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16  Community / License to Improvise / Re: [Notebook] One Hour of Justice on: November 13, 2014, 05:09:35 PM
  I just picked up the 7th season of Burn Notice and the 5th season of White Collar. I'm gonna nail down the last bits of the Con-Artist soon I hope. It's snowing here so I have some curl up in front of the TV with hot cocoa time scheduled. Unless Lego Batman 3 ambushes me Wink.

  I've been kind of inspired by the 5th ed D&D classes. While classes should have choices, I'm moving most of the decision making process into feat selection. The fixed class abilities tend to cover iconic elements and things that aren't shared with other 'nearby' classes through their shared feat tree access. And as I mentioned above there's an eye towards multi-classing your way to wide-not-deep omni-competence ('formidable' skills are much more tolerant of this strategy than flawless ones). I'm looking at a feat that counts the number of different classes you have levels in to scale it's benefits. The new little "Build" blurbs have been focused on how the first 2 levels set up the class, while Level 3 and up may go in a slightly different direction once that base is established. I've also been splitting the D and E abilities more often (and even C occasionally), which has the benefit of putting a bit more variety in the first 10 levels.
17  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Video game news and reaction on: November 13, 2014, 12:48:23 AM
Lego Batman 3 - Rocking on toast so far Smiley.
18  Products / Fantasy Craft / Re: Cloak and Dagger on: November 12, 2014, 07:24:10 PM
I'm getting some really weird failiure to update behavior too.
19  Community / License to Improvise / Re: A Boatload of Feats on: November 12, 2014, 06:46:29 PM
The iaijutsu feats are kinda nifty Smiley. The Ready Action (draw) is a complex way to go about it, but it works. I like the sheathing as a trigger for AoE bleed.

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20  Community / License to Improvise / Re: [Notebook] One Hour of Justice on: November 12, 2014, 06:32:47 PM
How vehicle oriented is it?

It is somewhat chase oriented - there is some vehicles stuff in the Commander and the Ace is the vehicle combat expert/traditional heroic pilot role. This gent is about the pursuit. Basically most action movie heroes at some point get to look good in a car chase. Or a boat chase. Or planes. It happens. Even Nick Fury ended up doing a chase scene in Captain America II.

Mechanically I'm expecting ability to make Ride checks with charisma modifier. Probably some bonus gadgets which could be used to soup up a vehicle. That's impossible at 9/15. Bonus feats allow vehicles or tradecraft. The rest of the class abilities will focus on the non-vehicular aspects. Medium BAB class.

Honestly its the class I'm least committed to. The real icon of the role would be Bond, and more and more I'm seeing Bond as a dabbler - 1 to 2 levels in several classes rather than 15-20 in one class built to support him. A little Ace, a little Snoop, a little Con-Artist... With the "formidable skill" mechanic not being tied to staying in the class that grants it, jumping around to pick up 5-6 of them could be a really interesting "Omnicompetent build".

21  Community / License to Improvise / Re: [Notebook] One Hour of Justice on: November 11, 2014, 09:53:15 AM
  Modeling NCIS has been both inspiration and test-bed... each character has to be solidly different (which is really how I got the fine split between Examiner and Investigator hammered down when the two are so often mingled in ensemble shows). I can basically start everyone as level 2 in season 4 and add roughly one level per season to present with pretty solid results. The interactions of all their core abilities are hilarious Smiley.

Short form~
Director Shepard: Spook
Director Vance: Fixer (possible 1 level in Champion)

SSAIC Gibbs: Investigator/Ghost
SSA Dinozzo: Investigator/Con-Artist
SA McGee: Hacker/Investigator
SA Todd: Hunter/Investigator
SA David: Ghost/Investigator
SA Bishop: Spook

Dr. Mallard: Examiner (w/ personal lieutenant Palmer)
Prof. Sciuto: Examiner/Hacker

  Gibbs presented the interesting case of a character gaining levels not in the form of learning new skills, but in revealing old skills (he doesn't gain ghost levels, he reveals he already had them from previous time as a Marine sniper). Leveling as backstory has been something I've been pondering ever since Smiley.
22  Community / License to Improvise / Re: [Notebook] One Hour of Justice on: November 11, 2014, 06:56:49 AM
  It's for modern and futuristic settings, so sure, it'd fit in a Mastercraft Empire City Smiley. Dressden as a Mage/Investigator sounds awesome Smiley.

  Almost done with the Con Artist base class (Neal Caffery + Michael Westen = so good). Still beating my head against a good class name for the chase scene master with a dash of shootouts, a sprinkle of gadgets, all on a hot buttered slice of Panache. "Batman" was taken Wink.
23  Community / License to Improvise / Re: She's a Grand Old Flag on: November 10, 2014, 03:28:22 AM
  I'm not convinced standard character flag bearers need to be that awesome or to have the first part of this feat line be essentially mandatory when most basic effects could be attributed to the gear itself so that anyone holding up the flag produces the essential benefits... the flag carrier being ganked and someone else picking up the banner until the battle is won is probably THE quintessential image where war banners are concerned. Plus, giving a special leader a special hench who does force multiplication via flag is a good way to signal this is not a trash pack you're facing Smiley.

  Moving the Edge generator into the stance seemed the simplest way to ensure the effect was hard locked to holding a flag. Going two deep into this line to support a dodge-happy dual swords wielder didn't make much sense thematically but was an enticing option mechanically. Loophole closed. My experience with good flag carriers in the military suggested the "cannot be disarmed" benefit and I had to fit it in somewhere Smiley.

  The our cause will prevail change is mostly guaranteeing benefit for Edge spent. Whipping your boys into a frenzy doesn't have to be contingent on the other guy failing his roll. Balancing Edge is mostly about making sure people spend it instead of sit on it, so the dump it all functionality gives you a reason to blow out what you've got as soon as it's enough instead of stockpiling it. If you do get to 5, you can dump it for a mass heal while doing the action that fits the Edge builder best - being hard to hit while you're also they guy the enemy must take out.

  I just picked up the Warmachine/Hordes book Exigence, and its interesting one of the new epic warlocks has a spear with a pennant attached. Imagery fresh in my mind.

(And just wanted to add there is a LOT of good, thematic stuff here. The equip 1 handed is a great call and while I tweaked numbers & formatting, the concepts of whip into offensive frenzy and mass heal tricks are solid choices for conveying the legendary nature of battle standards in mechanical terms.)
24  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Video game news and reaction on: November 10, 2014, 01:25:11 AM
  I would definitely expect there to be multiple layers of motivation, with the suggested A and B being the largest slices of the pie. The Union's expansion still starts single system conflicts from time to time (with unaffiliated colonies being overrun and the occasional xeno-sapience parked in the path of a potential interstellar trade corridor). The heavy fighting involves the fringes of similarly FTL-capable powers. The known star-web is much bigger than the Union-occupied space. Supremacy and Harmony making themselves felt in what is a predominantly Purity setting Smiley. There's several human/alien hybrid states that give the Union and the Old Systems mutually detestable targets.

  There's also some back and forth exchange of experience and tech between the Union's armies and the saber clans, with trained soldiers & officers making the jump to saber when their enlistment is up (not unlike our forces draining into PMCs, just without the money motivation) and sabers enlisting and sometimes being awarded rank based on their prior experience. Experience changes individual expectations in both groups and it's human nature that the grass consistently looks greener on the other side of the hill.

  Thanks for the insights Smiley. They definitely strengthen the product.
25  Community / Off-Topic / Re: The Silver Screen: Movie News, Reviews & Reactions 2014 on: November 09, 2014, 05:30:52 PM
  Saw Interstellar.

  I give it a 4.

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26  Community / Off-Topic / Re: [Discussion] Overlapping Masquerades on: November 09, 2014, 06:26:28 AM
The one Mage campaign I got to play in at length was populated by mages who didn't believe in vampires Smiley. Werewolves were real - obviously - since they suck at hiding their activities from mages, but vampires? No way. *bends reality to put some frost on a can of beer before drinking* IF there were any truth to these "vampire stories" it must just be a reclusive order of mages using the mythology to cover their activities.

I think mostly it hinges on credulity. You have characters who know there is a secret world... You have really play up that knowing about one secret world does NOT increase the likelihood of there being more secret worlds - that openness to the possibility of more grand conspiracies isn't sensible, but rather a slippery slope towards madness. Fortunately that requires little more than appeal to ego - If you're special enough to be in the know, then you'd know about the rest (if there were any) right? Right?

Doing a mash-up of Highlander-style immortals and SG-1 would pretty much rock on toast. Could explain some very deep, very private pockets backing SG-1...
27  Community / License to Improvise / Re: She's a Grand Old Flag on: November 09, 2014, 05:41:48 AM
  Some suggested tweaks and edits.

  Your battle standard is a beacon that inspires your troops.
  Prerequisites: Special character only
  Benefit: You may ready a single flag or standard with one hand. While you have a flag or standard readied you count as 3 additional characters when determining numerical advantage. You also gain a stance.
  Banner of Hope (Flag or Standard Stance): Once per round you gain 1 Edge when an adversary attacks you and misses. Each ally who can see your flag or standard gains a +2 morale bonus to Resolve and Morale checks.

  As long as your flag flies high, victory is sure to be yours!
  Prerequisites: Standard-Bearer Basics
  Benefit: When you have a flag or standard readied it cannot be disarmed. You also gain a trick:
  Our Cause Shall Prevail! (Flag or Standard Threaten Trick): Spend all of your Edge. Choose a number of allies able to see your flag or standard equal to the Edge spent. They gain a +2 morale bonus with attack checks and damage rolls against characters you threatened until the end of your next initiative count.
  Even tattered or torn, the sight of your banner rallies the spirits of even the most downtrodden troops.
  Prerequisites: Standard-Bearer Mastery
  Benefit: When you ready a flag or standard it gains guard 2. Also, you gain a trick:
  Rallying Cry (Flag or Standard Full Defense Trick): Spend 5 Edge. Each ally who can see and hear you recovers vitality (if a special character) or accumulated damage (if a standard character) equal to you Charisma score.

28  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Video game news and reaction on: November 08, 2014, 03:26:23 PM
The site has bios and move lists/videos for all of them. A little bit more depth to the setting than I was expecting.
29  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Video game news and reaction on: November 08, 2014, 09:29:33 AM
Watching the Overwatch trailers, it's gonna be one of those games I suck at that's still really pretty to watch, I think. Strangely I rather like Reaper. Dual snub-shotguns and some classic gun-kata works for me. The snipers Hanzo/Widowmaker about the least interesting. Character depth? Probably not, but competence porn rarely has to justify itself to me Wink. It'll be interesting seeing how all the combatant's shticks fill in, but as a library of awesome to mine for other games/settings, it seems pretty sleek and portable so far.

Oh, and in completely whacky videogame news I finished Star Trek (fun all the way to the closing credits and the scenes that follow) and have moved on to Thief, which appeals to my old-school love of Tenchu. Stealth gameplay is a little like jumping gameplay - one of those things I regularly muse over how best to adapt to a dice based table-top experience. Rolling dice over and over again seems like a weak take. Creating choices before dice come into play is my current strategy. Have to build some test cases and get feedback Smiley.
30  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Video game news and reaction on: November 08, 2014, 08:47:58 AM
One of the many things I respect about TF2 is it's undertone of self-mockery. TF2 knows that the premise is basically stupid. That's why there's about zero personal information on the characters: they're just pay-for-slay-psychos pitted against each other over pits of gravel and it's all a job they take because they like the violence.
Who is the Pyro? Nobody. The Pyro likes to burn things. His/Her amusing ambiguous gender is totally unimportant. S/He doesn't exist to propagate their DNA. S/He exists to burn things. Death is no reason to stop.
Same with the Heavy.
If the Heavy really was a mercenary he'd find a way not to fire $200 bullets hundreds at a time.
But he's not. He's a "minigun enthusiast" and everything else is second place to waddling around hosing lead at anything that moves.
They'd do it for free if the world wouldn't hire them.
It's just atavistic destruction for fun and zero pretending otherwise. No problem.

I like to think this touches on why the 'volunteer' war fighters in Farthest Star are going to be a little disturbing. You have a whole set of folks with powers somewhere between recent movie Asgardians and Star Trek's the Federation using their free time and replicator credits to make themselves into just this sort of power armored demigods to go stomping around in the brush wars and border conflicts carried out just beyond the borders of their uberciv. With the best and brightest promoting up to where they might get to lock horns with their counterparts from the Old Systems. With a formal military looking on with a sort of can't-turn-away-because-its-a-train-wreck mix of sports fans and disdainful real warriors vibe.

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