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Paragon
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Old May 11th, 2017, 08:21 AM
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Originally Posted by CapedCrusader View Post
Paragon, I can relate - ever played a game system called "Hero" (Champions)? Hopeless even with all-digital initiative assistance. I know, I wrote several programs over the years to handle it.
Heh. There's an argument I'm part of the origin of Champions.

I actually always found that with a grid format, I found Champions speed charts easily handleable (i.e. you put together a chart with each character, a list of their Dex, and then X marks in the appropriate phase marks.)

But one of the gigs with Hero initiative is that its static; you only have a few things that perturb the basic phasing and Dex order, and they don't come up often. With a randomized roll, even once a battle, you have to re-sort at the start of every combat, and if its every round, you have to do it at the start of each round or risk missing people. I realize there's some virtue to both some randomization in initiative and even re-randomizing each round, but I've always found it a little painful to manage without digital assistance.
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jfrazierjr
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Old May 11th, 2017, 08:28 AM
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Originally Posted by CapedCrusader View Post
Paragon, I can relate - ever played a game system called "Hero" (Champions)? Hopeless even with all-digital initiative assistance. I know, I wrote several programs over the years to handle it.
Roughly a round 1990, I was introduced to MERP and by extension Rolemaster. I would never have considered running or even playing those on an ongoing basis back then(ie, a long term campaign). Now however, with proper support from computing devices, those systems would be far easier to deal with(if still a bit harsh... those critical hits can be crazy)
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CapedCrusader
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Old May 11th, 2017, 11:16 AM
Oh, I loved the speed chart!! It's a great mechanic. The combat system itself is what's way too slow. One combat takes literally all day, even with all of the digital assistance.

_
Currently In Development: Savage Pathfinder
Future Development: SWADE Super Powers Companion, SWADE Fantasy Companion
_
Currently Running: Savage PsiWorld
Future Possibilities: Savage Autoduel, Savage Unity Inc. (homebrew multiverse theme)
Setting Files Supported: Deadlands: Reloaded, Flash Gordon, Gaslight, Hellfrost, Interface Zero 2.0, Seven Worlds, Slipstream, Solomon Kane
Future Setting Files: Savage Judge Dredd
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Paragon
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Old May 11th, 2017, 01:00 PM
There's actually ways to work around that; what I concluded after years of using it was that a big part of it is that it encourages decision paralysis; once I found a way to break that (which mostly involved a little modification of the Hold mechanic) it didn't play any slower than most somewhat crunchy systems (SW, say). After all, when you get down to it, the basic combat mechanic is: compare CVs, roll 3D6 for resolution, roll damage (which does take some practice to learn to read the damage dice, but not that hard), subtract defenses and apply. The only part of that which is significantly more complex than a lot of games is reading the damage dice.
The problem is that there's a lot of potential choices, and than can choke people up--but that's pretty much the price of having a lot of meaningful choice.

Only reason I say this is I ran a game of it not long ago--I'm in the process of playing through a bunch of different supers systems right now as a contrast-and-compare, and decided Hero 6th deserved a slot in there--and it wasn't as fast as some of the fastest ones like Supers!, it didn't really take longer than any of the crunchier end ones.
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jfrazierjr
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Old May 11th, 2017, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by CapedCrusader View Post
Oh, I loved the speed chart!! It's a great mechanic. The combat system itself is what's way too slow. One combat takes literally all day, even with all of the digital assistance.

Well.. like I said, we did not get into it that heavy(3-4 sessions and done due to lack of players, GM attention, etc). I had to look that up, but I remember now that weapon used modified your initiative. Honestly I seem to think that there was some optional rules for D&D to do the same thing way back in the day, but my memory is crap, so I could be remembering wrong. I know a large number of computer RPG's carry that type of speed mechanic as an offset for higher weapon damage, so it makes plenty of sense from a game mechanic standpoint, but it sure does slow stuff down.

Like I said, I have not even thought more than a few musings about that game system in 25 years, but I did mention it recently to my gaming group this past weekend(we only get together once a month, if that). That day we were playing SotC with another GM in our group and after we wrapped(late), I was briefly explaining the niche SW fits into by saying on one end there is Rolemaster with tables for everything and combats that take hours and hours. On the other hand are more narrative systems like Amber and Fate/Fudge which is much more free form. Basically explaining that SW was more toward the middle with a slight nudge into the narrative side while D&D(what we have played for 2.5 decades in some form or another) is more on the right side with it's mechanics.

A few of the players are a bit apprehensive around SW due to the possibility(remote though it is) that a goblin with a normal sword could one hit an ancient dragon. Yes, that chances are extremely small, but it's possible and that's not something that D&D has(for the most part, aside from some of the stupider spells they have). Of course, they are a bit leary about their characters. They are not the type of players to run or avoid combat in MOST scenarios, so I will have to really bang into their heads that point of combat is only on means of resolving situations. We will see how well it goes. One good thing is that one of the players has known Sean Patrick Fannon(who since moved away from this area) for a few decades and has played Savage worlds a number of times, so he can help the others a bit in determining the GtFOoD factor. The sad thing is, I think his character is likely going to pick up the Arrogance Hindrance, so.. yea... that might be fun.
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Paragon
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Old May 11th, 2017, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by jfrazierjr View Post
Well.. like I said, we did not get into it that heavy(3-4 sessions and done due to lack of players, GM attention, etc). I had to look that up, but I remember now that weapon used modified your initiative.
Uhm. I think you've conflated two game systems. No incarnation of Hero I know of had either Speed or Dexterity modified by weapon; in a couple of versions a special ability might do that, but not a weapon.

Quote:
A few of the players are a bit apprehensive around SW due to the possibility(remote though it is) that a goblin with a normal sword could one hit an ancient dragon. Yes, that chances are extremely small, but it's possible and that's not something that D&D has(for the most part, aside from some of the stupider spells they have). Of course, they are a bit leary about their characters. They are not the type of players to run or avoid combat in MOST scenarios, so I will have to really bang into their heads that point of combat is only on means of resolving situations. We will see how well it goes. One good thing is that one of the players has known Sean Patrick Fannon(who since moved away from this area) for a few decades and has played Savage worlds a number of times, so he can help the others a bit in determining the GtFOoD factor. The sad thing is, I think his character is likely going to pick up the Arrogance Hindrance, so.. yea... that might be fun.
This is one advantage of having moved from D&D to RuneQuest in my early days; most of the people I game with are very aware that not all games are as resistant to potential one-shot kills as D&D.
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Paragon
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Old May 11th, 2017, 03:50 PM
You know, I just realized we just bloody well pulled Zarlor's perfectly nice data file making thread off onto massive side tangents. Argh.
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zarlor
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Old May 11th, 2017, 04:03 PM
Well, the side tangents do keep the thread bumped up near the top so a few more eyes might see it and maybe help figure out if it's decent enough or useful enough to get stickied, I suppose. The hard part is that the above makes sense to me, but is it clear and concise (I'm horrible with the latter) enough for someone new to data files to be able to at least get started with the non-coding parts without feeling too intimidated by it?

I would also add that the Hero system without electronic assistance just for dealing with character creation and advancement alone is downright unthinkable, in my book! My group likes crunchy rule systems (it was like pulling teeth to get them to play Savage Worlds until they realized it's actually a pretty crunchy system in a nicely done "simple rules" wrapper!) but the Hero system was just too much for most of us. One of the guys loves it, the rest of us won't even touch it unless the guy who loves it just HAS to run a game, and even then most of the guys just make him do all of the work.

Oddly breaking through on Savage Worlds has almost turned the group into the opposite direction. While SW is now the usual "go to" ruleset the group has pretty openly taken to really enjoying some of the lighter rules like Fate Core and some Apocalypse World spin-off systems. Go figure.

Lenny Zimmermann
Metairie, LA, USA

Data files authored (please let me know if you see any issues with any of these if you have/use them):
Official (In the downloader)
50 Fathoms, Deadlands: Hell On Earth, Deadlands: Noir, East Texas University, Necessary Evil (requires Super Powers Companion), Pirates of the Spanish Main, Space 1889 (original file by Erich), Tour of Darkness, Weird War II, Weird Wars: Rome
Coming Eventually
Evernight (LWD has completed their review but I have some fixes to make first... although Pinnacle mentioned this might get an overhaul to SWADE so I may just wait for that first. If you just HAVE to have this now, though, just PM me)
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Paragon
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Old May 11th, 2017, 06:16 PM
Its a truism that most of the complexity in the Hero System is front-loaded; though I'll also note even that is overstated in games that aren't power-centric (i.e. modern adventure or post-apocalyptic games), as the biggest part of the crunch is in power construction. When all you're buying is attributes, skills and talents there's really not that much to it, other than the fact there's what some people consider bloat in this area (but there's no resolving what's a good number in people's minds there; I sometimes find SW a little too stripped down in skills (not to mention a little inconsistent about how much it rolls things together).

As to how coherent your posts were--well, the problem is, of course, that most of us in this thread have been doing this for a while, so its probably hard for us to tell.

There are certainly things there that are good to know out the gate (the Preclude discussion can potentially save someone some real grief, and I'd have saved myself some time if I'd understood there was built in functionality to limit what Powers a new Arcane Background could access, and I'm not sure I even now understand fully the purpose of a .1st file)

And making sure people are aware of the common code thread is good. I almost wonder if somewhere it wouldn't be good to have a thread of "things you can't (or can't straightforwardly) do in HL for SW." The "D6 skill of choice" thing, for example, or the multiple Arcane Background issue. I spent a certain amount of time chasing around on both of those before finding out they were nonstarters.
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zarlor
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Old May 11th, 2017, 06:44 PM
For me the .1st file serves two primary purposes. First, it provides a consistent source. What I mean by that is if I go into the Editor and just add a source there by selecting -New Source- and typing one in, it seems to me its not completely consistent on saving that source. I feel it provides a nice, standardized method, but that's obviously not a huge thing.

The second things it does, however, is provide a format for grouping. That part is pretty huge, IMHO. Take a look at something that has a Companion book, for example. Say Deadlands Noir. If you just set something with the default of "User Setting" it gets lumped in with every other "User Setting" in a nice long list on your Character Configuration screen. Even that might be fine if you have "Deadlands Noir" and "Deadlands Noir Companion" since they'll still at least line up next to each other, so being able to have a separate section for those might be nice but not critical. However, take something like Deadlands Reloaded and a separate setting file for it like "Stone and a Hard Place". If you wanted to group those you have to rename Stone to something like "Deadlands: Stone and a Hard Place" and your names start getting longer and longer. The .1st file can take care of groupings like that for you.

Actually you can do even more than that with it, make some setting exclusive in a group as well, so you can set things so that maybe you could never use Deadlands Noir and Hell on Earth together because they are too crazily different or something. You may have grouped all of those settings under a Deadlands group but then made them exclusive from each other so only one of the main Deadlands settings could be selected out of all of them. Things like that.

If you get a chance I might suggest hitting up Dartnet and some of the other folks in the Settings thread just to grab any and all of the settings files you can. Some of those guys have gotten pretty creative with setting things up with .1st files. All of that is more advanced than would be needed for the main post here, mind you, but setting the groundwork for using .1st files more creatively by getting folks in the habit of setting it up even for a basic setting to begin with is, IMHO, a good thing. Then if you ever needed to build on it, the basics of what you need are already there.

Lenny Zimmermann
Metairie, LA, USA

Data files authored (please let me know if you see any issues with any of these if you have/use them):
Official (In the downloader)
50 Fathoms, Deadlands: Hell On Earth, Deadlands: Noir, East Texas University, Necessary Evil (requires Super Powers Companion), Pirates of the Spanish Main, Space 1889 (original file by Erich), Tour of Darkness, Weird War II, Weird Wars: Rome
Coming Eventually
Evernight (LWD has completed their review but I have some fixes to make first... although Pinnacle mentioned this might get an overhaul to SWADE so I may just wait for that first. If you just HAVE to have this now, though, just PM me)
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