Jump to content
Ninja-Bear

Dispel vs Gadgets & Electronics (CC)

Recommended Posts

Hello Herodom,

 

im looking to convert a character in Hero game. His name is Bollix. In his power description he breaks gadgets and electrical devices naturally as a super power.  I’m looking at using Dispel. I see that Defender has Varying effects for IMP Blast - Electronics for + 1/2. I’m thinking though that for Bollix to affect mechanical gadgets - say a Hero’s Billy Club, I should buy this advantage again  Am I correct? Btw, I’m not concerned that it will affect only one power at a time however for clairity, I would have to have multiple effects if I wanted to apply Dispel to more powers at one time.

 

P.s. I’ll also throw cumulative on it too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As steriaca said, you can either go the Dispel or the Damage route.

 

Dispel heavily depends on what setting you have. Normal Dispel only affects the uses of a Power, not the ability to reuse the power. Except in the case of Breakable Foci as defined in 6E1 195:
"If a character Dispels a power in a Breakable Focus, look at the special effects involved

to determine what happens. For example, if the
Dispel is defned as “breaking small objects,” the
Focus probably needs some repairs — maybe just
quick feld jury-rigging, maybe something more
— before it will work again. If the Dispel involves
sucking all the battery power out of the Focus, the
Focus needs recharging. Unbreakable Foci behave
similarly, but are considered Difcult To Dispel
(x16) solely for purposes of resisting Dispel. If a
character Dispels only one power in a multiplepower Focus, that power ceases to function until
“fxed,” while the other powers remain unaffected
"

 

 

The Damage route is defined on 6E1 379:
" When an attack hits a Breakable Focus, each
attack that penetrates the PD/ED of the Focus and
does BODY damage destroys one of the powers
bought through the Focus. Te amount of BODY
done is unimportant — one power is destroyed
whether the attack did 1 BODY or 15.

[...]

A Focus is destroyed when it loses all of its
powers, or when any single attack against it does
two times (2x) its PD/ED in BODY, at the GM’s
option
"

The Damage route has the Advantage that it does affect any Robotic Characters as well. I am mostly worried about such a power being too effective against certain characters, if you allow using agaisnt the Focus. Someone like Vision from the Avengers would be utterly screwed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would use an appropriately Limited 1d6 Penetrating RKA as my preferred chassis for RAW-legal "Focus-Destruction" in CC. Make it Autofire if you want to be able to destroy multiple functions at once. Very few Foci have Impenetrable Defenses, and the ones that do probably deserved to survive anyway.

 

Using Dispel on an object is a legal method of destroying it (Banishing it technically) if you assume that the object was created via Object Creation (the power from one of the APGs) or Alternate Magic Item Creation Rules (from Fantasy Hero; and which are based on the Differing Modifiers rules, but function more like a really slow Summon). Otherwise I've never been really fond of it because of how poorly defined the mechanics of using Dispel on Foci are, and how cheap Dispel is compared to the 'damage' caused by having your entire suit of Powered Armor fall apart. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I personally like Major Transform (Object into Broken/Unusable Variant of Original Object) with the Cumulative advantage as a vehicle ... since that nicely handles unbreakable foci, too.  I guess I prefer the certainty of it ... which is what Dispel and damage-based approaches seem to lack a fair bit of (especially when it comes to unbreakable foci).

 

Note that this pairs nicely with the Damage Over Time advantage where defenses only apply once and you cannot re-apply it ... assuming you start with low dice ... and also have Penetrating to address Power Defense.  This pairing creates a very nice fire-and-forget effect that is kind of pretty to watch (i.e. the object breaks/falls apart) ... while you're free to do other things.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In 5th ED at least (I assume it hasn't changed that much in 6th) Dispel is turning something off. Not destroying something. The target can turn the thing back on again should they wish. Be it spell, device, whatever.

 

Destroying a focus is doing damage to the focus. Others above have suggested good ways to do damage to a focus. I can't see why they can't all be allowable within a game. Obviously one has to hit the focus with the attack.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

6e1 p193

 

A character with Dispel can turn o  another character’s power. Some examples of Dispel include spells designed to disrupt or “break” other spells, light-based powers that can Dispel Dark- ness  elds, or the ability to destroy or ruin gadgets.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Ninja-Bear said:

Drunk on Duty breaking items with Dispel was an option in fifth too. At least in UMA.

 

It's in FREd as well:

 

Quote

A character with Dispel can turn off  another character’s power. Some examples of Dispel include spells designed to disrupt or “break” other spells, light-based powers that can Dispel Darkness fields, or the ability to destroy or ruin gadgets.

...

The victim of a Dispel may “restart” the Dispelled power, but he has to start from scratch — he must perform any preparations again. This means Dispel is more effective against powers that are difficult to turn on or take a long time to activate (like many Fantasy spells) or against objects (which must be repaired, recharged, or rebuilt).

 

The language didn't change in HERO System Sixth Edition, and only changed a little in Champions Complete:

 

Quote

Allows a character to turn off another character’s Power (chosen at purchase). Examples include light-based powers that can Dispel Darkness fields, or the ability to destroy or ruin devices.

...

The victim of a Dispel may “restart” the Dispelled power, but he has to start from scratch — he must perform any preparations again. This means Dispel is more effective against powers that are difficult to turn on or take a long time to activate (like many Fantasy spells) or against objects (which must be repaired, recharged, or rebuilt).

 

I would suspect that you could 'break' object with Dispel in 4th Ed as well, but all my pre-5 copies have either bitten the dust or have scarpered off somewhere, so we'll need other HERO grognards to cofirm it for us.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dispel will shut off the powers of an object, but it can be switched back on (assuming there is any method to do so).

Drain allows you to destroy the object (drain its body) or depower it (Drain its END) because they have no recovery, they never get the points back.

Damage can let you just wipe them out the old fashioned way.

Transform can turn a working device into a ruined one, and if you buy partial effect it can degrade and break steadily each time you roll.

Telekinesis with fine control could reach over and shut the device off manually at range.

Change Environment can create an area where the device doesn't work any more (telekinesis to shut it off, or a difficult roll for it to stay turned on (probably based on Body), or a damage that destroys them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

The victim of a Dispel may “restart” the Dispelled power, but he has to start from scratch — he must perform any preparations again.

 

That's what I'm basing it on.  You can walk over and turn the radio back on after its been dispelled.  Obviously the object cannot turn its self back on.  Its just an object.  But someone else can.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Turning an item off doesn't require Dispel. See the fight between Johnny Quick and Flash for an example of Transform by Flash. He could 'take apart' many villain's weapons in the same fashion via Dispel.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's going to depend somewhat on how the power has been described.

 

Dispel defined as causing a power surge that shorts out electronics is going to need to go back to the shop. Dispel defined as causing the battery to go flat might be able to be back in action within ten minutes, assuming a suitable charger is found. Dispel that's defined as causing the control system to reboot would have a variable time to recover, might reset to factory settings (causing inconvenience until fixed up) and lose data.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Foci don't have a BODY score to Dispel (or against which to target a Transform).

The example given in CC of "the ability to destroy or ruin devices" is directly contradictory to the power's mechanical function "Allows a character to turn off another character's Power (chosen at purchase). Further except for the line "Dispel is more effective... against objects (which must be repaired, recharged, or rebuilt)", there is no text supporting how that works mechanically.

 

However if you take those two statements at face value (ignoring the lack of any supporting mechanics for their function); Dispel Objects (defined as the object disassembling itself) would be the amongst the most horrendously overpowered options available thanks to how god-awful cheap it is to dispel things; and the fact that nobody is going to be able to use that object again for the rest of the session (or possibly longer depending on what you dispelled).

There would certainly be no point in using Drain/Suppress on objects if you can more permanently destroy it less expensively using Dispel instead. For example, with 90 APs: I can use a 6d6 Drain Object to drain 21 CP from one of Defender's Attacks, or his Power Pack (either of which will return in 4 turns), or I can use a 20d6 Dispel Object to destroy his entire suit of powered armor instead, effectively Draining 236 points (which will not return until Defender can rebuild his armor, a task that cannot be performed during combat)... oh and outing his secret identity. All with just one attack roll and an effect roll.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Cantriped said:

Foci don't have a BODY score to Dispel (or against which to target a Transform).

The example given in CC of "the ability to destroy or ruin devices" is directly contradictory to the power's mechanical function "Allows a character to turn off another character's Power (chosen at purchase). Further except for the line "Dispel is more effective... against objects (which must be repaired, recharged, or rebuilt)", there is no text supporting how that works mechanically.

 

However if you take those two statements at face value (ignoring the lack of any supporting mechanics for their function); Dispel Objects (defined as the object disassembling itself) would be the amongst the most horrendously overpowered options available thanks to how god-awful cheap it is to dispel things; and the fact that nobody is going to be able to use that object again for the rest of the session (or possibly longer depending on what you dispelled).

There would certainly be no point in using Drain/Suppress on objects if you can more permanently destroy it less expensively using Dispel instead. For example, with 90 APs: I can use a 6d6 Drain Object to drain 21 CP from one of Defender's Attacks, or his Power Pack (either of which will return in 4 turns), or I can use a 20d6 Dispel Object to destroy his entire suit of powered armor instead, effectively Draining 236 points (which will not return until Defender can rebuild his armor, a task that cannot be performed during combat)... oh and outing his secret identity. All with just one attack roll and an effect roll.

 

 

Actually, there is a mechanic for Dispel:  the Active Points of the power.  If you have a Blast 12d6 photon rifle (OAF), you roll the Dispel against the 60 AP of the Blast.  Not the BODY of the Focus.

 

Also not sure how you're rolling 236 points on 20d6. ** And since you'd have to define what Power you're dispelling ("Object" isn't a power) when you buy the Dispel, you'd need to have Dispel Resistant Protection + Dispel Flight + Dispel Blast + etc. so on.  to take down Defender's armor.  Of course, you probably go with Variable Effect + Expanded Effect to take down multiple elements at once, but that can get expensive real quick. 

 

Looking at Defender from CC, he has 11 distinct Powers bought on his OIF: armor (note:  Dispel only works against individual Powers, not the Power Framework, so his Multipower doesn't count as one Power).  So that 20d6 Dispel, Variable Effect (any technological; +1/2), Expanded Effect (8+ elements at once; +3 1/2) is a 300-point power.  Heck, for that many points you could just buy a 20d6 RKA and vaporize Defender.

 

Just sayin'. 

 

**Edit:  Sorry, just figured out you're just adding up the Real Points in his various Powers / Characteristics on the OIF.  My bad.  And my count of 11 doesn't include the 6 Characteristic bonuses bought on the OIF, but that doesn't really matter if you're going with the Expanded Effect at the +3 1/2 level.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Cantriped said:

 For example, with 90 APs: I can use a 6d6 Drain Object to drain 21 CP from one of Defender's Attacks, or his Power Pack (either of which will return in 4 turns), or I can use a 20d6 Dispel Object to destroy his entire suit of powered armor instead, effectively Draining 236 points (which will not return until Defender can rebuild his armor, a task that cannot be performed during combat)... oh and outing his secret identity. All with just one attack roll and an effect roll.

 

 

To clarify, I expect that your 90 AP Dispel Object is bought as Dispel 20d6, Variable Effect (+1/2).  Note that this only works against one Power at a time.  So you could shut off his Flight (boot jets) in one Phase, his Electric Blast in the next Phase, his Wrist Bolts in the one after that, etc.

 

Dispel is one of those weird Powers, listed as a Standard Attack and yet it has some Adjustment elements to it like Variable Effect and Expanded Effect.  So I'm not sure if Dispel vs. Resistant Protection is halved due to RP being a Defense Power.  If so, even a 20d6 Dispel (at half effect) isn't going to cut it against Defender's 45 AP armor.  If not, then I'd say that hitting his RP first would leave him still wearing his boots (for his Flight), his gauntlets (for many of his attacks), and helmet (for his radio).  So at least his secret ID is still safe, at least for a little bit.  :winkgrin:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You misunderstand my argument, I said we were taking those two lines from the Dispel description "at face value". The example doesn't say you destroy one of the device's powers... it says you destroy (or ruin) the device. Per the rules for Foci, a device isn't "destroyed" until all of it's powers are lost. Therefore to "destroy" a device using Dispel is to "deprive it of all of its powers" by definition. So per said argument you only need to be able to beat the highest active point power bought through the focus (Defender's 60 APs Multipower) to destroy the entire focus (and every power bought through it) with Dispel.

 

You could argue that his Power Pack is a separate Focus from the Powered Armor itself based upon how they are listed, but that just lets you deprive him of almost the same number of CP worth of powers using an even smaller Dispel (since the power pack is only 40 APs, and he needs it to fuel most of his powers).

 

Dispel is not an Adjustment Power, therefore it is not subject to the Halving rule that applies to "raising" or "lowering" a "defensive" game element using an Adjustment Power (considering that Dispel doesn't raise or lower anything, it wouldn't apply even if it were an Adjustment Power).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

Foci don't have a BODY score to Dispel (or against which to target a Transform).

 

Per the rules in Champions Complete, true.  I believe there is a rule in the 6th edition book as to how you could apply body to foci, and definitely equipment and gear in the world does have body (like a pistol or a water pump).

 

I give everything body unless its defined and built as indestructible, though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Christopher R Taylor said:

 

Per the rules in Champions Complete, true.  I believe there is a rule in the 6th edition book as to how you could apply body to foci, and definitely equipment and gear in the world does have body (like a pistol or a water pump).

 

I give everything body unless its defined and built as indestructible, though.

And 6e1&2 as well. There were really good (if needlessly complex) rules in one of the APGs for giving Foci more Object-like characteristics. However other than that every example of equipment with BODY (such as everything from Fantasy Hero, and HSEG) is the result of such characteristics being arbitrarily assigned to them without any game mechanics to support them.

There are guidelines for determining the BODY of Objects based upon their mass which could be used to estimate a BODY score. But the mechanics of Foci don't really support using it so you'd have to house-rule how Foci with BODY work, or use the version from the APGs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dispel can't be used against inherent characteristics. You can dispel a characteristic bought as a Power (i.e. +20 STR gloves), but not the DEF or BODY of a focus.

 

Damaging or destroying a gadget is just a possible effect of a Dispel (and HOW that happens needs to be defined, too. EMP? High voltage electrical overload? Telekinetic smash? Magic Curse?). If the focus is Unbreakable, a dispel that works by damaging it, won't work unless it's also the Unbreakable focus' weakness, but one that works by draining the battery  probably would.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Cantriped said:

You misunderstand my argument, I said we were taking those two lines from the Dispel description "at face value". The example doesn't say you destroy one of the device's powers... it says you destroy (or ruin) the device. Per the rules for Foci, a device isn't "destroyed" until all of it's powers are lost. Therefore to "destroy" a device using Dispel is to "deprive it of all of its powers" by definition. So per said argument you only need to be able to beat the highest active point power bought through the focus (Defender's 60 APs Multipower) to destroy the entire focus (and every power bought through it) with Dispel.

 

Well, give that both statements were from CC, I'll stick to that source.  Therefore, I'd point out the following statement (CC: 58) which states very explicitly:  "Dispel affects only Powers."

 

Powers.  Not Power Frameworks.  Therefore, Dispel would have no effect on a Multipower Pool itself, though one could still Dispel the individual Powers that make up each slot of the Multipower.  (And again, you'd need to do that either individually, or en masse with Expanded Effect.)  And once they were all Dispelled, presumably the Multipower would be useless.

 

Furthermore, you say yourself "a device isn't "destroyed" until all of it's powers are lost" (emphasis added) and then turn around and say "you only need to be able to beat the highest active point power bought through the focus (Defender's 60 APs Multipower) to destroy the entire focus (and every power bought through it) with Dispel." 

 

Sorry, but no.  You have to Dispel each and every power on the focus before it's destroyed.  That means each slot (Power) in his Mutlipower... as well as his Flight, radio, etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×