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How do you build characters


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Poll: How do you build HERO characters? (35 member(s) have cast votes)

How do you mainly build HERO characters?

  1. I build based solely on a role playing concept and will spend points on totally useless items just because they fit character concept. (18 votes [51.43%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 51.43%

  2. I build based on what the team needs. If we don't have range support, I become a blaster. If we need strength, a brick. (5 votes [14.29%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 14.29%

  3. I build a character who can run solo. They are self sufficient and can handle anything the team needs in whatever position. (11 votes [31.43%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 31.43%

  4. I build a character on efficiency. They have a little bit of every defense and several other targeting senses. They have a variety of attacks to bypass the GM's defenses. (1 votes [2.86%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 2.86%

  5. I build a character as powerful as can be given point and campaign limitations. I always want to be the last character down. (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

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#1 dsatow

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 12:29 PM

Just a wondering on how other people build HERO characters.  I hear a lot of people who don't play hero say that we are all power gamers.  I am just wondering if this is an unfair stereotype and how people really build characters.



#2 massey

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 01:14 PM

I went through my power-gaming phase. These days I have to purposefully try to *not* build them too powerful. Often I intentionally make the weakest guy in the group (at least by conventional standards). But I do still end up building a "solo" character most of the time. I want my guys to be self-sufficient.
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#3 Burrito Boy

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 01:33 PM

I build characters to concept, "useless" skills and all. I really love skill monkeys. And every once in a while, that's what allows them to shine. I still remember fondly the one Pathfinder game I played in where my dwarf's knowledge of stonemasonry helped the group find a secret passage into the tower the party was supposed to break into.
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RIP David Burton (1960-2011)


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#4 Nolgroth

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 01:56 PM

Considering that one of the core principles of Hero is that you get what you pay for and another is that you spend no points on "useless" skills, etc, I'd suggest that that game lends itself to utility builds.
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#5 dsatow

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 02:42 PM

Considering that one of the core principles of Hero is that you get what you pay for and another is that you spend no points on "useless" skills, etc, I'd suggest that that game lends itself to utility builds.

 

While true,

  1. if you run a character for literally hundreds of games, characters get hundreds of XP and will begin paying for items completely useless (usability less than 1 out of 30 games).
  2. some concepts are really cheap to build (bricks for instance).  The excess points are then can be built on versatility, flavor, increased power, etc.
  3. some people use the points to help flesh out the vision of the character.  Do you really need PS: Fry cook for your characters?  Probably not, but people buy it to flesh out the character.

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#6 Spence

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 02:49 PM

I actually build to the first and second items.  I build to a concept, but will aim to fill the team's need.

 

Of course I refer to a time long long ago in a land far far away......


To Assume, To make an A$$ out of U and Me.

 

No I didn't deliberately make a moronic statement designed to start a flame war. I'm just BBS Challenged.

 

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#7 Beast

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 04:19 PM

for me 1 and 3
I will spend a few points on useless stuff


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#8 Tom Cowan

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 05:33 PM

I try to go with 2>1>5>4>3

Thou one weird attack or power the GM is not ready for is likely to show up.   Kind of nice to have one person who has MD even if no one in the party is a psi.  A lot of prefab enemy teams have a psi.  Or a fire using blaster with one slot in the mult power with a AoE knock the mob out power.  Earth powered brick with a range 'knock the flier back to my power'  Not always useful stuff but the look of oops on the GM's face is so worth it.



#9 Nolgroth

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 05:45 PM

I suppose #1 is closest to my style. I tend not to waste points, but then I rarely play in games with gobs of points to throw into a character. I also tend to get stuck on esoteric power builds which require a lot of points for a relatively small amount of utility

#10 DasBroot

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 05:50 PM

I like something unique to the character (whether its 'useless' or not) but overall I like to build *tough* - they can run solo, they're not going down easy.

 

I don't like being invulnerable, however - I don't use Desolidify in combat, avoid invisibility, high defense barriers with transparent, etc, and make sure (if the GM doesn't by setting PD limits) that I'll take 3 to 6 stun per hit on average from a DC cap attack.  I buy up recovery but not enough to counter any average damage against me in a round (so if I'm subject to on average six attacks, three hits, that inflict six stun each I might aim for a recovery of 10 to 12.  If I'm expecting to be hit 6 times instead due to excessive OCV vs DCV ratios in the game for a total of 36 (ow?) I might aim for a 20 - 25. I'm going down, but I'm lasting long enough to take someone with me.


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#11 IndianaJoe3

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 08:13 PM

Kind of a mix here. I prefer to build to concept, but that doesn't preclude efficiency. Maybe I've just internalized things enough so that I subconsciously exclude concepts that wouldn't play well.


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#12 Hugh Neilson

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Posted 21 May 2017 - 07:45 AM

I like something unique to the character (whether its 'useless' or not) but overall I like to build *tough* - they can run solo, they're not going down easy.
 
I don't like being invulnerable, however - I don't use Desolidify in combat, avoid invisibility, high defense barriers with transparent, etc, and make sure (if the GM doesn't by setting PD limits) that I'll take 3 to 6 stun per hit on average from a DC cap attack.  I buy up recovery but not enough to counter any average damage against me in a round (so if I'm subject to on average six attacks, three hits, that inflict six stun each I might aim for a recovery of 10 to 12.  If I'm expecting to be hit 6 times instead due to excessive OCV vs DCV ratios in the game for a total of 36 (ow?) I might aim for a 20 - 25. I'm going down, but I'm lasting long enough to take someone with me.


If the rest of the characters (PC and NPC) are built to a similar model. expect combats to grind out over a long time. Not a huge issue if that's what the group wants, of course, but that will be the result when a character loses, say, 20 STUN a turn and recovers 15.

#13 Cantriped

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Posted 21 May 2017 - 09:30 AM

Most often when I am building a character they are an NPC (because I haven't gotten to play since 5th edition). So I try to build them as closely as I can to the Character Ability Guidelines Table. Depending on the character's theme, one or two metrics will be towards the high end of the range (or even the slightest bit beyond it), and the rest of the metics will be towards the low end of the range. Regardless of what I am building, I do a lot of research and try to build them in the most efficient and rules legal manner possible without sacrificing the concept to do so.

 

When I am building something for fun (such as when I built Bell Cranel in the Downloads Section), researching the concept is the most important step. I want my build to represent the concept as closely as I can. That means trying to include any odd quirks about their capabilities, paying attention to little details such as how high they leap, how much faster or slower than other characters they run, what the largest object they lift is, and the effects of their attacks on their terrain. Because many characters feature a meteoric rise in power over the course of their stories, I usually pick a singular point in a character's timeline to base my build on. This why I don't have to model everything that the character will ever possibly be able to do, just the things they have already demonstrated they can do.



#14 GM Joe

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Posted 21 May 2017 - 10:12 AM

In theory, if I was ever NOT to be GM for a Hero System game, I'd build according to #1-#3, depending. The power gaming/munchkin thing was something my original group went through and were done with before we even started with Champions 2e, so it was never part of my experience with Hero System. It was only later on, as I went out into the wide world, that I realized folks viewed Hero System as an ideal powergaming RPG.


GMing since 1982.


#15 Cantriped

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Posted 21 May 2017 - 10:41 AM

I don't consider "powergaming" to be a dirty word, but I do think that the idea that Hero is some sort of Power-Gamer's paradise is something of a mirage created by their lack of actual System Mastery. Anything a player can do in an attempt to break the game, I can undo with half as many points expended (or significantly less); assuming that as a GM I enforce all of those "Reasonable Circumstance/Condition" clauses peppered in amongst all of the really abusible game elements (such as Desolidification and Usable As Attack).

 

Conversely, games like Pathfinder are much more easily broken than Hero if you strictly follow the RAW (and don't have an extensive blacklist like organized play does). With enough system mastery you can build pathfinder characters that can one-shot (or single-round) any enemy their own level, be impossible to hit except on natural 20s, be incapable of failing certain skill checks, or become infinite Wish‚Äč factories.



#16 GM Joe

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Posted 21 May 2017 - 11:46 AM

Sure, you can powergame with all kinds of different systems. We went down that road as far as we cared to using AD&D, for example. I should hasten to add that I don't think people who enjoy powergaming are having wrong fun. It's just not my thing, much like heavily narrative games aren't my thing.


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#17 Ninja-Bear

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Posted 22 May 2017 - 11:39 PM

Really my builds now are probably considered power builds but that is because that's what the kids like to play. Let's have super powers and a few skills. Let's get to the action!
The main object of the game is for the players and the GM to have fun. Champions 3rd ed. Pg 130

#18 DasBroot

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Posted 23 May 2017 - 10:48 AM

If the rest of the characters (PC and NPC) are built to a similar model. expect combats to grind out over a long time. Not a huge issue if that's what the group wants, of course, but that will be the result when a character loses, say, 20 STUN a turn and recovers 15.

 

 

Indeed.  I've seen that fairly often and I *try* and avoid it ... but empirically every time I play and aim to take 20 or 30 stun through armor and after post 12 recovery during a full phase (to be defeated in two to 2.5 full combat turns if I have 60 stun) I end up taking 40 or 50 due to the fickleness of dice.  So I usually aim to take 15 and expect to take 25.  And then end up taking 5 or 10.

 

Especially in DC and defense capped games it's a balancing act.  Nobody wants to be taken out in the first segment twelve so there's a lot of building around 'averages' with a 'just in case' aspect but as soon as you have average anything in a controlled environment it can turn into a slog (defense cap set to 3xDC or higher) - or a blood bath (defense cap set to 1xDC). 

 

(Important enemy NPC in my games, for example, are meant to be defeated in 2 full combat turns if the dice co-operate.  Less important but still named in 1.  Anything else ranges from 1 hit to less than a full turn.  Since it's not uncommon for said 'important' enemy to weather 30 attacks against them per full turn there IS a lot of dcv, reduction, and defense juggling involved.  There'd be less if they'd ever dealt with the minions first or broke into mini-fights like in the comics where each person fights an enemy while the toughest guy keeps the 'boss' busy until the others step in to help ... but they... don't.  Teamwork rolls and full focus fire all the way.)


"I threw a rock at him!"

*silence*

".... it was a *big* rock."


#19 Durzan Malakim

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Posted 23 May 2017 - 11:18 AM

Considering that one of the core principles of Hero is that you get what you pay for and another is that you spend no points on "useless" skills, etc, I'd suggest that that game lends itself to utility builds.

 

Several of my early builds of my current super hero included useless flavor skills and perks that fit the character concept. After several rounds of GM review and suggestions, these items are essentially free flavor items that cost no points. Granted, that's because they don't show up in game or only show up in exposition between scenes/adventures. My current build is much more utilitarian and combat-effective, but that's what my team needs. As the designated face-man and backup tank/brick I can't afford to be a glass canon.



#20 Hugh Neilson

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Posted 24 May 2017 - 08:08 AM

Especially in DC and defense capped games it's a balancing act.  Nobody wants to be taken out in the first segment twelve so there's a lot of building around 'averages' with a 'just in case' aspect but as soon as you have average anything in a controlled environment it can turn into a slog (defense cap set to 3xDC or higher) - or a blood bath (defense cap set to 1xDC).


It definitely changes the dynamic. Defenses of 3x DC means 36 defenses vs 12d6 so about 6 stun per hit. Combat drags on. 1xDC, first strike becomes a lot more valuable, cover, blocks and dodges should be way more common as everyone looks for that one hit to take out an opponent.
 

(Important enemy NPC in my games, for example, are meant to be defeated in 2 full combat turns if the dice co-operate.  Less important but still named in 1.  Anything else ranges from 1 hit to less than a full turn.  Since it's not uncommon for said 'important' enemy to weather 30 attacks against them per full turn there IS a lot of dcv, reduction, and defense juggling involved.  There'd be less if they'd ever dealt with the minions first or broke into mini-fights like in the comics where each person fights an enemy while the toughest guy keeps the 'boss' busy until the others step in to help ... but they... don't.  Teamwork rolls and full focus fire all the way.)


I see two approaches here. First, if it's four lower power NPCs and one "Boss Villain", then why would they not focus on the most dangerous target? Even if the bad guys are about equal in ower, one opponent downed beats 5 taking a bit of STUN. So can we do something to make the minions a target as well? Maybe they are hard to bypass. Maybe if they are ignored, they also use Teamwork. If they are not targeted, hey, toss all skill levels into OCV and damage bonuses - who needs DCV if they aren't shooting at you?

Mind you, if we take a game where the norm is 2x DC in defenses (so that 12d6 hit is averaging 14 past defenses), my Big Bad with a 15d6 Attack (25 past defenses will STUN a lot of Supers), 3x DC in defenses and decent STUN actually seems like a threat. If the PCs are built to the same standard, the Big Bad needs to be that much Bigger and Badder.

I can recall playing a 2.5 - 3x DC norm for defenses game and thinking I should drop all the villains' defenses about 10 points and add 3 DCs to their attacks - now hits would average 16 across the board instead of 6, and fights would end faster.
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