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HERO, Lojban, and Sapir-Whorf

One of my quirks is that I like Lojban. It's a constructed language which created to test a really interesting theory, the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis. The short version is that the hypothesis is that the language you think is dictates, at least to some degree, to how you perceive the world. I happen to agree with it, which is why sometimes I find a solution by creating a language to describe it. It also affects how my characters respond to things in my stories (but less in my books so far).

So, what does that have to do with this?

Well, HERO system and Changeling. When I first created the powers to represent the White Wolf Changeling, I went with a pretty much one for one creation of the powers. I came up with ideas for the various Contracts and Clauses and basically implemented each power exactly as it was written in the HERO system.

  • Changeling Mask: Sight, Hearing, Smell/Taste and Touch Groups Images 1" radius, Personal Immunity (+0), Reduced Endurance (0 END; +1/2), Persistent (+1/2) (50 Active Points); Set Effect (-1), Always On (-1/2), No Range (-1/2)
  • Sight of the Fey: Detect Changelings and other Feys 12- (Sight Group)
  • Distinctive Features: Changeling Mein (Concealable; Always Noticed and Causes Major Reaction; Detectable Only By Unusual Senses)

That is what I first created. It was basically a beginning approach to HERO power creation, but I knew it was. But, I also knew that I wouldn't know how to do it properly until I learned how to "think in HERO" as it were.

Part of that happened this weekend. I was staring at the character sheets, trying to really see where I can create interesting stories when I realized I had one of those mistakes. In specific, the Mask. I didn't need it. I already had the effect of the Mask with the Senses and the Distinct Appearance. So, that is an easy thing to strike and save people 17 points.

  • Glamour: Endurance Reserve (25 END, 4 REC) Reserve: (6 Active Points); REC: (4 Active Points); Limited Recovery (Dreams and strong emotions only; -2)

The other thing was more of a simplification of the rules. This is based on the Changeling's Glamour. After a bit of play, and seeing how everyone is getting into the rules, I'm going to change it to a much easier to understand power:

  • Glamour: +2 REC (4 Active Points); Conditional Power does not work in Common Circumstances (Only in the presence of strong mortal emotions; -1/2)

Same number of points, a lot less ability (+2 REC verses 25 END/4 REC) but it means that there is only one END pool for powers. Which makes everything much easier to play. And, making it fun is the entire point of the game.

I'm beginning to really understand HERO and I really like it. I'm very happy with my decision to offer it and I'm just as honored that my players are letting me actually play the game this way, to create a game I want to.

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