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Michael Hopcroft

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About Michael Hopcroft

  • Rank
    Your Tax Dollars at Play
  • Birthday 07/20/1963

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  • RPG Biography
    Gamer since the early 1980's, retired RPG designer (unless the right project comes along).
  • Current games
    I own Mythras (RQ6), OpenQuest, Revolution D100, Renaissance, and of course the BGB. Between campaigns.
  • Location
    Portland, OR USA
  • Blurb
    I am far too old and poor to be in the RPG hobby, but I persist.

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  1. And I must say it was very kind of you to respond in the way you did. I will not go into what was said privately, except to say that I was very grateful to read it and grateful for the time he took out of his day to answer my inquiry. Kudos to you!
  2. How much content from the SRD would be needed in theory to build a d100 campaign supplement using Revolution rules? If it is to be understood by all d100/BRP players, is there any rules material from Revolution that would need to be reproduced?
  3. I actually picked up a copy of Chaosium's ElfQuest RPG (the second edition, I believe -- one softcover volume) at Gamestorm this year. It had been untouched as a prize for a game lab for a few years. I was stunned when I saw it and reminded the guy in charge of the prize pool what he had. He ended up selling it to me for $30. (The game lab was for boardgames, so it should be less surprising that there was little interest in an older RPG. Still, do you have any idea how hard it is to find a copy of this in the wild?) The guy manning Chaosium's booth at the con was equally impressed at my find. He gave me a bag to carry it in. By then, he had completely sold out of the new RuneQuest books. Looks like a pretty good purchase.
  4. I'm looking at including sword-canes in something I'm writing (no surprises yet). I'm pretty sure about the damage numbers (I was thinking it would be like a rapier with a somewhat shorter reach) but I want to do some specific adaptations based on these assumptions: 1. The handle of the cane is what you use to hold the sword in combat. For someone used to a regular sword, it can be an awkward enough distinction that you have to practice to get it right before you dare take the weapon into an actual fight. So, should Sword-Cane be its own weapon skill or variant on the Rapier or Smallsword skills? 2. One major difference that might have to be adjusted for is that a sword-cane has no hilt or pommels. Compared to a regular blade, the hand is relatively unprotected. It is nearly impossible to hold onto the weapon if the hand is actually cut. Am I doing this right or wrong? How do other people in Victorian-style campaigns use sword-canes? In what I'm working on, it's a weapon many gentlemen carry because it is discreet but reliable and always on hand with the press of a small button (to unlock the sheath from the handle and draw the sword).
  5. All sorts of intriguing psychological and philosophical questions are posed when an alien race (of any kind) is done well. I, too, dislike the use of race in this context, because race is a human concept applied to itself that is nonsense in terms of any meaningful context in biology or psychology. A lot of aliens in the media are not done well, and it's hard to do in an RPG where you, as a writer, must rely on individual GMs and Players you will never meet to do with your work what they will. It's hard to do something completely alien like the Hivers as a GM. If a creature is almost inexplicable by human terms, how do you use it? One could do a felinoid in any number of ways, as we have explored here. If you want to take the route of the housecat-like personality (because that obviously how most of us experience "cat"), we can get creatures that are simultaneously curious, independent-minded, and "chummy". They would enjoy the company of other creatures -- but only within a limit they set (and they frequently will not tell you what that limit is until you unintentionally cross it). In some circumstances, they enjoy non-sexual physical contact with species they have no other interest in. In others, any sort of touch could be viewed as hostile or threatening. (That in itself raises uncomfortable issues for humans, who tend to view touch much more sexually than the felinoids would). In terms of RPG stats, fantasy-world felinoids would be much more dependent on their physical weapons (like their claws) than they would in a setting where better weapons are readily available and ranged combat is more prevalent. Which may not help much, but I wanted to explore the thought. Carry on.
  6. I'm wondering if I should buy the print book when I can afford it. I bought RQ6 when it just started out, and have never had cause to regret the decision, but owning the revised book has a certain appeal -- though oddly enough I cannot locate it on DTRPG (although I can find the French and German translations just fine, and they still show in my library. Of course, "when I can afford it" is the operative term here.
  7. What happens if a PC tries to hit an opponent in a specific place (like a headshot) and doesn't roll well enough for the desired effect. Is there still a chance they can hit the target somewhere else "by mistake"?
  8. Clark Kent traditionally pulls it off mainly b the way he behaves. He's no wimp as Clark, but his mannerisms, attitudes, and body language are so different from Superman that nobody makes the connection. It even reached the point where Lex Luthor in the comics, did the research, traced down all the leads, found conclusive proof that Clark Kent was Superman -- and then discarded the notion completely because he believed anyone as powerful as Superman would be as selfish and ruthless as he is by definition.
  9. Are there any plans for either a revised version of this book or one of more other books that deal with mecha in d100 games? I imagine there are other subsystems in various BRP titles that can be adapted to the task of building giant robots (because Chicks Dig Giant Robots!).
  10. Still gathering them, and wondering where I can get players if I do.
  11. The characters with the most raw power are the Four Maidens, who are thankfully all NPCs. maidens don't need Dust to produce magical effects, which are heavily tied into classical elements. The power transfers from person to person (only women so far) to the next person you think of before you die. This means Maidens have enormous targets on their backs, because you can gain that power for yourself by killing them. Fortunately only NPC Maidens have shown up so far. They are deadly in combat (they have to be), and the ones we've seen the most of have the ruthlessness and tactical acumen to go with it. Even with that, your life expectancy shortens considerably when you have those powers.
  12. I wonder how to model the Nevermore. Nevermores are enormous (capable of swallowing someone whole) raven-like birds who, while incapable of speech, seem to display fiendish cleverness in battle. The one teams RWBY and JNPR fought in the first season was strong enough to shatter a stone bridge, and was only brought down by a really clever move on the part of Ruby Rose (with help from the others) that ended withe the monster decapitated. Do Grimm need to breathe? Fortunately it's a lot easier to model the special abilities of a monster than the powers and enhancements of a player-character. Monsters can just be defined as "This is what the monster can do, and here is what you roll to do it". PCs are much more granular. Even in a fully point-based game, I never count points when writing up a monster, or even most NPCs. I just think of what they can do, whether the PCs should have a chance against them, and what the story requires of them. That makes it easier to justify only exposing a portion of their powers in early encounters so that the PCs can get a "What? She can do that?" moment. (I'm looking at you, Cinder Fell. And you, Raven Branwen.)
  13. Something like CoC Sanity, then, only with a much faster recovery rate (if you haven't reached the point of physical injury, you can recover a good deal of your Aura with rest, especial;ly a good night's sleep, and/or meditation if you're into that kind of thing). Once you have been damaged, though, you can;t regenerate the physical harm using Aura. You still have to use healing and medicine from a third party. If you, for example, lose an arm, you simply don't have that arm anymore. It won't "grow back".
  14. Oh, and a little more research has given me more of a grasp on Huntsman reduced vulnerability. There's a power called Semblance acquired by people who use Dust-based powers regularly and usually extended in training (liek at beacon or one of the other academies). Semblance translated into a force called Aura that absorbs damage and prevents it from penetrating to the user until it is all ablated away. If you have a strong Aura, you can take a gunshot to the head and live. when you're out, even the most prosaic of normal weapons can be lethal. Grimm have a similar resistance naturally, and the larger a Grimm is the harder it is to kill. Think it as a sort of a ablative pool of Hit Points that takes the place of your own Hit Points until exhausted. And training isn't the only thing that affects how big an Aura Pool you have. Ruby Rose is such a strong natural talent that she can take that combination of blows and gunshots. Anyone else would have died, even another Huntsman. And likewise the more powerful Grimm (particularly the enormous ones) are enormous targets but it's hard to actually hurt them. Now, how do we determine the relative strength of characters' Aura Points?
  15. There are a lot of different types. But the Grimm are certainly of supernatural origin. I wonder whether the planet that Remnant is on actively hostile towards humans and Faunus and Grimm are its way to get rid of them (sort of like an antibody fighting a disease). If this is the case, then Dust use and technology are all that prevent both Humans and Faunus from being on a prolonged march towards extinction.
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