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Hugh Neilson

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Hugh Neilson last won the day on July 2

Hugh Neilson had the most liked content!

About Hugh Neilson

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    SETAC Gadfly
  • Birthday 01/15/1966

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    Chartered Accountant/Tax Consultant
  1. HKA & added Str?

    The HKA/STR issue is always entertaining. If we accept that STR enhances HKA to begin with, what is the "realism" or "play balance" issue that makes "no more than double" the right answer? Why not, like everything else in Hero, if you want a KA with no range, apply No Range. If you want a bigger KA, spend more points on your KA. If you want the KA to be smaller if you don't have your full STR to back it up, add a limitation. Just like every other attack. Is STR underpriced? Maybe. I would suggest that PRE and INT are also underpriced, given the much higher cost of buying the component parts, and given we could not bear to have DEX (enhances skills and initiative) priced at 1 point (like INT, which enhances skills and PER, or PRE which enhances skills and PRE attacks). But I also agree 1 DC at range is worth more than 1 DC at no range. That means 1 HTH DC should cost less than 1d6 Blast (note that Blast also can be Spread). If it is imperative STR enhance killing damage, what would we reasonably allow as a limitation for STR which does not enhance killing damage? Especially when STR that only increases normal damage from a STR based strike is only -1/4? STR that enhances the effect of every martial maneuver is priced at the same -1/4. Why can't I buy STR that only enhances non-martial maneuvers for -1/4? It seems like the general bias is "always undervalue the limitation". I find the same issue with limited defenses. If "Only versus fire" is -1, then "not vs fire" should also be -1. Add them together and you have a defense that works against all energy attacks.
  2. Marvel's The Inhumans

    Overall, I think they bit off more than they could chew, especially from an SFX perspective. Triton's makeup is expensive so kill him off. Because an aquatic character in Hawaii would not be at all useful, right? Medusa's hair SFX are expensive so shave her head. Hey, why not take out Karnak's powers while we're at it - and we've already depowered Black Bolt considerably. Gorgon gets to use his powers on occasion, and Crystal (probably the most powerful on the show) gets isolated from the rest with no real opportunity to use her powers. Add the usual transition from comics to other media that enemies can't be left alive, so we kill off most of the potentially recurring adversaries, as well as a few of the heroes, mix well and what do we get? A pretty lukewarm outing. Too bad - I always liked the characters, but they never seem to get past the B or C list category. This has been no exception.
  3. Mental Powers and Cumulative + Effect Over Time

    That one would be my approach. I agree with the IPE model, though. Reading The Opposition, Option 1a: Telepathy 3d6; 0 END (+½), Cumulative (72 pts; +1); IPE (+1/4), IPE Target Effect is Invisible to Target (+1/2)*, Can Only Read Surface Thoughts (-½), Does Not Provide Mental Awareness (-¼)**, Extra Time (1 Minute; -1½), Instant (-0)***, Limited Range (6m; -½), Requires A Roll (Gambling; -½). AP/RC: 48/11 * IPE is from my 6e version of a similar power. I had a 5e version, but can't find posts that old. ** Not in 6e, but this looks like 5e. *** I don't believe it can be both "instant" and "cumulative". But I do have to ask why not: Reading The Opposition, Option 1b: Telepathy 1d6; 0 END (+½), Cumulative (48 pts; +1 1/4); IPE (+1/4), IPE Target Effect is Invisible to Target (+1/2)*, Can Only Read Surface Thoughts (-½), Does Not Provide Mental Awareness (-¼)**, Extra Time (1 Turn; -1 1/4), Instant (-0)***, Limited Range (6m; -½), Requires A Roll (Gambling; -½). AP/RC: 17/4 5d6 per minute, and considerably cheaper; the 48 point max is comparable to your 52 (with the 20 devoted to "target does not notice") or Reading The Opposition, Option 1c: Telepathy 1d6; 0 END (+½), Cumulative (96 pts; +1 1/2); IPE (+1/4), IPE Target Effect is Invisible to Target (+1/2)*, Can Only Read Surface Thoughts (-½), Does Not Provide Mental Awareness (-¼)**, Extra Time (Full Phase; -1/2), Instant (-0)***, Limited Range (6m; -½), Requires A Roll (Gambling; -½). AP/RC: 20/6 Let's get this show on the road - every phase I average 3.5 (assuming I hit and make my roll). Clearly not a combat power, but I find "non-powered powers" build with cumulative mental powers can be really nice constructs. Like a Bard with a slow-acting area effect Mind Control, the Gambler above, etc.
  4. Michael Satran in the Hospital

  5. HKA & added Str?

    Total cost 55 points (+50 STR and 1 pip HKA) and he has 60 STR and a 4d6+1 HKA. Or buy STR of 35 (25 points) and buy a Multipower of 3d6 HKA (30 AP) or +30 STR for 36 points. Total cost 61 points, he gets the same 4d6+1 HKA and a 65 STR instead of 60. Or buy STR 10, and a Multipower with +65 STR and a 4d6+1 RKA with no Range for 65 + 6 + 4 = 75 points - 15 extra STR plus the 4d6+1 No Range KA (which can now be Spread to enhance OCV).
  6. Cosmetic transform... on the universe?

    Sure. My simple point is, if you want a 20 point complication, it has 20 points of effect. By defining it as "common, major inconvenience", you are instructing The Game Universe that this comes up a lot, and is a big hassle, not that, on occasion, you have trouble getting a pizza delivered.
  7. HKA & added Str?

    OK, first, no efficient character ever had a KA that was not enhanced by STR. Why have a 3d6 HKA and 15 STR when you can have the added benefits of +15 STR for free by dropping the HKA to 2d6. Now, let's assume our Brick is going to have a 60 STR. He can buy a 2d6 HKA and get a 4d6 HKA (50 points for STR + 30 for HKA = 80). Or he can buy 30 STR and a Multipower of +30 STR or 2d6 HKA (20 points + 30 points +6 points = 56 points) and save 24 points. That cost him 6 points to convert his STR into an HKA, not even the 15 points in 1e, and only 1 point more than a 1 pip HKA for the alleged horrible abuse of the "no doubling limit" rule. By the way, what stops a Brick from performing a Combined Attack with his HKA and his STR as a strike? Nothing in the HKA rules says that STR cannot also be used for other purposes. Preach it, Brother! I can fly through deep space and the Sun itself, but a flamethrower or ice blast can still stun me. In my view, the answer in 6e should have been "Killing attack" 15 points per d6, Ranged. You want a sword? Buy a Killing Attack, no Range. You want it to do 2d6, +2d6 if you exert 30 STR? Buy an extra 2d6 KA, No Range, reduced by 1 DC for every 5 points STR is less than 30 (and build the weapon chart with that mechanic if you want). A lot of people will suggest that being more agile does make you better at dodging (a word you even use above) but we have de-linked DEX and DCV. Doesn't better eyesight improve your accuracy at range? I don't recall Improved Perception boosting OCV or reducing range modifiers. In the "real world", if you pick up a thumbtack, the stronger you are, the harder you hit. "STR caps at doubling" is no more "real world" (much less cinematic) than "STR does not add". Remove "STR adds to HKA" and Grond with 1 pip HKA does 1 pip HKA = 18d6 Strike as a combined attack. Just like Grond with +1d6 HA Brass Knuckles gets to do 19d6. Or unless the rules said you pay END for all the running, Mind Control, etc. that you use.
  8. Cosmetic transform... on the universe?

    What prevents the character (who is not known on Earth at the start of the campaign, I assume) using an alias? Superman's real name is not Clark Kent or Superman, but he's not getting paycheques to Kal-El, or testifying in court under that name.
  9. HKA & added Str?

    Comic book physics apply "just as a tornado-driven straw can penetrate several feet of solid oak, so can Flash at super-speed penetrate solid walls!" And why would a butter knife be a KA at all? 1/2d6 KA (with STR) means 5 average hits reduce a grown man to a bleeding-out wreck.
  10. Cosmetic transform... on the universe?

    In my games, issues related to whether your name can be read are not relevant "all the time". Looking at examples in the rules, having no knowledge of Earth's culture is relevant "very frequently", while missing an eye is relevant "frequently". You are suggesting that an inability for someone to read the character's name is an issue about as often as having no hands (which makes it pretty tough to write his name, among several hundred more game-significant issues). Looks like Brad Pitt? Sounds like Distinctive Features, not too tough to hide, not a major reaction, so 5 points. Of Social Complication: Famous, which is 10 points. Not being able to feel pain is not "all the time" because he can never feel pain. It is "how frequent will this cause a problem" that dictates frequency. A character who is illiterate is unable to read all the time, but if he's gaming in Middle Earth, how often is that a problem?
  11. Cosmetic transform... on the universe?

    If the impact is so easily reduced, then it is not a 20 point complication, is it? The value of the limitation is based on how frequently it imposes a significant restriction on the character, and how severe the implications are. If it's a mild nuisance every dozen games, it's not a 20 point complication.
  12. Cosmetic transform... on the universe?

    So, will the game this character is designed for be focused on ordering takeout and paying rent? The question is not "how inconvenient could this be in a real world context?", but "how much impact do I want it have in the cinematic reality of the game>?". For a 20 point complication, a major inconvenience or challenge that actually impacts the likelihood of success or failure in the objectives of the scenario every other game is about right. So "your character cannot get transport to the adventure site as he cannot get ID to enable him to board a plane" or "your name is not on the guest list for the Royal Ball - guess you can't prevent the Vizier from cornering the Princess to work his evil spell" would be more reasonable consequences than "My lunch order was delayed" or "I have to move to a new apartment".
  13. Modeling "Take a Recovery"

    Other than adding time to combats. Imagine the typical Supers game, and having to get opponents down to -33 or more STUN so they don't keep bouncing back up. Although, if one follows the "0 to -10, now {-10+CON] is "heavily stunned but still standing", that last hit that takes him down (doing double STUN as he is already below 0 STUN) is much more likely. I find that rule does a lot to dispel the "hit him when he's down so he stays down" appearance Hero can take on. Resisting STUN is not so much "worth the price" as "mandatory for a competent character". It's effectively a character tax, as you have to have enough CON to avoid routine loss of a phase every time the character is hit.
  14. I'd have to say he regains the points at the start of his next phase as he has "used" his SPD already in this phase. I'd allow that - he had a phase in Segment 12 at either speed, so there is no abuse.
  15. Because one first sees the 6 SPD characteristic, then the "+4 SPD" unified power and assumes that is the framework slot, not reading to the +6 SPD VPP slot further below. I assume that slot can add any amount of SPD from +1 to +6, so SPD could be highly variable. I'm also guessing it has never seen play or you would tell us how you have handled it rather than asking how we would. If it were a "toggle switch" - i.e. he either has SPD 6 or SPD 12, I'd be tempted to say the current phase remains SPD 6, or SPD 12, after which he next moves on the next phase of his new SPD. That is, the next segment if he went up to SPD 12, or the next even numbered segment if he dropped down to SPD 6. As long as there is no advantage to flicking the switch repeatedly, I see no big issue. However, the tougher assessment is what if he goes up to SPD 12, then needs the VPP for something else, so he drops to SPD 9, then pumps it back up to SPD 11, etc. Regardless of the method chosen, this would also be one of those powers that comes with the standard "if it slows the game down, it will have to be changed or removed" caveat. Tracking phases in a turn (Era Scarecrow's note) is a good check on any rule adopted. If switching speeds gains more phases in a turn than the higher of the two, or results in less than the lower of the two, that's clearly an inappropriate result so the approach needs to change. My gut feel is that Doc D's approach - move on the later of the original and new SPD's next phases - would work reasonably well. Applied to the toggle switch, that would mean a shift up to SPD 12 from 6 means you act next on the next even numbered phase, so one phase is lost before the benefits kick in. That's probably OK balance-wise (and I am also not unhappy it will discourage frequent switching). I could also see allowing the shift up to 12 mean you get an action in the next phase, but switching back to 6, if done on a segment in which SPD 6 does not act, is the only action you may take on that segment. hmmm...that's another possibility - if you change SPD on a segment both old and new SPD would act on, you move on the phases of the new SPD after that phase. If you change SPD on a segment the new SPD gets no action in, your next action occurs on the next segment your new SPD would act on, or the next segment your old SPD would act on, whichever is later. After that, the new SPD applies. So if Flash goes from SPD 6 to SPD 12, since he had a phase to switch, and SPD 12 acts on all segments, he now acts on all segments. If he ups his SPD from 6 to 8, we look at the chart. If he changes on Segment 2, both SPD 6 and 8 had an action - he can move next on 3 (switching up to SPD 8). If he changes on Segment 4, SPD 8 would have had no action, so he has effectively already taken his Ph 5 action for SPD 8. He will move next on Segment 6, when both SPD 6 and 8 would have their subsequent phase. If, on phase 9, he drops back down to 6 SPD, then he has already taken his Ph 10 action for SPD 6, and moves next on Segment 12. This seems reasonable, but maybe it leaves some way to game the chart - anyone?