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Sean Waters

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Sean Waters last won the day on September 14 2017

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About Sean Waters

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  • Birthday 02/15/1966

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  1. Clairsentience question..

    Absolutely and, like a lot of adjustment powers, I usually insist on some sort of SFX based limitation: electronic jamming field, mental interference generator, or whatever. I just can not think of one (save perhaps the God of Surveillance favours you....) that would 'work' generally.
  2. Clairsentience question..

    They are subject to sense affecting powers at both the viewing point and the point from which the power is being used (6E2 14), so in the example of a sight based clarsentience, you would not be able to use it if either the viewing point or the viewer were in a darkness to sight area. I think that the second bit is the right way to look at it by the rules, but it does not make much sense to me that you can buy darkness to clairsentience because of the huge array of different mechanisms by which clairsentience could operate - I can't think of a SFX (other than something completely Deus Ex) that could reasonably block both telepathic scrying and surveillance cameras and a crystal ball. You can mechanically build a 'darkness to clairsentience' power, but I can not see how you would explain how it is supposed to work in the game.
  3. The second one - I'm going to assume it does not reduce your STR if your STR is over 30 - is (effectively) buying 30* STR and not being able to use your own STR. Again you could work this out precisely for a given character, which is how I would do it - in my world a magic item would 'cost' more for one character than another. If you do not like that then work out what your average game STR is (let us say 15, for argument sake) and deduct that from 30: you get 15 in that instance, which would indicate that it is a -1 limitation on 30 STR: again Hero tends to undervalue limitations so it might only get a -1/2 in practice. This is not 'fair' - it gives a bigger advantage to weaker characters but it is one approach you could take, if you did not want different costs for different characters, and players are generally not stupid - they will distribute items for maximum benefit. I know you may not want to do this for some reason, but it is far easier to just give a straight bonus to characteristics. *I'm assuming that, even if a small child puts on the gauntlets of ogre power amulet, that child gains a STR of 30.
  4. Hmm. First one first... The problem here is that you want to apply a single solution to several different builds. Ask yourself this: if a character had 15 STR then how much would it cost to get to 30 STR? Easy - 15 points Now ask yourself the same thing but for a character with 20 STR: it would then cost 10 points. You don't want to build it with a limitation, that is not a fair way to do it - you want to build it with a different cost depending on who is using it, if you are in a game where you have to pay points for your magic items and whatnot: if you are not, if they are just equipment, then it does not matter much, but you can still look at it this way: The only base STR that would allow you to get to 30 STR with +15 without wasting points is 15 STR. If you have 15 STR or less then you will get the full advantage of the extra 15 STR so you get no cost break. For characters that have more than 15 STR what the magic item does is provide less of a benefit, so you have to know how common STR over 15 is. If someone has 20 STR, for example, then they are only getting the benefit of 10 of the 15 points of added STR, or 2/3 of the 'full' benefit, which is the equivalent of a -1/2 limitation (although Hero generally as Hugh Neilson recently observed, tends to undervalue limitation values and not give them a precise mathematical value). In fact it still has some utility even then because you can be drained of 5 points of STR and still be at 30 STR. What cost break would you get for Extra Characteristic (only to counter adjustment powers)? -1? -2? Say it is -2, even that 5 points of STR you are not getting the advantage of is worth 2 points (1 2/3 rounds up), which is nearly half of the 5 you spend on it. If this is a game where character STR does not routinely exceed 20 I probably would not give it any cost break at all, so, basically, what DasBroot said.
  5. Clairsentience question..

    Clairsentience is a standard/sensory power and it works by (effectively) adding extra range and indirect to a sense or sense group. Page 14 of 6e2 has a discussion on the interaction of sense affecting powers and clairsentience and suggests that clairsentience can be flashed or subject to darkness. * That does not make any sense to me at all, given the vast array of possible explanations for clairesentience and its relation to senses and sense groups, I can not think of a sensible SFX that could affect both a remote camera and telepathically borrowing someone else's vision that does not also affect the sense that is being simulated. You could certainly use an adjustment power (but same caveat) and invisibility to the relevant sense would work, but clairsentience is not necessarily a mental power unless it is simulating a mental sense and, even if it was, I doubt that mental defence would work unless the clairsentience was linked to telepathy or Mind Scan. In effect the defence to clairsentience would be whatever would be the defence to the sense or enhanced sense being used to perceive: one way to view it is that it is just a different way to buy modifiers. * Incidentally it also clarifies that darkness to the relevant sense at the view point or at the power user location will stop clairsentience.
  6. HKA & added Str?

    Not that we can do much about it but I suppose that the logic of STR adding to HKAs is that if you have 30 STR you can buy +30 STR (only to increase HtH damage -1/2) and it seems unfair that if you can build a club your STR can add damage to you can't build a sword that does the same. It is the tension between perceived realism and game mechanical consistency, or at least trying to get one to conform to the other. Very much with you on the undervalued limitation point. It can have the effect of making more nuanced characters either not worth it or require you to try and break down limitations in such a way that you have a really complex build to get a decent cost break.
  7. HKA & added Str?

    In my experience it is rare for combat to take place at or even near the theoretical maximum range of powers, and anything over 16m is -4 or worse to hit anyway, which makes a big difference on a bell curve. There are certainly ways of compensating (bracing, setting, spreading) but combat is still biased toward relatively short ranges. Hero does not have the consequences that other games impose for ignoring one opponent in favour or another by just running past. I'm not sure how much of a big thing having to move next to your target is, if you can actually do so: compare a one on one combat, a one on many and a many on many - and you would have to ensure that (apart from the reliance on a ranged attack (RA) v non-ranged attack (NRA, ironically)), the characters you are comparing are identical. One on One - all that really matters is can you attack each time you are able to? Sure you could build a ranged flier that can not be touched by a landbound brick, but if we are JUST comparing RA v NRA, everything else being equal, the RA can do no more than half a move before attacking and, assuming the NRA can get to the RA with a half or full move, they can attack too - worst case scenario they have to do a move through or move by as their first attack. Sure you can set it up so they start a long way apart, but again, that is not comparing like with like - it is just as likely that they will start adjacent. The RA will have the advantage if they attack first (which they will half the time) or if they can start far enough away from the NRA that they can not be reached by a half or full move AND they can target the NRA whilst it is moving. So, advantage to RA, but it is marginal. Of course one thing that could make quite the difference here is KB as it might allow the RA to maintain more distance, but that is again going to be pretty situational - certainly in a large open environment the RA has advantage, whereas in a more restricted environment neither does - again I'd argue not worth half as much cost again. One on Many - you can't really do this comparison because it would certainly violate the 'equal opponents' requirement, or favour the larger team always. Many on Many - the considerations here are more tactically dense but similar to the one on one scenario. The RA team probably has more of an advantage (again) in a large open arena as they can concentrate fire on a single opponent from where ever they are, whereas the NRA team have to physically get there. The advantage is probably greater than one on one but still not worth half as much again in points. I'm assuming the NRA team has a zero range Blast rather than HtH Attack, for simplicity's sake. Even if the attack is only 9d6 Blast, the NRA character will either be 15 points cheaper or have 15 points invested elsewhere, like more defence, SPD, move, KBR or whatever. I'm pretty sure that will outweigh the combat advantage that RA characters have. Then we have to look at non-combat applications: I can imagine scenarios where having a ranged attack would certainly be an advantage, but in most cases the NRA will also be able to get the job done, especially given their point advantage. So I agree that it is an advantage to be able to do damage at range, I just do not think it is a +1/2 advantage. Also I may be getting a bit off point...
  8. Clairsentience question..

    Hmm. I'm famous for overthinking, but...you can't get round the rules with SFX, that has it backwards: the SFX explain how the rules apply, they don't change how the rules apply. If you are in a darkness to sight field, you can not use the sight group to perceive anything within or outside the darkness field, because darkness to sight is impervious to sight. If you want a form of clairsentience that you can use from inside a darkness to sight field, and you want it to work like sight, you can't ignore the effects of Darkness by simply saying the clairsentience is 'mental'. If you want it to work like sight but not be affected like sight, you don't use the Simulated Sense rule, you build it as a detect and then apply your clairsentience to that sense: it costs more but is more useful, which is what point-buy is all about. Now you COULD decide that the fact that the perception point is outside the darkness means that you can perceive events outside that darkness to sight field with clairsentience, as discussed above, but YOU are still inside the darkness to sight field and, if the power you have bought relies on sight (i.e. you got a cost break) you still can not see. If you want the power to project an image straight into your brain, bypassing the usual sight system, pay the cost for something that works that way i.e. pay for a sense that would work in a darkness field and use clairsentience with that sense, with appropriate modifiers to get precisely what it to do. Nor can you build Darkness to Clairsentience because Darkness works against a sense group and Clairsentience is neither a sense group itself or in a sense group that you can define Darkness as working against. Of course you can ignore all this if the GM is copacetic with doing so, as always, but I think that is how the rules actually work.
  9. HKA & added Str?

    The problem is that, in most superhero games, it can be difficult to stay a half move away from an opponent, and even martial artists can sometimes fly/leap/teleport. There will always be some build combinations where having a ranged attack is a big advantage - if your move is more than twice that of your opponent and you are fighting in a featureless desert, for example - but you rarely get to use a ranged attack at a long range (because the longer the range the more likely your opponent will have cover) and at realistic combat ranges the majority of your opponents will have some way to strike back. Really strong characters can throw objects big enough that they are aiming at your hex, not at you - unless they are in that featureless desert I mentioned. In heroic games, where taking a single hit is more of a potential issue and move rates are limited, it may well be worth that +1/2, but, again, it is situational. Generally you don't have flying opponents and you can usually reduce effective range with moves to cover.
  10. HKA & added Str?

    I think in 5e the doubling rule was in place for all characters. Also in 6e, if you are playing a heroic game and weapons have a STR minimum, the doubling DC rule still applies.
  11. Clairsentience question..

    Interesting question. My initial thought was that a perception point outside the darkness and you could see normally, after all if you are in a dark room you could use your clairsentience to see into a light room just fine. That would make sense (if you know what I mean). However, assuming that the darkness applies to the clairsentience (i.e. we are talking about clairsentience that works with the sight group) then, reading Darkness, the power definition is that the covered area is impenetrable by the senses it affects. This would suggest that, even if the perception point is outside the darkness, sight sensory data can not penetrate the darkness to sight. Then you look at Clairsentience and it says that Claisentience itself is part of the Unusual Sense Group and that the effect of Clairsentience is that it works as if you were perceiving from the perception point as if you were standing there, so that would suggest that Claisentience is not itself affected by Darkness to Sight and you should be able to see with it, so long as you could see from your designated perception point. Then you look at the Enhanced Senses power which talks about the simulated senses rule which says that an unusual sense that simulates another sense is subject to sense affecting powers that would affect the sense group it simulates. That would mean that Darkness would block the clairsentience as it is a sense affecting power, and it blocks sight and you are in the darkness and using the power from there. It is not the same as being in a dark room, because that is environmental darkness, not a sense affecting power, so I guess I was wrong: even if it makes sense, the sense is blocked. You can get around this (in most cases) by building a sense from the ground up using the Detect rules and using your Clairsentience with that. The Unusual Senses Group is not a group for the purposes of sense affecting powers, so it would be extremely unlikely that a given darkness build would stop it. You might (and I would have to think about this one) also get round it using the 'indirect' advantage; clairsentience is already indirect, so I'm not sure if that should work, but I'd probably let you have it as you are paying points for extra utility.
  12. HKA & added Str?

    So, a couple of points to consider, which may have already been rehearsed above: 1. In the real world strength is not the determinant of how hard something hits, it is speed, or, more accurately, momentum. Strength plays a part, but if you are talking about something your strength can easily handle, it comes down to how fast you can move it. This is why Usain Bolt runs faster than The World's Strongest Man, and why shot putters are enormous, but javelin throwers aren't. 2. Strength adding to damage is a bit of a relic: DnD did it like that, so everything else had to. 3. I think Strength adding to damage in Hero is messy, because it obfuscates the real cost of a power to an extent. This is a particular issue with frameworks, but should be considered in most character builds: cap the DCs of damage, if you are going to cap anything. 4. It also messes with the damage rules generally: look at the daft convolutions we have to apply to make something like HtH Attack work. Well, I say 'work'... 5. It is probably true that there is a broad general expectation that stronger = hits harder but most super strong characters in comics either do not use weapons or use weapons that are basically a special effect of their strength. We shouldn't be bound by broad general expectations anyway - it is not as if the rest of the system goes out of its way to be intuitive. 6. Nonetheless, that is the rule, so there we have it. Interesting thought: do you reckon that 'Range'is actually worth +1/2 in most campaigns? Certainly in superhero games in my experience, combat rarely takes place at sufficient range that the (non ranged attack) target can not retaliate either because of move powers or strength that allows them to throw scenery. Maybe that is worth a thread of its own...
  13. Is it possible to run off the planet?

    In summary: 1. The escape velocity for Earth is 11.2 km per second. This is how fast you need to go to get out of the gravity well. 2. 7.9 km/s is the orbital velocity at 1m. Going faster than that will not get you out of the gravity well, it will get you a higher orbit, at least until you reach escape velocity. 3. It will make a difference which direction you are running, because the planet is rotating. 4. Rockets don’t start off at escape velocity, they accelerate up a long way to where the escape velocity is much lower. Just saying. 5. This is Hero, so we sort of assume that you are protected from the natural consequences of our powers. If we can shoot lasers from our eyes, we assume that our eyes don’t fry. If we are running, we assume you stay on the surface you are running on. Assuming that there are ‘natural physics’ consequences to Hero powers, will lead to trouble. Some idiot is going to say they can grab someone, accelerate them to escape velocity then chuck them off the planet. Hmm. I think not. 6. If you are using natural physics consequences, you really can not ignore air resistance, and other forces. If you were travelling at escape velocity at sea level you would ignite from air resistance. The air would slow you down and you don’t have any way to maintain your velocity once you leave the surface because you are running. 7. If you really, really have to do this, it is a power trick, and will only work once. 8. If you have a flight speed of 1m/s you can get out of the gravity well, eventually. 9. If you have bought running, you can not use it as leaping or flying, without the appropriate build so, technically, it does not matter if you can theoretically run at lightspeed, you would still not leave the surface you are running on.
  14. Hero System "Boom Table"

    Real armour -1/4 (doesn't work quite a lot of the time) is definitely worth more that -1/4.
  15. Fall down go boom

    Good points and well worth talking about. One of my reasons for doing this little thought experiment is because I think that there are perceptual conflicts because, when Champions came out the system that was used was not really based on guiding principles but as a series of solutions for whatever issues and problems arose as the system was built - IIRC Martial Arts in Champions 1e was nothing more than a damage multiplier for your STR. You can't really build characters like Flash or Quicksilver in Hero. No, let me clarify that. You can, obviously, you just can't make them do some of the cool stuff from the comics, not without some pretty weird patches: EDM to the SpeedZone anyone? The system I am proposing actually will not make a huge amount of difference to day to day gameplay, even though it will require a few changes to how we do some things: If you spend 30 points on Flight, for example, you can fly 30m per phase under the current system. If you spend 30 points on flight in the proposed system you can fly 191m per turn. In both cases you would get extra damage from a move through of 30/6 = 5DC under the old system and the same under the proposed one. You would be moving a bit faster, unless your SPD is over 7, in which case you would actually be moving slower. If you spend 60 points under the old system, 60m per phase and under the proposed system up to 1435m per turn, again both doing 12 DC of damage. The new system is pulling away here: you'd need SPD 24 to go that quick under the old system at 60m/phase. What it means is that for a lot of characters there would be little substantial change in their move distance or damage from moving. It is somewhat complicated when integrating with the SPD system: effectively you would have to divide your move per turn by your SPD, but you would only need to do that at character creation. I've never really understood non-combat movement or Megascale movement except as a way of addressing the question why you can not build a character that runs at Mach 1 (or more!). Under this system you can move at lightspeed, in combat, for 240 points. Lot of points, lot of speed. Another thing, I'm not sure why the OCV penalty for move through is -V/10. As an example, if there is someone in the road and I drive at them at 15mph, which will be within combat velocity, even for my car, in reality I have a much worse chance of hitting them than if I drive at them at 100mph, which is certainly non-combat speed. Hero reverses that: noncombat my OCV starts at zero and 100mph with my (at best) 3 SPD which would apply a -17 OCV modifier. It should be nigh impossible to ever run anyone over. That needs looking at.