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Demiurgos

Exploring the Possibilities of HERO System

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Regarding the general question of 'linking' 2 different foci there are a number of ways this can be done.  The simple solution is to just say they are part of the same focus - if this focus provides any defenses then all 'components' get the benefits of those defenses like Iron-Man (Defender).  Taking Linked or Unified means there is additional risk involved above and beyond the basic rules for damaging foci.

 

A more concrete Heroic example would be a sniper rifle used in a Dark Champions game.  The Telescopic Sight could certainly be used without firing the weapon.  The full rifle is just built with the 'combined power' feature in HeroDesigner so it shows as 1 item.

 

example from my version of John Wick / Keanu Reeves for 6e from the first movie.

[5] DTA Stealth Recon Scout (338 LM): (Total: 141 Active Cost, 39 Real Cost) RKA 3d6-1, +1 Increased STUN Multiplier (+1/4), Increased Maximum Range (1,600m; +1/2) (70 Active Points); OAF (SRS-338 LM sniper rifle; -1), STR Minimum 13 (STR Min. Cannot Add/Subtract Damage; -1), Required Hands Two-Handed (Bolt Action; -1/2), Beam (-1/4), 4 clips of 5 Charges (.338 Lapua Magnum round; -1/4), Real Weapon (-1/4) (Real Cost: 16) plus +1 OCV with SRS-338 LM (2 Active Points); OAF (-1), Real Weapon (-1/4) (Real Cost: 1) plus +3 to offset Range modifiers with SRS-338 LM (3 Active Points); OAF (-1), Real Weapon (-1/4) (Real Cost: 1) plus +1 PER with Sight Group (2 Active Points); Limited Power Only vs. Darkness Penalties (-1), OAF ( x10 Telescopic Sight; -1), Limited Power Only When Shooter Braces And/Or Sets (-1), Real Weapon (-1/4*) (Real Cost: 1) plus +14 versus Range Modifier for Sight Group (21 Active Points); OAF (x10 Telescopic Sight; -1), Limited Power Only When Shooter Braces And/Or Sets (-1), Real Weapon (-1/4*) (Real Cost: 6) plus +14 to offset Range modifier with SRS-338 LM (14 Active Points); Limited Power Only When Shooter Braces And/Or Sets (-1), OAF (x10 Telescopic Sight; -1), Real Weapon (-1/4) (Real Cost: 4) plus Invisible Power Effects (Invisible to Normal Sight; +1/4) for up to 70 Active Points of SRS-338 LM, Reduced Endurance (0 END; +1/2) (25 Active Points); OAF (Flash Suppressor; -1), Limited Power Only vs. Muzzle Flash (-1), Real Weapon (-1/4*) (Real Cost: 8) plus +1 OCV with SRS-338 LM (2 Active Points); OAF (Folding Bipod; -1), Limited Power Only When Shooter Sets With Bipod (-1), Real Weapon (-1/4) (Real Cost: 1) plus +2 to offset Range modifier with SRS-338 LM (2 Active Points); Limited Power Only When Shooter Braces With Bipod (-1), OAF (Folding Bipod; -1), Real Weapon (-1/4) (Real Cost: 1)
(x2 number of items)
When used with the Set & Brace maneuvers the combined total bonuses = +3 OCV and +21 vs. Range when using the Telescopic Site and Bipod. The default Range Modifier @ 2000m = -16. The weapon's maximum range = 1600m. The rules for this range do not take into account other extreme ballistic factors like air friction, weather, gravity and spin of the Earth.
Actual Damage = RKA 3d6-1, +1 Increased STUN Multiplier
OCV +1
OCV +1 Only When Shooter Braces With Bipod
Range +3
Range +14 Only When Shooter Braces And/Or Sets with x10 Telescopic Site
Range +2 Only When Shooter Braces With Bipod
http://www.imfdb.org...px-DTA_SRSB.jpg
http://www.imfdb.org...hnWickDTA-3.jpg
http://www.herogames...-1472793167.jpg
http://www.herogames...-1472793184.jpg

 

HM
 

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Now, HERO Designer gives a warning that Detect should not be placed in a Mulitpower or any other Power Framework, but as it's the weapon that has this capability, not the character, is it okay for this specific build to make an exception since that's the concept?

The reason you don't want to put that in the Multipower is not that there's a rule forbidding it, but that this is NOT how you probably want the power to work.

 

If you make the Detect a Multipower slot, you will not be able to use it on the same phase as your other Powers that are at max points. But if you want it to be a two phase process - one phase scan, next phase fire - that could work.

 

It doesn't have to be part of the multipower to be part of the gun. It just needs the same Focus Limitation and a note, "built into gun."

 

Of course, if you're a fan of complexity and duplication, you can just expand the Rserve and each slot and build the scan Power into each slot making each slot a Compound Power.

 

 

I don't see Unified, so I take it that's in 6e?

 

So if it doesn't go inside the Multipower, how would it be clear on the character sheet that it's actually for the Multipower? The multipower is a weapon, and Detect is its Targeting Scan. Two separate Foci look like two completely unrelated things since there's nothing that indicates they're part of the same whole.

Just make sure they're right next to each other on the sheet and clearly labeled.

 

By the way, you still have the Multipower drawing on personal END and not on any kind of ammunition.

 

Lucius Alexander

 

The palindromedary says, hey, Mind Link just might work for a privacy field....

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The palindromedary says, hey, Mind Link just might work for a privacy field....

 

Demiurgos, welcome to the boards. You're grokking Hero System a lot quicker than I did when I started getting really into it.

 

I'm just highlighting Lucius' point above because this is a really important part of Hero System. You buy the effect, not the description. If Mind Link works mechanically for what you want the power to do (and I'm not convinced it does), then you use that, and call it "privacy field" and make its special effect invisibility (or illusion, or light, whichever you prefer). That way, the characters in the mind link will be visible to someone who sees invisible things.

 

From the looks of it, you've figured that out already, but there's no harm in emphasising it.

 

Were I to have a go at building the Mind Link privacy field, I might look at the limitations Normal Range (simple LOS is not sufficient), and as many levels of limited range as necessary to bring the power down to 2-3 metres range.

 

There are usually several ways to build a particular power in Hero System; it's not question of the right way or the wrong way, it's a question of which you prefer, which way models the idea in your head best for you.

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Ok, guess I don't need to comment on the weapon.  Its mostly been commented and explained.

 

I'd like to note that many GMs (at least of the ones I know) will not allow you to Detect a large class of things in an individual target.  Note, individual GMs have different acceptances of what is valid.  Your GM may beg to differ from my opinion.  

 

The detect large class of things explanation will sound strange but I'll try to explain my point of view.

 

When you detect or sense, you get a minimum of knowledge.  For example, if you can detect automobiles.  That may be a large class of things depending on the number and variety of automobiles in the campaign.  This would be acceptable by most GMs.  Detecting the automobile is not the same as determining the make, model, year, etc.  You just note that there is an automobile and probably general direction, size, and maybe shape/manufacturer depending on the GM (ex: You detect 2 cars to your left, one is a convertible and one pick up to your right.").  Just very basic level of information.  With discriminatory, you get more detailed information.  You will be able to tell the make, model, year, VIN, license plate.  Everything you need to know to identify that vehicle from another similar vehicle.  (ex: "You detect two cars to your left.  One is a 2005 Miata license plate 2vhk000.  The other is a 1957 Ford Fairlane license plate 5jtd876 ... etc.")  At the analyze level, you can tell even more detailed information about the subjects (ex: "The Miata has a half tank of fuel and has been run recently.  Two bullet holes are in the trunk.").

 

The base detect gives information which is basic but not enough to identify the target by itself.  Discriminatory give you enough information to identify the target.  Analyze gives you the next level from Discriminatory with more information on the target.  Note none of these give you targeting, but from what your weapon sounds like, you still use your normal sight to target so its not an issue.

 

So your detect would probably be something like detect physiology discriminatory and analyze.  At just the detect level, you could probably tell if the target is healthy, hurt, awake, stunned, impaired, or unconscious and how a general level of resiliency (normal, tough, inhuman).  At the discriminatory level, you could probably tell how much damage they have taken, what their general defenses are, what their current level of STUN, BODY, END is at, how much recovery they have.  At the analyze level, you could probably detect if their defenses are hardened, impenetrable, and at what level; other special defenses; probably vulnerabilities and susceptibilities; what caused the wounds; etc.

 

Again, this is how I've interpreted the RAW and many of my friends.  You should read the rules and descriptions and go to a level which you and your GM are comfortable in the game.

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Oh, one more comment, which may or may not get other HEROphiles riled up.

 

The saying that HERO can simulate anything under the sun is not exactly true.  There are certain things that HERO can simulate but not do well.  One thing that HERO doesn't do well is the concept of 'Deus Machinus(sp)' or the Machine of God powers.  

 

Things like insta-kill or insta-stun or always hit 100% of the time is not really HERO even with averaged rolls mechanics.  You can build over-powering powers that are instakill of instastun by probability, but that goes against an implied fundamental of HERO, which is given the same constraints a player has enough control over their character that they should have at least an even chance against a similarly built villain.  Bad die rolls can screw over the character or villain as well as a poorly designed character but if built in a playable way and given a normal level of luck, players can win by smart play.

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Personally, for a privacy barrier, I would be looking for an invisible effect Force Wall, transparent to physical matter and works only versus sonic.

 

It would essentially create an invisible wall that you can walk through but prevents the passage of sound waves. That would not take too many points, and probably should not...

 

I took a look at Force Wall, and after thinking about it, I like this suggestion and think this is what I'll go with for private conversations anywhere that can't be eavesdropped or listened in on. (The power is named Privacy from Prying Eyes and Ears, so this grants privacy from the latter.)

 

Essentially, with this you're soundproofing an area the same way you'd soundproof a room in real life. Just as no one outside a soundproofed room can hear any sound made within the room, no one outside the Force Wall can hear any sounds made within it. And it wouldn't require Personal Immunity and Usable On Others. Just put up the wall around himself and however many other people he's talking with (and the rules say if the ends of a Force Wall connect, the top and bottom are considered covered, so they'll be completely englobed and all sounds will be kept within it), and they can speak freely without danger of being overheard. Parabolic mics and enhanced hearing also wouldn't be able to hear anything from outside the wall. It's also congruent with the rest of his powerset.

 

Thank you.

 

One further question for clarification, though, that came to mind (I gave forewarning about being detail oriented). "A character with Force Wall can create a defensive wall." So Versus Sonic Only, if a sonic attack is launched, the people within the Force Wall are protected against it. What modifications need to be made so that no sonics within the Force Wall reach outside, as opposed to any sonics originating from outside the Force Wall reaching the people inside?

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The saying that HERO can simulate anything under the sun is not exactly true.  There are certain things that HERO can simulate but not do well.  One thing that HERO doesn't do well is the concept of 'Deus Machinus(sp)' or the Machine of God powers.  

 

Things like insta-kill or insta-stun or always hit 100% of the time is not really HERO even with averaged rolls mechanics.  You can build over-powering powers that are instakill of instastun by probability, but that goes against an implied fundamental of HERO, which is given the same constraints a player has enough control over their character that they should have at least an even chance against a similarly built villain.  Bad die rolls can screw over the character or villain as well as a poorly designed character but if built in a playable way and given a normal level of luck, players can win by smart play.

 

Well, I suspected a degree of hyperbole, but so far as I can realize whatever concept I come up with, then that's sufficient. I'm not particularly interested in trying to powergame the system and find any "loopholes" that might exist, but in accurately being able to represent and simulate characters within the scope of the powers they have and what their Disadvantages allow.

 

There are three separate issues in points-buy effects-based systems:

 

1) Can it be built?

 

2) Will it be in a game?

 

3) Will it be for a PC or NPC?

 

For some people it's simply a constructive exercise, and there's no intent to actually use it in a game, but to see if the system can actually create it. If it is intended for use in a game, then is it a character that players will use, or an NPC? Every published character in any system one may care to use isn't intended for players to use. Many are NPCs that are intended to only be used by GMs. Doctor Destroyer, Menton, Takofanes, Gravitar, etc., aren't PCs. They aren't supposed to be used by players. So the very fact that a character is built doesn't mean it's for PCs. Just like some of the warnings on the powers. Gravitar has Flight Usable As Attack. She's an NPC, and it's completely consistent with her gravity powers and what she should be able to do with them. But it's a stop sign power in the rulebook, and it says "Flight Usable As Attack is of dubious legality" as far as player characters are concerned. Players will often just look for a power that would be effective in combat to exploit, then slap together an ad hoc justification for it. So certain powers have warnings for GMs to take a close look at it if they see them on a player character sheet.

 

But no player should ever have an insta-kill/insta stun move. Players work as a team, and if one player character can insta-kill everything, there's no need for the others. This is something a lot of players don't seem to consider. And as GMs are already omnipotent, literally decide everything that's going to happen, every obstacle the PCs will face, every character they will interact with, and have complete knowledge of every character participating in their campaign (since they first have to be approved), and thus can specifically tailor things to exploit any weaknesses, being able to one-hit KO them on top of all that is pointless. So that would be a Category 1 only, an exercise to see if an insta-kill/insta-hit could theoretically be done, but it shouldn't ever go beyond that.

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One further question for clarification, though, that came to mind (I gave forewarning about being detail oriented). "A character with Force Wall can create a defensive wall." So Versus Sonic Only, if a sonic attack is launched, the people within the Force Wall are protected against it. What modifications need to be made so that no sonics within the Force Wall reach outside, as opposed to any sonics originating from outside the Force Wall reaching the people inside?

Force Walls work in both directions. "A Force Wall acts like a real wall - attacks won't penetrate in either direction until the damage exceeds the Force Wall's appropriate defense." [5ER p179]

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Force Walls work in both directions. "A Force Wall acts like a real wall - attacks won't penetrate in either direction until the damage exceeds the Force Wall's appropriate defense." [5ER p179]

 

That's the default.

 

Unsure about 5e, but 4e and 6e both allow one way walls using modifiers (+½ or +1 advantage - depending on what is allowed through - in 6e).

 

And welcome to the scene, Demiurgos. Your very perceptive points about NPC vs PC powers are something a lot of people don't seem to get. NPCs can be as broken as the plot requires. And frankly it's a bit of a myth that you can balance a fight using points totals; you need to really look at the practical matters of THIS guy will wipe the floor with THAT one because of Vulnerabilities, or that Ninja Girl and The Human Mountain are going to have a pointless fight because he can't land a punch on her and she can't get through his defences. Hunteds aren't there to give the players more points to play with. They're so the GM has a ready roster of tuned enemies to throw at their players (as well as the joy of building up an arch-enemy relationship during play).

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That's the default.

 

Unsure about 5e, but 4e and 6e both allow one way walls using modifiers (+½ or +1 advantage - depending on what is allowed through - in 6e).

Yeah, I knew 6ed had a One-Way Transparent Adv, but I didn't see it in 5ER.

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Force Walls work in both directions. "A Force Wall acts like a real wall - attacks won't penetrate in either direction until the damage exceeds the Force Wall's appropriate defense." [5ER p179]

 

Ah. Yes, it does say that.

 

 

That's the default.

 

Unsure about 5e, but 4e and 6e both allow one way walls using modifiers (+½ or +1 advantage - depending on what is allowed through - in 6e).

 

And that was my next question. I don't want him to be unable to hear anything around him (that would be disadvantageous to be unaware of what's going on around him), but be unable to be heard by others. I make design notes for major characters, so for people's suggestions, I've been noting what options are available in 5e (which I have), and 6e. HERO Designer can create characters for both, but the 5e rules are what I have right now, and I can specifically look anything up. If enough of the suggestions that would be perfect for this particular character are in 6e, then it'll be a sign that I should pick up the 6e rulebook. It just so happened that 5e was what I happened to come across.

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Well, I suspected a degree of hyperbole, but so far as I can realize whatever concept I come up with, then that's sufficient. I'm not particularly interested in trying to powergame the system and find any "loopholes" that might exist, but in accurately being able to represent and simulate characters within the scope of the powers they have and what their Disadvantages allow.

 

...

 

But no player should ever have an insta-kill/insta stun move. Players work as a team, and if one player character can insta-kill everything, there's no need for the others. This is something a lot of players don't seem to consider. And as GMs are already omnipotent, literally decide everything that's going to happen, every obstacle the PCs will face, every character they will interact with, and have complete knowledge of every character participating in their campaign (since they first have to be approved), and thus can specifically tailor things to exploit any weaknesses, being able to one-hit KO them on top of all that is pointless. So that would be a Category 1 only, an exercise to see if an insta-kill/insta-hit could theoretically be done, but it shouldn't ever go beyond that.

 

No problem.  I've known some players who have come from a story telling style system seem to get a little miffed that they can't do X within the game because of game balance and will quote that HERO is supposed to allow the PC to be able to create anything.

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I think one-way Force Wall (as it was) in 4e was an adder rather than a modifier. 5e changed less things from 4e that 6e did to 5e, so that might be how it was done there.

 

My own thoughts are that using Force Wall/Barrier just for a cone of silence is a bit awkward, since it's 100% relying on special effects. That power's primary effect is to block damage and movement. Better to go with direct sense affecting powers when those are available; in this case some form of Invisibility and/or Darkness suggest themselves. My preference would be something like:

 

Darkness (vs sound) some radius; Selective Target (+¼)

 

The Get Smart version loses the selective target advantage :)

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Every published character in any system one may care to use isn't intended for players to use. Many are NPCs that are intended to only be used by GMs. Doctor Destroyer, Menton, Takofanes, Gravitar, etc., aren't PCs. They aren't supposed to be used by players. So the very fact that a character is built doesn't mean it's for PCs. Just like some of the warnings on the powers. Gravitar has Flight Usable As Attack. She's an NPC, and it's completely consistent with her gravity powers and what she should be able to do with them. But it's a stop sign power in the rulebook, and it says "Flight Usable As Attack is of dubious legality" as far as player characters are concerned. Players will often just look for a power that would be effective in combat to exploit, then slap together an ad hoc justification for it. So certain powers have warnings for GMs to take a close look at it if they see them on a player character sheet.

 

There are many players who will use the builds in supplements as default legal even if they require "GM permission".  Whether any sane person will let a character in with KS skill Everything in the Universe as Mechanon has, I have no idea. :)

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For privacy field, why not look into mind link? Btw, welcome to the boards?

 

Ps: Steve Long has used mind link as encryptic radio link in Dark Champions.

 

Hmm... Mind Link wouldn't be appropriate for this particular character. I specifically put in my design notes that the character doesn't have Telepathy, Mental Communication, and Mind Link. It doesn't fit the concept, and, additionally, just about every character with psionic powers seems to have Telepathy, Mental Communication, Mind Link, Mind Scan, Mind Control, Mental Illusions, Telekinesis, Psionic Surgery, etc., i.e., every single thing that could be done psionically, which tends to make them generic. Like in the '90s, where virtually every Marvel psychic had the same powerset. There were some, like Xavier and Emma Frost, who were telepaths and couldn't affect physical reality, but Jean Grey, Cable, Stryfe, Nate Grey, Rachel Summers, Exodus, etc., had the same powers, and it was just a matter of degree.

 

As far as invisibility and some of the suggestions, a Selective Area Of Effect Mental Illusion was suggested, to render himself invisible. Since he uses Mental Illusions already, that fits both his personality and powerset. With that suggestion, he makes himself invisible by controlling other people's perceptions by imposing an illusion of invisibility to anyone who looks in that area. He already has Mind Control, with which he ensures that no one bumps into the seemingly empty space during the meetings. So it ticks all the boxes. With the Force Wall suggestion, he already has Telekinesis with Fine Manipulation, so he could erect a soundproof field that prevents soundwaves from passing through (halting soundwaves is a fine control trick he's used before). It achieves the desired effect, and is consistent with the rest of his powers that it could be explained by them without needing a new explanation. The Darkness suggestion could also be him controlling perception of him. But Mind Link doesn't quite fit for this particular character.

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So, as far as invisibility and some of the suggestions, a Selective Area Of Effect Mental Illusion was suggested, to render himself invisible. Since he uses Mental Illusions already, that fits both his personality and powerset. With that suggestion, he makes himself invisible by controlling other people's perceptions by imposing an illusion of invisibility to anyone who looks in that area. He already has Mind Control, with which he ensures that no one bumps into the seemingly empty space during the meetings. So it ticks all the boxes. With the Force Wall suggestion, he already has Telekinesis with Fine Manipulation, so he could erect a soundproof field that prevents soundwaves from passing through (halting soundwaves is a fine control trick he's used before). It achieves the desired effect, and is consistent with the rest of his powers that it could be explained by them without needing a new explanation. The Darkness suggestion could also be him controlling perception of him. But Mind Link doesn't quite fit for this particular character.

 

There is one limitation to the mental illusions is that people have to be in the area of effect.  You might want to put on it megascale otherwise a person with a good telescope and parabolic microphone can eavesdrop on the communication.

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I've known some players who have come from a story telling style system seem to get a little miffed that they can't do X within the game because of game balance and will quote that HERO is supposed to allow the PC to be able to create anything.

 

Hmm... I myself was attracted to HERO System due to the claim of being able to create anything one can imagine, but I never heard anything about PCs being able to use any power as a player character. One is a Category 1 issue, and the other is a Category 3 issue. "You" (whomever that is) could be someone creating an NPC for a campaign and need a certain power for a particular concept. With NPCs vs. PCs, PCs have the number advantage, so by action economy and having more moves available to them than the NPC, they should be able to beat whomever they face by working together.

 

However, the comics have team wreckers who can single-handedly beat entire teams by themselves. In the books, the author controls everything. But that can be difficult to emulate in a game. So those NPCs so are supposed to be team-wreckers are going to have powers that PCs don't. The PCs are supposed to work together to do together what they couldn't do alone. It should be common sense that in a collaborative storytelling game, one player can't outshine everyone else, so player characters need to be balanced. NPCs are supposed to be powerful. (Of course, there are some who are less powerful, and use minions and such to make up for it.) Some of my concepts are playable, others are not, and are NPCs. But it seems silly to expect to be able to do anything as a player character.

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My own thoughts are that using Force Wall/Barrier just for a cone of silence is a bit awkward, since it's 100% relying on special effects. That power's primary effect is to block damage and movement. Better to go with direct sense affecting powers when those are available; in this case some form of Invisibility and/or Darkness suggest themselves. My preference would be something like:

 

Darkness (vs sound) some radius; Selective Target (+¼)

 

The Get Smart version loses the selective target advantage :)

 

Hmm... well, I'm a novice to HERO System, which I why I asked for advice. So if it would be awkward, I'm sure you'd know better than I. It just seemed the logic was sound, since it was essentially soundproofing. To clarify though, the effect isn't a cone of silence, but essentially Selective Invisibility to Hearing Groups. Since the rules explicitly state Selective can't be used with Invisibility (5ER 250), that requires it to be done differently.

 

I had this power in what translates to a Multipower slot in HERO:

 

2) Imperceivable: Invisibility to Sight, Hearing and

Smell/Taste, No Fringe (40 Active Points);

Limited Power Power loses about a third of its

effectiveness (Only Works Against Sentient Beings;

-1/2)

 

Now that works for when he wants to do things without being noticed. That can work as is. But he also had another version for when he wanted to conduct private meetings with someone. Like the example I gave earlier about meeting in a public park (away from cameras since it explicitly doesn't work on cameras), he and someone else could be sitting on a park bench discussing business, while no one around them can perceive them. They can both perceive each other, but no one else sees anything other than an empty park bench. So I was wondering how to build the multi-person version in HERO System. Darkness was a candidate for the Selective Invisible to Hearing Groups multiperson variant.

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Hmm... Mind Link wouldn't be appropriate for this particular character. I specifically put in my design notes that the character doesn't have Telepathy,

It doesn't have to BE "telepathy" in that sense. You can have a Darkness Power defined as a "silence field" and thus have a Darkness Power at work in a room that could in fact be brilliantly lit - Darkness doesn't mean "darkness" necessarily. Likewise, you can have Mind Link that doesn't involve actually linking any minds to other minds.

 

So, as far as invisibility and some of the suggestions, a Selective Area Of Effect Mental Illusion was suggested, to render himself invisible. Since he uses Mental Illusions already, that fits both his personality and powerset.

With powerful Mental Illusions and Area Effect (as has been pointed out, probably Megascaled if you want that) then you can also have your private conversation. Even more private, actually - rather than just creating a suspicious silence, you can give eavesdroppers the illusion of some innocuous conversation not germane to what is actually being said.

 

Lucius Alexander

 

Concealed by a Mental Illusion, but surely everyone knows it's here anyway.

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There is one limitation to the mental illusions is that people have to be in the area of effect.  You might want to put on it megascale otherwise a person with a good telescope and parabolic microphone can eavesdrop on the communication.

 

Ah. You have a point. A telescope and parabolic microphone would be doable. Anyone spying would be doing so at a distance anyway. I'll note that. Thank you.

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With powerful Mental Illusions and Area Effect (as has been pointed out, probably Megascaled if you want that) then you can also have your private conversation. Even more private, actually - rather than just creating a suspicious silence, you can give eavesdroppers the illusion of some innocuous conversation not germane to what is actually being said.

 

This point actually occurred to me when thinking about Darkness. An area of no sound at all would be odd, and clearly unnatural. There are characters with silence powers who are supposed to do that, and they're not trying to hide that, but if you're trying to go unnoticed, an abnormal absence of sound would attract notice. And if he isn't making them unseen, but preventing an eavesdropping, then sitting in silence or appearing to be talking but nothing actually being heard would also draw suspicion.

 

I like Mental Illusions because it has a lot of applications outside of combat and fighting people. Since characters aren't going to be fighting 24/7, I like to think of how they could use their powers outside of a combat situation.

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The way Darkness works, it creates a field which totally blocks the sense. Now, a two person blob of Darkness (sight) is going to be obvious to anyone, even if they can't see inside it, but a similar blob of Darkness (sound) is probably not as immediately noticeable. The observer will still hear reflected sound coming from other directions, for example. As you say, giveaways would need someone in the field to do something that should cause a noise (like talking) that can also be observed by other senses (usually sight).

 

If you want to suppress those effects, Invisible Power Effects might work.

 

Another approach to creating a fake conversation while the real one is happening can be done with Images. The main difference between that and Mental Illusions is that the latter probably won't affect high EGO types, or those with Mental Defenses. Try this:

 

Word in Your Ear: Images (Sound) 5pts; Selective target (+¼); Usable on Others with Limited range (+½), 9pts.

 

If you do go with Mind Link, but want it to be physically heard, there's a modifier called Affected as Another Sense (usually -0, but if the original sense is very uncommon and the actual sense is very common you get a -¼ limitation. Depending on how common mental senses are, this might qualify). This would make a difference if the target happened to be deaf, for example, or if someone was using Darkness (Mental Senses).

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The way Darkness works, it creates a field which totally blocks the sense. Now, a two person blob of Darkness (sight) is going to be obvious to anyone, even if they can't see inside it, but a similar blob of Darkness (sound) is probably not as immediately noticeable. The observer will still hear reflected sound coming from other directions, for example. As you say, giveaways would need someone in the field to do something that should cause a noise (like talking) that can also be observed by other senses (usually sight).

 

If you want to suppress those effects, Invisible Power Effects might work.

 

Another approach to creating a fake conversation while the real one is happening can be done with Images. The main difference between that and Mental Illusions is that the latter probably won't affect high EGO types, or those with Mental Defenses. Try this:

 

Word in Your Ear: Images (Sound) 5pts; Selective target (+¼); Usable on Others with Limited range (+½), 9pts.

 

If you do go with Mind Link, but want it to be physically heard, there's a modifier called Affected as Another Sense (usually -0, but if the original sense is very uncommon and the actual sense is very common you get a -¼ limitation. Depending on how common mental senses are, this might qualify). This would make a difference if the target happened to be deaf, for example, or if someone was using Darkness (Mental Senses).

 

The Mind Link option wouldn't need to be physically heard. It breaks down to three separate effects to be created for this ability in HERO System:

 

1. Imperceivable: This is Invisibility to Sight, Hearing and Smell/Taste Groups, No Fringe, Only Works Against Sentient Beings (-1/2). No special build needed here. This is for when he wants to do something without being noticed. Usable for him alone, no one else. Since Invisibility is explicitly not Selective, it necessitates separate mechanics for the next two effects.

 

2. This is when he wants to be visible to a selected number of person(s), and Invisible to Sight, Hearing and Smell/Taste Groups to everyone except those people. And usually those people will also be visible to him and Invisible to Sight, Hearing and Smell/Taste Groups to everyone else. This aspect is Privacy From Prying Eyes and Ears, and enables clandestine meetings in the open, away from cameras (which are not sentient, and thus wouldn't be affected). The Mind Link suggestion would fit here, as would the Darkness suggestion, for the Privacy From Prying Ears part. If Force Wall isn't appropriate, then that puts Darkness back in the lead again to prevent unwanted listeners.

 

For just making himself visible to certain people and Invisible to Sight, Hearing and Smell/Taste Groups for everyone else, in 6th ed., he'd have Personal Immunity as a naked Advantage and Usable By Nearby, and then use Imperceivable and grant Personal Immunity to the people he wants to appear to, then take it back when he's done. That seems the simplest way to achieve that effect in Sixth Edition. It would enable him to do the "he suddenly appears out of nowhere" thing, and the "suddenly disappears again" thing. (NOTE: HERO Designer actually lists it as an Unavailable Advantage for that, saying, "Personal Immunity cannot be applied to self-only Powers." So it doesn't seem like that's a possibility after all. Even though he actually doesn't need it for himself, it would solely be to bestow upon others) Selective Area of Effect Mental Illusions seems to be the leading candidate for making both him and another party/ies invisible to everyone else other than themselves.

 

3. This is when he and a selected number of people are visible to every spectrum and observable to any onlookers, but the contents of their conversation cannot be overheard. Say, he and some other people are in a fancy restaurant. The cameras recorded them entering, so their presence there would be on record. However, no one who happens to overhear their conversation will hear anything of importance rather than the real conversation that's taking place. Since Illusions can cover Sound and Smell as well as Sight, then this could actually be done to accomplish Privacy From Prying Eyes and Ears.

 

Since the rules say you can use as many Powers as you want in HERO so long as you can afford the Endurance cost, he could simultaneously run Mental Illusions and Darkness/Sound Images/whichever mechanic is chosen for the sounds. This is for noncombat, and might not come up in a campaign unless PCs have suspicions about him (which shouldn't be for a long time) and decide to investigate and he, knowing he's being followed, gives them nothing but inconsequential stuff to throw them off his track, but it's necessary enough for his personality and combat to stat it out.

 

 

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