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Surrealone

How to properly cost Naked Group Adders

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I asked a 6e rules question (http://www.herogames.com/forums/forum/32-hero-system-6th-edition-rules-questions/) and Mr. Long punted the determination to the GM (or suggested simply not using a Naked Adder) ... despite the inquiry having to do with something that is rules-legal but which lacks both clarity and examples in the 6e ruleset.

 

This deals with the of costing Naked Adders -- specifically an already-GM-approved Naked Group Adder ... when the Naked Group Adder will apply to a group of Multipower slots that each have different base costs and different Advantage levels/totals.  (Examples of slot advantage levels/totals are: +1/2, +1, +1 1/2, +2).  

 

Mr. Long suggested I raise it here ... so I am doing so.  That said, any/all suggestions to dodge the use of a Naked Group Adder will effectively dodge the heart/soul of the mathematical/computational question rather than answering/clarifying it -- so I'll consider such posts non-answers ... much like I do Mr. Long's post.  (No disrespect is intended, here, but I'm trying to figure out how to properly/correctly cost rules-legal Naked Group Adders ... so suggestions to avoid their use completely miss the mark.)

 

From the previously-linked post:
 

 

Scenario:
A character has several 60 active point powers within a multipower centered around powers with lingering special effects (one of which is Barrier, for example). All of the multipower slots entail powers that have advantages (some more than others). The player wishes to add a Naked Adder (per 6e1 p314) to allow him/her to use the Dismissable Adder with any power in the multipower (per APG1 p81) ... meaning it would be a Group Naked Adder (akin to a Group Naked Advantage a la 6e1 p314) -- specifically because this dismissal is an ability separate from the actual powers being dismissed. (From a convenience angle this also means the player doesn't have to monkey with the multipower reserve cost or revise every power that's already been built for the multipower.) The GM has no issue with this since the Dismissable Adder doesn't have a material increase in damage/effect output; it is merely a convenience.

 

If this were a Group Naked Advantage then one could just compute the Naked Advantage cost to make it apply to up to 60 active points worth of powers.  However, it's a Naked Adder ... which I believe adds to the power cost before the application of advantages and, thus, it is not clear to me how to properly cost it when it is supposed to apply to a well-defined group of powers ... each of which have different advantage totals applied to them.

 

Question:

​With the foregoing in mind, how does one properly cost the Dismissable Group Naked Adder to make it usable with each slot within a multipower whose slots all have different base costs plus advantages? Do you work the Adder into each power before Advantages ... then apply Advantages to compute total cost for each power ... then subtract out the original cost of the power (prior to application of the adder) ... to compute the delta for each power (with vs without the Adder) ... and take the largest?

 


​Steve Long's response -- which didn't really clarify how to compute Naked Group Adders:
 

 

First off, thanks for providing such a detailed explanation of your question. Some questions can get pretty complex, and this is one of them. I appreciate your taking the time to lay it all out for me.
 
Given the problems involved, some of which you’ve pointed out, I think the best solution is to say that characters can’t buy “group naked Adders” — they have to buy Adders specifically for each power.
 
If the GM chooses to allow a group naked Adder anyway, he can determine the best way to calculate the cost. I would suggest that he use the most expensive power in the group to determine the cost of the group naked Adder, thus ensuring that it’s “big” enough to “cover” any of the powers.
 
If you haven't already started a thread in the Discussion board about this, it might make a good topic for Herodom Assembled to thrash out. ;)

 

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Personally, I think Steve's response is right on the money.  If pushed for an official response, it looks like he would plump for saying no to naked group adders.

 

However, he is not being pushed and, in the spirit of maximum game fun, suggests that the GM takes all of the powers, sees what each of them would cost individually and then suggests that the price be the most expensive.

 

Not sure what more you need to know...

 

Doc 

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If presented in my game, I'd probably allow it but if there are a lot of advantages in play, tell you to put Variable advantage to cover the cost of the advantages.  Since the adder is so cheap, it shouldn't be that big of a price leap unless you have a lot of/high priced advantages.

 

I can see why Steve disallows it, as there are several adders which exponentially expands the effect of a power for +5 points.  So it would be a case by case basis whether I'd allow it.

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dsastow:
In this case the adder was Dismissable -- which is purely a convenience capability.  Hardly earth-shattering.  But yes, when considering other Adders, I would agree that's a GM call.

 

Doc Democracy:
​Actually Steve didn't recommend a costing approach.  (I proposed one -- which he basically didn't respond to.)  The entire point of asking Mr. Long about this was to get clarity around how to compute the cost of something that is rules-legal per 6e1 p314 -- but for which there is no explanation or example of how to compute cost when dealing with a Naked Group Adder.  That's rather a problem when the authority on the rules ... dodges his own rules-legal mechanism rather than providing clarification.  After all, punting to the GM adds no clarity around the proper computation mechanism ... and, thus I must disagree with you about Steve being 'right on the money' since my inquiry was never about whether this mechanism should be used ... but that's the way in which he responded.  (i.e. Steve Long answered a question I didn't ask ... by suggesting I dodge the problem ... or defer to the GM so that he [steve long] could dodge the problem -- neither of which added clarity.)

 

We have an explanation (with example!) for a Naked Group Advantage -- so where's the equivalent for a Naked Group Adder? According to Mr. Long's response ... the GM should come up with that?! I read that as a complete lack of clarified approach -- which strongly suggests Naked Adders weren't clearly considered to begin with ... which is, of course, reinforced by the lack of written explanation for how to compute them ... as well as a lack of working examples by which to do so.  Without a clarification from Mr. Long, there is no official/standardized way of doing a Naked Group Adder like there is for a Naked Group Advantage ... which seems a bit 'off'.

 

So that's what more I need to know: how to properly cost a Naked Group Adder when it IS used.  Whether or not people feel it should be used is, in this case, immaterial.  Sadly, the one person who is supposed to be able to clarify his own rule set ... couldn't be bothered to make the call.  Colour me disappointed ... because IMHO this really should be as standardized as the computation for a Naked Group Advantage ... since Naked Adders are just as rules-legal.  In fact, the reason I think people are dodging/avoiding Naked Adders is because there appears to be a lack of clarity around their costing ... which then becomes a cyclical problem wherein you avoid them because they're complicated with no clear computation .... so you then never have a clear computation for them because you avoid them.

 

I want to break that loop.  I even proposed one possible approach for the computation...

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You are making a false statement that group adders are rules-legal. There is indeed the implication that what works for advantages can be used for adders. Steve's suggestion is that group naked adders should not be allowed but he can't forbid you to use them. He is content that the solution you came up with seemed a workable one.

 

I note he did not even refer to the point in the rules where he said the you should not generally allow naked advantages to apply to powers in a framework...it is quite a permissive approach. However, if you stray into GM permission territory, then you need to be expected to begin using GM judgement more and more.

 

I don't know about you but while I do like to work within the rules and get clarity, when there is a rule I don't like,

I don't use it...

 

I reckon if Steve had come back to you with a firm, naked group adders should not be allowed, especially not where a framework is involved, you would probably have come to the boards to discuss how to do it. I would...

 

This is not a big deal, work out a solution that works for your group, understand that you are operating in grey waters and that the character might not be accepted, as written, in some other groups.

 

Doc

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Edit: While I was typing this an idea occurred to me that might be a solution that is as "offical" as possible while still satisfying your requirements:

 

All Slots in Multipower Dismissable: (Total: 54 Active Cost, 10 Real Cost) Aid Multipower Slots and Reserve 2d6 (standard effect: 6 points), Expanded Effect (Slot and Reserve; +1/2), Trigger (Activating the Trigger requires a Zero Phase Action, Trigger resets automatically, immediately after it activates, Character does not control activation of personal Trigger; Changing Slots; +1/2), Reduced Endurance (0 END; +1/2), Can Apply (Remove) Adders (+1), Delayed Return Rate (points return at the rate of 5 per Minute; +1) (54 Active Points); Limited Power Only to add on the "Dismissable" Adder (-2), One Use At A Time (-1), Only to Aid Self (-1), Unified Power (-1/4) (Real Cost: 10)

 

Because I am sure this construct IS officially acceptable, if nothing else it can serve as something to check alternatives against, asking if the cost seems reasonable in light of the cost of using Aid to get the desired effect.

 

 

 

Without a clarification from Mr. Long, there is no official/standardized way of doing a Naked Group Adder like there is for a Naked Group Advantage ... which seems a bit 'off'.

 

So that's what more I need to know: how to properly cost a Naked Group Adder when it IS used.  Whether or not people feel it should be used is, in this case, immaterial.  Sadly, the one person who is supposed to be able to clarify his own rule set ... couldn't be bothered to make the call.  Colour me disappointed ...

Get used to disappointment. I might endorse dsatow's approach,

 

 

If presented in my game, I'd probably allow it but if there are a lot of advantages in play, tell you to put Variable advantage to cover the cost of the advantages.  Since the adder is so cheap, it shouldn't be that big of a price leap unless you have a lot of/high priced advantages.

But I'm not Steve Long, nor is dsastow, and our opinion isn't "official." If what you want is as you put it an "official/standardized way of doing a Naked Group Adder" then you're looking for what doesn't seem to exist.(edit: See proposed solution at the top of this post. THAT is probably the most rules legal and "official" solution I think we're likely to find.) What you're likely to get is a range of opinions, and at best, after some discussion, we might settle on some consensus that most of us agree to.

 

Since there's nothing forcing you to at any given time Dismiss a Power that's Dismissable, I would say just add the Adder into each of the Powers it would apply to. I know you don't want to do that, but if you are looking for a way to be 100% rules legal and "official" and accepted everywhere, that IS what you have to do. I don't see any reason not to do it that way (except possibly a cost savings) and don't understand why you're so insistent that your Adder has to be Naked.

 

But since you do insist on the Nakedness of your Adder, I can see several options:

 

Most Expensive: Apply a Variable Advantage big enough to include the total Advantage of the most Advantaged Power. That's a premium price, but if you're saving points by not buying the Adder individually for each Power it might still be worth it.

 

A Reasonable Option: Apply a Custom Advantage equal to the total Advantage of the most Advantaged Power. This seems reasonable to me and will certainly save points over putting the Adder on each Power.

 

Another Reasonable Option: Add it in to the Reserve as a Common Adder. I just found the option to do that in Hero Designer. It increases the cost of the Reserve without enabling the Reserve to accommodate more points in a Slot.

 

Simplest: Just buy the Adder at its basic cost, no Advantages necessary. If you're looking to make the character "portable" and take it from game to game to game, some Game Operations Directors may think this is getting off too cheap, but it's really not different as far as I can see from just adding it to the Reserve.

 

My Choice: I moved it to the top because I like it that much. Probably because I started this post thinking you were asking the impossible, and then I thought of something that at least is close to fulfilling your request.

 

 

Lucius Alexander

 

And an improper unofficial palindromedary

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Entangles and barrier are weird in that the ability to dismiss them is an adder but putting a time limit on them is a limitation.  Upon realising that most of my players, if they use either, save a ton of points by buying a 1 minute time limit (or sometimes 1 turn) in their 'combat' powers.

 

Hmm... variable limitation and time limit might be interesting to control the duration  of the barrier.  It could be paired off with charges or extra endurance so the shorter you make the duration the less other limitations you need to apply:

 

At the extremes: 

 

Variable Limitation (-1 1/4):

x6 END (-2 1/2)  OR Time Limit  One turn (-2 1/2)

 

But you can play with that:

 

X4 end (- 1 1/4) AND 5 minute duration (-1 1/4)

 

or 

 

x2 end (-1/2) AND 1 minute duration

 

etc

 

Basically the more END you pay the longer it lasts with a one turn combat entangle/barrier costing you no extra endurance at all.  Spending a full phase adjusting the ratios is pretty painful so you might as well get that big -1 1/4 instead of a tiny -1/4 from the limitation.

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If you want a 100% rules legal version, just add to each summoned creature the physical disadvantage "Can be dismissed by summoner" and be done with it.  

 

Its a simple work around I did in 5th ed for my version of the Goblin Queen.  She summoned goblins and rather than make them all slavishly loyal to her, they had the physical disadvantage must obey the "Goblin Queen" and I gave her the perk 10pts Goblin Queen.

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Doesn't that run afoul of the "if a limitation isn't limiting, it isn't worth points"?  Or did I completely misunderstand something?  (quite possible)

 

 

Entangles and barrier are weird in that the ability to dismiss them is an adder but putting a time limit on them is a limitation.  Upon realising that most of my players, if they use either, save a ton of points by buying a 1 minute time limit (or sometimes 1 turn) in their 'combat' powers.

 

 

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In my mind it does but it's one of the most common ones my players will dig their heels in about - it's hard to argue that making a permanent power non-permanent isn't limiting in some way so I've compromised that if they put it on a slot instead of a pool / non-pool power  itself I'm not going to give them much grief.

 

I personally feel that it should have had a much lower value cap - like a -1/4 for anything less than an hour and a -0 for anything more - but it's one of those 'balancing in a vacuum' limitations: If they're using it on a barrier that is currently holding up a basement ceiling and they only have a minute to find a way out before it comes down on the civilians they're protecting then it does sound limiting.  If they have a non-limited power in a pool that will hold the house up forever and only use the limited one as a combat distraction it doesn't.  Assuming what other powers they have or do not have makes for poor balance, though - 'Jane gets a -1 because it's the only barrier she has, you get nothing because you could have used another power from the pool'?

 

It's the 'unified on a character with power defense' argument - a judgement call as to how much is too much before deciding that their limitation is no longer limiting.

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