Digest Archive vol 1 Issue 442

From: owner-champ-l-digest@sysabend.org
Sent: Sunday, July 04, 1999 12:41 PM
To: champ-l-digest@sysabend.org
Subject: champ-l-digest V1 #443

champ-l-digest Sunday, July 4 1999 Volume 01 : Number 443

In this issue:

Re: Uppin the ante - 250 Pts! Heroic dreams come true!
Re: Uppin the ante - 250 Pts! Heroic dreams come true!
Re: Uppin the ante - 250 Pts! Heroic dreams come true!
Typical Cyber HERO settings
Re: Variable powers
Interesting supplement: The Reed Richards Guide To Everything
Re: Typical Cyber HERO settings
Re: FH racial magic system help required [LONG]
Re: Reverse Engineering Technology in HERO
Re: Fantasy Hero Magic System Design
Re: Uppin the ante - 250 Pts! Heroic dreams come true!
Re: Adv/Lim?
Re: Fantasy Hero Magic System Design
Re: Typical Cyber HERO settings
Twilight Zone: (Was Re:Uppin the ante - 250 Pts! Heroic dreams come true!)


Date: Sat, 03 Jul 1999 11:28:04 -0400
From: "Dale A. Ward" <daleward@ix.netcom.com>
Subject: Re: Uppin the ante - 250 Pts! Heroic dreams come true!


Chad Riley wrote:
> Alrighty then.
> Grab your radioactive spiders, warm up your poorly shielded space craft
> and start your gammabomb countdowns. (Or alternately, have your parents
> ship your nekked ass, watchem die infront o' you, or pour hard water on
> yourself!)
> If this sounds like a complete waste of time and you don't even want to
> dignify it with an answer, that's okay. I'll recover.

Actually, Chad, I was chafing at the 100 pt. restriction. It seems that my
superpower "wish list" is almost impossible to bring in under that limit...
kinda disappointing, since it's not all that earth-shattering (just personally

I just wish I had Hero5 so I could see if there were any new ways to build this

Hmmm... anybody got any suggestions on how to build intergalactic range on
clairsentience: sight? No foci, please. I want to be all self-contained.

Dale A. Ward

* No, thanks... just lookin'. *


Date: Sat, 03 Jul 1999 11:31:47 -0500
From: "Michael (Damon) & Peni Griffin" <griffin@txdirect.net>
Subject: Re: Uppin the ante - 250 Pts! Heroic dreams come true!

At 11:28 AM 7/3/1999 -0400, Dale A. Ward wrote:
> Hmmm... anybody got any suggestions on how to build intergalactic range on
>clairsentience: sight? No foci, please. I want to be all self-contained.

That's what Increased Scale is for. Let's see:

1 LY = 186,282 [miles per second] x (60*60*24*365.25) = 31,557,600 miles
per year

31,557,600 miles per year = 50,492,160 km per year

Andromeda Galaxy is 2.2 million light years distant...
50,492,160 * 2.2 million = 111,082,572,000,000 km

Normal range for Clairsentience is 20 points x 5" = (10m); +20 points for 4
doublings = 80" (160m), +5 PetaHex Advantage = 160 trillion km -- more than

Base Points = 40, Active Points = 240. Reasonable limitations on the
Increased Scale portion might include RSR, Concentration and/or Extra Time.
Using the Partially Limited Power to break it down, we might get something
like this:

Clairsentience at Normal Range: 40 points (80")

at KiloHex Range: +40 points (80k"),
Concentrate (1/2 DCV) -1/4,
Extra Time (Full Phase) -1/2
RSR -1/2
[adds 18 points to Real Cost]

at MegaHex Range: +40 points (80M"),
Concentrate (1/2 DCV) -1/4,
Extra Time (1 Turn) -1
RSR -1/2
[adds 15 points to Real Cost]

at GigaHex Range: +40 points (80G"),
Concentrate (1/2 DCV) -1/4,
Extra Time (1 Minute) -1 1/2,
RSR -1/2
[adds 12 points to Real Cost]

at TeraHex Range: +40 points (80T"),
Concentrate (0 DCV) -1/2,
Extra Time (5 Minutes) -2
RSR -1/2
[adds 10 points to Real Cost]

at PetaHex Range: +40 points (80P"),
Concentrate (0 DCV) -1/2,
Extra Time (1 Hour) -2 1/2
RSR -1/2
[adds 9 points to Real Cost]

That last transition really isn't cost effective; for a savings of 1 point,
you are required to spend a full hour concentrating, as opposed to only 5
minutes at the TeraHex range. So you may well want to change the values I
used for the Limitations. Still, 104 points Real Cost isn't bad for being
able to scry another galaxy. Now, what do you do with the remaining 146


"If I have seen farther than other men,
it is because I bought the Increased Scale Advantage."

-- Sir Isaac Newton, famous gamer


Date: Sat, 03 Jul 1999 13:12:14 -0400 (EDT)
From: Jason Sullivan <ravanos@NJCU.edu>
Subject: Re: Uppin the ante - 250 Pts! Heroic dreams come true!

250 pts. to make me immortal.

I might have enough to spare so I can purchase a number of KS and

I might also have enough to spare for my afore mentioned Shape
Shift, Serial Immortality, and Biological Manipulation powers.

Important question: am I the only one with powers?

- -Jason


Date: Sat, 03 Jul 1999 13:13:58 -0400 (EDT)
From: Jason Sullivan <ravanos@NJCU.edu>
Subject: Typical Cyber HERO settings

Is your typical Cyber HERO setting Heroic or Superheroic?


Date: Sat, 3 Jul 1999 14:17:24 -0700
From: "Filksinger" <filkhero@deskmail.com>
Subject: Re: Variable powers

From: Michael (Damon) & Peni Griffin <griffin@txdirect.net>

> At 12:33 PM 7/2/1999 -0400, Nasset, Dave (TransAlliance) wrote:
> For example, if RSR were not a separate Limitation, it might just
> under the broad Conditional Power umbrella, and be worth anywhere
from -1/4
> to -2. Some GMs might value it at -1/4. Most wouldn't be using
the -1 per
> 10 AP modifier, unless they'd invented it as a house rule. And some
> them would argue that RSR without such a penalty might be
worth -1/2, but
> /with/ such a penalty it should be worth -3/4. Given the number of
> different authors writing up characters for Hero sourcebooks and
> adventures, this could have been a royal mess.


People in my campaigns have used Limited Power frequently. Of the ones
that aren't just generally Conditional, but fit in a specific
category, Variable Limitation (as you chose to call that part of it;
it is a better construct than the one off the top of my head) is
probably the most common. Other GMs have told me the same. However, we
didn't generally agree on what they should be worth.

So, while I agree that it is a Limited Power in the strictest sense, I
have found that this is a popular form of Limited Power; more popular
in my superhero games than Gestures or Incantations.

> >...if I can think of a combination of present Advantages and
> >(including Limited Power) that will do the job, the Advantage
should not be
> >expanded to cover the job. While this may be a good idea in some
cases, it
> >can cause a variety of clunky creations when a simple expansion of
a given
> >Advantage would take care of them.
> Hero can be clunky at times. Every game has its faults.

Sure. But for Variable Advantages, it is so easy to fix that leaving
it clunky seems a bit silly, as well as creating characters that
aren't compatible from one campaign to the next.

> I believe one campaign I played in did permit something the GM
> Limited Variable Advantage, which did pretty much what you describe:
> cost breaks based on the number of Advantages in the Power's bag of
> so to speak. He allowed the same for Limitations. I'm not certain,
but I
> think he wound up discontinuing the "five-power" (it may have been
> powers in his case, I don't recall) discount level, because he
thought that
> for a lot of Powers, five (or four) was for all practical purposes
all the
> Advantages that would be applicable; that outside a Cosmic Power
Pool, you
> probably wouldn't have a Power that could reasonably adapt itself to
> dozen different Advantages. I'm not sure I agree with him there.

I don't. A person might have a very limited but highly controlled
Power that boils down to a small Multipower. In such cases, Variable
Advantage might be just the ticket for something that the superpower
is very flexible at doing a variety of ways.

> >At a minimum, I still want Variable Advantage to be expanded to
cover cases
> >with less than _all_ Advantages. That I think is very reasonable.
> If you stop there, so do I. It's one of those things where I don't
see a
> real /need/ for it, but I can see where others might. I would have
> objection to an expansion of Variable Advantage and Variable
> that gave reasonable cost breaks for limiting the number of Adv/Lims
> could be selected, which I see is what you started off describing.
I'm a
> little leery of mixing in "other states" (by which I think you mean
> modifiers other than Advantages and Limitations?)

That is primarily it, though it would also include the "No Advantage"
version that they have been arguing about, making it explicitly legal
if you remembered to buy it as one of the options for your Power, but
not if you didn't.

It was also designed to deal with Powers which were designed so that
they have variable effects, such as a Force Field that can be anything
from 0 PD, 15 ED to 0 ED, 15 PD, or Clairsentience that can see other
dimensions _or_ the past, but not the past of other dimensions (where
you would pay enough points to buy either one Adder or the other, but
could only use one at a time, for a +1/4). This would be better
handled under the individual Power description, in most cases. Most
cross-Power cases would be nothing but variable SFX. However, it could
be expanded (I am not necessarily recommending this, but there have
been times when the ability to do a 12d6 EB or 8d6 AP EB hasn't been
worth buying both, Power Frameworks were forbidden, and it was
reasonable to do. I'd have to do considerable thinking before I
thought of a good way to do this w/o going too far or not far enough).



Date: Sat, 03 Jul 1999 15:48:45 -0700
From: Darrin Kelley <backflash@mindspring.com>
Subject: Interesting supplement: The Reed Richards Guide To Everything

This is tangential to the subjects of these lists. But this is
supplement I recommend that all fans of superhero genre games.

The Reed Richards Guide To Everything is the rule expanion to the
Marvel Superheroes Adventure Game. It covers a vast body of information
in its small volume. More than game rulebooks I have seen in quite a few
years. It covers the following topics. As well as expands on some of
them that are already covered in the Marvel SAGA rulebook Most of which
are adaptable to other games, because they are mechanics free:

Ability Codes In Play
Active Characters
Alien Heroes
ArtifIcial Life
Astral Travel
Battle Tactics
Calling Combos
Countdowns and Explosions
Crowded Spaces
Death and Critical Injury
Differences in Technology
Distance Revisited
Dodging and Surprise
Edge and Complex Auras
Event Descriptions
Events from the Players
Falling Objects
Harsh Conditions
Heat and Cold
Hindrances Redux
Magical Objects
Out-of-Character Actions
Random Hero Creation
Redirecting Lost Heroes
Simultaneous Actions
Time Travel
Undead Heroes
Underwater Activity


Date: Sat, 03 Jul 1999 19:35:23 -0400 (EDT)
From: "John Desmarais" <john.desmarais@ibm.net>
Subject: Re: Typical Cyber HERO settings

On Sat, 03 Jul 1999 13:13:58 -0400 (EDT), Jason Sullivan wrote:

> Is your typical Cyber HERO setting Heroic or Superheroic?

Mine have all been "heroic" level. 50 or 75 points base (varying with my mood at the
time the campaigns started) plus disads.

- -=>John Desmarais


Date: Sun, 4 Jul 1999 00:00:13 EDT
From: ErolB1@aol.com
Subject: Re: FH racial magic system help required [LONG]

In a message dated 99-07-01 12:09:23 EDT, kwendel@unlnotes01.unl.edu writes:

> Dwarves are unable to directly cast spells. However, they are able to
> runes of power into items that they make. They can release the power of
> rune by touching it and speaking the rune at the same time. Each rune can
> be
> released a limited number of times a day, and some runes fade with time.


> Required Limitations (-5 1/2):
> Gestures (-1/4),
> Incantations (-1/4),
> Concentrate [1/2 DCV] (-1/4)
> Focus [OAF ] (-1),

Any particular reason to require OAF as opposed to OIF? In other words, why
forbid e.g. a Belt of Runestones (OIF) that gives "Strength of Stone" (Aid to
STR plus Damage Resistance) seven times a day?

Erol K. Bayburt
Evil Genius for a Better Tomorrow


Date: Sun, 4 Jul 1999 00:07:36 -0400
From: Indiana Joe <jrc3@home.com>
Subject: Re: Reverse Engineering Technology in HERO

At 1:52 PM -0400 6/30/99, Jason Sullivan wrote:
> I am working on a character history in HERO.
> This character exists in a post-Pulp era genre, where heroes and
>villians weren't extraordinary aside from one pseudo-science gadget. The
>gadget was built with photo tubes and other technology circa 1940.
> In the present day, the character has found the object, notes,
>blueprints, and the theories on how the technology and how it functions.
>He is not particularily skilled with electronics nor does he understand
>the theoritical technology which it is based on.
> He wishes to "translate" the technology into a more modern
>equivalent, using present-day technology: micro-chips, advanced power
>systems... faster, more durable, more reliable, and better functioning
>pieces of technology.
> Keeping in mind his knowledge of the device as described above,
>and the fact he works alone in a "lab" that was built in the forties, but
>also understanding that he also has a weath of resources, both monatary
>and technological (including the the inception of the technology, it's
>evolution, how it was developed, varuious prototypes, it's functioning,
>etc.), do you think he can rebuild the device?

If he has the plans, he can rebuild the device as it was - if he can get
the parts. But tubes are obselete, and hard to find. Not to mention the
stuff that exploited little-known laws of physics...

> I knwo nothing of electronics, modern or circa 1940's.
>Translating the technology would be a major undertaking, but if the
>device can be rebuilt, piece for piece, how hard would it actually be?
>Would the "lab" be ineffective, since it was built in the forties for that
>technology specifically, or would it still be of use? What game-statistic
>equivalent are the plans? Eventually, they could be understood and
>comprehended, leading up to the actual acquisition of the theoritical
>skills. Electronics skills could be developed as well. Would they be
>required if the plans were present?

The character would have to learn Electronics and Extra-Dimensional
Physics (or whatever) if he wanted to update the device. Electronics is
probably the more important of the two, although a failed Extra-Dimensional
physics roll would have interesting effects. The plans themselves are a
plot device, giving the player an opportunity to spend points on this
gadget and a reason/mechanism to learn the skills.

Joe Claffey | "In the end, everything is a gag."
jrc3@home.com | - Charlie Chaplin


Date: Sun, 4 Jul 1999 00:44:46 -0400
From: Indiana Joe <jrc3@home.com>
Subject: Re: Fantasy Hero Magic System Design

A couple of people have reqested more info on my magic system. Here's what
I've worked out so far. The system is still under development. Pardon any
formatting errors. :-)

Mystic Disadvantages

A character's mystic flaw tends to manifest itself in certain ways.
The character may look strange or have minor magical effects constantly
occuring around them(Distinctive Features), act oddly (Psychological
Limitation), or have strange weaknesses (Sucseptibility orVulnerability).

Mystic disadvantages are considered to be both in their original
catagory (Distintictive Features, Psych Lims, etc) and Mystic. No character
may have more than 25 points in Mystic disadvantages.

Distinctive Features
The mystic energy channeled by the wizard may alter his appearance,
or manifest itself in noticable ways around him.
Examples: Slit Pupils (easily concealable, noticed & recognizable)
5 pts.
Wizard is constantly surrounded by small dancing lights
(not concealable, always noticed) 20 pts.

Psychological Limitations
Wizards have a well-deserved reputation for eccentricity. They
collect odd things, espouse strange beliefs, and generally act weird (some
to the point of madness). A character's Mystic Psych Lims may suggest other
disadvantages (a compulsive eater my take DF: Overweight), but these
additional disadvantages are not Mystic in nature.

Because of the mystic energy running through a wizard, even
innoccuous substances or actions may have adverse effects on them.
Examples: Being on holy ground (uncommon, 2d6/minute) 10 pts.
Sunlight (very common, 3d6/hour) 15 pts.
Priestly magic (uncommon, 2d6) 10 pts.

Typical vulnerabilities will be to uncommon attacks (cold iron,
silver, holy weapons).
Example: Takes 1 1=8E2 x BODY from holy weapons
5 pts.

Joe Claffey | "In the end, everything is a gag."
jrc3@home.com | - Charlie Chaplin


Date: Sat, 03 Jul 1999 22:55:23 -0700
From: Lizard <lizard@mrlizard.com>
Subject: Re: Uppin the ante - 250 Pts! Heroic dreams come true!

Without working out exact points, I'd take:

Full life support, most esp. immunity to aging.

Enough rD that bullets&the like won't bother me.

Universal translator.

Dimensional travel, including time travel.

Desolid, possibly with some activation time (to keep from being buried alive)

Regeneration, with the 5Ed 'from death' option.

Enough FTL to let me get around the galaxy in reasonable time;maybe with an
hour or two Extra Time. (What do I care if I have to spend an hour 'warming
up', if I can cross the Gulfs Of Interstellar Space as easily as a Mere
Mortal may cross the street?)

Instant change, any clothes.

If I have anything left over -- a 20 or 30 point VPP, because you never
know what you might need.

In short -- I would be able to go anywhere in time and space, talk to the
natives, and not worry about being killed or imprisoned. I would spend
eternity as the ultimate tourist.


Date: Sun, 04 Jul 99 10:13:42
From: "qts" <qts@nildram.co.uk>
Subject: Re: Adv/Lim?

On Mon, 28 Jun 1999 19:14:41 -0400, Juan Antonio Ramirez wrote:

>Bob Greenwade wrote:
>> At 03:25 PM 6/28/1999 -0400, David Nasset wrote:
>> >From: Bob Greenwade <bob.greenwade@klock.com>
>> >
>> >>
>> >>At 07:53 PM 6/27/1999 -0400, Juan Antonio Ramirez wrote:
>> >>>
>> >>>Here's what I want to do... I want to make this item (say a ring, a
>> >>>power bracelet, whatever) which has a set of powers which anybody who
>> >>>picks it up and wears it can use. By the way, Superhero setting...
>> >>>Well, the problem is the SFX. They are sorta variable... it depends on
>> >>>who picks it up.
>> ><snip>
>> >>>I'm tempted to list it as a +/- 0 Adv/Lim ("SFX Reflects user's
>> >>>'heart'"), but I'm thinking maybe it's Variable SFX with a Limitation on
>> >>>the Advantage...
>> >>>What to you guys think?
>> >>
>> >> I'd go with the latter idea (Variable SFX with a Limitation --
>> >>specifically, I'd use No Conscious Control).
>> >
>> >Perfect. And if the user's personality were to suddenly change, poof, new
>> >SFX!
>Hmmm.... I like this... 8)
>> And all for a truly minimal investment (a +1/4 Advantage with a -2
>> Limitation on it will probably fall into the one-digit price range on this
>> item, even with multiple Powers).
>How do you figure?
>Say... um, 8d6 EB, Variable SFX (Any): +1/2, No Concious Control on VSFX: -2,
>OIF (Bracelet, ring, whatever): -1/2, Independent: -2... that'd be
>40 + (40 * 0.5 / (1+2)) = 47 APs
>47 / 3.5 = 13 (Real Cost)
>And that's just one power...

Errr, no. It's 60 APs, and the cost is


Home: qts@nildram.co.uk.


Date: Sun, 04 Jul 99 10:23:54
From: "qts" <qts@nildram.co.uk>
Subject: Re: Fantasy Hero Magic System Design

On Mon, 28 Jun 1999 13:55:56 -0400, Scott C. Nolan wrote:

>It must be Summer, because I'm revisiting the way magic works in my home
>Last year I decided that I didn't want mages to have to pay END for spells.
> Instead,
>I created a system using an Endurance Battery with a recovery that only
>once a day (upon meditation). The advantage, from my point of view, was
>that it
>forced mage characters to husband their spells, using them more
>judiciously, which
>fit the tone of the campaign I am trying to run.
>This worked fine for one-shot spells (like a lightning bolt) that were
>instantaneous. But
>it used up the END BATT damn quick with ongoing spells (like Flight).
>So I toyed with various solutions.
>One was that magi only paid END from the battery on casting the spell, and
>that the
>duration of the spell was limited by definition. Modelling this using 0
>got very expensive. Modelling it using charges put the cost more in line
>with the utility
>of the power, but since I don't intend to limit how often a mage character
>can cast
>a particular spell, other than by the amount of Endurance in the Battery,
>seems to be cheating (giving a limitation for allowing the power to be
>A further complication is that my magic system uses VPPs. The characters can
>only cast spells from the VPP that are written in their spellbooks (for
>which they
>pay 1 point each, regardless of the power of the spell). Charges within a VPP
>seem doubly meaningless.
>Anyone have any suggestions?

Charges are an ideal way to model this. All spells take the One Charge
Limitation (-1, because they don't all share the same Charge).

Assuming a 40 pt VPP, the mage casts a spell which costs 3 RP: the mage
then has 37 RP of spells (each of a maximum of 40 AP) that he can cast.
If he casts the same spell again, he's down to 34 RP.

Home: qts@nildram.co.uk.


Date: Sun, 4 Jul 1999 08:20:35 -0400
From: "Michael Sprague" <msprague@eznet.net>
Subject: Re: Typical Cyber HERO settings

It's been a while, but the Cyber Hero game we played was Heroic. Some odd
notes ... we have always played Disadvantages as being worth half their
listed value in Heroic setting (I am not too fond of this house rule), and
in Cyber Hero, we had no Disadvantage Limits. We ended up with some pretty
twisted characters ... which was the point. :-)

~ Mike

- -----Original Message-----
From: John Desmarais <john.desmarais@ibm.net>
To: champ-l@sysabend.org <champ-l@sysabend.org&> Jason Sullivan
Date: Saturday, July 03, 1999 7:29 PM
Subject: Re: Typical Cyber HERO settings

>On Sat, 03 Jul 1999 13:13:58 -0400 (EDT), Jason Sullivan wrote:
>> Is your typical Cyber HERO setting Heroic or Superheroic?
>Mine have all been "heroic" level. 50 or 75 points base (varying with my
mood at the
>time the campaigns started) plus disads.
>-=>John Desmarais


Date: Sun, 4 Jul 1999 09:40:16 -0700 (PDT)
From: Stormtide <stormtide@yahoo.com>
Subject: Twilight Zone: (Was Re:Uppin the ante - 250 Pts! Heroic dreams come true!)

All of this speculation about what we would do with
+XXX points to improve ourselves has been interesting
has been pretty cool. However, I can't help but get
the feeling that this would turn out to be like some
episode of the Twilight Zone or The Outer Limits.

The Mysterious Aliens that have granted these powers
return after a short time to stand in judgement of our
choices --
"We have given you great power...power that could have
been used to cure your sick, feed your hungry, and
improve the lot of your people. Instead, you have set
yourself up as petty tyrants and immortal godlings.
Yours is a most unworthy species. We withdraw our
most generous offer."

Please note that this is not meant to be a slam
against the choices that have already been made,
because that probably wasn't in the spirit of the
original question as to what we would want to do with
the points. I'm just curious why we haven't seen many
powers that could be used to help others such as "Aid"
and the like. Isn't that the nature of being a hero?

Of course, knowing how selfish I can be, and that on
the Twilight Zone/Outer Limits, one good twist
deserves another, I imagine that this episode has the
possibility of this being added to the ending:
"What? What is happening? This can not be!" The Aliens
looked at each other in panic, as the walls of their
spacecraft shook in intense fury. For thanks to the
human's choice of taking the power of precognition,
they were aware that the Aliens would one day return
to reclaim their gift. Knowing this, the humans had
planned their defenses accordingly, but damned their
prospects of universal enlightenment in the process.
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Get your free @yahoo.com address at http://mail.yahoo.com


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