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HKA & added Str?

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1 minute ago, Cassandra said:

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.

 

That changed in 6e.  That's effectively a GM option, strongly recommended but still optional rule.

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4 minutes ago, Chris Goodwin said:

Oh wow, there's one of those gotchas.  :) So now HA costs more than Blast, No Range.  That's less than ideal, IMO.

Not necessarily. I'm not talking about decoupling the ability to add STR to HAs/HKAs. So that 1d6 HA still has the advantage of doing 3d6N, while the 1d6 Blast has the advantage of a 50m range. Taking away either of those advantages (Adding STR or Ranged) is worthy of a -1/2 Limitation, so under my proposal they would have the same cost.

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Just now, Chris Goodwin said:

 

That changed in 6e.  That's effectively a GM option, strongly recommended but still optional rule.

Yup, now you can buy 1 pip HKA and deal 1d6 HKA with your default 10 STR; and continue to increase the damage of said HKA infinitely so long as you can afford all those sources of added DCs (STR, Velocity, MAs/CSLs, etc).

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Just now, Chris Goodwin said:

 

That changed in 6e.  That's effectively a GM option, strongly recommended but still optional rule.

 

I stopped with the 5th Edition.  I started with the 1st way back in 1982 and loved it.  This was my second superhero RPG.  My first was Task Force Games Supervillain, which was more a combat game with roleplaying options if you wanted to be a supervillain, but not a superhero. 

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6 minutes ago, Cantriped said:

Not necessarily. I'm not talking about decoupling the ability to add STR to HAs/HKAs. So that 1d6 HA still has the advantage of doing 3d6N, while the 1d6 Blast has the advantage of a 50m range. Taking away either of those advantages (Adding STR or Ranged) is worthy of a -1/2 Limitation, so under my proposal they would have the same cost.

 

I'm going more by the general rule that you can buy a Power to add to another Power, as long as they're meant to be used together.  For instance, Blast 10d6, plus Blast +6d6, 2x END.  In this case, one might buy Blast, +6d6, No Range, and define that as adding to a punch (which, now that I look into it further, wouldn't have the option to take either the Unified Power or Linked Limitations).  

 

Seems easier to me to just house rule the HA Limitation back to -1/2.

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2 minutes ago, Chris Goodwin said:

 

I'm going more by the general rule that you can buy a Power to add to another Power, as long as they're meant to be used together.  For instance, Blast 10d6, plus Blast +6d6, 2x END.  In this case, one might buy Blast, +6d6, No Range, and define that as adding to a punch (which, now that I look into it further, wouldn't have the option to take either the Unified Power or Linked Limitations).  

 

Seems easier to me to just house rule the HA Limitation back to -1/2.

 

Wouldn't that just be linked?

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I think it's wise not to impose too many limitations restrictions, but I'd be good with breakable HKA foci being required to take Real Weapon so that they get damaged if used with too much force behind them.

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1 hour ago, Hyper-Man said:

I thought Real Weapon automatically meant Breakable?

 

It's not stated in CC, though common sense says yes if you buy it as a focus.

 

But technically you don't need to have Focus to take Real Weapon. You might have one of THOSE guys who always has their gear. 

 

A mystically summoned sword that is otherwise normal might qualify for Real Weapon but not Focus.

 

Summon Sword: 1d6+1 HKA (20pts); Costs END only to Activate (+¼); Real Weapon (-¼); 20pts real.

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18 minutes ago, Ninja-Bear said:

Actually it’s suggested under real weapon to be breakable. But it’s not defined as to have to be and what total DC needed to exceed to break.

 

True. The list of things under Real Weapon can be looked at as strong suggestions rather than mandatory. It IS only a -¼ limitation, after all. The damage to the weapon from too much added damage thing is pretty much only for hand to hand weapons, after all, but a gun needs more maintenance than a mace. An indestructible AK-47 (which would still not be able to blow big holes in walls, would need cleaning, etc) doesn't violate any of those points.

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I liked the double rule and still use it, conceptually, for both HKA and HA (and martial arts DC levels)  -  A character I make who wants to do 12d6 normal damage, for example, has at least a 30 str (6d6).

 

If I want a mystical old monk who has a 10 strength but can break through a brick wall with the best of them I use Blast (No Range).

 

That said if I can see the reason they changed it:  If Hulk picks up an unbreakable sword from legend that does 2d6 why *should* he be limited to 4d6 killing?  Or if he learns Killing Blow... he fingers aren't going to break when he knifehands someone in the throat but he's definitely going to knifehand them a lot harder than a soldier using the same move.

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On 11/1/2017 at 11:57 AM, Cantriped said:

Yup, now you can buy 1 pip HKA and deal 1d6 HKA with your default 10 STR; and continue to increase the damage of said HKA infinitely so long as you can afford all those sources of added DCs (STR, Velocity, MAs/CSLs, etc).

 

At which point your gm needs to step in and call [redacted] and slap said player upside the head with a mackerel.  

 

What we've tried to do in our games is allow the unrestricted adding but also give a chance that the weapon you're using will be destroyed on the first, or second hit.  It's basically based on "flavor and dramatic sense".  

 

As for non-equipment based HKAs, we've never really had a problem with the players going into ludicrous territory with them so not sure how'd we deal with that.  Short of what I mentioned in the start of the post. IE: GM + Mackerel + head.

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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...

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To put things in perspective though, campaign DC caps should usually kick in before things get too out of control. I notice that in the CC example characters Ironclad's 2d6 HKA sword is noted as "4d6 with STR", despite him having 60 STR. Now, that could just be old habits kicking in and it possible should read "6d6" per the RAW, or a simple oversight from the 5e writeup, but if a 12 DC cap is in force that does match up.

 

Plus if the GM thinks it is out of line for a given situation, they should just fix it.

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1 hour ago, Sean Waters said:

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...

 

Yes, because in HERO combat you stop in place after attacking unless using certain specific maneuvers that have penalties.

 

Ranged attackers don't need to move at all, giving them full phase options, or non-movement half phase options before their attack. This might be very important depending on their build or the tactical situation.

 

In addition, flying characters vs ground locked ones or characters otherwise able to keep more than their opponent's half move away from them, who are using ranged attacks can be hard to deal with.

 

Grab scenery and throw it might be okay for a brick, but won't typically be a good option for a martial artist. Even for bricks, it may be suboptimal as the amount of damage caused is capped by the DEF and BODY of the object thrown. The range mod sucks, too.

 

As well, movement isn't always an option, due to entangles, drains, barriers and so forth.

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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.

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Close combat locking you into HAVING to move next to your target is still a big thing. There are any number of reasons you may not want to or may not be able to do that. Control and manipulation of the playing field is a big part of interesting superhero combat.

 

Plus damage shields.

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The HKA/STR issue is always entertaining.

 

If we accept that STR enhances HKA to begin with, what is the "realism" or "play balance" issue that makes "no more than double" the right answer?  Why not, like everything else in Hero, if you want a KA with no range, apply No Range.  If you want a bigger KA, spend more points on your KA.  If you want the KA to be smaller if you don't have your full STR to back it up, add a limitation.  Just like every other attack.

 

Is STR underpriced?  Maybe.  I would suggest that PRE and INT are also underpriced, given the much higher cost of buying the component parts, and given we could not bear to have DEX (enhances skills and initiative) priced at 1 point (like INT, which enhances skills and PER, or PRE which enhances skills and PRE attacks).  But I also agree 1 DC at range is worth more than 1 DC at no range.  That means 1 HTH DC should cost less than 1d6 Blast (note that Blast also can be Spread). 

 

If it is imperative STR enhance killing damage, what would we reasonably allow as a limitation for STR which does not enhance killing damage?  Especially when STR that only increases normal damage from a STR based strike is only -1/4?  STR that enhances the effect of every martial maneuver is priced at the same -1/4.  Why can't I buy STR that only enhances non-martial maneuvers for -1/4?

 

It seems like the general bias is "always undervalue the limitation".  I find the same issue with limited defenses.  If "Only versus fire" is -1, then "not vs fire" should also be -1.  Add them together and you have a defense that works against all energy attacks.

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On 11/2/2017 at 11:37 PM, mrinku said:

Close combat locking you into HAVING to move next to your target is still a big thing. There are any number of reasons you may not want to or may not be able to do that. Control and manipulation of the playing field is a big part of interesting superhero combat.

 

Plus damage shields.

 

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...

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17 hours ago, Hugh Neilson said:

The HKA/STR issue is always entertaining.

 

If we accept that STR enhances HKA to begin with, what is the "realism" or "play balance" issue that makes "no more than double" the right answer?  Why not, like everything else in Hero, if you want a KA with no range, apply No Range.  If you want a bigger KA, spend more points on your KA.  If you want the KA to be smaller if you don't have your full STR to back it up, add a limitation.  Just like every other attack.

 

Is STR underpriced?  Maybe.  I would suggest that PRE and INT are also underpriced, given the much higher cost of buying the component parts, and given we could not bear to have DEX (enhances skills and initiative) priced at 1 point (like INT, which enhances skills and PER, or PRE which enhances skills and PRE attacks).  But I also agree 1 DC at range is worth more than 1 DC at no range.  That means 1 HTH DC should cost less than 1d6 Blast (note that Blast also can be Spread). 

 

If it is imperative STR enhance killing damage, what would we reasonably allow as a limitation for STR which does not enhance killing damage?  Especially when STR that only increases normal damage from a STR based strike is only -1/4?  STR that enhances the effect of every martial maneuver is priced at the same -1/4.  Why can't I buy STR that only enhances non-martial maneuvers for -1/4?

 

It seems like the general bias is "always undervalue the limitation".  I find the same issue with limited defenses.  If "Only versus fire" is -1, then "not vs fire" should also be -1.  Add them together and you have a defense that works against all energy attacks.

 

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.

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8 hours ago, Sean Waters said:

 

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.

 

 

Sure. I'd read that into your earlier post. I guess, given the HERO system the only alternatives would be dropping it to a +¼ advantage, or making it an adder. 

 

Myself, I'm fine with the standard modifier... though I'm prepared to adjust it (like any modifier) depending on the setting and build.

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