From Seelie to Silly

The word "Seelie" dates back to about 1200 AD, when it meant "punctual, orderly". In 1225 it was being used to mean "blessed" or "pious", and 1250, "well-omened, fortunate". Oddly enough there don't seem to be any references in the OED to its use in a supernatural context.

It seems as though any references to "Seelie" and "Unseelie" fairies originally just meant "nice" and "nasty", very similar to the Filipino view of our own such 'spirits' ranging from benevolent to mischievous to malevolent. No real "Courts" to speak of.

By the end of the 13th century, "seelie" was shifting in meaning towards "innocent" and "harmless", and over the centuries, it came to have more and more implications of triviality. In fact, we still use it today, with a vowel shift. The Silly Court, anyone?
Barrett announces 25mm man-portable assault cannon in testing

Sound cool? There's more...

"For some long-range sniper missions, a .50 caliber (12.7mm) round just
isn’t big enough. The Barrett company, which pioneered the development of the
modern .50 caliber sniper rifle, has now built a 25mm sniper rifle (although
shoulder cannon may be a more precise term), the XM109. Ten prototype weapons
are being made available for testing this month. Designed to destroy light
armor, the XM109 is a semi-automatic 25mm rifle that has a 17.6 inch long barrel
and an overall length of 46 inches. It weighs in at 46 pounds and has a 5 round
magazine. In comparison, the Barrett M107 .50 caliber sniper rifle in general
use today has a 29 inch barrel, overall length of 57 inches, and weighs in at a
mere 32 pounds, with a magazine capacity of 10 rounds...

Effective distance armor piercing “lethality” for the rifle is listed at
2000 meters. The 25mm round is derivative design from the AH-64 Apache
helicopter’s M789 high-explosive dual purpose (good against armor and personnel)
30mm ammunition and will penetrate at least 50 millimeters of armor plating,
making it capable of destroying light armored vehicles, SCUD launchers, and
other equipment. According to the ammunition manufacturer, the 25mm round is 2.5
times more effective at destroying targets than a .50 caliber armor-piercing
round. At some point the system will also be integrated to use 25mm airburst
ammunition designed for the OCWS."

What's that in HERO terms?

The gun is listed as being able to penetrate 50mm of armor plate.
According to the 5th Rules Edition, 64mm of Medium armor is Def 13 and 9 Body, so it needs to do 22 Body. Assuming average results, that's a 6d6 RKA... or more likely 4d6 AP RKA. It's going to need increased range to be able to shoot out to 2000 meters. And then 2 clips of 5 charges.

4d6 AP RKA, Increased Maximum range (105 points Active), 2 clips of 5
Charges, OAF, Real Weapon, Beam. Total cost: 35 points (the real cost
will drop once we can figure out the STR min this beast should have).

Add BORS +14 penalty levels with range (42 points active), OAF, Real
weapon. Total Cost: 19 points.

Number Crunching and Game Balance

I've been ruminating on the nature of point-based character design systems. In essence, point values are assigned to things (attributes, characteristics, powers, bonuses, advantages / disadvantages, knacks, gear, followers, l33t skillz, etc.) that are help / hinder a character in the game as compared to everyone else. If it helps your character do stuff better than the "standard person" in a game then you "pay" points for it. If it hinders your character, then you "get" points for it.

In other words, enhancements to the baseline 'human' have a positive (+) point value, while limitations on the baseline 'human' have a negative (-) point value.

Why a baseline human? Well, I guess because most game designers figured players are familiar with what a normal human has and would be able to build their characters accordingly. "What makes my character better or worse than the normal human?" players will think and build their characters accordingly.

It would be supremely annoying to me, for example, to have a baseline Noldor elf as the starting point and have to go "What makes my human character better or worse than the normal Noldor elf? He doesn't have the clear complexion... doesn't have killer reflexes... isn't effectively immortal... man, my character sucks! Hey, do Noldor elves lose their temper more easily than human? GAAAAAHHHH!"

Now think of applying that to other non-human races like Dralasites or Xenomorphs or Vorlons or Vulcans. Not fun.

So... baseline 'human'.
Now you've done it...

From the Green Ronin Website:
Don't miss the 2 preview PDFs covering the Canaanite Religion, and New Spells.
Ah, I can just see the 700 Club licking their chops right now...

Testament: Roleplaying in the Biblical Era
You've Read The Book, Now Play The Game!

There were giants in the Earth in thosedays, and also after that, when the sons
of God came in onto the daughters of men and they bore children to them, the
same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.

- The Book of Genesis

The world of the Bible comes to life in this campaign setting for the d20 System. Play a wandering Babylonian magus, a sorcerer in the service of Pharaoh, a Canaanite maker of idols, or a prophet of the God of Israel. Walk the streets of ancient Jerusalem, stand beside King David as one of his Mighty Men, smite Philistines, ponder the mysteries of gargantuan tombs, look upon the dwellings of the gods, and battle demons, dragons, plagues, and the legendary beasts of Babylon. Testament gives you everything you need to immerse yourself in the Biblical Era, including:

  • A dozen new core and prestige classes, including the Levite Priest, the Egyptian Khery-heb wizard, and the Desert Hermit.
  • Over 30 new monsters, including Nephilim, Tempter Devils, and Zebub-Spawn.
  • Over 50 new feats and over 100 new spells.
  • Rules for barter, curses, piety.
  • Guidelines for leading a small tribe through the hazards of the Bronzeand Iron Age world.
  • The Biblical Battlefield Resolution System, a new way to fightepic combats.
  • Full cultural details on ancient Israel, Canaan, Egypt, and Mesopotamia, including history, beliefs, holy days, architecture, and more.
  • Dozens of new magic items and artifacts.Part history, part mythology, Testament is the d20 System setting that's both instantly familiar and yet unlike any game world you have ever experienced.