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Hugh Neilson

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Hugh Neilson last won the day on July 24

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About Hugh Neilson

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  • Birthday 01/15/1966

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    Chartered Professional Accountant/Tax Consultant

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  1. Stunning - that makes me think of the APG Change Environment - Target Stunned option. That might wok. It needs a reasonably common defense (target would be immune for whatever reason), requires a to hit roll (make it based on ECV if desired), but fo an effect of ongoing STUNning could be pretty effective. Link it up with an END/STUN drain if desired.
  2. Hugh Neilson

    Critical Hits in the Hero System

    I like Doc's idea. Many "do more damage" critical hit models for Hero use a "roll less than half of the number needed to hit" approach, so if you hit on 11-, you get a critical hit on 5-. Most commonly, that means either maximum damage or double damage. Some use critical hits only on a 3 - 1 chance in 216, so rarely occurs. However, as assault notes, the system has a lot of existing potential for critical hits which are not connected to the to hit roll. 3 - 5 is 4.63% likely (as close as we get to 1 in 20). I think it is important to recall that, over time, critical hits will penalize the players more than the opposition. The players will have a lot of rolls against them, so they will be the subjects of critical hits as often as they deliver them. If a critical hit is likely to be lethal, a PC gets a critical and nameless Orc #263 is instantly killed - lots more where he came from. When the opponent gets a critical and the player needs a new character, they may start to question why they wanted critical hits in the game. I find that, often, the less likely the critical is, the more impact it is given. A 1 in 20 chance of doing some extra damage that will help, but not likely end the battle, is one thing. One chance in 216 of rolling a 3 and decapitating the opponent? The players will have more than 216 attack rolls against them over time. Do we want a random "time for a new PC" event arising every few sessions? If we don't, but we do want criticals, then less devastating, perhaps more frequent, criticals seem like they are in order. Keep in mind that whatever the critical is based on becomes more powerful. "Half what you need to hit" incents more OCV to land a critical, and more DCV to avoid one. The tank, easy to hit but hard to hurt, is a much less viable build when "easy to hit" also means also means greater exposure to critical hits.
  3. Hugh Neilson

    Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)

    If population should be the sole determinant of representation, presumably that should extend internationally. The US has a population just over 322 million, third place behind China (just over 1.4 billion) and India (over 1.32 billion). Any 3 of the next 10 would outvote the US. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_population_(United_Nations)
  4. Hugh Neilson

    Time Lord Regeneration

    Focus, Dead Time Lord, Expendable?
  5. The original X-Men received distinctive uniforms as "graduation presents" in X-Men #39. The series ran to #66, so they had individual uniforms for quite a while before cancellation. There was a Marvel Team-Up where they wore no costumes, which apparently was being considered for a revival on the basis they did not need costumes for easy identification (one guy ices up, a second is bulky, a third has wings and the fourth has glowy red around his eyes; only one girl).
  6. Hugh Neilson

    Time Lord Regeneration

    As your later post notes, this will depend on the group's manner of handling new characters, so if I pay "x" points, I can avoid having a massive power drop if my character dies (short-term pain for long-term gain). It is definitely paying points to avoid a campaign standard, or part of the group social contract, at that point, but then so is any form of regeneration or healing that comes with resurrection. There seems to be a side issue here on whether the new character has "x" points as pre-defined when the power was purchased, or the same points that the previous character had. I interpret it to be the latter. That is, I can't sink all of my points in "when this 500 point character who spent 400 points on a power boost for the new character if the old one dies", rush Character 1 into danger so he croaks ASAP and come back next week with my new 900 point character. Whatever points he had, and however they were spent, he comes back with those points. I'm not a fan of "death means a new character of a much lower power level than the old character" school of gaming. This hardly feels like the appropriate result of a heroic character death, and all of the players are at the table to have fun, not to compete on whose character can survive longest. It also disincents retiring a character whose story has run its course, and punishes a player who has grown tired of this character and wants a new one. A "radiation accident" could result in what amounts to a brand-new character. Viewed from that angle, character death is a form of radiation accident, At that point, it starts to feel like a character tax - pay these points or watch those who did gain more powerful characters while your succession of new characters fall further and further behind. FINAL NOTE: On the "new character has less points", it's funny how often this gets justified with " not to worry - the GM will maintain balance between the characters". Sounds like the character who came back as a 500 point character in the now 550 point game spent the extra 50 points off-character sheet on some " no conscious control" powers to get special dispensation from the GM. RPGs in general seem to have evolved away from "competitive xp" where I can, through skillful play, luck, or what have you, end up with the most powerful character, to "cooperative xp" where we want all characters on a roughly equal footing because it's about the PCs against adversaries, and we want all the players to be able to contribute to a similar extent. Note that I am not saying one or the other has the goal that "everyone has fun". That's subjective, and no one is choosing their style in the hopes some players will have less, or no, fun. A highly competitive group may find "everyone advances at the same pace" much less fun.
  7. Hugh Neilson

    Healing...self only?

    2e on, Drain and Transfer could affect both characteristics and powers, so you had it right. Characteristics were still by far the most common. The "normal human stats limit" was a symptom, not the problem. The real problem was that DEX was comparatively radically underpriced. It really cost 2 points, not 3 (the other point went to SPD anyway). So for 30 points (+15 DEX), you get +3 with all DEX skills and other DEX rolls, +15 to action order, +5 OCV and +5 DCV. How much will that cost in skill levels? And you don't get that extra DCV until you assign those skill levels, plus your bonus to DEX skills is only one at a time. We noticed STR and CON more because everything it gave was priced out, but the real King of the Figured Discount was DEX. I'm not sure it has ever been clear exactly how "must use in proportion" interacts with adjustment powers. Linked is more flexible in some ways, at least. Generally, it is only one power which is limited (you can limit both). To me, Linked was a mechanic - this power can be used only in conjunction with this other power, not separately. Limit both and we have powers that must be used in tandem. That may be the SFX for a brand-new power, or it may just be the bullets and flash grenade. EC was a freebie, until the "drain one, drain all" limitation was added, which became UP. "Reward for a tight concept" had issues. EXAMPLES: Shouldn't everyone have a tight concept? A character is not just points on a sheet. Why should Iceman get a point break for having ice powers, but Captain America does not get a break for having Super Soldier powers? Who decides what concept is tight enough, or what goes in? Are Kryptonian Powers a tight concept? Would they be if no one had published Superman? I can imagine Stan Lee's GM handing back the character sheet saying "BS is Danger Sense a Spider Power, and why would his webs be focused instead of natural if they are part of his own powers?" I was talking multiple power attacks and you moved to point costing in general. If we don;t believe points are useful in balancing one ability against another, there is no reason to have points at all. I agree that, the more diverse the abilities, the tougher it is to compare. If we said "Let's make Blast cost 1 point per 1d6, and price STR at 3 CP per +1 STR". would that seem right because we can just rely on the GM to balance it all out? If I pay 75 points for a 15d6 Blast, Chuck pays 75 points for a 12d6 Blast and a 3d6 Flash, and Fred spends 75 points on 3 - 25 point Drains, why should we not all be allowed to use the 15 DC attacks we paid for in a single phase? The ultimate extreme of "trust the GM" is "have no rules at all". Just trust the GM. It's SFX. A high DCV can mean you miss, or you hit nothing vital. Fantasy Hero provides the best example in that a shield provides a DCV bonus. Why, if the attack did not hit the shield and therefore miss the character? Luck purchased as the Luck ability in the book is purchased with the knowledge it is outside the control of both character and player. Other luck powers are outside the character's control, but the player can control them. Luck in the source material is not random - the author controls it. In game, there is a division of authorship between players and GM.
  8. Hugh Neilson

    Time Lord Regeneration

    He asked for thoughts and a sanity check. My thought is that paying to be allowed to make a new character when an existing character dies strikes me as wrong. If a PC without this power dies, how will their replacement character differ from one with this power? If the answer is "not at all", that seems the appropriate point cost as well. If there is a benefit, the point cost should reflect that benefit. That's my sanity check - does the cost reflect the in-game value?
  9. Hugh Neilson

    Healing...self only?

    The disagreement here is not "has it become less expensive for the same effect?", but "was it balanced before, or is it balanced now?" Pretty much every other attack power was Ranged by default. Making a power act vs Power Defense allowed more damage than a Stun Drain. To me, that was unbalanced before, and I don't find adjustment powers unbalanced now. Similarly, Armor Piercing was virtually useless at +1/2 - the math meant it was almost never preferable to a non-AP attack at equal DC. At +1/4 it is actually viable. FWIW, Raven can and has healed herself in the comics. Why is a character who can heal herself and others not part of "any character you can imagine"? Apparently it has never been a problem for you. I know many gamers for whom it has. Unlimited Stun healing changes the dynamic - try running a V&V scenario translated to Champions - many have the characters encounter one villain at a time. being gradually worn down. Doesn't really work in Hero when they get all their stun back between combats. Exhausting myself out of combat for healing, then recovering, seems a lot easier than firing off 15 attack powers a phase, too. I am confused by your references to 2e Adjustment Powers - those were Drain and Transfer, with Healing and Aid added to Fantasy Hero, long before thoughts of balance between games and genres was a focus. That would have been 4e, and boy did unlimited healing/aid have issues then!
  10. Hugh Neilson

    Healing...self only?

    Funny...I see multiple means of constructing the same mechanical effect for differing costs to be "pay what you want". One easy example was the "highly trained normal". Debate after debate over whether Batman or Captain America could have a 35 DEX, or had to limp along with a 20 (normal humans, remember) and spend huge points on combat skill levels to be remotely competitive with a "superhuman" DEX. Getting rid of figured helped that a lot. Linked means "this power can only be used in combination with a second power". Unified Power means "if one of these powers is reduced by a negative adjustment power, so is the other one". They are not the same limitation. I can have a 12d6 Blast (Unified Power) and a 2d6 Flash (Linked, Unified Power). If either is drained, both lose the Drained points. I can fire off the Blast with or without the Flash (only the Flash is Linked). Without Unified Power, the Blast can be Drained to 5d6 and I can fire it off with the 2d6 Flash attached, or without, since Flash was not drained. Unified Power was a replacement for the Elemental Control Freebie, not a variant of Linked. Funny how you see that as horrific (when, as I understand from those closer to them, it was the intent of the designers from the outset), but consider END usage a harsh limitation on Healing. 15 attack powers is pretty expensive on the END. How did you pay for those 15 attack powers? Not in a framework - you can only have the maximum framework points allocated. 15 1 DC attacks are seldom as effective as a single 15 DC attack. I'd say that, if Player 1 dropped 60 points on a Multipower pool and 90 more on 15 ultra slots to have a choice of 15 attacks, Player 2, who dropped 150 points on 3 10 DC attacks being able to fire them all at once isn't all that unreasonable by comparison. As to "limitations that don't mean squat", a limitation which is not limiting still saves no points. When a player puts four -1/4 limitations on a power, that means "this should, in tandem, be as inconvenient for me as that guy's OAF and the other guy's 11- activation roll - make it so, GM!" Agreed, to some extent. If you price an ability beyond its utility, however, either it is a character tax (everyone needs CON to avoid being Stunned, whether it's 1/2 points or 5 points) or no one buys it. Economics in action. Damage classes? I agree with that one - it stemmed from the 60 AP game having 12d6 Blasts, 4d6 RKAs and 20d6 Hand Attacks under the 4e model. Combat luck names a defense power. Might as well call it "roll with the punch", "glancing blow" or "no, you missed". Luck has never been that popular in games I see because, since 1e, it should always be a surprise when it works. As a result, lots of other "luck powers" surfaced over the years, and lots of variants on luck to give players more control. "Any character I can imagine" implies "and it will be playable with characters others imagine", not "but only some can be effective in a game". I can imagine a competent pilot, an ace fighter pilot and a licensed pilot. All are different. Not sure what any of that has to do with the MPA rules, though. Those, to me, follow the "you get what you pay for" rules.
  11. Hugh Neilson

    Healing...self only?

  12. Hugh Neilson

    D.C.'s Legends of Tomorrow

    I think Season 1 floundered between comedic and seriousness, but Seasons 2+ noted how well GoTG did with largely humorous space vagabond Supers...
  13. Hugh Neilson

    Time Lord Regeneration

    A simple option is that it's a backstory for a new character who is replacing the dead character. Why should you pay points for the privilege of continuing to be in the game with a new character?
  14. Massey, I'd say the key is that the moral code is more a Complication (story hook) than a limitation on the powers, so we're thinking on similar lines, at least. The moral code complication makes sense for a devoted follower of the deity. The Susceptibility or Watched may be better suited for the character who will follow those rules, but he doesn't necessarily agree with them.\, and may try to wiggle out of them on occasion.
  15. Hugh Neilson

    Healing...self only?

    I'd say "no limits" Aid or Absorb would be much more problematic. I think the healing cap arose when Fantasy Hero was first created (we did not have Aid or Healing in Champions 1e - 3e, only in Fantasy) as a backlash to the D&D tradition that we could heal a character of enough damage to kill an elephant multiple times every day. D&D, of course, had limited spells per day, which Fantasy Hero avoided. If you want BOD damage to be a more serious issue than STUN damage, it can't be recoverable in full after every combat. I'll take the blame for that one. I hated the 5e FAQ requiring any advantage on Transfer being purchased twice, once for the Drain part and once for the Aid part. I doubt Transfer would have been an independent power if we had Aid and Healing from the start - we would have made compound powers instead. Adjustment powers in general have always had issues. 1e, only characteristics could be drained or transferred,. 2e/3e brought us Power, rather than CHAR, drains and transfers, while Fantasy Hero brought us Aid and Healing. 4e brought us the vastly problematic "Aid both aids and heals" model. 5e cleaned some of that up. 6e made Drains ranged (so a STUN drain finally could match an AVLD Blast) and cleaned up the "Transfer advantages/limitations" conundrum. It also removed 5e's "once you can't gain more points, you can't drain more points" inequity. It also allows a "healing transfer" by linking Self Only healing instead of self only Aids to a Drain. So now we can buy 1d6 Drain (10 AP), joint Link with Aid (-1/4), Unified Power (-1/4) 7 RP + 1d6 Aid, Trigger (+1) 12 AP, Self Only (-1), Linked to Drain (-1/2), Unified Power (-1/4), limited to points drained (-1/4) 3 RP. That's not the book build - I think "must use Aid with Drain and vice versa" limits both, especially as you must spend the 1 END for Aid even when your Aid is capped out, and that not getting any Aid when your opponent has power defense mandates a limit there. 2 END and 10 RP per 1d6. And, if you want a reduced fade rate on one, you put it on that one, or if you want it on both, you put it on both. Overall, I think it's better (both more appropriately costed and more flexible), but it's certainly not as easy as "15 points per 1d6". Ditching the cap means 1d6 Healing cures everyone on the team of all afflictions between every combat. It also means you can clean out the hospitals pretty rapidly. That Multipower makes "pick self or others" pretty inexpensive to overcome too.