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PSLs in my Dark Champions Campaign

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Reading the PSLs description in 6E1, 87, it doesn't appear that we can use PSLs to 'reduce the 1/2 DCV penalty' induced on things like using Multi-Attack or to offset a particular Combat Maneuver.  Is this correct?  i'm having a discussion at our table and half say it is, while others like me believe it is not possible.

 

thoughts?

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In the section on the Multiple Attack maneuver, 6e2 p77 gives us a hint as follows:


COMBAT SKILL LEVELS
Unless the GM rules otherwise, characters cannot buy Combat Skill Levels specifically with Multiple Attack. They have to buy CSLs with the attacks they use to make a Multiple Attack, which they may apply when making the Multiple Attack with those attacks.

 

Thus, by my way of thinking, if you can't buy Combat Skill Levels specifically with Multiple Attack, you also logically shouldn't be able to buy Penalty Skill Levels specifically with Multiple Attack.  Instead, I would think you would need to buy Penalty Skill Levels with the attacks used to make a Multiple Attack -- which could be applied when making the Multiple Attack with those attacks.  This would make the PSL purchase approach congruent/consistent with the CSL purchase approach outlined above in the quoted RAW.

 

With that in mind, someone who has a DCV of 6 and a Blast, RKA, and TK (small group of attacks) with which s/he wants to Multiple Attack ... and not suffer halved DCV might purchase the following (which dodges the PSL question, entirely -- that being my point):

 

+3 with a small group of attacks (9 Active Points); Limited Power: Only usable during a Multiple Attack (Power loses about half of its effectiveness; -1), Limited Power: DCV Only - Cannot be used for OCV or to add to DMG (Power loses about half of its effectiveness; -1)

 

Different people might give different values for the limited power modifiers, but I think I've been a bit conservative, here, as technically the DCV-only limitation constitutes 2/3 of the power's effectiveness going out the window, right there. (i.e. Of the 3 things you can do with the CSLs, two thirds of them are off the table - yet I only listed this as losing half its effectiveness.)

 

REMINDER:
​The player must still state use of these levels for the Multiple Attack ... even though it's the only time they are usable.  That's RAW for CSL's ... i.e. they are NOT persistent and a player may not state they are in use 'at all times' -- per 6e1 p69.  These CSLs would also be for only ranged attacks ... since the powers being affected by the CSL are ranged powers and if they could affect OCV for those powers (i.e. no DCV-only limitation) it would be ranged OCV.  (This is also per 6e1 p69.)

Check out the first paragraph of 6e1 p70 -- especially the last sentence of that paragraph ... for how to properly buy CSLs with limitations ... that affect DCV for both HTH and Ranged attacks; it's a lot more expensive ... and for a good reason!

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Surrealone,

 

thanks for your reply, gives us a lot to think about.  But given your outlined procedures above, essentially you are saying that:

 

Given DCV 6, I want to use Multi Attack to strike two different targets, knowing that I will have an adjusted DCV 3 (for using MA).  I can then buy CSLs to return to DCV 6, but apparently vs ranged only?

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Surrealone,

 

thanks for your reply, gives us a lot to think about.  But given your outlined procedures above, essentially you are saying that:

 

Given DCV 6, I want to use Multi Attack to strike two different targets, knowing that I will have an adjusted DCV 3 (for using MA).  I can then buy CSLs to return to DCV 6, but apparently vs ranged only?

Not quite.  The previously-cited RAW is what says those CSLs can be used to keep you at DCV 6 but only vs. Ranged.  (Keep in mind that those are 3pt CSLs.)

 

The first paragraph of 6e1 p70 (which I also pointed you to) tells you how to do CSLs that let you have DCV vs. both HTH and Ranged.  (I had hoped you'd look that up and be able to work it out from there, but perhaps more input is needed.)  That paragraph states (red/emphasis added by me):

 

As an optional rule, the GM can distinguish between a character’s DCV against HTH attacks and his DCV against Ranged attacks. In this case, a character cannot use a CSL to provide a DCV bonus against Ranged attacks unless the CSL applies to All Combat (a 10-point Level). Moreover, a character with a CSL that applies specifically to a Ranged attack or class of Ranged attacks can never use the Level to improve his DCV. This optional rule reflects the fact that it’s difficult to dodge a bullet or arrow, regardless of your expertise at shooting bullets or arrows. The GM should always use it when characters buy CSLs with Limitations (an accurate gun doesn’t make its user harder to hit, for instance).

 

 

 

So ... barring any house rules, your takeaway from this should be that if you want to follow RAW and use CSLs built akin to what I built (above) to provide  DCV vs. both HTH and Ranged attacks (instead of vs. Ranged only, as above) ... then you need to build them using 10pt CSLs instead of the 3pt CSLs I used in my example.  (It also strongly suggests that my 3pt CSL example should really have been a 10pt example ... but by the time I had cited that paragraph in my previous post I got kinda lazy and didn't rebuild it. :) )

 

 

Oh, one more thing for consideration -- you might want to give a serious look at the Defensive Attack skill from APG1 (Advanced Players Guide #1).  Characters who have this skill suffer a flat DCV penalty when using Multiple Attack rather than their DCVs being halved.

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Given the CSL prohibition on 6e2 p77, I'd be surprised if a GM would allow that ... because DCV with such a limitation is essentially behaving like a CSL.  But, if the GM will allow it, Lucius' suggestion has merit.

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I recently added the following to my John Wick Chapter 2 build.

 

10  7) Defensive Attack (Custom Skill) 

[Notes: From APG1 page 38 - Defensive Attack

A character with this optional new Combat Skill has a heightened ability to avoid attacks in combat. He only suffers a -2 DCV when making a Multiple Attack (6E2 73), rather than his DCV being halved. (This includes Multiple Attacks made with the Two-Weapon Fighting Skill.) No roll is required, and all other Multiple Attack penalties and rules apply. Defensive Attack costs 10 Character Points and applies to all forms of Multiple Attack. If a character only wants to be able to use it with Multiple Attacks only featuring HTH attacks, or only featuring Ranged attacks, he can apply a -1 Limitation, HTH Multiple Attacks Only or Ranged Multiple Attacks Only.]

 

HM

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As a general rule, you can use an applicable* Defensive PSL to reduce a 1/2 DCV effect. You simply need a number of PSLs equal to half of whatever your current DCV is to negate the entire penalty. For example, a character with a maximum DCV of 6 needs 3 PSLs to completely negate being at 1/2 DCV. If they only had 1 PSL, their maximum DCV would be 4  under the same circumstances (the result of reducing the -3 penalty from being at "1/2 DCV" by 1).

* You are never explicitly prohibited from purchasing Defensive PSLs to offset the Multiple Attack Penalty in Champions Complete. Multiple Attack only prohibits you from purchasing Combat Skill Levels for it; it never mentioned Penalty Skill Levels, which are a different skill entirely. Further, Penalty Skill Levels only explicitly prohibit Offensive PSLs from counteracting maneuver penalties. What this means is that per RAW in CC, you can buy "+X to offset Multiple Attack penalties with All Attacks" as 3-point Defensive PSLs, but not as Offensive PSLs. This is also why Two-Weapon Fighting, which is equivalent to "+2 to offset Multiple Attack Penalties with All Attacks (as 3-point Offensive PSLs) (6 APs); Only While Two-Weapon Fighting (-?)" is instead a separate 10-point Skill.

 

Simply buying more DCV with the Limitation "Only While Performing A Multiple Attack" is also perfectly legal, but not particularly cost effective because per RAW nothing is preventing that DCV from getting halved by the Multiple Attack too. So you effectively have to pay 10 APs per +1 DCV (sans abuse of rounding), which you then modify to a cost of between 5 and 3.3 CP per +1 DCV (with nothing preventing your "Multiple Attacking" DCV from exceeding your normal DCV. Compared to the cost of 1 to 3 CP for Defensive PSLs (which could still be modified downward if appropriate).

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22 minutes ago, Cantriped said:

As a general rule, you can use an applicable* Defensive PSL to reduce a 1/2 DCV effect. You simply need a number of PSLs equal to half of whatever your current DCV is to negate the entire penalty.....

Simply buying more DCV with the Limitation "Only While Performing A Multiple Attack" is also perfectly legal, but not particularly cost effective because per RAW nothing is preventing that DCV from getting halved by the Multiple Attack too.

 

Actually, you need Levels equal to DCV if you go this route, because your statement regarding DCV applies to DCV from levels too. The halving comes last.

 

Lucius Alexander

 

Like a palindromedary tagline comes last in a Lucius Alexander post

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The rules for HERO were never about what's NOT allowed in general.

 

However, citing a lack of a specific case in an abridged edition as an argument to get around a ruing about the same specific case in the full rules is dubious at best. Especially since the same rule exists in 5e.

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16 hours ago, Hyper-Man said:

The rules for HERO were never about what's NOT allowed in general.

 

However, citing a lack of a specific case in an abridged edition as an argument to get around a ruing about the same specific case in the full rules is dubious at best. Especially since the same rule exists in 5e.

I agree with you. I do have to give an A for creative rules lawyering though!

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22 hours ago, Lucius said:

 

Actually, you need Levels equal to DCV if you go this route, because your statement regarding DCV applies to DCV from levels too. The halving comes last.

 

Lucius Alexander

 

Like a palindromedary tagline comes last in a Lucius Alexander post

No it doesn't... Reducing a penalty to DCV, and gaining a bonus to DCV are not the same thing mechanically. Although to be fair in practice the end result is the same in some circumstances. Applying a PSL doesn't give you additional DCV, it offsets (i.e. reduces by an amount equal to the number of PSLs) a defined penalty. It doesn't matter if the penalty is a fixed value, or one relative to your current Combat Values; all that affects is how many PSLs you need.

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21 hours ago, Hyper-Man said:

The rules for HERO were never about what's NOT allowed in general.

 

However, citing a lack of a specific case in an abridged edition as an argument to get around a ruing about the same specific case in the full rules is dubious at best. Especially since the same rule exists in 5e.

The "full rules" also support my arguments.

See 6e1 84-85 regarding Penalty Skill Levels. The language regarding OPSLs not applying to counter maneuver penalties is explicitly spelled out there too. Likewise this language is omitted from the rules specific to DPSLs (which are written as inclusively as possible). 6e1 84-85 do go a step further in making is explicitly clear that OPSLs/DPSLs cannot increase OCV/DCV generally, only to "reduce or counteract a specific type of negative DCV modifier."

See 6e2 73-78 regarding Multiple Attack, specifically Combat Skill Levels (6e2 77): where once again 6e supports CC by calling out that "characters cannot buy Combat Skill Levels specifically with Multiple Attack". Per 6e1 69-71 & 84-85, Penalty Skills Levels are "a type of Skill Level", while Combat Skill Levels do not appear to be; in fact 6e1 69 explicitly notes that "Characters can use Overall Levels as CSLs", further reinforcing that they are mechanically distinct. It stands to reason that since 6e and CC both call out CSLs specifically, but never make any mention of either SLs or PSLs, that those rules do not apply to them.

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7 hours ago, Cantriped said:

No it doesn't... Reducing a penalty to DCV, and gaining a bonus to DCV are not the same thing mechanically. Although to be fair in practice the end result is the same in some circumstances. Applying a PSL doesn't give you additional DCV, it offsets (i.e. reduces by an amount equal to the number of PSLs) a defined penalty. It doesn't matter if the penalty is a fixed value, or one relative to your current Combat Values; all that affects is how many PSLs you need.

 

I concede that your position is reasonable. I am not certain it is correct.

 

Lucius Alexander

 

The palindromedary is in two minds about it.

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I've just reread the DCV checklist from 6e2 and it clearly states that halving is always the last step.  

 

For the same reason there is no way to purchase a 'positive' OCV when moving at noncombat velocity.

 

For that reason it doesn't matter what the source of the DCV modifier is ( limited dcv, csl, dpsl or maneuver ) the halving will occur last.

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10 hours ago, Hyper-Man said:

I've just reread the DCV checklist from 6e2 and it clearly states that halving is always the last step.  

...

For that reason it doesn't matter what the source of the DCV modifier is ( limited dcv, csl, dpsl or maneuver ) the halving will occur last.

Yes the halving will occur last in the checklist so that all possible bonuses (such as from buying Conditional DCV) have already been applied.

However PSLs do not, at any point modify your OCV or DCV (except indirectly), so the checklist isn't relevant to their function at all.

The basic mechanical function of a PSL is to reduce penalties caused by a specified condition (regardless of when said condition occurs). So it doesn't matter when the, Flat, 1/2, or 0 DCV penalty is calculated, any DPSLs you've applied to the action will still reduce that penalty by an amount equal to the number of DPSLs applied.

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10 hours ago, Hyper-Man said:

For the same reason there is no way to purchase a 'positive' OCV when moving at noncombat velocity.

This is also misunderstood. There is nothing prohibiting you from purchasing OPSLs to offset Noncombat Velocity penalties. However, you are explicitly prohibited from purchasing OPSLs to offset the "-v/10 OCV" you incur from performing a Move Through (or the flat -2 penalty for Move By, or the variable penalty for Multiple Attack, etc...) by the phrase "Nor can he buy OPSLs to counteract the standard OCV penalty imposed by a Combat Maneuver..., or to counteract the Unfamiliar Weapon penalty..." (6e1 84). Which is actually the only statement in the rules defining conditions which PSLs cannot be applied to.

 

So you can have a positive OCV while at Noncombat Velocity, you just can't do it buy purchasing MSLs, CSLs, or Conditional OCV. In fact, I can't find anything in the rules prohibiting a character from using a martial maneuver (such as Passing Strike) at Noncombat Velocity (thus far I've checked CC, 6e1&2, and HSMA), except for a note saying that reasonable GMs might ignore the rule that velocity-based martial maneuvers don't cause feedback damage if the player tries to do something stupid like Charging into a Brick Wall at Noncombat Velocity (HSMA 249).

So Velocity Man could buy Passing Strike, Mega-Running, and a stack of OPSLs to obliterate objects on impact without suffering any damage himself; despite a notable lack of Resistant Protection capable of absorbing the 102d6 Normal Damage dealt by a 1km/phase Passing Strike. However I don't think most sensible GMs will allow such a character, even if they are legal per RAW.

 

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Quote

OCV CHECKLIST
1. Determine base OCV (character’s OCV Characteristic).
2. Add any applicable Combat Skill Levels the character wishes to use to increase his OCV.
3. Apply any modifiers for the particular weapon or armor the character uses.
4. Apply any modifiers for the particular Combat Maneuver or Martial Maneuver the character uses.
5. Apply any Combat Modifiers.
6. Apply the Range Modifier (if applicable).
7. Apply any other modifiers.
8. Apply any modifiers that halve OCV (or otherwise reduce it by a fraction or percentage). A character’s OCV can only be halved once, regardless of how many “halving” modifiers he’s subject to.

 

Quote

DCV CHECKLIST
1. Determine base DCV (character’s DCV Characteristic).
2. Add any applicable Combat Skill Levels the character wishes to use to increase his DCV.
3. Apply any modifiers for the particular weapon, armor, or shield the character uses.
4. Apply any modifiers for the particular Combat Maneuver or Martial Maneuver the character uses.
5. Apply any Combat Modifiers.
6. Apply any other modifiers.
7. Apply any modifiers that halve DCV (or otherwise reduce it by a fraction or percentage). A character’s DCV can only be halved once, regardless of how many “halving” modifiers he’s subject to.

 

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There you go, citation provided.

However, since PSLs do not modify your OCV or DCV at all, the OCV/DCV checklists are not relevant to their function. You apply a PSL just like any other type of skill level, and when the appropriate condition occurs it modifies whatever penalty you would have suffered by the number of levels you applied without exception. For DPSLs you may select any condition, including those whose penalty is relative to your DCV (i.e. ones that reduce your DCV to 1/2 or 0)

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