the other knife), and Limited Power: Uses seperate Levels and attack
>rolls (-1/4) to simulate the ginsu-type chopping action of the two bladed
>In Fantasy HERO, this is not so... you don't pay points for
>standard weapon attacks.

>My question is: How do I resolve this?

The 'two weapon' is SFX. You only get one hit on the opponent.
Otherwise you'd have people fighting with two katana. For the first
strike or two, you'd probably get an OCV bonus for the surprise of the
unusual fighting style - unless your opponent knew beforehand (eg

>Certain races have "Latent Abilities" in their blood, specifically
>Demihumans like Dwarves and Elves. They can develop these abilities over
>time. It would include abilities like Infravision, Innate Mana Ability,
>Detecting Secret Passageways, Passing Without Trace, etc.

These are standard Powers

>With elves, they have a certain ammount of "Noble blood" that lets
>them do this, which also corresponds with the maxium position they can
>hold within the Elven courts.
> Should I:
> a) Charge for "Blood" with points
> b) Charge for "Noble" station
> c) Charge for a "down payment" on each potential power (like
> you would with a Talent).
> d) A combination of any of the above.

I'd go for c: One point per latent ability. If you're playing a
political game, add in d as well.

Home: qts@nildram.co.uk.


Date: Mon, 31 May 1999 20:01:49 +1000
From: "happyelf" <jonesl@cqnet.com.au>
Subject: Re: SPD chart and timing issues was RE:(null)

- -----Original Message-----
From: Lance Dyas <lancelot@radiks.net>
>> >
>> >>2) Ripostes involve making an extra opportunity out of a good parry.
>> >
>> >Block maneuver
>> The problem he's suggesting is that the Riposte is virtually a combined
>> block/strike manuever.
>Exactly and is actually a common move

that what block does. he swings, you block, then you strike.
that's the point of block, and limited csl's can be used as well
to enhance the attack.

>> Again, not quite since there's some limitations on it's success. If you
>> don't let yourself overreact, a flurry doesn't work. It's actually, in
>> practice, more of a Presence attack.
>I did mentioned the presence element... in my description of the flurry.

yer forcing them 'on the defensive', that's
a presence attack, which can be very
useful in heroic combat, especially
1-1 melee. .


Date: Mon, 31 May 1999 04:51:03 -0700
From: Bob Greenwade <bob.greenwade@klock.com>
Subject: Re: Underwater Combat

At 08:31 PM 5/30/1999 -0500, Dr. Nuncheon wrote:
>After my last post (asking for stats for dolphins, etc), I realized that I
>was mistaken, and the BBB and NH /don't/ actually have rules for fighting
>underwater (beyond the fact that you take 1d6 less knockback). Are these
>rules in any existing HERO product, or done as house rules on anyone's

There are some nice ones in "Atlantis." After reading them, I suggested
to Patrick Bradley (the book's author) that he do The Ultimate Aquatic, but
he's been busy doing other products (like Pirate Hero, and editing Kazei 5).
- ---
Bob's Original Hero Stuff Page! [Circle of HEROS member]
Merry-Go-Round Webring -- wanna join?


Date: Mon, 31 May 1999 13:10:29 +0100
From: Stephen McGinness <MCGINNESSS@parliament.uk>
Subject: Re: Underwater Combat - Reply

Perhaps a look at Scourge of the Deep would be well worth the effort. I seem to
remember a range of effects and changes involved in using superpowers and
fighting underwater.



Date: Mon, 31 May 1999 06:17:25 -0700
From: Bob Greenwade <bob.greenwade@klock.com>
Subject: Re: Underwater Combat - Reply

At 01:10 PM 5/31/1999 +0100, Stephen McGinness wrote:
>Perhaps a look at Scourge of the Deep would be well worth the effort. I
seem to
>remember a range of effects and changes involved in using superpowers and
>fighting underwater.

Besides this being an out-of-print Third Edition supplement, most of the
rules from this book are duplicated (adapted for Fourth Edition where
needed) in the Atlantis book.
- ---
Bob's Original Hero Stuff Page! [Circle of HEROS member]
Merry-Go-Round Webring -- wanna join?


Date: Mon, 31 May 1999 09:39:18 -0400
From: Brian Wawrow <bwawrow@fmco.com>
Subject: RE: Hexless Combat


I've noticed the 'Hexless Combat' discussion ended up being a 'miniatures on
mats' vs. 'verbal description' means of tactical simulation. My apologies if
this is a misinterpretation of the previous posts.

I'm here to tell you about the joy that a 4'x3'white board can bring to your
life. It's got all the precision of mats without giving up valuable table
space better used for character sheets, rule books, glasses and ashtrays.

Let me explain exactly how this works. My white board sits on my big
painting aisle [I do more gaming than painting] so it sits vertically. Thus,
no miniatures. I don't even own any miniatures. I let the Warhammer guys
worry about miniatures. I use three different colours of marker. Black for
terrain, walls and other physical features, blue for 'our team', red for
everyone else and green for little notes and symbols showing who's bleeding,
entangled and so on.

Instead of counting hexes, I use the combat string. A length of string
marked off in inches. It's very quick to measure distances for movement and
range. Plus, it bends easily.

As for the gamist, dramatist, simulationist conversation, I relate to all of
these approaches and try to include all of them in my game. They are not
mutually exclusive, at least by my definitions. I see gamism as the visceral
element of the game. No matter how many years you've been gaming, you never
get tired of landing the big hit that changes the course of the battle.
Simulationism is simply attention to detail, which I believe I owe my
players after all the hard work and attention to detail they've put into
their characters. If you'll pardon the pun, Hero is a game of inches. These
two elements provide an foundation for the dramatist aspect of the game. The
shared experience of hair raising scraps and rolls that are 'just' made
after penalties are applied, give the PC's a shared experience that builds
party unity. This is terribly important because if your PC's play their
characters well, there will be conflicts between characters. I've had
players retire PC's because character development demanded that the
character would not stick around under the circumstances.

See? That's why I dig this system so much. It satisfies all three of the
things I love in a game; fun scraps, precision and fascinating characters.

Well, that's how I see it anyway.

] Wayne Shaw wrote (among other things) about "hexless" combats:
] > On the other hand, I've also done without on occasion, so
] > perhaps it's just
] > a question of degree. I just have alarm bells go off in my
] > head when I
] > hear someone use the phrase "The story takes precedence over
] > mechanics in my
] > games." It all too often means someone is willing to distort
] > hell out the
] > situation to serve what they consider the 'needs of the
] > story', and that's
] > not what I'm here to game for.
] I think it's interesting how different gamers react in these
] situations. To
] borrow language from rec.games.frp.advocacy, how much gamers align
] themselves with "gamist," "simulationist," or "dramatist"
] types of play
] interests me.
] I don't understand why, but there often seems to be a
] perceived hierarchy
] among the types of play: "gamist" dungeon crawls are for fat,
] old losers who
] don't know how to talk to girls; "simulationist" battlefield
] re-enactments
] are for even older losers who have wives but forgot how to
] talk to them;
] "dramatist" shared stories are for pansies who talk way to
] much for girls.
] (Note that none of styles are for girls.)
] It may have something to do with how rules systems appeared
] historically,
] but there often seems to be the notion that gamers "progress"
] from gamist
] hack-n-slashers who played DnD to nit-picky simulationists
] who play I dunno
] what they play (probably DnD still) and finally when they
] outgrow DnD they
] become dramatists who know how to play "beyond" the rules.
] This is all from my point of view, of course. It's just that
] I noticed I had
] this weird, defensive reaction when Scott Nolan suggested playing HERO
] without counting all the little hexes. Part of it is that I
] _like_ counting
] the hexes. The strategy board game aspects of combat I really
] enjoy. Part of
] what I appreciate about the HERO system is how well it allows
] different
] styles of play, but I think it grounds itself in strong mechanics. But
] that's probably just the way I play it. :)
] Does anyone else see these sorts of things?
] Or understand what I'm talking about?
] Or care what I'm talking about ;)
] grant


Date: Mon, 31 May 1999 14:39:42 +0100
From: Stephen McGinness <MCGINNESSS@parliament.uk>
Subject: Re: Underwater Combat - Reply - Reply

I thought that for some people it might be more available. Living
here in the UK I have never seen a copy of the Atlantis book on
shelves but have seen several copies of Scorge of the Deep!!

Sad I know - but something else to look out for.




Date: Mon, 31 May 1999 10:16:21 -0400 (EDT)
From: Jason Sullivan <ravanos@NJCU.edu>
Subject: RE: Hexless Combat

On Mon, 31 May 1999, Brian Wawrow wrote:
> I'm here to tell you about the joy that a 4'x3'white board can bring to your
> life. It's got all the precision of mats without giving up valuable table
> space better used for character sheets, rule books, glasses and ashtrays.

I think a white board approach is good for combat. A magnetic
white board would be really neat (so you can post up various maps and what
have you and use magnetic minature pieces to represent the characters, or
put up dry erase hex paper).

...still, I think nothing beats the good old diorama built from
scratch, best used for "reoccuring" locations- pubs often frequented by
your players, danger rooms, etc.

...and I love little plastic animals that you buy as party favors
in various stores.

Off Topic: Anyone here know of any web sites or articles on
building your own minatures from wire frameworks and epoxy or sculpee?


Date: Tue, 01 Jun 1999 10:27:41 -0400
From: Geoff Speare <geoff@igcn.com>
Subject: RE: Hexless Combat

Most of the time, I am a rabid user of battlemats, be it for Fantasy Hero,
Champions, or whatever.

However, for my GenCon game (Psi Hero), where we don't want combat taking
up tons of time, we keep everything in our heads, supplemented by non-scale
drawings of what the battlefield looks like. However, we /don't/ fudge
distances, scale, movement, etc., in order to achieve our "story goals".
The story /is/ more important than game mechanics, but a story has to be
consistent, and that won't happen if the GM's screw with basic mechanics
like distance.

Geoff Speare


End of champ-l-digest V1 #366

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