As to gear, again as has been pointed out, in a non-supers game normal gear is paid for in money not points. So the last point is not an issue.
The speed is god thing is to some extent true but with normal characteristic maximums in play 99% of characters will have a 3 or 4 speed. The cost in Character Points to get to 5 is simply more than most will be willing to pay or if they do they will have major shortfalls as a result and while it may be possible to make a character with 2 speed it is probably cheap enough to get to 3 to be worth it so most will. So the big speed difference you occasionally see in supers games does not happen so nobody sits around twiddling thumbs too much.
The point about it being fiddly is generally true because certain players and game masters like to fiddle with all the dials. But it doesn't have to be, there is nothing wrong or broken with a straight up strong fighter in HERO, or a dashing swashbuckler, neither of whom has anything but stats and skills. Again in a non-supers game most characters don't have any powers at all. Those that do generally work within a small selection of GM built frameworks that they use to define how magic works. This means most of the players will not need to mess with most of dials and even those that can only get a limited subset.
It can be math heavy but for a modern style game most of the math stuff goes away or can be shuffled off to the GM. Its not like the players are going to be building too much from scratch they will be 75 + 75 disadvantage characters that can get stats and skills and maybe a simple canned package of Psi powers the GM pre-builds for them. Once the character sheet is done pretty much all the math is done and you have all your target numbers on the sheet. Combat should be tactically interesting enough to be fun and should flow pretty quickly. So yes it can do what you want and probably without all the scary stuff you've been warned about, that said it is a huge tome of stuff and for the GM it can be a bit of a bear figuring out all the junk you don't need to worry about the first time through. Also be warned as you go through you might get a ton of ideas for all sorts of other stuff to do with the system and distract yourself. Another caveat for folks getting started with HERO... actually this normally happens just after you 'get' the system, you will be tempted to stat and cost everything in the universe... you don't have to, especially in a non-super game. Sometimes its just better to come up with an effect off the top of your head and run with it, just because you can build a camp fire as a RKA with an endurance battery and sticky effect doesn't mean you have to. If somebody falls in the fire have them take 1D6 damage and get on with the game.
I too have discovered that I seem to be more inclined to build and mod figures rather than paint. As of this spring I had the bottoms of two sets of Assault on Black Reach absolutely packed cheek to jowl with figures assembled and primed. I lost my job over the summer but the good news is that since August I have managed to paint over 150 figures and am currently painting details on a set of 20 more zombies armed with laser rifles and bolters. Should be ready to wash tomorrow night. At which point they will probably sit for a bit while I do another couple batches before I add grass and seal them all.
So what I am saying is that it is possible to catch back up at some point. That said I still have maybe 80 more figures to paint along with the helicopters and stompy bots from the Black Reach sets... and in the meantime I've ordered a mix of Greatcoat Stormtroopers, Zombies and various Viking and Celts from Wargames Factory to do some mix and matching with. Just cause the prices were so good and it looked like I was making headway on my backlog of painting.
Jason Ellis 350 wrote:
Checking the BB website, Paizo is rated at a B- due to the fact that there isn't a large amount of information. The company has only been listed by the BBB for 2 1/2 years. I'm willing to bet that in order to get a A rating a company has to have been around long enough for the BBB to be comfortable making a profile. Plus, they have to be accredited by the BBB, which costs money that a small company might not have.
I work at a BBB accredited business and we have an A+ rating. We've been accredited since 2001 so the time may certainly be a factor and I expect the gamer market is more likely to generate complaints than our rather smaller more professional sector. But the key to BBB ratings is dealing with issues one way or the other and then reporting the issue and resolution to the BBB and them finding the resolution reasonable given the issue and evidence. Now if a company simply Black Holes all communication then they will receive a very poor rating. If they can't be bothered with the customer there is no way they are keeping on top of reporting issues and resolutions to the BBB.
Well if you want to simulate the vast well of unfair that is palladium you could have everybody roll a d10 and then pass it to the player on their left and thats that players PL
Sounds like the old British consulting detective bit as in Holmes or Lord Peter Whimsey. Pretty easy to do an American take on the role with the Ivy League son of society that takes on cases as part of his charity work in between lawn parties and golf. Link
Stewart Perkins wrote:
I love Deadlands. I bought Savage Worlds and the Reloaded book recently and desperately want to run some wierd west stories. Problem is I haven't quite yet figured out the system, it seems really lethal to me. Or at least the game seemed that way from what little I've got to run so far...
It can be if your players forget its a different beast than D&D, especially when your facing missile weapons. Your high agility gives you no defense when you are standing in the open facing gun fire. Your defense is the logical defense against getting shot, diving behind cover, going prone, moving very fast, etc. Another thing about SW is that there is nothing in the rules that says you can't hide behind 100% cover, pop up and shoot and slip back behind 100% cover in your turn, or even more extreme move 2" out from cover shoot down the alley and then move another 2" behind the building on the other side of the alley. Other part of staying alive in the game is that you are wild cards so you get three wounds and bennies that let you soak damage when you do get hit. Be warned there is a death spiral there, getting wounded makes it easier to get more wounded, and harder to do stuff. Also there are a wack of combat options for non combat characters. The sleazy fast talking gambler can tease and taunt the bandit into the open for an easy shot. The strong willed preacher can put the fear o' the lord in 'em and freeze them in their tracks.
You will notice that a fresh off the farm Novice character has exactly the same defensive options as a Legendary character. So far less of a level curve than you find in d20 based games. So how hard an fight is depends a lot more on how tactical the players play and how well they use the environment than their level. Also there is no such thing as ECL so there are going to be encounters that are too tough to just wade into. This is how it is meant to be, you are meant to discover you are in over your head and flee. There is no XP for killing anything or for loot you collect, so figuring out how to get around a tough fight works just as well as winning the fight.
Forged Goo wrote:
Just started a campaign for my 10 year old daughter using Reality Blurs Agents of Oblivion beta rule set and free Spycraft adventures. Its her first role-playing experience, I picked that genre because even children get the basic tropes and feel cool being super spies.
Xaaon of Korvosa wrote:
Well I played both Rolemaster and Phoenix Command... Phoenix Command had less charts, even when we were using the advanced damage charts <shudder> Rolemaster had the advantage that combat rounds were a decent length of time in Phoenix Command you had phased movement like Hero only on 1/10 or 1/20ths of a second for the pulses. Though you could get some weird results at times in Rolemaster, had somebody lose a leg at the thigh from a shuriken and bleed out immediately.
I used it as my goto system for a while, it does a good job in a number of settings but is especially good at dealing with vehicles. As mentioned Heavy Gear, Jovian Chronicles, Tribe 8 and Gearkrieg are all available. The system scales very cleanly and intuitively between character scale and vehicle scale which makes it great for hardware heavy settings that have tanks, helicopters, mechs and the like.
It has a very different die rolling method that constrains things to a pretty narrow range but works well within the range. As mentioned above skills above 5 don't really work in the game and target values higher than 8 get pretty impossible to beat no matter how good you get. Given that a skill or two at lvl 3 is fairly reasonable for a starting character and with a system that breaks down at lvl 5 you begin to be a little thankful that advancement is pretty slow.
All in all though I recommend giving it a shot. To see it work where it really works go with Heavy Gear, Gearkrieg or Jovian. Heavy Gear has the most support by far. Tribe 8 is a very interesting setting with really cool rules but can be hard to fit to a group, when it does fit I see a ton of potential there.
Sounds like the OP has a pretty good handle on things actually. My only advise at this point is to take the current campaign as it is... its a Monty campaign, Hall that is, not Cook... maybe Python. Anyway the current setup sounds like a classic goomba we get everything we want sort of deal. Good for a beer and pretzels crowd but don't expect anything to deep or meaniful here. But as I mentioned the OP seems to understand that. On the plus side he has made contact with a gang of gamers however shallow and gets to play, heck even GM so thats all to the good. Go with it as long as it lasts, these things normally burn out cause eventually either the toys run out or the characters become so muddled in their super-mega-uberness that its not worth carrying on. At that point he can try introducing a real campaign with real challenges and rewards but by then he'll have a few months of getting to know these people and getting a handle on face to face gaming and D&D in general.
Well not sure which AP to use but you might consider doing the Tomb of Terrors at http://www.peginc.com/onesheets.html to get a feel for how D&D style play goes in Savage Worlds. There are sample characters to play with that give a pretty good feel for classic archetypes along with maps and paper minis available. Be warned it can be a bit of shock for the players, levels are less important, encounters are not necessarily balanced and players actions and use of environment and use of options are far more important. There was a fellow that converted Burnt Offerings and the iconic Piazo characters to Savage Worlds a while back with reportedly good results you can find his notes at http://savagegolarion.wikidot.com/
Well Savage Worlds will easily handle all the concepts you've tossed out. Slipstream is very Flash Gordon-y while Sundered Skies is very much a Fantasy realm with Dwarves, Orcs and Elves (admittedly they are somewhat changed from standard tropes) think Spelljammer with a darker subtext and a plot. So if you're basic idea is to take characters from the modern world and dump them in a funky alternate universe while they think they've merely survived a crash then I would probably go with Slipstream as the tech level is closer and that sort of origin is more in keeping with that setting.
Professor Xane Rourke wrote:
Its true that Runepunk is more correctly steampunk but on the otherhand so much of it was written mood-wise identical to Shadowrun that plopping a Stuffer-Shack in doesn't make a single player even blink.
Xaaon of Xen'Drik wrote:
It was darn hard to play especially if you got the advanced table book with all the goodies... who the heck thought 1/10 second combat phases made sense.
The 7 Swords and Targa and Dragon stuff was from their awesome setting that seemed to be about scavanging trying to preserve/rebuild society with rules that did not handle scavenging or talking to people but dealt with microseconds of combat.
Not to mention the rule that no figure has equipment or powers that are not visible on the figure itself... So if your space marine model doesn't have a melee weapon your character doesn't have a melee weapon. The models are the rules to some extent. And the whole give generally intelligent guildlines and tell GMs and players to work out something fair at game time is actually pretty standard RPG fair. Heck D&D was written like this up until the Wilderness Survival Guild and the beginning of 2nd Edition.
Thanks. Ive been snooping around the games workshop website for the past couple weeks and right away a settled on Ogre Kingdoms for warhammer fantasy. It seems like quite an investment of cash to get an army, books, and scenery and of course paints and tools. So i think i might start small with just a couple ogres, mainly the ogre tyrant. I also need to start hunting for the nearest games workshop store in the El Paso area. I just got stationed here and am looking for gaming stores.
You are going to want a faction you like 'cause you are going to be spending time and money on them. But you'll probably also want to start with something that is fun but not your really favorite figure in the faction. The reason being is if you haven't been painting for a while you may need to warm up before tackling a really precious figure. That its a chance to try out techniques for painting or basing... its alright if the spear carriers look a little funny in the end but would be a shame if your favorite center-piece character was sloppy looking.
But you see your pretend characters eat pretend MREs and you can pretend that they taste just as bad as real ones but they don't 'cause they are pretend... see totally different.
Ultimately I guess it depends on the answer to a couple of questions...
Having played both (though most of my WHFRP was first edition) I'd say its on par with Savage Worlds. Both encourage intelligent game mastering rather then spelling out all possible outcomes in the rules. Both are fairly tactically rich while still being quick and easy to resolve. Magic is extremely similar in both systems, in that you have a small choice of tactically significant spells that you can use reasonably often. And has been mentioned all the extra books for Warhammer were/are cool fluff rather than splat-book power extenders like so many games. I've only read through the latest edition of the rules rather than playing but from what I saw there really hasn't been much change in the rules between first and current versions, though the fluff has changed considerably to match the pushed forward timeline. As a general comment Warhammer tends to be a little lower powerwise than Savage Worlds but both seem to be pretty good at let characters improve without having them be un-naturally weak to start or un-naturally powerful at the upper levels.
Bill Dunn wrote:
Nor is 'balancing' the classes going to solve the problem of rampaging munchkins braying about how their tripped out 'damage platform' can beat up everyone elses characters. Munchkins will be munchkins, and they are going to be annoying even if their characters are not really more powerful... but honestly they will be even in a set of rules that is balanced. Because they will take advances that make no character sense and strictly improve what they believe is their power while non-munchkins will be taking advances that they believe make sense for their character given the current story and background. Not to mention general utility rather than pure combat prowess.
The Last Rogue wrote:
The basic magic system tends to give characters a very small number of effects and a pool of points to use them with a given recharge rate. Same core mechanic is used for Magic, Miracles and Psionics with slight tweeks to color each. Also in the main book are Weird Science and Lowrent Superpowers which use the same power list but have a little more heavily modified mechanics but still pretty core. Now the basic powers tend to be somewhat effect based and the GM/Player is heavily encouraged to state the 'trappings' of the power to be what they want. Thus the power is 'Bolt' which mechanically shots 1-3 ranged attacks at your enemies... now this one power could be 'magic missile' or 'lightning bolts' or 'acid arrows', or 'a flaming worm/snake that streaks out from your hand and dives into your opponents mouth and crawls out of their belly before attempting to plunge in again and again.' Various products have other magic/power systems and/or small tweeks to the core rules.
Hit their website www.peginc.com and download the free testdrive rules and whatever free adventures and characters catch your fancy and play through one or two to get a feel for it. The Core rules are cheap... used to be only $10.00 I heard that the next printing is going to go up though but will still be pretty affordable.
I can see why... as I said the idea is really neat and not often seen. It gives players and GMs a look at a slightly more sophisticated plot than 'See the mutant, Kill the mutant' Which grows that game with a slightly more advanced crowd.
Also them asking you to touch it up shows they see potential in you... thats good! It just needs a few nudges in the right direction and more time and practice to polish into a real skill.
So for sure enter the other contest, show your stuff and listen to them when they make suggestions. Don't slavishly follow the suggestions but seriously think about them. They come from some sort of experiance, so are worth listening to. But on the other hand you obviously also have some ideas that not everyone has so don't let them force you into some dumb formula that takes all the spark out either.
True to some extent, but handouts look really nice, has all the classic Warhammer hooks so everything is pretty comfortable for anybody who hangs out in 40k land and really the format is such that frankly there is only space to have one or two steps and a big fight and thats it so given the limitations its not bad and he does give multiple ways to get where you are going and detailed instructions for new GMs on how to actually run the thing. In your case you managed to cram more in because you had the 2 parts and gave a little less hand-holding baby step detail for the GM. Your story is definately more sophisticated but less friendly to starter GMs.
I suspect they were partially judging on how well the adventures grow the game. Modules and especially short modules tend to be aimed at neophyte GMs in general as they need the most help to get going. Long time veterans of gaming don't really need modules and such... give us a neat plot twist or a cool image and we can fill the stats and details in ourselves and run with it very quickly. New GMs really like to be told which skill applies when and what levels of success mean, what happens next and have lots of pretty good graphics to look at or handout. Corruptio Optimi Pessima and Rising Sun will slot in pretty well with Edge of Darkness and Shattered Hope. As all can be run by just about any GM for just about any group.
That said the only one I'm seriously looking to run is Arastus Affair pt 1 and 2. So while I understand why the others scored higher in the contest yours was the most interesting to me.
...I might run the others as well but 'Investigate the Space Hulk' and 'Battle in the Depths of the Hive' are both so generic and common in WH40K that they spawned their own games (Space Hulk and Necromunda respectively) nor less countless adventures that have been done before.
Just thought of something although not a campaign exactly there are a number of products out there with adventure generators that can certainly give you the basic premise for on the fly missions.
For military/quasi-military generators off the top of my head there are:
Living Steel: old game by Leading Edge, rules had serious issue but fluff was first rate and mission generator set up for rebuilding after if all comes crashing down situation.
Tour of Darkness: Savage Worlds setting taking place in Vietnam with building occult in the background. Still available in PDF form.
Necropolis/Necropolis 2350: Again Savage Worlds setting this time futuristic war against undead. Mission generator should work well, plus main campaign is a long term retaking of major city which might work in your situation as well. Original printing from Pinnacle is PDF only but new version from the author at Triple Ace games just came out and is print run as well as a PDF of the Players Guild which has mission generator but not the re-take the city story arch.
Tour of Darkness and Necropolis are available all over the place like RPGNow, Studio2 and maybe even Paizo (haven't checked)
Lord Raptor wrote:
Also in this same message board Darkjoy made up a couple of linked adventures for Dark Heresy which might just fit the bill...
Well downloaded and read the 3(4) top adventures... I agree with their choice for a winner, it was a good general adventure with recommendations for how to get various groups into it, it felt WH40K. Similary your friends adventure would be pretty easy to place and played on standard WH40K tropes a good solid little romp.
Your work was also very good, the combination of the two modules was a great adventure but each part was lacking without the other. The other problem I had with it generally is that the direction was pretty specific. I liked it but I can see where it would not work in many campaigns. That said the plot could well be yanked into completely different genres. The basic story and structure would work as well in anything from gritty fantasy through pirates to roaring 20's to Modern OPs on through Shadowrun/Cyberpunk all the way to a Star Wars style game. So bravo I may not run this in Dark Heresy but I certainly like it enough to run it somewhere... maybe Deadlands...
Leafar the Lost wrote:
Problem is by going 4th Edition they would have to give up all the 3rd Edition/OGL stuff too... Paizo's catalog is probably too large to bring forward fast enough and frankly too good to just leave behind. So by being so hard-a$$ed Wizards cut off their best 3rd party supporters... The little fish with so-so products can either abandon or rewrite for 4th Edition. But its a lot to ask for the bigger better fish that have so much more investment in their older product.
I haven't looked at Dark Legacies and I don't know if I'd call it Low Magic exactly but Dream Pod 9 put out a huge long campaign set in a demon infested Post apocalyptic setting with plenty of mass battles... Tribe 8 www.dp9.com
Has a rather heavy handed story arc though...
Black Company stuff might work as well. Or just read the first trilogy and use it for inspiration along with some Fritz Lieber and early Thieves World stuff.
Another option is to hit www.peginc.com and rip off the deadlands One sheets and swap costumes for your setting. The actual core adventure ideas work fine for low magic fantasy. Though its not very military...
Birthrite probably has stuff you could use
The CM1-... Companion level D&D modules from back in the day would work pretty good, Test of the Warlord and such
The Blackmoor set of modules might also have good stuff again very old, but they had plenty of armies marching around.
Bloodstone pass series might work as well.
There was also an old module called Veiled Society, was very low level so basically no magic could be scaled to whatever level you need.
... Can you tell most of my D&D experiance is really really old school :)
Not sure if any of the Warhammer Fantasy stuff might turn your crank as well.
Not sure any of this is really what your looking for but hope it helps.
I also bought Space Time, never had a chance to talk to the 'designer' though... I did manage to sort of build a couple of what I thought might be valid characters. But the rules to do stuff were so much worse than the rules to build characters that I never did anything with them.
Kirth Gersen wrote:
I played A-Team the roleplaying game and that is exactly what they did... Shooting guns at people cause flower pots to explode and your opponent to loose their turn.
Or Phoenix Command/Living Steel ;)