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lensman

Campaign Limit: CV an PSL

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In 6th ed., for Heroic, Standard, char total of 175 pts, under Character Ability Guideline Vol1, 35 pg.

CV limit is listed at 3 - 7 for heroic Standard.

 

My question PSLs should they count toward total CV?

Ranged levels cannot be applied to DCV, so less utility than HTH Lvls.

 

EDIT:

 On the same page CV is defined as the characters base CV

 

My revised question:

What is a good Campaign limit on CV inflation?

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Between +50% and +100%.

 

For a 3-5 range, I'd say double it. For 6-7. I'd say add 50 percent. Either way puts you into a 6-10 CV range, which is pretty good for average Heroic games. At that level, just a point or two of CV can take a competent character and turn them in nigh-superheroic.

 

You should also consider that with DC as well. May not seem like it, but a DC or two can make the difference between each hit doing a little Body and each hit doing a LOT of Body.

 

Disclaimer: Many people don't like hard campaign limits. My suggestions are based on starting low and building high with XP and other awards. For DC, you can just use the weapon doubling rule and get over the fact that, with enough CSLs, your game will get lethal and fast.

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My question PSLs should they count toward total CV?

I generally regard CV guidelines as referring to the highest CV a character can normally get, not counting Maneuvers that are available to everyone. But PSLs don't actually add towards to CV, they just reduce how much you subtract from CV under certain circumstances. So if I had a 5 OCV, 2 CSLs, and 2 PSLs vs Range, I would call that OCV 7 for purposes of meeting the guidelines, not 9.

 

What is a good Campaign limit on CV inflation?

It really does vary from campaign to campaign, but I generally try not to let them rise more than 1-2 above the original character creation guidelines. That's not a hard-and-fast rule, but remember that a difference in CVs of 3 or 4 makes a much bigger difference on the 3d6 bell curve than it does in a lot of RPGs, so runaway inflation can really break a game if you're not careful.

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I'm trying something a bit different in my new Heroic Star Hero campaign. (So this might not work for you or give you the type of campaign you're looking for.  But, like BDM said, things vary from campaign to campaign).

 

I told my players that while the CV limits where from 3-6, I didn't want to see a raw CV value higher than 4. Although if the player had a good enough concept/reason, we could probably work something out. I wanted them to use Combat Skill levels to reach the limit.

 

I also, at the start of the game, wanted to include CV gained from Martials but not those imparted by equipment.

 

So far its worked out.  I've got some decent characters that aren't pushing, in my opinion, ungodly combat values yet are still fairly competent.

 

As for Penalty Skill levels, since those are fairly cheep and I've seen what can happen when they go unchecked, I've instituted a sort of "NCM" on them.  First two are regular price, next two are double, next two are double that.  So no +8 vs Head with THIS pistol for 8 points.

 

Now, we haven't actually gotten to the point where we've actually tested this. So while it, to me, looks good on paper it is definitely subject to change if I find it's too clunky and/or TOO expensive for the characters. 

 

Edit: I'm not sure if this answers your question or not but I'm leaving it just in case the information might prove useful.

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The problem is the moment a Character can "reliably pull of a stunt that gives extra damage without penalty".

While CSL can not affect maneuvers, they do affect a lot of combat related penalties.

 

If the character can headshoot the enemy without any penalty, that means his effective damage is closer to what the headshoot modifier implies. And that is before you consider the utility of "shoot gear out of hands" that such a sharpshooter also had from Targetting OSL.

 

Same way a character that can shoot from out of enemy detection range is a problem, unless you force most combats to be shortranged. The enemy will never/rarely get to even attack him, meaning he might be able to throw brace and Haymaker on top of it.

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Very technically, increasing CV using CSL's is NOT the same as reducing penalties using PSL's.  The former is additive to CV and, thus, is impacted by upper bounds placed on CV by campaign limits while the latter only offsets/negates penalties to CV in specific situations -- without ever adding to CV and, thus, without ever being impacted by CV boundaries.

 

This said, we all know abuse when we see it; like anything else in Hero, there's potential for abuse if the GM isn't doing his job...

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I suggest working backwards.  For example, in my Dark Champions campaign I wanted it to be nigh impossible to hit a target that took cover behind something solid.  I double the modifiers for shooting into cover, but that was just being lazy.  I think you just have to put on your evil munchkin hat and say, "If I wanted to abuse the hell out of this..."  Even then there might not be a problem.  A brawler who can consistently land face hits with his 2d6 normal strike damage is not nearly the problem of the dead eye sniper with his 2d6 RKA.

 

Players don't like to miss, but if people don't miss you lose a lot of the tactical sense of the game.  What's the point in taking cover or maneuvering if it doesn't make a difference?  Darned bell curve.

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Players don't like to miss, but if people don't miss you lose a lot of the tactical sense of the game.  What's the point in taking cover or maneuvering if it doesn't make a difference?  Darned bell curve.

Using RAW, taking cover and maneuvering does make a difference.  However, someone with PSL's to offset penalties should be able to overcome some of that (example: Someone with PSL's vs range penalties should be able to overcome an individual using movement to try to get out of range).  PSL's don't make taking cover or maneuvering pointless because, in most cases, the only people who would have appropriate PSL's are those whose character concepts support it.  That's probably not everyone in the troupe (and likely one character, at most) unless you're running a game where the heroes are all very similar (i.e. everyone's a FBI or CIA agent with Navy Seal or Army Ranger or sniper training -- i.e. likely a PSL-heavy game?) -- in which case the GM has created his own special form of Hell (i.e. unique set of challenges of his own making) that he must overcome.

 

i.e. If one guy in your troupe has a character who is a long-range shooter using PSL's with a pistol and/or a scoped rifle, cover isn't pointless and neither is maneuvering -- because that's this one guy's shtick.

 

Assuming the GM's done his job, that one guy and his abilities aren't enough to overcome EVERYONE taking cover or maneuvering all at once.  It's no different from a martial artists' shtick being up close and personal combat with little END expenditure and little injury to himself ... or a brick's shtick of dishing and soaking lots of damage ... or a FEP's shtick of taking out a pile of mooks with AoE's.  If the GM fails to do his job with any of these, it gets out of hand, so I'm not sure why there seems to be PSL-related or range-related prejudice here.  (Perhaps GMs are just lazy and don't want to deal with that scenario?  Not an accusation ... just a legit pondering.)

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Well since you're leveling the accusation at me. There are lot of ways to break a game as flexible as Hero System.  What fun is it to play a DCV based character if every opponent has a relatively high damage  AoE?  Or a brick when everyone and their uncle has Penetrating and Armor Piercing?  Penalty Skill levels are no different.  In my campaigns, I want people to be able to duck behind cover and so long as they are not flanked be reasonably safe from ranged attacks.  You disagree and that's fine.  To put it into your argument, I don't want any character stepping on the schtick of the environment to provide protection from non area of effect attacks.

 

The Numbers themselves only have meaning in relation to each other.  I am no better or worse off having a CV of 10, when everyone else has a CV of 9 than if I have a CV of 100 and everyone has a CV 99.  Combat Skill Levels, Penalty Skill levels and maneuvers are "sneaky" in that they appear in different parts of a character sheet and don't jump out at you.  If you want Snake Eye Sid to be able to Snipe into hard cover like it wasn't there, let him have +8 PSL's vrs. Cover.  If you don't, don't.  Just realize the consequences of that choice and plan accordingly.  It's all to easy to look at +2 CV and think it's just a couple of points rather than 25%+ increase in hit rate.

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Certainly no accusation was intended; I've merely seen the long-range sniper used as an example in too many edge cases that I perceive there to be an overwhelming bias against that sort of build ... which I feel has its place in any team (both heroic and villainous) ... and also feel that a solid GM can readily handle (bring in a counter-sniper of your own and let the players feel it, themselves -- since that's what's done in the real world).

 

I was aiming my commentary at that (i.e. the perceived bias against sniper/long-range builds), not at you. I apologize for any misunderstanding, as I had hoped to make this clear when I wrote (and I quote with red emphasis added to draw your eye):

 

(Perhaps GMs are just lazy and don't want to deal with that scenario?  Not an accusation ... just a legit pondering.)

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