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Techniques, Perks, and Style Familiarities Edit

I like techniques, perks, and style familiarities, but they so often go by the wayside when points are tight. Which is a little annoying when you're trying to come up with a skilled Crusader who should have 2-3 different styles that he knows from his own training, plus another 4-7 that he's familiar with from fighting against them, and who should have some useful techniques like Targeted Attack (Stake/Vitals) or Mozambique Drill.

One possibility would be to give everyone 5% of their character value in "free" Techniques and Perks. That's 20 points in a 400 pt Monster Hunter game, which should be adequate, and to the extent that it isn't, I don't feel bad if people need to dip into their advantage points. And since these are free points, overbuying techniques for one skill isn't such a big deal. It's not like you can trade 4 techniques in for +1 skill anyway.

Contacts Edit

Contacts: Contacts and Contact groups are overpriced, especially beside Allies in high point value games. Remove 'Contact Group' entirely; a Contact purchased at the normal point cost provides access to an appropriate Wildcard skill; for instance, a friend in the police department would provide "Police!", while a member of an ancient magical order might provide "Magical Research!". Describe your Contact and work out appropriate skills with the GM. For base cost, the contact is available only in the campaign's primary area. For a network of contacts that stretches through a nation or other large area, pay double cost; for a network that stretches through the civilized world, pay five times cost. Effective Skill and Reliability costs are as normal.

Example: "Knife", the super-powered vampire hunter, has a friend who runs an occult shop in the city. This is a Magical Research! contact; Knife could bring him strange items for identification (Hidden Lore), ask his advice on the weaknesses of monsters (Occultism), or find out who's who in the magical underworld (Area Knowledge/Current Affairs). This is an example of a contact in a single city. (Contact: Magical Research!-12 (12 or less*2, Somewhat Reliable*1, Single City*1) [2])

Example 2: Lord Blake, The Master of Mysticism, has a worldwide network of contacts and friends who can provide him aid. Whether he's in Beijing, Abu Dhabi, or Moose Jaw, a successful Frequency of Appearance roll will let him find someone friendly who understands local magical practices, knows which of the local legends might be true, and can help him in the same ways as the contact described above. (Contact: Magical Research!-12 (9 or less*1, Usually Reliable*2, Worldwide*5) [10])

Better Vehicles Edit

Base Vehicles
Vehicle Type ST/HP Hand/SR HT Accel/Move LWt Load SM Occ Cost Range
Motorcycle 30? 1/2 11f 5/45* .4 .22 +2 1+1 $8K 250
Enviro-Car 40? 0/3 9f 2/40* .8 .25 +3 1+1 $8K 200
Coupe 50? 0/4 11f 3/55* 1.5 .4 +4 1+3 $16K 300
Subcompact Sedan 50? 0/3 10f 3/45* 1.5 .4 +4 1+3 $12K 350
Midsize Sedan 50? 0/4 11f 3/50* 1.8 .6 +4 1+4 $18K 400
Luxury Sedan 50? 0/4 11f 3/50* 2 .7 +4 1+5 $25K 400
Light Pickup Truck 60? 0/4 11f 3/50 2.2 .8 +4 1+2 $20K 300
Heavy Pickup Truck 60? -1/4 11f 3/45 3 1.2 +4 1+3 $30K 300
Small SUV 60? -1/4 11f 3/50 2 .6 +4 1+4 $25K 300
Large SUV 60? -1/4 11f 3/45 2.7 1 +4 1+6 $40K 300
Minivan 60? -1/4 11f 2/45 2.5 .8 +4 1+6 $20K 300
Panel Van 60? -1/4 11f 2/45 3.5 1.5 +4 1+7 $30K 300

All vehicles have DR5.

Enhancements
Name CF Benefits
Improved Engine 0.5 Accel +1, Move +10%
High Performance Engine 1 Accel +2, Move +20%
Sport Engine 4 Accel +3, Move +40%
Racing Engine 9 Accel +5, Move +70%, HT -1
Super Engine 19 Accel +7, Move +100%, HT -1
Sport Suspension 4 Hnd +1
Racing Suspension 9 Hnd +2, add * to Move
Off-Road Suspension 0.5 Hnd -1, Remove * from Move
Racing Off-Road Suspension 2 Remove * from Move
Extra Tanks 0.5 Double range, Reduce load by 0.1
Light Armor 1 +5 DR, increase LWt by 10%
Medium Armor 4 +10 DR, increase LWt by 20%, -10% to Move and Range
Heavy Armor 9 +20 DR, increase LWt by 40%, -20% to Move and Range
Rugged 1 HT +1
Very Rugged 2 HT +2
Sport Styling 0.5 Gives +1 reaction on a 10-
Superior Styling 2 Gives +2 reaction
Unsafe -0.3 No airbags, ALB, etc makes collisions more dangerous
included in cost for motorcycles
TL7 Design Final Cost 1/2 -1 HT, -20% to Move and Range, Unsafe

Any vehicle with better engines or suspension can either be custom or factory models. Factory models cost 25% less overall, but must have Sport Styling (if all extra components are Sport level or worse) or Superior Style (if any component is Racing or better). It's the difference between dropping a hemi in a junker and buying a Porsche - both may be just as fast, but one looks better.

Vehicles with armor, rugged, or off-road options must be custom jobs.

Vehicles may be bought used. For each 10% reduction in price (maximum 60% off), roll once on the Used Vehicle table on AH1 p34. TL7 designs may be bought used by really desperate adventurers.

Examples

A top of the line European sports car (Porsche 911 or Bugatti, etc) is a factory model Coupe with Racing Suspension, Super Engine, and Superior Styling ($16K * (1 + 9 + 19 + 2) * 0.75) for $372,000. The same model car from 30 years ago would only cost $186,000 but would less safe and slightly slower. An adventurer could own for as little as $30,000, but there's a 30% chance that the engine would be unreliable and a near guarantee that something would be wrong with it.

A monster hunter team's battle van might be a Panel Van with Very Rugged, Racing Off-Road Suspension, Improved Engine, and Medium Armor options. At a relatively cheap ($30K * (1 + 2 + 2 + 0.5 + 4)) $285,000, it will transport the full team and all their stuff across most terrain while protecting them from small arms fire and weak (ST35 or so) monster attacks.

Cheaper Vehicles Edit

There's an example in Action: Heroes! of a guy spending $680,000 on a pimped out sports car. While this is a reasonable price for a top brand sports car, it has the huge problem that no sane player is going to put 50+ CP into owning a vehicle because that's a crappy investment. Similarly, the average MH champion has $20K to spend on a vehicle (and all other gear), which gets them a motorbike (and no weapons)... they need to spend 9 CP to get an entry-level sports car, which is sad and disappointing.

I'm thinking of saying that vehicles cost 1/5th normal for the purpose of SigGear or buying them before play starts. That top brand, pimped out sports car is now 13 CP, which is slightly insane but not beyond the realm of reason. Alternately, even a struggling character can afford a small car ($3000) and reasonable amounts of gear ($7000). The Very Wealthy character can actually own a helicopter ($100,000 effectively) along with some other gear, as opposed to having to buy a used, falling apart chopper.

Vehicles bought in play would have full price, so if the team just wrecked their ride and needs to get a van in a hurry, they need to scrounge up $30,000 - reasonably doable if a couple of people have patrons or if someone is a Philanthropist and can just spend $40,000 in a month.

Wealth rules Edit

I'd really prefer the wealth progression to be x3.2 per 10 points, so that Comfortable isn't chump change for 10 points and Very Wealthy really feels like a lot of money. Buying wealth in 5 pt increments could even be possible:

Level CP Wealth Multiplier
Average 0 10,000 x1
Above Average 5 17,500 x1.75
Comfortable 10 32,000 x3.2
Very Comfortable 15 56,000 x5.6
Wealthy 20 100,000 x10
Extra Wealthy 25 175,000 x17.5
Very Wealthy 30 320,000 x32

Which lets the Very Wealthy Philanthropist own a helicopter, a pimped out sports car, a couple of vans & SUVs for mission work (including some armored ones), a collection of ghost/psi-hunting beam weapons, and still have $10,000 or so left over for regular personal equipment.

Other Issues Edit

Realism level Edit

Tactical Shooting or Gun-Fu? Tactical shooting is just gritty, gun-fu is cinematic, I don't see why one couldn't use Tactical Shooting with MH for grittier game.

Gear Catalogs Edit

The assumption is that normal people can use the abbreviated gear catalog in the back of MH1. That catalog has .40 semi-auto pistols and 12 gauge shotguns, and what more do you need if you're a ST11+ monster hunter?

Of course, not everybody is normal and some people are going to want portable methanol fuel cells to power their spiricoms, or maybe .338 sniper rifles for that perfect mix of "reach out and touch someone" that doesn't weigh 40 lbs. Those people can use High-Tech.

Some people are going to want armors from Low-Tech made from modern materials.

Low-Tech metal armors made from modern steel
Metal Alloy DR Weight CF
Krupp Steel (TL8) x1.6 DR -33% +4
Harvey Steel (TL8) x1.3 DR -25% +1
Nickel-Steel (TL8) x1.2 DR -10% +0.25
Duplex Plate (TL8) x1.1 DR -10% weight +0
Machined Steel (TL8) no changes no change -0.6
Titanium-Based Steel Alloy (TL8) x1.2 DR -50% weight +2
Aluminum (TL8) x0.5 DR -70% weight -0.4
Low-Tech cloth armors made from modern materials
Material DR Weight Other CF
Smart Foam (TL8) +3 DR vs. crushing damage no change none +9
Kevlar (TL8) double DR vs. cutting or piercing no change gives arming garment DR1 vs cutting or piercing +5
Thin Kevlar no change -50% weight none +3
Examples

A monster hunter might want to wear silver-coated, titanium alloy mail over a kevlar shirt when fighting lycanthropes. For the torso, heavy mail armor would cost ($1200 * (1 + 4 + 2) + 64 * (1 + 6) ) $8784 and weigh 10 lbs, proving DR6* (-2 vs crushing, +1 vs cutting or piercing). For another $6300, it could be tailored, bringing the weight down to 8.5 lbs. For another $30300 on top of that, it could be masterfully tailored down to 7 lbs, but that seems a bit crazy. A full body suit would cost and weigh 3 times as much.

A Warrior, expecting to fight the mighty pseudopods of the Monsters Beneath, might want to get a full plate harness. He starts with a light iron cuirass and reinforces it 7 times for a base cost of $4500, a base weight of 36 lbs, and a base DR of 10. He gets it made from tailored, fluted Krupp steel, bumping the cost to $63,000, reducing the weight to 18 lbs, and upping the DR to 16. A smart-foam undergarment adds another $500, 1 lb, and DR3 vs crushing. Assuming he can convince the group's patron to shell out another $127,000, those overgrown slimes molds will never be able to hurt him, and he shouldn't even have to worry much about the 5.56mm carbines of their renegade human allies.

Comments

For playability issues, I'm thinking of halving the cost of Low-Tech armors. That would make the full suit of (tailored) mail (above) cost $18,000, 2 CP of SigGear for that Outcast angel who still wears the armor of heaven. The warrior's plate harness would clock in around $95,000, which is still a lot but it's incredible protection. And a long shirt of aluminum heavy mail would cost $500, close to what a casual inspection of web prices has it going for.

Gun Control Edit

TBD, but I'm generally leaning toward inflicting severe gun control on the PCs. That means that pistols and shotguns are the go-to weapons, backed up (sometimes) with civilian hunting rifles like the Armalite AR-50. SMGs, assault rifles, and LMGs would be rare.

The Conspiracy Edit

Obviously, it's out of genre (and a little boring) for the PCs to call the National Guard when something bad happens. We'd like our monster hunting to be done in the shadows... and we'd like the monsters to not be able to operate openly, either.

Government conspiracies are kinda wacky, without some external control mechanism, so I'm proposing The Curse.

  • The Curse is a universal phenomenon. No one knows who created it or how it is maintained or how it could be lifted.
  • The Curse applies to all supernatural entities. Inhumans or experiments, psis or crusaders, everyone.
  • The Curse has two elements: disbelief and dispowerment.
    • Disbelief means that most people who are exposed to evidence of the supernatural are not really going to believe it. That disbelief may take many forms, but either people will think you can't do what you claim, or they'll believe that you can't control it and are a threat.
      • Modern rationalists will be coldly skeptical and convinced that the claimant is insane.
      • Modern new-agers will believe but not understand. They'll think that ravenous werewolves are cuddly activists for Gaia, that murderously bloodsucking vampires are misunderstood romantics, or that powerful witches can only achieve minor and coincidental effects. Vulgar displays will be treated with skepticism, even while the new ager claims to believe that magic is real.
      • Primitive people will believe and be threatened by it. Anyone claiming supernatural ability, no matter how well intentioned, will generate riots, pitchforks, and torches.
    • Dispowerment means that supernatural beings lose power when they openly display their powers. This can be a subtle effect, in which their enemies gain power instead, or a blatant effect, where rampaging werewolves turn into rabid dogs.
  • Some people can witness supernatural events without being affected by disbelief. These people are useful allies to monster hunters and other supernaturals. Most monster hunters and supernaturals can assess someone's tendency to disbelieve through a long conversation and a Psychology roll.
    • Displaying supernatural abilities to people who don't believe may still cause dispowerment. Sometimes it is worth it to get minions or allies, but it's generally not something worth doing casually.

The Curse is just mechanical enforcement of genre conventions, but I think it addresses the whole "why don't our PCs call the national guard again?" and "why doesn't the crazy vampire display his fangs and all on national TV?" questions.

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