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Messages - Nick Bower

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Human(ish) is urban fantasy using the FASERIP system.

Immortal. I forgot about that one. I was so excited right when it came out, thought it looked really different and interesting, and even though I was trying hard to get into it I just kept bouncing right off. I couldn't even get in far enough to learn how crappy the rules were (I still haven't been able to; I've just heard from those stronger and smarter than me).

Pen and Paper Roleplaying Games (RPGs) Discussion / BESM
« on: May 28, 2016, 05:27:10 AM »
Take a look at Tri-Stat dX, which is the free generic version of the more complicated/fiddly version of the BESM rules used for their superhero games (Silver Age Sentinels and the licensed Authority game).

Quote from: Caesar Slaad;888515
Yup. I think the investigative skill system works nicely, but I dislike the general approach of the General Abilities. Beyond problems like this, I also notice it can make players hesitant to act since they are afraid to run out of points. I sort of overcome this by slathering on extra general ability points and paying fastidious attention to the player's chance to refresh. So it can work, but I do sort of recognize that part of that is me working around the weaknesses of the system.

I've come to disdain systems that make you pay points from a pool entirely in lieu of static bonuses (which is also a big reason I disdain the Cypher system.)

So true. With resource management of pools, I just can't bring myself to spend now because it'll leave me worse off when I need those points in the future. I really like the setting and idea of Mutant City Blues, and want to like the Cypher games, but limited pools of resource points that are at least as important as the base ability or the roll are, for me, just an absolute psychological breaking point. I just can't.

To make it right for me (in theory, completely untested):

Hit points don't increase with levels, but SDC does. When SDC is worn down damage goes to hit points, but criticals do (normal) damage to hit points direct and ignore SDC. When hit points are gone you're dying/dead. Criticals are scary.

(It's been ages since I've played a Palladium game, and I don't remember how often criticals come up, so this might make combat way too deadly. But it's an idea.)

Simplified skill lists. I saw somewhere, maybe even here, a suggestion that instead of the long lists of skills now, you just use the heading for that skill list category. Or at least bring it down to a few more widely applicable skills in each category. We don't need (Rifts Ultimate Edition) Horsemanship: General AND Horsemanship: Cowboy AND Horsemanship: Cossack as separate skills, right? So many Pilot skills?

Appropriate attributes provide a bonus of their score to skill checks, so that the score means something. Picking Pockets? Just add your Physical Prowess. Trying to pick pockets by distracting the target with cleavage? Add your Physical Beauty this time.

System-wise, that's about it for me offhand. You'd still have to deal with the setting elements in, say, Rifts, where MDC weapons and armour are a Big Deal, but almost everyone lugging around vehicle-scale weapons and armour would be a Big Deal in any system if you're the poor soul who doesn't happen to have them.


Lawful neutral, the ass-hattiest of the alignments?  Check.

Always refer to themselves with the royal "We?"  Check.

Trying way too hard to let you know they were "all into radial symmetry before it was cool?"  Check.

Tell me you don't honestly want to just haul off and punch that square in that smug grin.

Just Modrons.

Quote from: remial;839481
lately all my RPG purchases have been in the category of 'spent too much money on' as I find myself between groups right now.  (I have mentioned my problems in earlier threads and won't repeat them here)

Sure I read the books and enjoy doing so, but the books aren't going to their intended use, and that disappoints me.

Totally and exactly.  Too many great games and too little opportunity to actually use.

The Mongoose Traveller version of Judge Dredd (which I think has the edge on the classic Games Workshop version and is miles ahead of the D20 version, mainly because the D20 version wasn't lethal enough, but I digress) has a section "Improving By Experience" (pp. 47-48).

Basically, for every four years of game time, you get four points to spend on skills, Talents and Special Techniques, or to increase characteristics (basically another four-year Term).

(Character generation includes a specific term for the Hot Dog Run and a survival test for Full Eagle Day, which if you fail means (11 out of 12) that your character doesn't become a judge.  It's not too hard to survive, but there's still a mandatory roll to see if your character becomes unplayable at the very end of generation.  Classic Traveller, and totally appropriate for JD.)

Pen and Paper Roleplaying Games (RPGs) Discussion / System support
« on: January 11, 2015, 08:07:48 PM »
I like to hope that professionally-published product will have at least some minimum level of quality control.  I like to hope that, at least.

I fear that fan-produced content will have more misses than hits and I can't figure out which is which until I've spent time and effort I'd rather not spend doing my own quality analysis.

I'm okay doing it myself, when I have time, which I find I have less of as time goes on.

Quote from: Molotov;807540
The other big learning for me with a modern conspiracy campaign was the vast amount of information the player group can generate, request and require.

Yeah, even aside from any game-specific resources, just being able to surf the net on a smartphone makes some mystery harder.  On the other hand, it's useful for context-dumps ("Oh, so that's where that quote that the serial killer keeps leaving behind actually comes from.  Now, why is he so obsessed with Monster High?").

I'm really liking the Extraterrestrials book - lots of useful ideas in it.  Haven't had a chance to look at Paranormal.

I thought too much of the Conspiracies sourcebook was spent on lengthy descriptions of NPCs, but there were enough good parts in it that I don't regret the purchase.

In the Conspiracies book especially, there are a number of references to a third group (other than Aegis and NDD) and other elements just mentioned in passing (like Nostradamus predicting, if I remember correctly, the Saurians' return).  Were these discussed more in the first edition stuff, or is it intentionally left undeveloped?

My players want to do an X-Files style game next, and Conspiracy X is the perfect setting, but I'm finding some parts of the system problematic.  I don't think the 'Beautician' skill is necessary.  The professions all seem very expensive for a 'Pre-Heroic' level campaign.  Why don't FBI Field Agents have the "arrest power" string to pull?  Combat seems a bit finicky.

I'm considering using BRP or FATE (leaning towards FATE because it looks like it would take less time to stat out antagonists).  Does Unisystem play smoother than it reads?

Quote from: Omega;802253
Wasnt M&M a rip off of an older superhero RPG?

Or was that Silver Age Sentinels?

Both are (or for SAS were) original systems.

(Well, for a certain value of 'original' - M&M is a version of D20, and SAS used Guardians of Order's Tri-Stat system.  Neither was cloned from an old superhero RPG, though.)

Blood of Heroes was a redo of the old DC Heroes system (which is an excellent system) with a homebrew setting (which was just...not good); that might be the one you're thinking of.  You can read about it here.

Quote from: Marleycat;784606
At-will cantrips, I love them! I am playing a wizard that is well on her way to leveling up and I haven't had to use an actual spell yet, just a couple of cantrips and background stuff and ability/skill rolls...awesome.:)

YES.  At-will cantrips are great.

I love the art.

I love that character optimization isn't the be-all-end-all it was in 3/3.5/Pathfinder, 'cause I suck at that.  I just want to play my half-orc fighter questing to prove his worth to his noble lady love, and not have to worry about which feat I need to pick three levels from now to avoid being practically useless.

I love that combat is much more theatre of the mind and much less minis on maps.  I just never got into minis that much.

I love bounded accuracy, especially how it reduces the perceived need for every encounter to be 'level appropriate.'  Here's some goblins!  They might be a threat!  Here's a dragon!  You never know, you might get lucky!  (Well, that's a bit much, but...)

I loved 2E.  I tried 3E but didn't get far.  I couldn't even look at 4E.  It's like this edition was written just for me.  I am honestly and legitimately happy with it and really actually looking forward to playing and/or running it.


Pen and Paper Roleplaying Games (RPGs) Discussion / [5e] My PHB smells
« on: September 03, 2014, 02:51:30 AM »
Mine looks fine - no obvious damage/staining.  It smells, well, odd.  Not exactly unpleasant, but very different from other new books.  (And I really enjoy just shoving my nose into the pages and taking a good whiff, so I am confident that I know what new books smell like.)

Hoard of the Dragon Queen smells more like my other books, and its pages aren't as glossy, so maybe that's it.  The PH does smell closer to some graphic novels than other gamebooks.

Quote from: Fiasco;658361
I thought this thread was going in the direction of hours of entertainment per dollar spent when compared to other hobbies.

That, too.  RPGs are great value no matter what the measurement.

Heck, even moving them is fun - trying to remember what's in each box, thinking of campaigns to run once they're unpacked, imagining all the rippling muscles I must be building from all this heavy lifting...

I really can't think of a better hobby than gaming.  I just love it.

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