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Gnome BODY (important!)

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  1. This really really depends on the GM. Some are overly sensitive about players questioning rulings and/or house rules, and will react poorly. Some will take it in stride but bluntly refuse to consider a change. Some will hear out the player's arguments and make an impartial decision. Some will bend over backwards. The correct approach depends on the GM, and only MechaniCat can know what his GM is like. Since I don't know MechaniCat's GM, my advice earlier to the thread was for MechaniCat to talk things over with his GM about this and make sure to phrase it as "I'm not sure if my concept fits" instead of "Your rules are crippling my character".
  2. By reading of the rules in FRED, Danger Sense seems to be an additional perception roll to detect a danger. It also (if you pay even more) can detect things your other senses can't. It's also omnidirectional, an unusual sense so rarely subject to Flash, Images, or Invisibility, and has a GM's option for noticing things your other senses don't cover. The downside is that as you mentioned, it still has to make rolls to oppose Stealth et al. I personally don't think it's worth it in comparison to the utility of things like Spatial Awareness or Radar, but I've had really good results with Spatial Awareness so I'm biased.
  3. I would be intensely suspicious of this, mainly because resource points include loss-of-item in their cost savings. I don't want a GM having to decide between enforcing Zinc Man's limitations or not taking Zinc Man totally out of the next couple sessions. I'm really leery of focuses in general for that reason, though. This does offer an interesting solution to the aforementioned problem, though. If I were GMing, I'd be down with that idea as long as it were strictly "back-up" equipment. I'd have no issue with Become-Metal-Man wearing a bulletproof vest so he didn't die horribly to surprise attacks as long as it didn't stack, or The Point carrying a 8d6 energy pistol just in case his 12d6 superbow was OAF'd away. I'd be quick to veto anyone who tried to take +4 DCs of combat skill for that 8d6 popgun to shave down points, though.
  4. Builds characters which way? I don't obsessively powergame for maximum impact within a set of constraints (at least if I'm submitting the character for a game, theoretical optimization isn't practical optimization) if that's what you're asking. I do spend all my points, take all my disads, and ask the GM for a rough idea of how combat capable a character should be. My GM doesn't do hard caps, so I can't say I buy up to them but I can say I don't leave gaping weaknesses or seriously underbuy anything. I've had a few games where someone brought a complete mechanical trainwreck to a 4-man game where the GM was running a module intended for 4 PCs. The result of the party effectively being down a man was generally a ruined game, anger, and accusations of incompetence and/or powergaming. This has utterly soured me on the idea of deliberate under-performance. A character who's too bad can be as disruptive as a character who's too good.
  5. Let d be the distribution of defenses in the campaign. Let x(d) be the mean damage of a successful attack by character A's attack. For a Blast or similar power, this would be (X/5)*3.5-DEF where DEF is whatever defense applies against this attack. So long as (X/5)*3.5-DEF >> 0, this is a good approximation. Let var(x(d)) be the variance in x(d), which in turn is just the variance in DEF. Let y1(d), y2(d), y3(d) be the mean damages of B's attacks. Let y(d) be the maximum of y1(d), y2(d), y3(d). Let var(y(d)) be the variance in y(d), which will be lower than var(x(d)). Computing this is a bit harder, but still doable. Let W be the value given to mean damage-per-phase and V be the value, likely negative, given to variance. The relative value of A's powers and B's powers can be expressed as W*(mean(x(d))-mean(y(d))) + V*(var(x(d))-var(y(d))). If this has a positive result, character A is optimal for this distribution of d and choice of W and V. If this has a negative result, character B is optimal. This is a bit unsatisfying to me since it's admittedly just a fancy way to say "depends on the campaign and how much you want stable damage output", but it's a fancy mathematical way that could be made into a computer program to very decisively answer the question for a given d X Y W and V.
  6. I think I got sloppy about clarity somewhere in the reply chain. Let me be more formal. Assume: Defenses are generally bought relative to attacks such that a NND attack against a "normal" opponent and a blast of the same AP have roughly equal STUN output. Based on the guidelines in FRED and the characters I have seen made by my group, posted on the forum, and in published materials, I believe this to be a reasonable assumption for superheroic play. Let character A have a pair of N point attack powers that are able to be used in a multiple power attack. Let character B have a single N point reserve multipower with N points spent on ultra slots containing attacks. Omit consideration of other powers A or B may have. Observation: A can multiple power attack, B cannot. Observation: B can flexibly change the defense they are targeting, A cannot. Conclusion: A will have greater raw output, but be highly susceptible to variation caused by their target's characteristics. B will experience the inverse, with a stable but lower output.
  7. It certainly is, but I was speaking to your point about well-rounded opposition. It took me quite a while into my HERO career to sit down and run the numbers and realize that in fact, 60 AP against 20 DEF was a fairly flat result. The breadth a multipower offers is a marginal improvement against well-rounded foes, and only becomes a significant advantage against an enemy with significant investment in certain defenses or with significant failings in certain defenses. How useful this is depends, of course, on the campaign. It's nowhere near the advantage that a two-power multiple power attack affords. Is that not what using two powers at once in a multiple power attack achieves?
  8. @Killer Shrike: It's worth noting that 60AP of attack against 20 DEF, 12 RDEF, no other defenses results in roughly 20 STUN for most forms of offense. All having a massive spread lets you do is ignore uneven increases in defense and exploit weaknesses. @Toxxus: If A buys two attacks while B buys an attack MP, A can multiple attack and throw twice the offensive weight compared to B. That's a pretty huge advantage.
  9. It's more to do with the constraints on offense, in my mind. If you have a Multipower with 5 attacks each 60 AP, you could instead have afforded a Multipower with a 15d6 Blast and a 10d6 AOE Blast. I'd imagine the latter to be more useful, just due to larger numbers. But you're commonly forbidden to exceed certain offensive caps to keep offense balanced between characters in the same campaign. So people who want more offensive power have to go broad.
  10. I think he was being a bit unclear by referring to vectors of attack instead of methods of defense. As I understand it, he was getting at what you mention here: Where the character has a way to threaten many defenses and some AOEs or mental attacks to ignore DCV, so they're always threatening a weakness.
  11. It's explicitly against target DCV in FRED and 6e2.
  12. Get off the high horse, you gave bad advice and got called on it. Your dislike of Powers has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that your proposed solution would not help MechaniCat.
  13. Again I have to ask how does this help? MechaniCat is already at an OCV disadvantage due to houserules, how is another -2 on top of a -1 AF penalty going to help him matter in combat?
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