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Steve Long

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Everything posted by Steve Long

  1. I’m not going to try to come up with some sort of “laundry list” of what Touch Group Images can do. It’s a futile task; no matter how much I try I’m going to forget something — or many somethings. I’ll leave it up to the GM to handle anything that raises a question. In the specific case you describe — causing pain — in theory a Touch Group Images could make a character feel pain or other uncomfortable sensations. But since these would have absolutely no game effect, it’s a waste of points and actions. (See 6E1 237-38.) Just buy a Drain STUN (or the like) with the special effect of “it’s an illusion so intense it can cause actual pain.”
  2. Hey, Herodom, I need your help! A few minutes ago I answered a rules question about breaking out of an Entangle using a Characteristic other than STR. I swear to 3d6 random gods of your choice that somewhere in one of the 6E books we published rules for using alternate Characteristics for things like this (and various other powers), but damned if I can find them, and I'm tired of wasting time looking. Other than the HEROglyphs column I wrote in Digital Hero #5, can any of you point me to these rules? If there isn't something like this in print I want to put these rules in APG3, but I just can't shake the feeling that we've already published 'em. Any help much appreciated!
  3. Steve Long

    Paralyzing Venom

    I don’t normally answer “how to” questions, but for once I’ll make an exception. Here’s how I’d do it: 1. Buy an Entangle with Takes No Damage From Attacks (+1). 2. Apply addtional Power Modifiers that allow the Entangle to work against CON rather than STR. That second step is a little tricky, though. One option is to adapt the Based On CON (-1) Limitation, which ordinarily only applies to Mental Powers, to this ability. But here’s another option. I swear to 3d6 random gods of your choice that somewhere in one of the 6E books we published rules for using alternate Characteristics for things like this (and various other powers), but damned if I can find them right now, and I don’t have time to keep looking. So, what I’ve appended below are optional rules for escaping Entangles using alternate Characteristics that we published in Digital Hero #5. I’ll consider putting these in APG3 (unless, of course, someone points me to where the “using alternate Characteristics” rules are already in print). Here ya go: Entangles Affecting Characteristics Other Than STR Under the standard rules, a character breaks out of an Entangle using STR. 6E1 217 provides rules for creating Entangles that require EGO to break out of instead of STR. It’s possible to extend the reasoning behind “Mental Paralysis” Entangles to create Entangles affecting other Characteristics. Doing this requires a Power Modifier, Works Against [CHAR], Not STR. This Modifier may be an Advantage or a Limitation, depending on whether, in the campaign, the average character is likely to have the affected Primary Characteristic at a lower or higher level than STR. If it’s likely to be higher, Works Against [CHAR], Not STR is probably a Limitation; if it’s likely to be lower, it’s probably an Advantage. This takes into account not only Characteristic cost (expensive Characteristics are likely to be lower than STR), but the nature of the campaign and types of characters in it (in a psionics campaign, EGOs are usually higher than STRs). The value of the Modifier depends on the average relative level of the two Characteristics, as indicated by the accompanying table. [[BOX TEXT]] WORKS AGAINST [CHAR] SUGGESTED VALUES Affected Characteristic Is, On The Average... Suggested Value Much higher than STR -½ or more Slightly higher than STR -¼ Equal to STR -0 Slightly lower than STR +¼ Much lower than STR +½ or more [[END BOX]] Here are some guesstimates of these values for “average” HERO System campaigns, with descriptions of possible special effects. The number in front of the slash represents the value in Heroic campaigns, the number after the slash the value in Superheroic games. Many of the suggested special effects require the Takes No Damage From Attacks Advantage. Works Against DEX, Not STR (-0 / +¼): This might represent energy bonds that can’t be broken, only wiggled out of, coils that stretch so much they’re unbreakable but which the character can squeeze out of, and so forth. Works Against CON, Not STR (-0 / +¼): This might represent paralytic attacks such as some venoms and nerve strikes — it’s not the strength of the character’s muscles or will that governs how long he’s paralyzed, but his hardiness and fitness. Works Against INT, Not STR (-0 / +½): This might represent psychic attacks that put the victim in a “mental maze” he has to “escape” from before he can act, or a puzzle so absorbing a character can’t do anything but try to figure it out until he somehow forces himself to look away from it. Works Against EGO, Not STR (+¼ / +¼): This represents “Mental Paralysis,” as discussed on 6E1 217. Works Against PRE, Not STR (+¼ / +½): This might simulate the ability to inspire unwavering awe, or a terror attack leaving the victim so frightened he can’t move. Works Against BODY, Not STR (+½ / +½): This might represent attacks similar to Works Against CON. A character attempting to break out of one of these “exotic Entangles” may use his “Casual” Characteristic, in exactly the same way that Casual STR works against normal Entangles. This costs END at the standard rate of 1 per 10 Active Points used (including the base points the character gets “for free” in the Characteristic). An exotic Entangle functions in all ways as a standard Entangle (it reduces the victim’s DCV to zero, and so forth). Depending on the special effect involved, another character who wants to “attack” the Entangle to free a trapped comrade may actually have to try actions other than attacking (such as slapping the victim’s face, splashing water on him, or shouting out clues and encouragement).
  4. Howdy Herophiles! Time for a WDYWTS thread about our next awesome book: Mythic Hero, which I've been itching to write for a long time now. Our shorthand description for MH around here is "Steve's version of Deities & Demigods," and while that's a good one-sentence pitch I think the key words there are "Steve's version." I think this book is going to go significantly beyond other gaming supplements on the subject. Or at least, that's my intent. Here's what the book will contain as it's currently conceived: Chapter One: Gods In Gaming: A review of a bunch of useful introductory material, much like HSB has its own Chapter One. It will cover "Templates" for common divine abilities, a discussion of how to use gods in your campaign (such as the various approaches, from "ultra-powerful" to "basically just like the PCs"), and even how to play gods in mythology-based campaigns. The rest of the chapters are descriptions of individual pantheons, arranged roughly in this order: the cosmology/setting; other interesting bits (such as unique magic systems, spells, or pantheon-wide items); the gods (major/important/fun gods get full character sheets; lesser deities just get textual descriptions; heroes; villains; and monsters. For example, the Norse monster section has Fenris and Jormungandr; the Russian/Slavic monster section has character sheets for vodyanoi, domovoi, rusalka, and other such spirits. Here's the current list of pantheons I'm intending to cover: American Indian (selections from major tribes like Cherokee, Haida, Iroquois, etc.) Arthurian Legends (but see second post below about "Legendary Hero") Assyro-Babylonian Aztec and Mayan Celtic Chinese Demonology (medieval Christian demons like Belial, Moloch, maybe even Satan ) Egyptian Finnish Greek and Roman Hawaiian and Polynesian Hindu Hungarian Japanese Norse Slavic/Russian Sumerian Voodoo Yoruban And then I'll have a final chapter on mythoi I don't have enough information to write up in full, like Aborigine, Armenian, Hittite, Zulu, and so on. If in my researches I come across enough information onany of them, that pantheon will get bumped to "full chapter" status. The main guideline about which pantheons get a chapter is, generally, whether the subject has good, approachable resources in English that I have or can obtain. One reason gamers in general tend to emphasize/know about Greek/Roman and Norse mythology is that there are such excellent resources available on them. My library (see picture below) contains a lot of good references on a lot of mythologies, but there are some mythoi that just aren't covered well in English (or at least not for prices I'm willing to pay ). If you know of a source for a mythos that I haven't included on my list, feel free to mention it. Please include author and title so I can easily look it up on Alibris or the like. So, now that you've got the basics... what do you want to see in Mythic Hero?
  5. Steve Long

    MYTHIC HERO: What Do *You* Want To See?

    Forgive me for not answering this latest question more quickly -- Hurricane Michael knocked out my power for the past 72 hours. On top of that, some wind god who's annoyed with me for some reason pushed a large tree over on my house, so I'm dealing with a lot right now. (If you want to see what that looks like, check my Facebook feed for a bunch of pictures. ) Fortunately, LL responded with all the right answers. I'm still working on Mythic Hero as much as possible, and hope to get back to it full-time later this month once a couple other obligations are off my desk and house repairs are underway. I am currently thick in the middle of researching Celtic Mythology, a subject so broad I've divided it into 3-4 chapters. I have a loooong way to go yet on the chapter, but it's taking shape. I'll keep y'all posted whenever I have something to announce, but in the meantime you are more than welcome to post questions here for me.
  6. Steve Long

    Constant, Uncontrolled or Both?

    OK, I finally had time to get back to this. Sorry for the delay! 1. I’m not sure I understand this question. How would having an Uncontrolled CE power (that affects electronic devices) interact at all with a Multipower of magnetic blasts? Are you saying you think the CE should affect some (or all) of the magnetic blasts, thus reducing them in effectiveness? 2. Again, not entirely sure I understand what you want to know. CE is a Constant Power, so the CE part of the bubble remains in effect as long as Bipolar pays END to maintain it. If he doesn’t, it stops working. If (as I suspect) you want the CE to last as long as the Entangle, you definitely need Uncontrolled (or some other game element that synchs it up with the Entangle). 3. Assuming the GM allows Bipolar to have a 0 END Uncontrolled power, this form of the power is certainly likely to last longer, and without any need for Bipolar to focus on it. Otherwise, again I’m not entirely sure I understand what you’re asking — what do you think should happen? 4. A Damage Shield already has to be bought with Constant. If Bipolar makes it Uncontrolled, then Uncontrolled’s effects apply: the feeds the DS a set amount of END, and when that END runs out the DS stops working. 5. Well, again, I can’t say much other than: if Bipolar makes it Uncontrolled, then Uncontrolled’s effects apply: the feeds the Barrier (or Blast) a set amount of END, and when that END runs out the Barrier (and all associated effects) (or Blast) stops working. As an aside, I’m not sure Blast, Constant, AoE, Explosion is what you want. If you want anyone touching the Barrier to suffer the effects of the Blast, then buy it as a Damage Shield that covers the Barrier, or as an Area Of Effect (Line) that’s Linked to the Barrier. I hope those answers help! I’m guessing that I didn’t entirely follow your assumptions and what you were really asking, so one or more follow-up questions will probably be necessary. If you post them, it might help if you explain (1) what exactly you want the power to do, and (2) what you think will happen if you apply Uncontrolled (or whatever). Thanx!
  7. Steve Long

    Dimensional Lock

    The difficulty here arises from the fact that we need another tool in the toolbox -- Stops Teleport + Transdimensional isn't going to get you what you want. Instead, we need a new Advantage: Cannot Be Escaped With Extra-Dimensional Movement (+1/4). That solves the problem nicely. Alternately, the GM might allow a character to create an Anti-Dimensional Travel field using Change Environment. Establish a cost for that effect (let's say 20 points, just off the top of my head), apply Area Of Effect, and voila.
  8. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately) I don't know much about the exact effects of epilepsy, so before I could begin to comment I'd have to do some research. But I expect someone else here on the boards already has that info based on real-life experience, so I'll leave it to one of them to respond to your question.
  9. Long-time Hero fans no doubt remember Doug Garrett, who wrote ESPIONAGE, DANGER INTERNATIONAL, and a whole bunch of other stuff for Hero Games back in the Eighties and Nineties. Doug's just published his first novel, an espionage thriller called REMEMBER WHEN, and I suggest you give it a look! Remember When on Amazon
  10. I can’t find anything in my notes where I’ve discussed how the rule for defensive powers and abilities and the Takes No STUN Power interacts with Entangle, though it’s entirely possible I discussed the issue with Simon at some point on the phone or by e-mail. In 5th Edition and prior editions, where a character could use Entangle to create barriers (i.e., as a defensive ability, even if it wasn’t strictly a Defense Power), it would have been necessary to triple the cost of Entangle for characters with Takes No STUN (unless the GM ruled otherwise, of course). Perhaps Simon and I discussed the subject way back when, and that’s what gives rise to your question. But the 6E rules removed the “barrier” function of Entangle (since 6E has the Barrier Power, to which the tripling rule unquestionably applies). Therefore, the defensive aspects/functions of Entangle become so rare that the tripling rule for Takes No STUN should not apply to Entangle under the 6E rules. (Though as always, if I’ve previously ruled on this and forgotten about it, I’ll be glad to reconsider the issue when someone points that out to me. )
  11. Steve Long

    MYTHIC HERO: What Do *You* Want To See?

    As a matter of fact, I finished the chapter on Incan and South American Mythologies earlier this year. So I gotcha covered.
  12. Steve Long

    Multiple Sticky Attacks

    Good question. I can see some great drama in this situation — can Our Hero get the victims to the hospital before he collapses himself?!?? Tune in next week! In this situation, the character is affected by the Sticky attack one time for each affected victim he comes into contact with. But as always, the GM can adjust this based on common sense, dramatic sense, and special effects if he sees fit. For example, maybe instead of four individual attacks the character takes the base attack, then adds +1 DC for each affected victim that he touches. GMs are smart, they can figure out all kinds of fun possibilities.
  13. The rule stated at the bottom left of 6E2 54 also applies to DCV bonuses from Martial Maneuvers: unless the GM rules otherwise, DCV from Maneuvers based on the Dodge Element apply to both HTH and Ranged Combat; DCV from HTH Martial Maneuvers applies only against HTH attacks; and DCV from Ranged Martial Arts Maneuvers applies only against Ranged attacks.
  14. Steve Long

    Multiple HtH Attacks

    Per 6E2 102, when a character uses an HA with Advantages that directly affect the damage he does, you use the HA as the base attack and have STR add damage according to the rules on 6E2 96-102. Thus, the STR added is adjusted to take into account the Advantages on the HA. So your example — 20 STR applied to HA +4d6 with +1 worth of Advantages — is correct: the character described does 6d6 Normal Damage with Penetrating (x2). The issue becomes a little trickier when a character has one or more additional forms of HA that could add into the attack, and which either don’t have the Advantage(s) on the first HA, or have different Advantages. (Note: I keep thinking that I’ve written about this before, but if so I can’t find it. I reserve my right to change my answer if necessary. ) First, of course, the GM has to determine whether the two HAs can both work together. The default answer is that two different HAs can work together (but the character only adds his STR once to the overall damage, not to each HA individually). However, the GM is well within his rights to rule otherwise if the two HAs don’t seem “compatible” based on common sense, dramatic sense, special effects, and other considerations. Taking your example above (a “Speed-Punch” and a Club), some GMs might rule that they’re compatible, while other GMs might not — I can see arguments both ways. If the two HAs are compatible, this raises the (potentially extremely complicated) issue of which Advantages apply and how you calculate the overall damage. I could easily spend the rest of the afternoon writing about all the possible combinations and now things play out, and frankly, even as much as I love the HERO System I have better ways to spend my Labor Day afternoon. I will consider this issue further and write about it in APG3, but in the meantime the best advice I can provide is for the GM to use his best judgment to make PCs fun to play without unbalancing the campaign.
  15. Steve Long

    How to make Drain painless

    So, it appears to me that you're trying to re-create (more or less) the old Transfer Power with the 6E rules. There's an example power that shows the recommended way to do that in the sidebar on 6E1 197. You may have to include additional Power Modifiers (like No Range) to build the power you want, but that example shows the basic way to create a 6E "Transfer" power. Comment: You don't need Area Of Effect for the Drain part of this build, at least not if I understand what you're trying to do. If you want to make the power affect anyone who comes into contact with you, then you would use Area Of Effect, but it should be the "Damage Shield" form of AoE (see 6E1 321). There's no need to buy Personal Immunity for the Drain, unless you just want to prevent enemies from Reflecting it back at you. Again assuming you would use Damage Shield here, a DS doesn't require Personal Immunity to not affect the character using it. If you want all the parts of the power to be completely Invisible, then yes, you have to buy the Invisible Power Effects Advantage at a high value (probably +1; see 6E1 338-39). If you want the target to not realize that he's being affected -- for example, to not feel pain -- then you need another +1 worth of Invisible Power Effects to conceal the effects of the power (as discussed on 6E1 339). I think that covers all of your questions. But if I missed something, or I misunderstood the nature of the power you want to build, please post a follow-up or send me a PM. Good luck with your game!
  16. Steve Long

    VPP Limitations

    Neither Time Limit nor Fuel Charges are inherently illegal Power Modifiers for a VPP. Based on your examples, I'd say that since most of the Powers you think you'll use for slots in the VPP will be Constant Powers, use that category to determine the value of Time Limit (i.e., make it a +3/4 Advantage. Since that may not always be the case, perhaps you can talk the GM into a small reduction to, say, +1/2.
  17. On September 7-9 I'll be up in Alexandria, VA as a guest at MAGLabs, a convention taking place at the Hilton Alexandria Mark Center. I'll be holding my Worldbuilding Workshop (and a much shorter one on building monsters) and my How To Write Elvish workshop, plus interacting with gamers and fans and just generally having an awesome time. If you're in the area, please come out and say howdy! MAGLabs (Sept. 7-9, Alexandria, VA)
  18. On September 7-9 I'll be up in Alexandria, VA as a guest at MAGLabs, a convention taking place at the Hilton Alexandria Mark Center. I'll be holding my Worldbuilding Workshop (and a much shorter one on building monsters) and my How To Write Elvish workshop, plus interacting with gamers and fans and just generally having an awesome time. If you're in the area, please come out and say howdy! MAGLabs (Sept. 7-9, Alexandria, VA)
  19. I'm not familiar with the IPs you describe, so I'm not sure I can answer accurately, but it sounds to me like this isn't a Combat Maneuver, it's a special ability the character purchases with points. He buys a bunch of HA dice (to account for both the "strikes" themselves and the effect of "velocity"), special effect as described above. If you don't want him to end up in the same place where he started the attack, buy some Teleportation, Triggered by the end of the attack, to place the character where you think he made the "last" kick from.
  20. That’s an issue addressed at several places in the rulebook. See 6E1 352 regarding Trigger; 6E1 370, 401 regarding Continuing Charges, and 6E1 400 regarding Constant Powers.
  21. Steve Long

    Clairsentience question

    As noted on 6E1 179, “[a] character with Clairsentience can use one or more of his Senses... at Range[.]” If a character has purchased a Sense Modifier for the Sense(s) he buys Clairsentience for (typically the Sight Group), then that Sense Modifier would apply when he uses his Clairsentience. As further noted on 6E1 170, characters may buy “appropriate” Sense Modifiers for Clairsentience itself, rather than the underlying Sense (determining what’s “appropriate” is up to the GM, of course.) If a character buys the same Sense Modifier for both the base Sense and his Clairsentience, the two Sense Modifiers “stack” if possible and if the GM permits. So if a characters buys Telescopic (+4 versus Range Modifier for Normal Sight), and then buys Clairsentience (Sight Group), Telescopic (+6 versus Range Modifier for Sight Group), he would have Telescopic (+10) when using Normal Sight with his Clairsentience. Of course, this could get a little complicated or weird, so the GM may prefer for a character to buy all the Sense Modifier one way to avoid confusion.
  22. Steve Long

    Naked Limitation

    From what you're telling me, I don't think this is an issue of a "naked Limitation" (which as far as I can recall offhand isn't a subject discussed in any of the rulebooks). Since the powers all draw from the same "pool" of Charges, you have a couple of options that occur to me: 1. Buy the abilities in a Power Framework that has 8 Charges on the reserve/pool. If Naked Advantages and Talents are involved, this will require the GM's permission, of course. OR 2. Use the optional rules for a "pool" of Charges that multiple powers/abilities draw from, which you can find on APG2 49. This sounds like what you're after, but it's less "traditional" than the Limited Multipower/VPP route. All that being said, someone else reading this may have an idea of his or her own. Anyone out there in Herodom Assembled have some other suggestions?
  23. Steve Long


    Since this isn't a rules question but more of a general guidance issue, I've moved it to the Discussion board where anyone can reply. (Only I can answer questions posted on this board.)
  24. Steve Long

    Invisibility Fringe follow up

    You're right, I confused the two -- my apologies, and thanx for catching it! Making a PER Roll to see a fringe, and using Nontargeting Senses to perceive an invisible foe in combat, are two different things. The rules on 6E2 18 state that making most PER Rolls requires a Half Phase Action -- but that clearly leaves a lot of wiggle room for the GM to change things if he wants to. So ultimately my error wasn't too much off.