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Charles Green

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Everything posted by Charles Green

  1. I'm looking at the power, and I don't see an indication of how many extra hit points are gained per level. I'm using the Zero edition, so this may have been errata'ed out of existence. I'm assuming its one per level, but I'd like to see an official answer before I do something with it.
  2. Well, things couldn't have gone worse. We just finished up the Keep on the Shadowfell, WotC's intro adventure for 4E, on Saturday night. Before the group breaks for the evening, I mention that I'm having some trouble running the game; it doesn't do what i want, players characters are forced into being something other than what they intended, and the prep-work is killing me. I suggest that, with everyone's permission, I take away the characters and return with new ones, converted to BRP. Everyone agrees. 3 people in the group are actively excited, and immediately begin discussing how to best capture some nuance of their characters in the new system. The other two are less than enthusiastic, but agree to do it if it'll help me run the game better. I drive away, thinking everything is peachy, and excited about the direction the game will take now that I won't have to fight the system. Late last night, I get an e-mail from one of the two who was not as jazzed about it. he said that he and the other guy never really wanted to switch systems, and that they were D&D players through and through. And, since we were playing at his house, myself and the other players that were excited about switching were no longer welcome, and that they would find other people to play D&D with. On one hand, I'm a little relieved to not have to run 4E anymore, but on the other, I'm really quite surprised that they decided to just oust 4 people from the group without talking to anyone about the way they wanted to do things. If they had said, "Look, we're not interested in switching systems," I would have said okay and just run with it. I mean, it is the guy's house, and I thought I could deal for a bit longer. But to agree with the group consensus, and then stab everyone in the back, via e-mail, is such a cowardly way to handle this. They both seemed like decent guys, and I'm really just surprised that they would have felt it was okay to boot everyone like this. On the plus side, I've got a tight group of really good players out of it, and we're picking up where we left off with a new system, a closer play location, and an attitude of looking for fun instead of fights.
  3. For someone with a 100%+ defense, yes, they should be able to dodge incoming blows at almost inhuman speed. That's what the high skill represents. I've run a lot of high-level games with BRP, and combat frequently comes down to who fumbles or gets a critical result first. Having a full percentage parry does not break the game, or make combats run any longer than they usually do. Instead, it makes the game seem more heroic, as the threat of having your awesome swordsman taken down by mooks is less present. Something I looked at in Gods of Law was to allow people who focus heavily on weapon skills or dodging to make defensive actions at their full percentage for any attack that comes their way. However, for each use after the first, they paid a Magic Point. That way, there is still a cost for pushing yourself. Naturally, this would only work when trying to emulate a cinematic play style with BRP. IMO, of course.
  4. I'm not thinking of a straight conversion, mostly trying to get a standard BRP character to be as close to the 4e character as possible. I think offering too many options would make them all lock up from choice paralysis. We've had a hard time getting the group together, and I'm hesitant to do too much that involves player input. Ideally, I'd like to get group approval for the switch, and show up at the next session with character sheets, explain the new rules, and get moving. At least half the group has mentioned to me privately that they're more interested in story over combat, and, while they enjoy the miniatures combat approach to 4e, they're much more interested in the more character-as-person oriented tasks of NPC interaction and persona adoption. One player said he was into RPGs as a "life sim". This was also the player whose awesome character concept was not something that the D&D system could adequately express. His girl friend also plays, and has expressed a lack of interest in her current character, and a desire to switch characters to another one. The second character is something I think the new BRP rules would handle quite well, and it was her mentioning that she's more interested in this new concept that her current one that really got me thinking about switching. The rest of the players I'm not sure about. One is mostly there to hang out with another player (a long-time buddy) and kill stuff. His friend seems most interested in playing D&D vs. playing anything else, but he's also interested in other games enough that I might be able to swing him over. He's a paladin, and I might be able to win him over by describing the Allegiance rules. The last player is a newbie to the group. She's only been in at one session, so she's less invested in the current system. That's sort of the crux of the matter, isn't it? Out of everyone in the group, I think only one is really invested in the use of the D&D system specifically, I think most everyone else would be willing to try something a little less involved, especially something that will let them play characters closer to what they want to play. From a GMing standpoint, switching would be easier for me. I've been playing BRP-related games for over a decade, and I've written books for the game. I know it really well, and am much more comfortable using the system than I am in 4e. Also, since BRP is much less combat intensive than 4e, the story won't, by force of the system, become a series of loosely connected fights. Honestly, I'm less concerned about the actual mechanics of the conversion and more about how to bring it up to a group in a manner that will get everyone excited about the game again. This is my problem; I'm normally a mystery and character sort of GM, but the way 4e is set up, I find myself falling back on bad GM habits that I had thought I had outgrown when I was in high school. This isn't a problem with the game, but one with me and how my GMing style interacts with the game. Okay, the campaign is set up in the following manner: 1. The setting is mostly the D&D one from the 4e books, centered in Fallcrest, with excursions to various wilderness areas expected. 2. The overarching plot is the PCs uncovering, and hopefully defeating, Orcus, who seeks to turn the cosmos into an undead empire with him at the top. For the game itself, combat should be present, but not always center stage. I'd like to see a great deal of non-combat challenges, especially ones that involve traveling to other planes, and finding ways to deal with threats that are not something that can simply be slain. For magic, i don't see why the usual Magic Spells wouldn't work as a power system, with mutations being a close second. We only have a single dedicated magic user in the party, so esoteric magic won't be an issue. For the party's paladin, I'm likely going to just use the Allegiance rules, and writing up a god-specific table to determine what actions garner points and what do not. I realize that this is not all that helpful. I'm shooting for a pulp fantasy, high action sort of game where hero death is possible, but not an every-encounter concern.
  5. So, I've been running a group of people on an every-other-Saturday 4e game for a few months now. At first, everything was great; I was using a pre-planned adventure, with maps and minis and everything else. However, my love was lost when I realized I would have yo actually map out dungeons, and pay lots of money for new minis and tiles. Plus, the pre-game prep-work was killing me. When we finish up the story-arc we're on, I'm going to pitch a system switch to the group. Normally, I hate system switching, especially when using existing characters, but in this instance, I think showing up with converted characters (rather than having a conversion session) would be easier. Initially, i was thinking of going with Savage Worlds, but, while I think SW would cover what was needed pretty well, BRP would be much easier to explain, and I know it well enough that I can wing it when the players go off the rails. I guess what I'm getting at is hoping to prompt a general discussion about the costs and benefits of converting an ongoing 4e game to BRP, and system switching in general. Also, let's not turn this into a D&D bashing session. I don't hate the game; it just isn't meeting my needs right now.
  6. Spun off from the thread in Introductions: We use thematic struggles in fiction because, while fiction is based on life, it is not a representation of real life. It simply cannot be, because fiction has to make sense; real life doesn't for exactly the reason you mentioned. A work of fiction, of which RPGs are related, are stories where the main characters central. Thematic struggles are relevant because they illustrate an internal conflict within that character. They aren't meant to represent your garden variety, day-to-day life. Good fiction works best when it puts characters in a situation where their actions (and concepts like their alignment) reflect a big internal shift, or a deepening of their conviction. Themes are useful because they are shorthands for conveying meaning. In real life, we have all day, every day to think about things and work. But in an RPG, a GM has only few hours each week, maybe less, to convey what it is he or she is trying to get the players to see. By holding a theme of "Order vs. Chaos," there is a central pole around which the adventures can be planned. If Chaos is continually shown to be a destructive force, the players will learn to assume "Chaos=Bad." Once they have learned this fact, and accept it at face value, it allows you as a GM to use it to convey something else. By presenting instances where Chaos is not only not evil, but also good and productive, you can covey a world that has more subtly and nuanced ideas about life, both in the game, and, by extension, out of it. TL, DR version; We use themes and thematics struggles because they are useful tools to tell interesting stories.
  7. How about, instead of doing it as a Racial trait and add a new system to the game, look at the Optional Step Six from the new book. There are one of 4 packages that characters can choose, and each package grants a +20% bonus to tall the skills in that package at character creation. You might say that the cuddly rat-folk must always take option #2: technique and craft, or come up with a fifth package for them instead. Such a package would grant the bonus to 13 skills, which would likely be the most technically-oriented skills on the sheet. That's how I'd do it.
  8. Okay, the thing about the Roll Table for Demons is that the costs for abilities is balanced to be for a one-time expenditure of Magic Points; you pay your points, and the demon can use that ability as much as it wants. This won't work for PC magicians, who are expected to spend MP for each spell, and expect a certain amount of band for their buck. To that end, you may be able use to the Roll Table, not for instantaneous spells, but those that the magician wants to be able to use, but would ordinarily be unable to fuel with enough magic points to do so for very long. Since the damage rating for the roll table are much lower than a normal damaging spell, this should balance out in the long run. To that end, assume the following rules: 1. When a character wishes to "hang" a spell for continued use, have the player describe the spell effects and spend magic points. 2. The magic Points spent become a spell that does damage equal to the Roll Table Result for the magic points spent, at a skill percentage equal to the Roll Result for the same amount. This same effect works for protection, too; instead of doing damage, the Roll Table Result is extra armour that protects if the percentage chance is successfully rolled before the attack hits. 3. Spells used to augment other attacks may add both the Skill Chance from teh Roll table to the "to hit" rolls, as well as the damage from the Roll Table. 4. If a hung spell is to be used to augment another skill, the percentage from the Roll Table is added to that skill for each time it is used. 5. The Magic Points invested in hung spells do not come back until the spells in which they are invested are allowed to lapse. 6. Magicians may only have a number of spells in use equal to their POW. This includes spells cast as usual. 6. hung Spells last for a single scene. They can be extended for another scene by investing their normal Magic Point costs again, where the same rules apply. This may or may not be useful, but it was all i could come up with. Charles
  9. I like this a lot better. It will slightly increase your book-keeping as a GM, but I think it's easy enough to convey to players. As an aside, it may also be useful to simulate the Mage magic system. I'll have to think about this some more. I do love the Roll Table. It's just so darn useful. How are you thinking about tying them in? Something like, MP spent does damage according to the table, and offers the percentage chance of something happening? Or something else?
  10. Good on you for getting something up and running. The only thing I want to add is to consider ditching the modifiers for spell levels. Instead, charge more in Power Points for more potent spells. Maybe, 2X Power Point per level of the spell? Otherwise, I foresee this conversation taking place in game: Player: I'm going to perform magical operation X Chaot: Okay, that's going to be your Magic Skill, -60% Player: What? I thought you said I could do anything with my magic. -60% puts me at -15%. There's no way I can do it. This sort of thing can be frustrating, especially for players who are returning to gaming after being run off by bad experiences. You may be able to get around this by using the Alternative POW rules, but even so, I think having big modifiers for a rule-light BRP is likely to cause more problems than it's worth. Also, I'm interested in whatever system you wind up using. When you get done, care to post the notes?
  11. I included mook rules in Gods of Law for this very purpose. Basically, I handled mooks with the following rules: 1. Each mook had a 30% weapon skill, which was only used to attack. They never Parried or Dodged. 2. Assume each characteristic is 10. 3. A mook is taken out of the fight with a single hit from any weapon or other damaging effect. Even if they aren't slain outright, assume that the damage done is enough to take any desire to fight out of them. 4. A successful hit by a mook does 1d6 damage. 5. They always go last in the round. 6. If you're feeling cinematic, assume that a special, critical or impale result means that 1d3 mooks are taken out. These were baseline baddies, meant to die in droves. For slightly tougher opposition, but still not at the level of danger as an important NPC, you can make any or all of the following adjustments: 1. Armoured: Mooks with significant armour or other protection need 2 hits to be taken out. 2. Damaging: Mooks do 1D8 damage on a hit. 3. Skilled: Mooks with a little more training might have a weapon skill of 50% or higher. This might be a little too bare-bones for your tastes, but it works for me. What I like about this approach is that, once internalized, you really only need to know numbers, instead of worrying about keeping track of every Hit point and who's dying from shock. It also helps by having a handy stat block memorized for when you need a baddy but don't want to take the time to look it up or write it out.
  12. I always like to spring the shape-shifting Oonai on my players. Handling their various forms can be a bit of a hassle, but the creatures are just so god-damned weird that their presence is always interesting. I also like creating various demons, but making their appearance and personalities as alien as at all possible.
  13. Fractures Hopes has been in the hands of a freelance editor for a few months. I have been in contact with him regarding changes and clarifications. This was earlier this year. Since I haven't heard back from him regarding other changes, I assume that the manuscript has been moved on to layout. A while ago, Dustin at Chaosium posted a report and mentioned a handful of projects, that went unnamed, and their current status. While I don't know this for certain, I suspect FH is one of the projects mentioned. The last I heard for publication date is Fall 09, possibly even as late as Christmas. Of course, reality being what it is, it may not see print until early 2010. This is all supposition on my part, based on what I've heard and putting things together.
  14. Arcane Resistance Attractive/Very Attractive Berserk Brawny Fast Healer Luck Great Luck Noble Rich/Filthy Rich Dodge/Improved Dodge First Strike/Improved First Strike Fleet-Footed Florentine Frenzy/Improved Frenzy Giant Killer Hard to Kill/Harder to Kill Level Headed/Improved Level Headed Marksman No Mercy Quick Draw Rock and Roll! Steady Hands Sweep/Improved Sweep Trademark Weapon/Improved Trademark Weapon Two-Fisted Fevor Hold the Line! Natural Leader Rapid Recharge Champion Gadeteer Holy/Unholy Warrior McGyver Wizard Charismatic Common Bond Connections Strong Willed Beast Bond Beast Master Danger Sense Dead Shot Mighty Blow Power Surge Followers Sidekick Tough as Nails/Improved Touch as Nails These are only edges from the Explorer's Edition, and don't include edges that interact with Savage World's damage system. It also doesn't include some of the Professional edges, which mostly offer a bonus to a couple of related skills. It seems apparent to me that this is a great deal of flavor in Savage Worlds that cannot be replicated in BRP simply with high skill levels.
  15. You've got things backwards here. In SW, increasing your die type actually decreases your chance to Ace. In SW, an Ace is when you roll the highest possible number on a die (so, a 4 on a D4, 6 on a D6 and so on.) So, as your die types increases, your chance of rolling that high number decreases. I think what you mean to say is that, as your die type raises, so too does you ability to get Raises on a test, which as similar to a critical result in BRP.
  16. While I don't have a group playing BRP at the moment, I'm very glad that rules like these are surfacing, and I hope someone takes you up on this.
  17. Anyone else having problems downloading this? I keep getting a weird "BRP" file that nothing I have will open. EDIT: Nevermind. I opted to open the file using a PDF reader instead of saving to desktop.
  18. My contract for Fractured Hopes was for the manuscript at a range of X to Y, for flat rate of Z. This was odd, as these things typically go for a cent-per-word fee. After Lynn left, I was told that they wouldn't take the manuscript unless it was limited to 60,000 words. This was what I was aiming for anyway, so it didn't feel like I was being held back. I suspect this, combined with the word count limit, was to prevent me handing in a bloated whopper of a book and running up a huge tab. As it stands, I think I've made good use of the limited word count, and I hope the editor working on it agrees.
  19. Aces High is a Monograph, correct? For monographs, it is assumed that the author will handle all of these functions himself. Fractured Hopes is a perfect bound book, that is going to be sold via normal distribution. For books like this, Chaosium handles the editing, layout and commissioning artists. Given the state of the company, I think this accounts for the delay. If I had done everything myself, Fractured Hopes would already be done, although I don't think it would look quite as good as what the staff at Chaosium could accomplish themselves.
  20. 60,000 words, or close to it. I had more material, but Chaosium said they would only take 60k.
  21. As far as I know, Fractured Hopes is currently being edited, and Chaosium is commissioning artists for the final project. The date I've heard is late fall, 2009, but that there are other factors involved that might push it to early 2010.
  22. The way I ran Allegiance in Stormbringer was to give out small bonuses to Allegiance scores right when they happened, and call for an experience check against Allegiance at the end of an adventure when skill checks are made. So, players do get two methods for increasing Allegiance, but they typically didn't get them both at the same time.
  23. By my reading, Danger sense doesn't have a skill associated with it. I am using the zero edition, so this may have been changed for publication. It looks like there are two different ways to use the power; one which is passive, where the GM rolls a Difficult Luck roll to see if the power works, and one where the player spends a Power Point and the GM makes a normal Luck roll to see if it works. I've never had a player take this in any of my groups. If I were a player, and I got ambushed despite having this power, I'd feel cheated. At a POW of 18, a difficult Luck roll is 45%, which means less than half the time it comes up, the power is useless. I'd either just let the player handle the roll, and make it a skill like any other Psychic Ability, or make the roll as a GM at normal Luck, and tell the player whether or not they sense something. Hell, I might even say that it always works, but if the player shouts out a warning to the others, they loose the ability to defend themselves for that round. As it read, the power is wonky, but then again I tend to tweak rules without actually seeing them in play.
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