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Hugh Neilson

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Hugh Neilson last won the day on July 2 2017

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About Hugh Neilson

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    SETAC Gadfly
  • Birthday 01/15/1966

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    Chartered Professional Accountant/Tax Consultant

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  1. Hugh Neilson

    Black Panther with spoilers

    More or less agree on all counts. It feels like they were trying to cram as much Black Panther lore into one movie as possible, because there may not be another. The result was three adversaries who could each have carried a movie (Klaue/KLAW, M'Baku and Killmonger) each getting limited time. A "succession" film with M'Baku as the primary adversary, with Klaue playing on that to access Wakandan tech - and perhaps Klaue's actions against Wakanda being a wakeup call for M'Baku - could have worked well, and set up "Klaw" for a sequel, with Killmonger getting his own film. MCU is, to some extent, a victim of its own success - can't really rely on three films even if the first really delivers, as there is so much more in the hopper. Still a good film, but how much would it take to expand that 4 hour rumoured cut to two or three films of equal or greater quality? The other aspect of the suit that bugged me - it seems like many Marvel characters are being made reliant on their costume. Iron Man is obvious, and he fills that niche. But Spider-Man's focus on the StarkSuit felt excessive (really, does Spidey need an onboard AI and an Iron Man-esque swiss army attacks multipower? Now we have Panther, again largely reliant on the suit-tech (and basically ignoring his enhanced senses after early mention). Gadgets built into the suit, like the "sneakers" and claws? Sure. But the suit should not be the focus of his abilities.
  2. Hugh Neilson

    How to Build: Dancing weapons?

    I think this is oversimplified, but I like the idea of an attack which tries again until either it hits or it runs out of steam (toss on Physical Manifestation and you can also KO the ongoing attack). Constant allows an attack that hits once to keep doing damage without further attack rolls, but stunning or KOing the power user, loss of LoS or changing slots in a framework all shut it off. If all of these will also shut off your Homing Power, then a hit on the first attack "wastes" Homing, but it also "wastes" Constant, which would not have kept trying in each subsequent phase until it succeeds. Maybe for +1/4, it tries again once, doubled for each additional +1/4, requiring no further attention from the user (maybe even no ongoing END - the END to fire the initial attack is still flying around). You could make a Homing Constant Uncontrolled attack - once it hits, it keeps going for as long as the END you dumped in to power it.
  3. I view the "changes form and wearer will not want to get rid of it" as reflective of the fact this is something forced upon the wearer, not taken on by choice. Liken this to "The special effect of the Mind Control is that, as long as you remain under its influence, you wear the Magic Brooch and would never consider removing it".
  4. The second item could be fairly powerful, but limited to EGO +X, so it cannot get the more extreme results of mind control.
  5. Hugh Neilson

    How to Build: Personal waterfall?

    Tack on a bit of CE for a nice wash and we're good to go. Maybe cosmetic transform, but environmental conditions conducive to bathing should allow one to clean up.
  6. Hugh Neilson

    How would you price this Limitation?

    That is 375% of Champions 1st Edition and 300% of Champions 2e. Again, if the goal was to reduce the number of game elements to a minimum, we could have far fewer elements and a much smaller game. Further, I believe it requires more word count to explain that Charges cost 0 END, that as a result Charges can be either an advantage or a limitation, and that it caps out at +1 instead of the +1/2 that 0 END would typically cost, to account for the possibility of an Autofire attack than would be required to simply, with no added discussion, leave powers with charges costing END by default, perhaps providing a Handgun sample power which applies both Six Charges and 0 END to demonstrate how this apparently very difficult build might be reflected in game terms.
  7. Hugh Neilson

    How would you price this Limitation?

    Emphasis added - apparently, you need to dispel confusion caused by the current model, which suggests the intuitive obviousness you fear would be lost if charges did not default to 0 END is not as prevalent as you claim. In any case, if Hero was going for Intuitive, we would long since have a system where Life Support allowing survival in the frigid depths of Space provided some defense against a Freon Blast. If Charges cost END by default, then charged powers could be pushed by default. Boostable Charges add a Burnout factor to the power - what about a concept that can use multiple charges to enhance the power WITHOUT making future uses unreliable? What if an extra charge is, in concept, to add more (or less) power than the Boostable default? Perhaps "boostable charges" is better simulated by a smaller ability and a larger ability in a Multipower, with all slots feeding from charges and some using more than one charge. And if some boosting causes a Burnout effect, then add that to the power itself. Your arguments are actually reinforcing, rather than refuting, my view. However, since you view the current model as easy and modular, please provide the easy summary of how Boostable charges that Cost END interact with Pushing, in your view. The fact that Novaman can be constructed under current rules is no more relevant than the fact a gun with six charges that cost 0 END could be constructed if charges cost END by default. True. And if the charges represent my Laser Gun Battery, I should have used an END Battery, or a variant of charges, or perhaps boostable charges, etc. We have lots of tools. That makes the game complex. Making Charges a tool that limits the number of uses in a specified time period, without also providing the advantage of making the power use no END, would not, in my view, markedly increase the complexity of the game. For some constructs, it would and for others, it would not. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA I cannot believe you would describe a 2 volume rulebook as "keeping the number of game elements used to a minimum", nor that you would consider 1 use per day, or usable without limit (0 END) to be "insignificant", "related" or both! The most obvious example which springs to my mind is a Vancian magic system where Wizards are also expected to be tired out by repeated spell use, much as warriors are tired out by repeated sword strikes. I suggest the lack of "charges that cost END" is as much a function of the base mechanic adding "0 END" as any indication of what proportion of Charged powers would, or would not, logically require an expenditure of END. I suspect that, if Charges cost END by default, a lot of builds that presently have 0 END charges would have charges that cost END. Not a handgun, certainly, but natural abilities with limited uses. The fact that you rarely use a mechanic does not mean the mechanic is useless. There are plenty of mechanics I rarely use, but that others make great use of.
  8. Hugh Neilson

    DC Heroes

    Cue traditional debate over whether Batman can exceed the normal human guideline of 20 Characteristics. Maybe anyone interested could just look that up in the many past threads rather than revisit it here. Just skimming, but I question why DEX moves in 10 point increments for everyone but Nightwing's 23. I also suggest that, if anything, Nightwing is more agile than Batman (something that has been remarked on a lot in recent years - Dick is the more agile, acrobatic, etc. of the two). Not sold that Nightwing has less SPD than Robin (any Robin) or Batgirl either, or that Bats and Catty are 9 and 8 either. Probably lots more to nitpick if one is so inclined. Alfred is a lot more unflappable than a 10 PRE and EGO would suggest, and gets the better of Bats in verbal repartee way more often that that spread in INT would suggest.
  9. Hugh Neilson

    Only for Dying...

    If I have 30 BOD and have taken 40 BOD damage, I am conscious and can still act, provided I still have positive STUN. I get my recoveries for STUN and END as well. If I have 20 BOD, +10 BOD only to prevent death, as I read it, I am otherwise dead. I cannot act. I have no STUN or END, and I will not recover STUN and END while my 10 extra BOD keeps me clinging to life. Arguably (and quite appropriately for BOD with a -2 limitation), I probably need an outside source to assist me in recovering BOD, and will not recover it naturally (including by regeneration) regardless of how long my shattered body is tended to in a hospital bed.
  10. Hugh Neilson

    How would you price this Limitation?

    A power which costs END gets a +1/2 advantage by limiting it with Charges. A power which costs 0 END gets the same limitation for the same number of charges, but no free +1/2 advantage, That is a very different comparison than any of the ones you raise. If I am fighting an opponent with Desolidification, the Flash seems a lot better. Ditto if my opponent has a 4d6 RKA which blows through the Entangle - he's still firing it blind if he's flashed. Double knockback? 40 AP of Blast averages 8 BOD x 2 = 16 - average of 7 on 3d6 = 9 x 2 = 18 meters. 40 AP of KA averages the same 8 BOD to be doubled to 16, and I subtract 3d6, so 5 or 6 x 2 = 10-12 meters knockback on average, so the Blast is the more effective power at knocking the target back, at least at that AP level. My issue is less with balance than with "you don't bundle effects". Many of the historical issues in this regard have been fixed. We no longer have Armor that costs 5 points for 3 rDEF, Damage Resistance than makes half your PD and ED resistant for 15 points, all for 30 points and force fields that get resistant PD and ED but cost END. They were streamlined and made consistent. Flight has the same noncombat multiple mechanic as every other movement power. It didn't at the start. CON and STR don't provide more points in figured characteristics than they cost to purchase. Growth, Shrinking and Stretching no longer come bundled with damage adders. But Charges still come bundled with 0 END, Why? Because it's always been that way? So what? Every rule has "always been that way" until it got changed. Combat maneuvers were always usable only with STR, until they became usable with other attack powers. Martial arts always cost STR and multiplied STR damage, until they didn't. Adjustment powers always had no range, until they became ranged by default. We always had Comeliness, until we no longer had Comeliness. Seduction was always Seduction until we renamed it Charm. Killing attacks were always more effective at putting STUN through to high defense targets until they weren't. Aid always had no fade rate if it did not raise an ability above its starting point, until it did fade, and it never cost END by default until it started costing END by default. And on and on and on. Hero is based on getting what you pay for, paying for what you get and not bundling abilities together, so a Limitation that comes bundled with an Advantage is an exception to that maxim. There's no compelling case to be made for that exception, so I favour its removal to take out one more orphan mechanic which lacks consistency with the overall system philosophy.
  11. Hugh Neilson

    How would you price this Limitation?

    Let's add some more controversy. Most powers fire off a single shot. Autofire fires off multiple shots, that cost multiple END. That results in a different Reduced END advantage (but not a different Increased END limitation), Charges that are used more rapidly and a need for a Charges advantage which is more expensive than 0 END for non-autofire powers. Why? Why shouldn't the base power be "a burst of 5 8d6 Blasts" for 60 AP, and 6 END (or one charge) per burst? If that's a machine gun with a 1 charge Blast and a 5 round Autofire Burst, limit the autofire one to use more than one charge. Being able to attack 3 times should be a limitation, not an advantage, regardless of whether those three attacks roll damage once, five times or ten times. I don't see this as a huge balance issue, and removing the orphan mechanic for "if it's autofire, reduced END costs more and more charges get used" would streamline the system just a bit.
  12. Hugh Neilson

    How would you price this Limitation?

    I believe we would have to change the limitation value of Charges if we made Charged powers cost END by default, just as the cost of Aid was altered when it was modified to cost END by default. I would note that, when 6e made adjustment powers ranged by default, the cost was not increased. I think that reflects a vision, with which I would agree, that adding range corrected an overpricing for a Ranged STUN Drain compared to a Blast AVAD Power Defense. That fix is not as easy as adjusting the limitation (or advantage) on each level of Charges by 1/2. That works perfectly, of course, at 16 charges, where a -1/2 limitation perfectly offsets a +1/2 advantage. However, it makes 32 charges, 0 END cost combine to 1.2x the current cost, rather than 1.25. That's not a substantial change, so OK. Anything more than 64 charges would qualify for no limitation, so 0 END becomes the same +1/2 advantage. But 8 charges as a -1 limitation would mean 0 END, 8 charges costs 75% of the AP rather than 2/3 of the AP. Make 4 charges -1 1/2, and 4 charges that cost 0 END cost 60% of AP instead of 50%. My bias would be to rework the charges to as closely match the cost of X Charges, 0 END to the present pricing. That won't line up perfectly in all cases as we are working with 1/4 increments, and it means 1 charge would be a -3 1/2 limitation, so that 1 charge that costs 0 END still costs 1/3 of the AP of the base power. This assumes one accepts that the present pricing is appropriate for that many uses with no END cost. My view is pretty basic. Not costing END is a feature. That means it should be an advantage. Limited uses per day is a bug. That means it should be a limitation. As well, why should NovaMan get a -2 limitation for making his NovaBurst cost 0 END and only being usable once a day when TurtleMan's UltraShield, which provides Resistant Protection once per day, gets the same -2 limitation despite not spending any less END on that power? NovaMan is getting a free +1/2 advantage compared to TurtleMan - how is that fair? Adding 1/2 to each level of Charges limitation would be the equivalent of recognizing that TurtleMan has effectively "paid" the Costs END limitation on his power, before removing it with Charges. Taken another way, if NovaMan's NovaBlast exhausts him, then make it cost 10x END and he will be exhausted. If it so depletes his reserves that he will be unable to use it again for a day, make it 1 charge. If it depletes his reserves, but he's fresh as a daisy and ready to run a marathon right after using it, buy it 0 END and 1 charge. If it depletes his reserves and exhausts him, then one charge and increased END is the way to go. But the baseline - before advantages or limitations - is that it costs 1/10 of AP in END and can be used as often as he wants. If we lower the END cost, that is an advantage and should be purchased as such. Making it higher is a limitation, so apply that limitation, And limiting how many times a day it can be used (not really how often - 2 charges can be used in a single Multiple Attack), that's what Charges represent.
  13. Hugh Neilson

    How would you price this Limitation?

    Unquestionably if you have to track charges and END there is more bookkeeping. That's true whether END is a default or not. I need to know the same modifiers of Costs END and Increased END for charges that cost 0 END by default. I'd generally put 0 END on a firearm if charges cost END by default, so that's not really that tough. What if the mooks are punching with a Hand Attack device? That costs END by default as well. Try drawing out the full Hero power of a quarterstaff or a broadsword. We don't typically put the full stats of heroic weapons. It certainly could change the cost of dispelling ranged weapons. Why should it be easier to Dispel a 4d6 RKA with 16 charges than a 4d6 RKA that costs 0 END?
  14. Hugh Neilson

    How to Build: Vorpal weapons?

    All true. To me, the simple build of +8 PSLs to strike the head location was an elegant mechanical solution demonstrating the Hero system had more flexibility for such a build than the D&D system, but "every hit strikes the head" is very powerful regardless. The description of the Vorpal property is clear that it only works on a 20 (even if the weapon has a wider critical hit range). Many slashing weapons have a 19-20 crit range, so specifying a 20, rather than any critical, seems pretty clear. I agree that, if the goal is an ability that works only 5% of the time, 5- is about right. BTW, 5- is a 4.63% chance. Rolling exactly 6 is a 4.63% chance, so 6- is 9.26%, while 7- is a 16.2% chance, or roughly one in six (exactly 7 is 6.94%).
  15. Hugh Neilson

    How would you price this Limitation?

    How is "charges would not be 0 END by default" additional bookkeeping compared to every non-charged power which also costs END by default? One could also suggest that having charges be 0 END by default adds unnecessary construction bloat for charged powers that should cost END, forcing a limitation to offset an advantage conferred by another limitation. Meanwhile, I think we gain in the decoupling model, as the limitation (Charges) does not automatically grant an advantage (0 END). We also gain better point balancing - placing Charges on a 0 END power is no greater limitation, but limits the power without granting that offsetting advantage. How is +10 PD/+10 ED Resistant Protection, 32 Charges more valuable than +10 PD/+10 ED Resistant Protection usable at all times? That is a mechanical advantage of a choice of character builds, rather than an advantage in better reflecting the Hero philosophies that mechanics are not bundled together, and that you get what you pay for. If charges cost normal END by default, the Nova Blast could still be 0 END at similar cost once limitation numbers were rebalanced, or it could be cheaper as a power that costs the normal amount of END, but can be used only once per day, or it could be even cheaper if it could be used only once per day and cost extra END. Removing 0 END from a default for charges would not change build options, it would only change the default.