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About Territan

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    Incompetent Normal
  • Birthday 08/08/1965

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    Those who know me know to avoid me.
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  1. Territan

    The Arms Race Must End

    I'm getting fed up with my group, enough so that I may spike the campaign I'm currently running with them, even though they enjoy it immensely. I describe my players as "diabetic kids locked in a candy store for a weekend." They've built the most densely top-heavy combat-based characters imaginable. They don't forget skills or merely neglect their skills as backhand them out of the way as they pass that rack on the way to pick up more powers. Sometimes during play, they may say "I need to pick up that skill," but after the session ends, invariably they reach for the Powers book first and the skill list a distant seventeenth. How do I stop this? Throwing tougher opposition at them merely validates their decision to power up. I prefer to think I run a fairly heavy skill- and interaction-based game, but the one time a skill-based character nearly "got away with it," the gnashing of teeth and threats to ragequit the investigation were impressive indeed. (Maybe that's the way I need to go?) Additional point of information: This game has gone on for a while now, so some of these characters have crested 500 points (400+100XP). Those points have to go somewhere. And these people pretty much cut their teeth on Marvel, which was powers first and skills a distant seventeenth, so...
  2. Meanwhile, if you apply Charges as a Common Modifier in a Multipower in Hero Designer (meaning it's applied to all the powers inside), it will max out at -0. Cost Powers 75 Multipower, 60-point reserve, all slots 4 clips of 16 Charges (+1/4) (75 Active Points) - END= 6f 1) Blast 12d6 (60 Active Points) - END=0 6f 2) Killing Attack - Ranged 4d6 (60 Active Points) - END=0 6f 3) Killing Attack - Ranged 3d6, Area Of Effect (8m Radius Explosion; +1/4) (56 Active Points) - END=0 75 Blast 12d6 (75 Active Points); 4 clips of 16 Charges (+1/4) - END=[16] EDIT: Yeah, the Multipower is doing something to the calculation, because while I was filling in a Blast inside the Multipower, the cost of the Multipower increased when the Charges changed to a +1/4. Meanwhile, the Blast inside the Multipower to which I applied the same Charges is showing a -0 modifier and a cost of 6f. Something is very wrong here. EDIT: Clipping from a text export illustrating the problem. Shouldn't the slots of the Multipower with the Charges on all slots have higher active point costs?
  3. Erratum from my previous post: The 2000 charge example should be +1, not +1 3/4. The table on 6E1 368 shows that value of Charges as an Advantage capping at +1, before taking anything like Continuing or Recoverable Charges.
  4. Here's what's happening to me in HD: I want to create a gun for the new administrator of the PCs' team. And she'd probably have several. So I'm setting them up in the Multipower, and adding the Common Modifier Charges. I select 8 Charges, which is a -1/2 Limitation. Then I check Clips, because she'd have extra ammo. 2 Clips is a +1/4 mod to the Limitation, so it moves up to -1/4. I push it up farther, to 4 Clips, which brings the total Limitation up to 0. She'd be serious about this stuff; she doesn't have powers herself, and knows she may have to fight the team sooner or later. So I consider 6 or 8 clips? When I step the Clips adder up, it goes not to 8 but 16, for a +3/4 Adder, making the total value of the Limitation ...0. At first, I didn't understand the step from 2 to 8, but after consulting the Book (6E1 369), I found where pushing into Advantage territory gives you 4x the clips at each new step. However, what HD is not doing is showing it as an Advantage. The total Limitation Value, when it becomes an Advantage, never rises above -0. 32 Charges should be +1/4, but instead shows as 0. 250 Charges should be +1, but instead shows as 0. 2000 Charges should be +1 3/4, but instead shows as 0. I can work around this with Custom Advantage, but someone not checking the math might get filled with a false sense of security. So I thought you ought to know.
  5. Territan

    Sucky Math Skills

    Meanwhile, I've made progress in my question of "average damage," for the sake of balancing combats, and I came up with a program that accepts the attacker's OCV, SPD, the damage class of an attack and an optional stun modifier if that's a killing attack, a defender's DCV, CON, and relevant defense in both regular and resistant forms, and it calculates: Probability the attacker hits, How many hits on average the attacker should land per turn, Damage inflicted on average, both per attack and per turn, from a normal attack, Chance the defender would be Stunned per normal attack, Chances the defender wouldn't take BODY or STUN from the normal attack, Damage inflicted on average, both per attack and per turn, from a killing attack, Chance the defender would be Stunned per killing attack, and Chance the defender wouldn't take BODY or STUN from the killing attack. I have it running in a standalone Swift app (obviously I'm using a Mac), but the standalone Java app is an eventual target for which I have Netbeans locked and loaded. I wonder if people might actually want something like that, either as a standalone Java applet running alongside the other Hero Games product, or if it could be introduced as a plug-in. ... I bring this up because I have to admit a deep sinking in my heart when I first saw this thread. I know of the type of players you folks speak, but owing to my own understanding of the game's probabilities and maths, I have some trouble putting myself in that frame of mind. People who can't add or even make groups of tens with a fistful of d6s? Yeah, I know people who literally couldn't do the math on advantages and limitations to save their lives, but I know at least one person who can and has who picked it up having seen nothing earlier than 6th edition, and I know that people who played it back then (myself included) could do all that with scrap paper — calculators could get expensive for students, and Java hadn't even been invented then, so no Hero Designer. I wrote in a comment on someone's website once that "The original RPGs are capable of running on the same hardware today as they could back then, or they would be if the modern processors didn't have less capacity and were prone to overheating." It was kind of a joke at first. Now I'm not so sure. Clearly given the above, I have to admit I'm not normal, but there's this nagging feeling that some folks are settled in at the other end of the curve and won't budge for nothin'. I lurrrves me some modern story games (I'm currently also running a Gumshoe game that's displaced my Fate game), but I keep coming back to this one. (And I want to run a GURPS campaign at the local store, but that's a story for another time.) Math isn't some sort of genetic gift, like the ability to digest dairy or lick your eyebrows. It's a skill, like playing the guitar or reading bookcase assembly instructions, and that means it can be learned and developed. Or neglected. And hiding from it falls into the latter category. So does running from it screaming. Please note, it's not my intention to denigrate those who can't learn basic math skills. Not having the skill, though, is not the same as not being able to learn it. I feel I should also warn against sanding off too many of the game's sharp edges for new players. Do that too often, and you're left with something far less than you started. I mean, cripes! That's how we ended up with Fuzion!
  6. Territan

    Sucky Math Skills

    I've got a mixed bag in my current group. One player doesn't understand the math. The problem is, he's not so much stupid as willfully ignorant. His eyes don't have the time to glaze over; if you try to explain the math, he'll simply interrupt and flat-out ask you: Can he do the thing with the points he's got? He also considered the Champions Powers book a much "better" resource for buying powers than the main book because the things in there do the things he wants. One player does get it, and is quickly veering into early 2000 Champions minimaxer territory. He's looking to get as much out of the points available to him as possible. At least his excesses tend to be story-driven; the "combat stapler" that autofires soporific darts starts as a joke in-game. And one is just happy to have her helicopter. To go with her motorcycle. And no, she started out as a sonic-based character. I don't think she's put much thought into the direction of her character beyond her next disastrous date. Meanwhile, the question had been stuck in my head how to best balance combats to their capabilities, and by taking into account OCVs, DCVs, SPDs, CONs, and defenses, I have a quick-ish program that I can plug in values and run from a shell. And it works, too; it takes longer to edit in the values than to run the programs and get the results. So far I've written it in Swift and Ruby; Python is next, and Java may come shortly after that. (I happen to like math.)
  7. I'm currently running the "superhero" game in two separate groups, one at the local game store on Thursday nights and the other in a person's basement (so no, that one's not public, sadly). They are their own campaigns, set in different cities, with different cosmologies and different threats facing them. When it came time to set up the first group, many years ago, I had Hero Designer and not a whole lot of experience with 6th Edition. Still, I created serviceable characters for them which they've stuck with for the most part. (It's interesting to note that the one of the players in that group who I had played with before, and knew the most about the Hero System, created the character that most quickly became ungainly and clumsy for him, necessitating a recent switch.) I let them decide what they wanted in their character, and entered their choices in Hero Designer. I got serviceable characters out of that, and they've managed the occasional combat I've thrown at them. Fortunately they're easily amused by the unusual situations I throw at them (currently they're trying to reason out why the CEO of a small security company got car-bombed, how it was done with an explosive so small it fit in the fuel line, and what a pistachio-eating teleporting undead ninja has to do with any of that. Unfortunately they seem a little selfish and cowardly, concerned with what I'm going to throw at them next and how they can defend against it. Let's face it, anyone who feels the need to take Life Support (Eating: Character only has to eat once per year; Immunity: All terrestrial poisons; Longevity: 200 Years; Safe in High Pressure; Safe in High Radiation; Safe in Intense Cold; Safe in Intense Heat; Safe in Low Pressure/Vacuum; Self-Contained Breathing; Sleeping: Character only has to sleep 8 hours per week) and eyeing putting even more points into it is trying to hedge his bets. Group #2 got a little faster start, because by that time I had the Champions genre book. Have you ever taken a good look at that thing? Toward the back there's a collection of templates called the Superhero Gallery, and it contains skill groups, complication groups, and twenty different prefabricated mix-and-match character archetypes. That allowed for faster character creation, except for the one guy who had some idea what kind of character he wanted, and I built that for him. And he seems happy with it. Combine it with the Hero Designer package for that sourcebook, and you can crank out characters pretty darned fast. I will say, though, that neither group really gets it. The one group hangs onto my copy of the Champions Powers book (and the Hero Designer package for that is a must too) and uses it as a power sourcebook instead of a book of worked examples of what the power system is really capable of. They play enough other games that they sometimes forget the whole 11+OCV-3D6=DCV Hit thing, and that they roll 3D6 and aim low to succeed at skills, but what they do for playing the game they still manage to enjoy immensely, almost to command-performance levels. And they are learning how to count Body and Stun, so there's that. And yes, I seriously doubt it's because I'm That Good.