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JonL last won the day on February 7

JonL had the most liked content!

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About JonL

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    Senior Member
  • Birthday October 23

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  • Location
    St. Louis, Missouri - USA


  • RPG Biography
    Not all the way back, but pretty far.
  • Current games
    Star Wars using Warbirds.
  • Location
    United States
  • Blurb
    I play in a group that sets Tolkien's song lyrics to string band music, The lonely Mountain String Band http://lmsb.me

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  1. He can augment with it already, enhancing his Thirstless Society magic where appropriate, even augment things he can otherwise do to degrees that are overtly supernatural ("No one can swim that fast!") thanks to having it at mastery-level, but not use it independently for magical things without some other fictional foundation.
  2. In HQG, I don't see a necessary hard separation between the different magical practices. It makes sense to approach Zola Fel directly via Water rather than at arm's length via Spirit if he wishes to become closer to Zola Fel, embody Zola Fel on HeroQuests, and so on. In-fiction, the things one might do approaching Zola Fel through Water will also be different than having river spirits do things for you, even if the end-result is often functionally equivalent. Sometimes this matters, sometimes not. "Something you have" can be taken away or interfered with in ways that "something you are" cannot. "Something you have" can also offer more variety at times than "something you are," despite Theism being generally more flexible, as you can have things that are contradictory or less like yourself. There are Theists who only approach their god through a single rune also, but either way it is beneficial to not put all your eggs in one basket with a rune just like with other keywords. If you develop Spirit and Water, they can augment one another. The Devotee-level Theism feats are also something of an implicit ceiling on what one can accomplish in their domain through other means, all things being otherwise equal. Sorcery or Animism may be able to match or exceed them in certain instances, but only with a larger investment of resources.
  3. QuestWorlds is the forthcoming open-licensed successor to the HeroQuest Core Rules (HQ2) toolkit. The linked files are an excerpt from the SRD, currently released to only developers using it as a basis for upcoming games, such as Ron Edwards's "Cosmic Zap!" Glorantha-specific implementations, will continue to use the HeroQuest name (and reserve that term as non-open product identity) with QuestWorlds becoming the identity for the system family overall.
  4. What's maddening is that just looking at it in a different format I immediately caught two mistakes that I didn't see previously: No line break before section 1.4, and section 2.2 being skipped in the numbering. <sigh>
  5. This is an area where I would clearly separate the ship's in-fiction capabilities from its ability rating. If the PC's ship is clearly over-matched by an opposing ship, factor that into the resistance. Spending money or elbow grease can improve the ship's in-fiction capabilities. Spending hero-points can increase the problem-solving power of the ability, represented by its rating. Those can go hand in hand, or not. You don't even need to have the ship represented in game mechanics if you want. You can just take the fiction surrounding it into account when assessing plausibility, stretches, and resistance for contests with the characters' relevant abilities (pilot, engineer, etc). Another approach would be to treat the ship as a community. This makes sense for bigger ships with larger crews and facilities. Choose 3-5 resources that fit the style of scifi you want. The interval for resource fluctuation might be a single voyage, a week, a deployment, etc. depending again on your needs.
  6. What sort of feel are you aiming for? Epic Sagas? Realistic-ish? Somewhere in between? What do you want to focus on? Local politics and family drama? Exploration and trade? Raiding and conquest? Slaying monsters?
  7. JonL


    Oh, yes. Autocorrect snuck past me there.
  8. JonL


    Bloom of Heroes 2, which is basically DCH 3.5 minus the DC IP, can still be bought new on Amazon for ~$25.
  9. JonL


    A lot of the design concepts that seem to interest you have been done before, though not all at once. In addition to HQ, I suggest you study the following games, look at what they did well, and look at the interconnected bits that support that... GURPS - variable skill progressions and bell curve task resolution. 3d6 for classic bell distribution. DC Heroes/Underground/Blood of Heroes - logarithmic attribute ratings for arbitrary power levels that never break the mechanic as they scale up. 2d10 added for ramp distribution. TORG - log scale mechanics similar to the above, but with a different feel. 1d20 Rolemaster/Spacemaster - Bridges class based and skill based character models. Later editions suffer from skill bloat, but are also very complete. MERP and Cyberspace are their lighter siblings. D100 open ended roll high. Best example of a game that could use an assistant app. Fate/Fudge - Fudge dice actually roll deviations from the mean result represented by your stat. I would look at what these games get right and wrong, and learn from that.
  10. It's to some extent a question of emphasis. A game where armor and hit point values for each part of your body is an important thing you regularly to engage with, where magic is concretely specified and used by spending points, where the reach and weight of different weapons changes when it's your turn to act, and so on directs your attention to different things and encourages a more down-to-earth mechanistic way of engaging with the game world as you play. It's not an either/or proposition, but they tend towards different proportions of focus. More "mugging a baboon for its greaves," as Laws likes to say. That's not a value judgement. Horses for courses, strokes for folks, etc. Catch me in the right mood and I'll relish a crunchy grind-out combat. However if someone generally prefers the Jungian showdown in Red Moon Rising or the extended courtship challenge in the The Colymar Campaign over detailed resource management and tactical skirmishes, adapting content that emphasizes the latter sort of play more so than the former, while possible, is not preferable. I am happy for RQ to get such great support and for Chaosium to be healthy and successful. The economics are what they are. I may nonetheless sigh now and again as things I was looking forward to for years are realized in forms less well suited to my preferences than I had been expecting, even as I appreciate the lovely production RQ fans' money makes possible.
  11. JonL


    In Pendragon, ratings above 20 get added to your die roll. If your total is over 20, you score a critical success. (Normally, you score a critical by rolling your rating exactly). HQ breaks ratings down into 20pt brackets, called Masteries. When a rating hits 21, you have reached the first Mastery level, notated as 1M, with the 'M" representing 20. a total of 25 would be written as 5M, while 47 would be 7M2 ( i.e. 7+(20 * 2)). Your TN is the number before the M, but your result gets bumped up one grade (Fumble -> Fail, Fail -> Success, Success -> Critical) for every M you have over your opposition. BRP games vary a bit from one implementation to the next, but speaking broadly your special or critical success thresholds are based on a fraction of your skill percentage, your chances of attaining them rise even when you hit the maximum overall success chance. Percentages over 100 can also soak up penalties, help with splitting for multiple actions, penalize your opponents in opposed rolls, etc. - depending on the specific game. All three approaches work reasonably well. The Pendragon and BRP approaches start to fray when you approach double the base range, though as a practical matter that isn't really a problem in any actual game I've heard of. (I think Lancelot has a ~30 in his Lance skill in Pendragon. Highest any character I played ever got was a 24.) The HQ approach , while perhaps harder to grasp at first and having a little oddness right at the breakpoints, has the benefit of continuing to gracefully and meaningfully scale up and up. While the spreadsheet I linked to doesn't encompass Mastery, the odds and result distributions for 17M3 vs 15M3 would be exactly the same as 17 vs 15.
  12. JonL


    For modifiers, just change the TN values accordingly. A 15 with a +3 augment is no different than an 18. You never modify the die roll itself in HQ, or most* roll-under systems. (* Pendragon's handling of skills > 20 is a noteworthy exception. and an interesting counterpoint to HQ's Mastery scaling.)
  13. JonL


    That's right. You enter the Player and GM TNs below the grid where it says, "EDIT THESE." The grid then changes to show you the outcomes of all 400 possible combinations of Player and GM die rolls. Player rolls are numbered down the left hand side, while GM rolls are numbered across the top. The counts and percentages on the lower left show the frequency of each outcome within the result space along with a few useful aggregations, while the graph on the lower right shows the distribution curve (with ties split evenly between Marginal Defeat and Marginal Victory for graphing purposes). I like in particular to show people the graph when they complain that rolling 1D20 is "too swingy." The player's individual roll may have a flat distrubution, sure, but when you oppose that roll with another and matrix the results you get very nice bell-ish curves with about 2/3 of the results being Marginal Victory or Marginal Defeat when Ability rating and Resistance rating are equal. Plug in various Ability and Resistance values, and watch how the distribution responds. In particular, enter common starting ability ratings, 13, 15, and 17, and compare them to Low(8), Moderate(14), and High(20) Resistances. Note in particular how the Any Victory/Any Defeat, Marginal or Tie, and Minor+ Victory/Defeat aggregate percentages vary with respect to the matchups.
  14. JonL


    To be more clear, the rows and columns are what the actual rolls are, you enter the ability rating and resistance down below. The colors and labels in the result matrix adjust based on what ability and resistance values you set.
  15. JonL


    The columns are the Resistance rating the GM is rolling with. The rows are the rating of the PC's ability.
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