Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

10 Good

About KingSkin

  • Rank
    KickMurder Squad


  • Location
    Southampton, UK

Recent Profile Visitors

The recent visitors block is disabled and is not being shown to other users.

  1. The 'common' natives are actually fierce Dayak Headhunters, skilled warriors who use the fearsome Parang blades. They plan to use the earthquakes as cover for unleashing a reign of terror against the colonial government and immigrant settlers whom they consider to be a stain upon Dayak honour...
  2. My kids are 15 and 5 so I'm guessing one is going to love Black Hole and the other will spend his time groaning and wishing he was elsewhere. I'm glad you reminded me of Titan A.E. as well, I loved that when I watched it (although most everyone I know hated it). The only real issue I had is that, enjoyable as it is, humans are clearly the villains of the piece. At the start we're told that the aliens attacked us and destroyed Earth utterly. We then find out there's a hidden superweapon that can defeat them. At the end the superweapon is activated and genocides the entire alien race in order to build a new planet. Which means their original attack is completely understandable. They discovered we'd built a weapon whose sole purpose was to wipe them out to create a new planet (and planets aren't exactly in short supply when you can go FTL) so they decided to attack us before we could unleash it. I can't fault their logic really.
  3. Sorry, but that's just not true. Superman was originally conceived as an exceptional man who stood up for the downtrodden and worked to expose sinister industrialist and other standard capitalist villains as well as taking on low-level villains. Odd that a couple of Jewish guys would build a Jewish hero as a protector of the oppressed huh? They were basically creating an idealised version of themselves who could tackle the problems they couldn't. It's fairly basic wish-fulfillment and had nothing to do with juggling stars or anything near that level of power. He wasn't originally godlike or anything close to it, just far beyond the average human. Sure he could pick up a train, but not a planet. It was later tinkering (as you said, he was at that level for 2 years before he got stupid) that pushed his power level to ridiculous extremes and made him a one-dimensional cardboard cutout. As for writers (like Byrne) trying to make him more human and less perfect, that's completely understandable. An omnipotent protagonist is boring because there's no conflict or dramatic tension which is precisely why writers have to reduce his power levels or it just becomes a monthly succession of Superman punching godlike beings in the face while displaying absolutely no actual character other than "be nice, punch harder". In contrast to your comment that "depowering [superman]... is something done by hacks who don't understand the genre" I'd say that a god-like Superman is written by hacks who don't understand story-telling. A protagonist who has no chance of facing true adversity and can't be beaten is boring and leaves you with no dramatic tension. To have a character without any character other than being the best, without flaws or even anything resembling character traits, leaves you nowhere to go as a writer. Also, the idea of him as a saviour figure is laughable. Jews really don't do saviours in the same way Christians do, a Jewish saviour is altogether more human and achieves things on a human level (as Superman was originally intended to), not an extension of the godhead who displays unbeatable powers and defeats every problem by hitting it in the face.
  4. I agree with that almost entirely, and specifically the problem with ongoing series is they tend to bloat over time. Like a soap opera that picks up successive generations of families and stupidly complex relationships that are forgotten or ignored as required by what the writer wants. And yeah, the one-upmanship of Superman being the "most super" probably plays a large part of it. It's why I think avoiding using established characters in RPGs is always a good idea. They're too open to interpretation when you try and stat them which leads to arguments between players. Also, I detest playing somebody else's character. With regards to pulling the old "I've just never mentioned I have a prehensile penis before now" trick in RPGs, they actually suggest doing that in Feng Shui but that's a very knockabout game and would just be ridiculous in most games.
  5. There's also the whole argument that 'technology implies belligerence' as posited by Peter Watts in his painfully good novel Blindsight (if you like Hard SF I can't recommend it strongly enough, probably the best I've ever read, but don't read it if you can't get on board with a certain pessimistic/reductionist view of humanity, it will depress you). Anyway, his argument is that the presence of tools and technology suggests a psychology geared around forcibly altering your environment to suit your needs and from that basis if you meet a technologically advanced species it can be assumed that they have spent a good deal of their time struggling for survival and that will tend to breed a certain conflict-response traits into their mindset. Certainly, I wouldn't want to pootle around unknown space unarmed, just in case. As to the film, I haven't watched it when I was kid, and I loved it then. I suspect I'd find it highly cheesy to watch it now but it would be quite cool to go back and look at it through the lens of all the sci-fi I've read in the intervening time. And also my son would probably love it which would be another good reason to give it another watch. I seem to remember a fairly harsh scene where Maximilian rammed his blender hand through some dude and the clipboard he was holding scattered shredded paper into the air. When I was a lad that was about as scary as if it had been blood flying and was quite effective at communicating his monstrous nature. As to the question earlier of him having blades instead of lasers I'd suggest it could either be for intimidation purposes ("Guns for show, knives for the pro") or to avoid hull breaches from over-penetration. Thanks for reminding me of this film though. I'll have to find a copy and sit down with my boy at the weekend.
  6. That's true enough, but the downplaying his powers/investigative side of things was largely because he was ripped off from the novel Gladiator by Philip Wylie but as time rolled on he became more and more ridiculous and, simultaneously, more bland (in terms of character) and less interesting to read about. This is the major problem with any ongoing series. The need for added spectacle and more impressive stories means successive writers have to contend with decades of narrative baggage as well as trying to make their stories more incredible and earth-shattering than what has gone before. It inevitably leads to things becoming ridiculous. Another example of this is Wolverine who apparently in his past has done everything the latest writer thinks is cool. I swear if modelling balloon animals becomes a popular hobby this year it will turn out he used to do it for the CIA in the 40's. The point where I gave up with him (although his Mary-Sue traits have left me utterly uninterested in him for a long time) is when it was revealed that if he ever actually dies (as in, his healing factor can't save him yet again) then he gets to fight the angel of death for another chance at life...
  7. Going back to the superhero thing, the problem with trying to use any rules system for established superheroes is that their power levels are wildly inconsistent, depending on the needs (and, to be honest, abilities) of any given writer. The glaring one that springs to mind is when Grant Morrison decided that to make Aquaman less of a joke his ability to control fish extended to anything descended from sea-life which obviously includes pretty much all life on earth. He used this new ability he'd apparently always had to give someone an aneurysm. Even if you accept that this was a reasonable extension of his powers you have to question 1) why he hadn't done it before and 2) why the hell someone who could control the minds of pretty much anything on the planet would choose to specialise in fish-based crime. In my opinion that makes him more of a joke, not less. And is also shit writing. With regards to Marvel's power levels the Hulk has held up an entire mountain range to hide a bunch of heroes under it (during the Secret Wars) which makes a mockery of later attempts to rationalise his strength level to something more reasonable. Although DC's characters are far more guilty of this. I think that's largely down to the fact that their stories and characters have spiralled out of control and every time they decide to reset everything with some universe-shattering event all they do is muddy the waters even more by producing new versions of all their characters, trying to make that tie in with the 4 or 5 other versions of each character and then find they're in an even worse state than they were before. Especially when they realise a lot of fans really don't like some of the new versions and so revert them to how they were before. I think it's unfortunate because I really like some DC characters, and I think they've got an interesting universe which contrasts nicely with Marvel's. It's just been screwed around with too many times but they do have some cool characters. Except Superman. He can die in a cancer-fire as far as I'm concerned, the single most piss-boring pointlessly overpowered character in comics. All he does is hit stuff, or occasionally neem it with his laser-eyes. That's his thing. And it's boring. Having all the character depth of a slice of unbuttered toast doesn't help. And he's an arsehole. Like when Doomsday 'killed him' except he just went into a healing-come thing and left everyone to grieve over him like a second-rate soap opera villain. Classy move, dickface. Sorry, rant over. With regards to Batman and his whole "I don't have any powers" Schtick, I've long been convinced that Batman's greatest superpower is convincing everyone that he doesn't have any superpowers. No matter how you cut it, his abilities go so far beyond what is possible for any normal human that he should just come clean and admit he's a metahuman with the ability to learn anything and everything to a frighteningly competent level. There's no way someone could even master all the forms of combat and gymnastics he's done, let alone leaving time to become the world's greatest detective when he's not working out. I do like him as a character though, more-so when he's played as an exceptional detective than a more generic crime-puncher. Although at some point someone's going to have to get him to explain what he did with all the bodies of the contractors that built the Batcave and that he subsequently murdered to ensure its secrecy...
  8. For this whole debate I think you generally have to accept the old "It's a game thing" as the reason behind it. For the same reason you'll see a weapons table listing 8 different types of sword and players will sit down and work out which set of stats they like best. The list will probably cover 200 - 300 years worth of technological improvements and most of the blades would never have seen service in the same time frame because of changes to the requirements for warfare as well as tastes and fashions. The idea that a smith in a fantasy world has racks holding everything from a gladius through an arming sword to a rapier is ridiculous. It would be like walking into a car dealer today and being expected to choose between a Model T Ford, a 70's hatchback and an electric car. As others have said, it's mostly general ignorance of the specifics that mean people tend to conflate them all into a single ill-defined epoch of 'swords' and the same goes for armour. Also, everyone loves a shopping expedition and they all want their own characters to wear and wield what they want, whether it makes any sort of logical or historical significance is largely moot. realistically there would be two or three styles of sword available in a given era (and swords are not really the most popular of historical weapons, but spears are less flashy) and most game systems don't have enough detail to make it worthwhile determining the difference between several different makers of the same weapon, if there is even a meaningful difference to extract. I think what you're doing is focusing on a single aspect that personally irks you when the same problems are inherent in pretty much all areas of a fantasy game. You've just got to accept that it makes for a decent game and get on with it.
  9. I'm thinking of running a game which will allow both mages and sorcerers so I've been re-reading the powers section. There are a couple of things I'm not sure about though. One is to do with balancing characters and the second is about Grimoires so I'm hoping you guys can give me some help. So, balance first of all. I'm planning on running my game at Heroic level for standard characters. If someone wants to be a mage they create a Heroic character but obviously have to spend some of their skill points on spells. That's fine and balances itself nicely. For sorcerers, because they buy spell levels out of a pool based on INT I was thinking of shifting their skill points down to Normal level, otherwise they'll have all the skills of a Heroic character, plus spells on top. That seems fair enough to me, but the sticky point now is whether to give them Normal or Heroic levels for their sorcery. Which is best balanced against Heroic characters/mages? I want the power levels about equal but I don't have enough experience of using the two magic styles alongside each other to judge this. I'm sort of leaning towards Heroic level sorcery but I don't want either of the two magic classes to overpower the other (nor standard characters for that matter). Secondly, I'm a bit confused by the rules for grimoires. Now, when talking about the number of spells known (i.e. in your grimoire) BGB pg 122 states: Normal: Your character begins with up to 1/2 of his or her INT (rounded up) in levels of sorcery spells known, and also marked in his or her grimoire. For example, if your character has an INT 17, he or she knows nine spell levels. Heroic: Your character begins with his or her INT in levels of known sorcery spells, also marked in his or her grimoire. For example, if your character has an INT 17, he or she knows 17 spell levels. Fair enough. But when talking about the spells in memory (i.e. available to cast) it says: Your character’s Intelligence (INT) characteristic is equal to the maximum number of spells he or she has immediate access to. Sorcery spells are cast from the spells your character has in his or her memory. If you want your character to cast some sorcery spell not in memory, he or she must first dismiss some other sorcery to make room. (BGB, pg 123) If I'm reading this correctly it seems that the grimoire is largely useless to a starting character at Normal/Heroic level, simply because the number of spell levels known in total is the same as the number they can hold in memory (for Normal level they've still got half their total capacity free). Now, I understand that higher level characters will have more spells known, at which point the grimoire is essential, and that as soon as a Heroic character starts finding more spells they'll need to use their grimoire, but for a Normal character they won't need one for possibly some time. The reason I'm worried that this is an issue is that I assumed part of the balancing of sorcery against standard magic is that the grimoire effectively acts as a limitation on how flexible the sorcerer is, compared to a mage. Maybe I'm miss-reading something though. Anyway, all thoughts and suggestions appreciated. Cheers.
  10. I've never really had any trouble finding what I need, but it helps that I've played Call of Cthulhu and Runequest variants for years so I know a lot of the rules without needing to reference them. If I was new to it I could see it being a problem as lots of the different rules are spread over various chapters. One thing I do love is the Spot Rules chapter. It's so useful to have one place to go to for all the 'non-standard' stuff, especially during combat. I've got the PDF version but I've only ever used it when I'm writing up a game and can't be bothered to balance book, laptop, coffee and ashtray on and around me.
  11. I'm not sure if anyone else is getting this but I've noticed today that when I come to www.basicroleplaying.com (i.e. just that address) I find myself on the forum index rather than the homepage. I'm not sure if this is intentional or something that others are having just a problem I'm getting but it's happened both at work and home today on 3 different machines in total.
  12. I see, it all becomes clear. Actually it doesn't really. But I did ask. Oh, and I thought Trifletraxor was some sort of Scandihoovian vehicle for pulling large puddings.
  13. OK, I'll bite. What's the joke? And what's with the beetles? Is that something to do with the numbers some people have in their sigs?
  14. I'm a little late to the party but I'm currently running a post-apocalyptic sci-fi game. I've put the character sheet and a new initiative system in the downloads section. I've also got the weapons written up. The document isn't finished yet so I haven't posted it but if you want, Loki, I can PM you a copy of what I've got at the moment. I wasn't keen on the idea of energy weapons for my near future semi-hard SF setting so I went for a mixture of traditional chemical slug throwers (albeit using caseless ammo, etc) and coil guns which use magnetic coils to accelerate the projectiles. The weapons are fairly detailed with 8 to 10 or so of each class, from a range of manufacturers with their own design ethos, naming conventions, etc. Oh, and there are catalogue-style writeups for all the weapons to help expand the background and give them more flavour. I've also changed a few of the existing weapon categories around so shotguns have been replaced by flechette weapons known as flak guns (with corresponding pistol versions) and SMGs are now known as chain pistols and are very popular close-quarters weapons. I haven't written up any heavy weapons but the main guns and melee stuff (which is intentionally basic) are all done, as is the armour. I'm not sure how much help any of it will be to you as you may well be aiming for something completely different but you could mine it for ideas. If you want a copy let me know and I'll send it over.
  15. They are both optional systems, but then so is the idea of non-lethal damage by the looks of it so if people are adding one system in they may as well combine the two. That being said, adding a K-type damage to weapons would be fairly easy to do as well. @Gollum: I see what you're saying about the difference between Fatigue Points and Hit Points but the easiest way to deal with that is to make them equal. Either double the HP (which is what I tend to do anyway, for slightly more robust protagonists) or half Fatigue Points. I don't think fiddling with the Fatigue Points value is going to make much of a difference to the rest of the game, I'm not sure too many people use them as is anyway so I doubt it would raise many problems.
  • Create New...