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HKA & added Str?

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Tireless Strength: (Total: 45 Active Cost, 45 Real Cost) +30 STR, Reduced Endurance (0 END; +1/2) (45 Active Points) (Real Cost: 45)

 

Lucius Alexander

 

The palindromedary fails to see the point

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Given that I can't add DEX to my Running rate or CON to my Resistant Defense or EGO to my Mind Control, perhaps the question should be, why does STR add to Killing Attacks at all?

 

 

Cause in the real world, being agile doesn't make you faster unless you have to dodge around stuff, but if you pick up an axe, the stronger you are, the harder you hit. Am I missing something here, was that meant to be sarcastic?

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Tireless Strength: (Total: 45 Active Cost, 45 Real Cost) +30 STR, Reduced Endurance (0 END; +1/2) (45 Active Points) (Real Cost: 45)

 

Lucius Alexander

 

The palindromedary fails to see the point

STR allows for more END to be spent to increase the ap of HKA.

 

If other characteristics were used, they would not cost END unless made to do so w/ Limitations.

 

This is not a gross difference but it does add up to something.

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Cause in the real world, being agile doesn't make you faster unless you have to dodge around stuff, but if you pick up an axe, the stronger you are, the harder you hit. Am I missing something here, was that meant to be sarcastic?

I would be more inclined to find a way to make STR add to Running before DEX. Running the muscle powered Movement.

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And all of this comes because HERO still has its roots in the first wave of RPGs where characteristics were de rigeur.

 

Characteristics are probably the one element of the system that is absolutely counter to the core concept of the game - buy the mechanic, describe the effect.  They skew powers and skills.

 

I think if Steve had realised that 6th would not bootstrap the game into a more profitable strata he might have been more radical with the new edition.  I think we might have seen a system where the only 'characteristics' would have been the actual mechanical ones (STUN, END, CV etc) and everything else would have been a skill or a power.

 

That would actually have cleared out a lot of the dead wood lying about - the difficulty of talking 5pts for a DC of damage when STR gives the same damage and a cloud of other things as well...

 

I had a half-planned fantasy campaign once where weapons did not have damage attributes but instead they delivered advantages etc to your physical attributes.  So, a sword would make your STR do killing damage (using that as an advantage rather than a different kind of damage roll), or a bow would add range to your STR (and make it killing).  I stumbled on clubs, which should allow you to do more damage until I decided that armour piercing was enough for what I wanted.

 

Too much work, not enough time.  :-(

 

Doc

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Yeah, but it would have been a small sacrifice for leaner, meaner system.  I think once you got used to it, it would be odd to go back - like we are running a 4th edition game tonight and creating characters with the whole figured characteristic thing is SO WEIRD....

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The reason for the rule change in 2nd edition was that in first edition, all you needed was a 1 dice HKA to turn your Strength attack into a Killing Attack.

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.

 

Given that I can't add DEX to my Running rate or CON to my Resistant Defense or EGO to my Mind Control, perhaps the question should be, why does STR add to Killing Attacks at all?

 

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).

 

Cause in the real world, being agile doesn't make you faster unless you have to dodge around stuff, but if you pick up an axe, the stronger you are, the harder you hit. Am I missing something here, was that meant to be sarcastic?

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.

 

STR allows for more END to be spent to increase the ap of HKA.

 

If other characteristics were used, they would not cost END unless made to do so w/ Limitations.

Or unless the rules said you pay END for all the running, Mind Control, etc. that you use.

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If you removed damage from strength (just leaving it for contested rolls, throw distance, lift capacity - which is still plenty on paper but mileage varies significantly in game) how much damage would you do with the car you just threw? That you just paid 50 points for the privilege of being able to throw far enough to be viable as an attack?

 

It's a stacked attribute - it's always better to buy strength over HA (unadvantaged) - but it walks a wire edge of being expensively useless with any little change.

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If you removed damage from strength (just leaving it for contested rolls, throw distance, lift capacity - which is still plenty on paper but mileage varies significantly in game) how much damage would you do with the car you just threw? That you just paid 50 points for the privilege of being able to throw far enough to be viable as an attack?

 

In the discussion on 6th edition years ago I called for leaping and damage to be stripped away from strength.  But as you note, it would be complicated to figure out how someone could lift and hit someone with a car, but not just punch them that hard.  And, since the game simulates genre, there's almost no example of someone with super lifting ability that can't also hit super hard.  So in the end, keeping the damage in made sense.

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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.

 

Using the 1e/6e rule, he can buy a 1d6 HKA for 15 points on top of his 60 STR, giving him a 5d6 HKA. (Or, if you allow 1 pip HKAs, 5 points will buy him a 4d6+1 HKA.)

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I had a half-planned fantasy campaign once where weapons did not have damage attributes but instead they delivered advantages etc to your physical attributes.  So, a sword would make your STR do killing damage (using that as an advantage rather than a different kind of damage roll), or a bow would add range to your STR (and make it killing).  I stumbled on clubs, which should allow you to do more damage until I decided that armour piercing was enough for what I wanted.

 

 

Pendragon does something along those lines. Your one handed damage is the same regardless of what weapon you're using, but each type gives a different bonus (swords don't break, maces are more effective vs chain armour, axes are better vs shields etc). Unless I'm mistaken, Pendragon was the first major game to flip Weapon-Damage-plus-Bonus-STR-Damage over to STR-Damage-plus-Bonus-Weapon-Damage (though it actually uses a value derived from STR and SIZ).

 

The Pendragon take on simple wooden clubs is that they don't have any bonus. Except cost.

 

GURPS went with that approach as well. SJ might have been influenced by Pendragon, but GURPS was in late development when Pendragon was published in 1985, so I think it was probably just an idea whose time had come. Greg Stafford and Steve Jackson might well have talked to each other, of course.

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I remember playing DnD in the 80s and we wanted our wizards to be able to use swords like Gandalf did so we ruled that it didn't matter what weapon you had your class ruled what damage you did in melee.

 

Wizard D4 

Thief/ Cleric/ Elf D6

Fighter/ Dwarf d8

 

If you used a two handed weapon you moved up a dice class.

 

Something like that anyway.

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Just realised if you wanted to really get into this you could design your weapons with it in mind.

 

So if you are playing a Greek God, say with 60 str, and want to have a magical spear to hurl at your enemies. You buy it as a 2d6 HKA, apply the ranged adv to it and you are now toting a 6d6 RKA. Oh yeah.

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Using the 1e/6e rule, he can buy a 1d6 HKA for 15 points on top of his 60 STR, giving him a 5d6 HKA. (Or, if you allow 1 pip HKAs, 5 points will buy him a 4d6+1 HKA.)

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).

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1d6 RKA, No Range: 10 Real Points

plus 1d6 RKA, No Range, Linked (above RKA, -1/2), Unified (w/STR, -1/4):  6 2/3 (rounds to 7) Real Points

 

Total cost:  17 points for 1d6 of "HKA" built in this fashion.

 

If we give a small discount per SETAC guidelines, we can call it 15 points.

 

PS -- I am extra terse because I am on my phone.

Edited by Chris Goodwin
tweaking spacing

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Well I think the reasoning was to make HKA more like Hand Attack which adds to STR as well but has never been capped at x2 DC.  I think the premise is sound if you approach it similarly.  Think about it, if you take "Superhero Physics" out of it, a baseball bat couldn't do 20d6 of damage regardless of the user's STR because the material would break down before getting to that level.  This has always been the argument for HKAs.  How can a steak knife do 6d6 of Killing Damage?  Well how could a mop handle do 18d6?

Now that they have removed the STUN lottery it really boils down to the intent of the attack.  Are you looking to do lethal damage or incapacitating damage?  You really aren't getting a deal with Killing Attacks anymore (well unless you start adding to the STUN multiple...but I digress).  To be honest I think that Kiilling Attacks get gypped since Hand Attacks get the benefit of a -1/4 Limitation while Hand To Hand Killing Attacks don't (why?  Because they add to STR.).  So I would ask the question, why don't they just unify the concept and make "Adds to STR" an Advantage?  No Range and Adds to STR would cancel out generally (at least in my mind leaving the concept intact (except in the HA case where it would begin to cost 5 pts. per DC).

My personal opinion is that it does what it sets out to do.  Can it get out of hand?  Sure, but so can a Hand Attack if you let it.  Would Hulk really need a mop handle or a steak knife?  No but according to the rules he would do more damage with them.  As a GM you would just need to call BS and disallow it or come up with a way to circumvent it.

Here is one way you can do that.  If a mop handle has 3pd/ed you can limit the damage to twice that amount and then it breaks.  You could do the same thing with a knife or any other weapon it will just require more bookkeeping.  So if you don't want Bricks taking advantage of the situation just impose that restriction (I would also suggest making Durable and Unbreakable cost something).  Of course this does nothing to a personal ability (like claws or a stinger) but you could still impose rules to prevent abuse if you like.

I know, I am rambling....Sorry for that.

 

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The reasoning was to make the adding damage rules a lot simpler to use in play.  Champions used to cap it at 2x DC.  Then came Martial Arts DCs, maneuver DCs, prorating for Advantages, conditions, exceptions, and so on.  

I could build 3d6 of "HA" using the same rationale and Limitations as the above "HKA" and get the same cost.  Except that we already get some of those dice from STR; in practice, HA should look more like the more tightly limited version, at 6 2/3 points per 3d6 (6.6666666...) or 2.2222... points per d6.  Huh.  I guess an argument could be made that at 3 points per d6, HA is overpriced.  

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2 minutes ago, Chris Goodwin said:

Huh.  I guess an argument could be made that at 3 points per d6, HA is overpriced.  

In 6th edition HA is 4 CP per 1d6 (the mandatory Limitation value was reduced from -1/2 in 5th to -1/4 in 6th). I think the fairer argument would be that Strength (and by extension Telekinesis) is Underpriced, not that damage classes are from HA are overpriced. If STR were 2 CP per point (and Telekinesis 3 APs per point) than HA wouldn't need a mandatory limitation to be fairly priced (or a draconic restriction on taking Range modifiers to be balanced).

Alternatively, if the dice of damage produced by strength alone was somehow inferior to other sources of Normal Damage, than getting similar dice of damage for the same price wouldn't be unbalanced. For example, if STR Damage was naturally Reduced Penetration, but STR could still be used to add to HAs and HKAs normally.

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Maybe this has been said before, but I always thought that the amount of STR added to a HKA was equal to the points of the HKA.  For example is an HKA was 30 Points (2d6 Killing Damage) then the most STR added would be 30 raising the attack to 4d6 Killing Damage.

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