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Hugh Neilson

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Hugh Neilson last won the day on January 31

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About Hugh Neilson

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    SETAC Gadfly
  • Birthday 01/15/1966

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  1. MP: 10 Point Pool 2 v +2 OCV 2 v +2 DCV 2 v +1 Floating DC 1 v +2 mOCV 1 v +2 mDCV 18 points But it should be 16 points, as the 6e RAW says 10 point CSLs do not affect mental attacks. Cheaper levels can be purchased for mental attacks. CONCLUSION: The math is wrong even if we agree that the premise of Multipower-based pricing is correct. An "All but Mental Combat" level should cost 8 points, based on the 10 point pool and the first three slots. btw, to the original issue, 6e says:
  2. The reality is that I did not consider KAs to be a big deal. Our group rarely used them, and pretty much never on living targets. It was on these Boards that someone made a case that caused me to look at the math - and he was right. That was the point where I recalled all those Agents with 2d6 RKAs which would, at least on occasion, get a good enough roll to do some damage to a Super designed for 12+DC attacks.
  3. Duke, one question/clarification. You mention playing with a lot of different players, and also teaching them. To what extent is your experience based on players you did not teach? As you note, we game like our group games. One guy reads the rules and teaches everyone else generally lends to everyone playing "his way". Similarly, the group evolves a dynamic even if everyone independently reads the rules (e.g. our group never had an issue with killing attacks because it was pretty much an unwritten rule they were not used against living targets). I think many early Champions players drew their build styles largely from published characters (from the 1e sample characters onwards). Playing with 100 players who all learned Hero from you would, I expect, result in much less diversity of build and play styles than playing with 20 players drawn from other groups, who had their own distinct Hero experiences forming their play and build styles before they met you.
  4. I think that is where most of us ended up on skill level DCV as well, I suspect in part because the pricing was not exactly a bargain to begin with. We need that "generic floating DC" concept. It is essentially part of Deadly Blow type constructs. With CSLs largely priced on the basis of a multipower, why not just set 1 floating 0 END DC at 10 points, equal to +2 CV? The problem with 10 point CSLs is the multipower-based pricing. +2 OCV, +2 DCV, +1 DC, +2 mOCV, +2 mDCV as Vatriable Slots is a 10 point pool + 5 2 point slots = 20 points, half of which (1 level) costs 10 points. If you don''t need all five slots, you don't get value from the 10 point CSL. You have invoked my Skill Level Rant!!! OK, I can buy +5 INT, get +1 to all INT based rolls at the same time and +1 to all PER rolls. Cost of 5 points. How is 4 points fair cost for +1 to one roll at a time, and no base INT roll or PER roll bonuses possible? I think we should move to INT and PRE (like DEX) costing 2 points, and allow +1 to all CHAR and Skill (but not PER) rolls based on that Char for 5 points. Less rolls, or only one at a time, then become limitations. For 5 points, +1 to all PER rolls, +1d6 PRE attack, or +5 Lighting reflexes. Again, limitations to reduce this cost. +2 to all Ego based rolls for 5 points, and +10 PRE defense for 5 points, and keep EGO priced at 1 point. No more PRE DEF from the PRE stat. As noted above, skill levels are overpriced unless used to evade NCM double costing of characteristics.
  5. RDUNeil, would that mean Martial Dodge provides +5 DCV, only HTH, or provides +3 DCV against everything, and an extra +2 only in HTH? Most games I have seen do not restrict the DCV gained from skill levels to ranged or HTH.
  6. Duke, I think the only difference between 1e and 2e is minor tweaks for the few rule changes. The notable change was the cap on STR adders for KA's so a lot of high STR Enemies have 1d6 HKA (2d6 w/ STR). That really changed the Monster, as I recall. I recall thinking the Geodesics were supposed to reflect starting characters - they were very low-powered compared to the rest of the teams. Players built to the higher power standards, though.
  7. Doc, one question for that straw man - what are you expecting that average character's CON to be? This is a campaign variable that seldom gets discussed - how often will a character be STUNned? At 20 CON, the average hit will stun our typical character. At 23, he will weather an average hit, but anything a bit over average and he loses a phase. He probably needs a 30 CON to feel like only an exceptional hit will STUN him (14d6 on a good hit and 15d6 on an average hit - how far will common adversaries deviate from the baseline?). I find it pretty common that players want being STUNned to be an uncommon to rare occurrence, but I can also see campaign design around that risk having a lot of impact on combat dynamics, in addition to character builds. For example, if we assume a 23 CON baseline, I am more likely to sacrifice some OCV or SPD in exchange for higher damage to more reliably STUN the opponent, and less likely to consider dropping DEF/CON to enhance DCV, as a 37.5% (or 25%) chance of getting hit means a lot less if those hits will virtually always STUN me - and remove my DCV. Dropping STUN to boost my DEF seems a much better tradeoff.
  8. Pulled this to highlight - if we end up with the same costs, is there a significant benefit to a major rules change making this game less accessible to those familiar with the basic Hero rules?
  9. 1/2 and I think 3 simply allowed disadvantages to be taken, with diminishing returns (another "get what you pay for" gap, I suppose). 4e was the first version to simply say "you get up to X disadvantages". Or, practically, you get Y points to spend. You can spend some to "buy off" Z points of disadvantage requirements. e.g. you are 350 point Supers with 150 points of disadvantages, You can buy down those 150 disadvantage points by purchasing "reduced disadvantages". I prefer the 6e nomenclature of Complications. I never felt "punished" by disadvantages - they were and are another important means of defining your character. I do like the reduced Complications points in 6e - you don't automatically take a couple of Hunteds, but only those complications that are truly defining for the character. I have definitely "overspent" on disad's/complications in the past, simply because that was how the character was going to be played.
  10. I think "build to point max" came in at 4e. Before that, there was no disad cap, just diminishing returns. As to rounding with COM, I meant exactly that. Never played with a group lacking enough in OCD not to balance the points :), so with 2 or 3 left (since disads always came in 5's,) put the excess in COM and call it a day.
  11. I expect it came from Danger International, Justice Inc. and Fantasy Hero, all of which, I think, started with "10 = normal" and used NCM for stats above 20. It likely helped that 3 - 18 was the human range in a lot of other games. BBB just brought "normal human" in from those other games/genres. It may have been in Champions 3e as well - I never read that closely. Other than Stanburst, did any published character ever use this model? Starburst being the prototype suggests this intention, but if so it evolved from there pretty fast.
  12. Just this line from an excellent post... At some point in pre-6e discussions, there was a mention of an issue that some build or another would have high AP that would be a problem in games with an AP cap. Steve noted that there are no rules in the 5e book for AP caps, there would be none in 6e, and there is no intention that Hero have an AP cap. Some builds require a lot of advantages and limitations, and are about as effective as the same RP with no advantages and limitations. The only issue I have with that is the Multipower aspect (VPP as well, but it was adjusted to alleviate this to some extent). While we often say Hero has no built-in setting assumptions, the provision of stats for real-world items does set some assumptions in the setting. Like "few guns will instantly kill a target", or "here is the DC required to reliably crush a vehicle". Two things. First, many gamers expect that "here is what STR can lift" chart. Reaction time for hitting the brakes based on various PER and DEX combinations, not so much. I did not find the lift chart spawned the campaign norm DCs so much as the sample characters did. If my character is supposed to be a strong Super, it seems like he should be at least as strong as that Ogre guy in the back of the rules (or that Obsidian guy for 4e). Second, I find a lot of games struggle with the "lift versus damage" element of STR. High STR in V&V massively ramped up damage on a scale no other attacks could match. M&M tossed in the "super-lift" type power to compensate for the limited lift a high STR would grant under d20 charts. Hero has moved to the "maybe it should be less outside Supers games", but the idea that a person of average STR can stagger a few steps under the weight of another person, or drag them along with some effort, does not seem unrealistic. The doubling scale may be an issue, but if you ramp it up faster, we get 20 STR "normal humans" lifting, say, 900 kg. Part of the problem is the seeming insistence that we should be able to explain world record weightlifting, Hulk-level STR and a normal human bench press. Are all of these truly necessary for a cinematic action game? Maybe a STR roll should be unmodified to heft your maximum weight and stagger a half move forward, under great encumbrance.
  13. Something as simple as building a "not very tough" concept who is stunned by an average attack (and lacks compensations like high DCV so he is not often hit) or ignoring PRE because he's pretty nondescript, then discovering that most combats in this game/group start with a 6d6+ PRE attack, can crater a character pretty easily. The build needs to meet group standards to be effective, and stay within them to not be inordinately effective. Different groups also have different tolerances for variance in power level. I see comments on line about "PC X has ability Y and the other players are griping that he is 'too effective". In my group, the players would more likely look at Player X and note "ability Y is really effective - what can the rest of us do to help Player X do that more often, and synergise with it?", as they tend to play a team game, not a bunch of little solo games. Simple example - first 3e d20 game, it took a bit to realize that new Sneak Attack was pretty effective. At about L5 or L6, the fighter realized his job was to move around, suck up some hits if needed, but get the Rogue into flanking position. Those "character tax" combat expertise, mobility and spring attack feats on the way to Whirlwind Attack were actually way more useful than expected...
  14. The few sample characters in the back of Champions 1e set the tone. DEX was used for CV. Pretty high DEX out of the gate, with 23 looking like a typical Super. Slow Super = SPD 4, 5 looks typical and 6 was in the realm of possibility. CON ended in 3 or 8, or occasionally 5 or 10. Were there CONs ending in other numbers, even in those halcyon days? 1e did not last that long, but the same published characters were in the 2e you began with, I believe. We knew Mechanon was not intended as a typical starting character. We knew Starburst and Crusader were. What's in between? What we did not have, in 1e, was a "normal human" measure. We had the base/average NPC, and we had the "trained goon" in the VIPER agent. When 20 became the breakpoint for "not legendary", that was a change. But if you read no published materials for many years, I'm not sure why you would be using that benchmark. I did not ask about buying up some Figured. I asked specifically about buying up two or all three of REC, END and STUN (beyond simple rounding - we all had to find a use for those last 2 or 3 CP when the character was largely complete - I know I tended to round to COM, but others rounded to END or STUN). I pull two key elements from Ninja-Bear's comments. The first is that "efficient character" is a very relative term. An efficient character in one gaming group may be a wimp not worthy of carrying the PCs' torch in another, and a munchkin nightmare in a third. This is especially so in Hero, where there can be so much variance in so many different areas. The second, which seems to be overlooked a lot, is that "Concept" and "Efficiency" are not mutually exclusive. "Trained Normals" took to high DEX because that was the efficient way to build such a character. It was there from the very beginning. Crusader and the 1e Martial Artist both showed that this was the way the authors and game designers would construct a "Trained Normal" with no inkling of superhuman abilities. When Hero promises you can "build any character you can imagine", I consider that a commitment that you can build any concept and it will be playable - not limp along being ineffectual while the other PCs do all the heavy lifting. "Being effective" is also somewhat relative. I can think of more than a few characters I have run who would never win combat one on one. They can't do damage, or at least not much. But they do set the other characters up to do better damage, more efficiently and more safely. I enjoy that support role. Others most certainly do not. Where I find "playing to concept" goes off the rails is when "I have to have some of each defense to be a valid character" - to take a V&V example, Tiger-Man buying a flamethrower instead of augmenting his Tiger-powers. Pulling one from online Pathfinder discussion - EVERY Barbarian needs one level of Oracle with the Lame curse so he can be immune to fatigue. Really? They all line up for "Oracle Training" to get their legs broken? But I sometimes wonder how many of us would have pointed to young Stan Lee, bringing in his character whose "Spider-Powers" include Danger Sense, and who had to shave some points off his character's Entangle by putting them in a Focus. Of course, we would not have criticized such a build in Champions 1e, because Stan's point whoring munchkin character had a decade or two of publication history behind him by then.
  15. I think there is a lot of ground between "mathing out every last point" and game experience showing that KAs are effective at passing STUN through. IIRC, the first Deathstroke adventure even noted that the villains would rarely use KAs, unless they needed to get some STUN through to a high defense character, so it was noted by some pretty early on. Are you saying you have seen 18 DEX, 4 SPD "Trained Normals" with piles of CSLs? I have not, because it was immediately obvious how ineffective that was to get the high CV the system expected of such trained normals. And, of course, we had no published examples - the published characters in that vein all had DEX 30+. Do you see players with a 45 STR and 1d6 HKA, or a 15 STR with a 3d6 HKA? I don't recall seeing those builds. Do you see players buy up REC, END and STUN instead of more CON? A lot of STR, CON, INT or PRE scores ending in 1, 2, 4, 6, 7 or 9? Again, I did not see that from 1e to 5e. That's not to say I played with a wide variety of different players, but I would have expected some published examples of these kinds of build, especially if they was common in the player base. Rather, I think players took their cues from the published characters, which were typically fairly point-efficient.
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