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Question about "only in Hero ID"


Zarthose
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If someone has "only in hero ID" I'm unclear on how that works? As a rule of thumb, should that be 30 seconds to switch IDs? Oe just a segment? If they want a completely different look ( human to demon) is that something they have to pay for ( shape change, transformation ect) or is that free? I just want to be fair, and am looking for guidance. Thank you for your time. 

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  • 2 months later...

It should pose some amount of difficulty to get into -- be that time to change, a Secret ID, focus, magical incantations, etc.  If the character can simply change to Hero ID at will with no limitation or repercussion, there's no value to the limitation.

 

If the character wants a completely different look when in Hero ID (i.e. your example of human to demon) they should purchase the appropriate Powers -- Shape Shift, Multiform, etc.

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In general, the question of how long it takes to change into Hero ID should be answered by your GM.  The amount of time should be consistent within the game, so if player A has Only in Hero ID and player B has Only in Hero ID for the same value, then the amount of time it takes to change into Hero ID should be the same for both players.

 

As for a rule of thumb on length of time, this is again dependent on the GM, which is why you should ask your GM.  If you are the GM wondering how to rule on this, then in general, most GMs (but not all) I have played with, as well I GM, that changing into Hero ID generally takes about 12 second or 1 turn.  But this is not necessarily what all GMs will say.  I have been in campaigns where the GM just said it take a full round out of combat.  The said game was a very high speed game and players being out of combat for a turn would have been too great a limitation for just a -1/4.  I've also been in games where the GM said it took a minute but again the game played differently.  You as GM should choose a baseline amount of time that you feel is both believable and is worth the -1/4 limitation.

 

Note that Only in Hero ID isn't just taking time to don a costume.  It could also be transformation time.  The 1970s Incredible Hulk TV show could also be described as only in Hero ID rather than multiform or shapeshift.  Instead of taking X amount of time to change, Bruce Banner took X seconds of repeating shirt and pants ripping transformation into the Hulk.  Even the recent Thor: Ragnarok shows what happens when you don't time your transformation correctly.

 

That being said, since 5th edition there are ways around this limitation.  Shape shift and multiform are probably the two most common ways to form an instant change alter ego.  A sidebar, IIRC, in 5th edition has the power 2d6 cosmetic transform, to change said clothes into any other set of clothes, including your costume.  This would still hold true in 6th.  Some older GMs still use a 3rd and 4th edition power called instachange even if they use 5th or 6th edition rules.

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1 hour ago, dsatow said:

That being said, since 5th edition there are ways around this limitation.  Shape shift and multiform are probably the two most common ways to form an instant change alter ego. 

Sorry Dsatow but this phraseology is off. The way around this limitation is to not take it at all. A disadvantage that isn’t disadvantageous isn’t worth points.

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5 hours ago, Ninja-Bear said:

Sorry Dsatow but this phraseology is off. The way around this limitation is to not take it at all. A disadvantage that isn’t disadvantageous isn’t worth points.

Only in Hero ID without the time to change into the heroic ID is still a limitation if one is maintaining a secret ID.  In that case, it is still a limitation.

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According to "Only In Alternate Identity", Vol 1, pg 386, 387,

 

"A character can only use a power with Only In Alternate Identity (“OIAID”) while he’s in an alternate identity. Obviously, only characters who maintain two distinct identities can use this Limitation. For example, it’s commonly used by superheroes who maintain a Social Complication (Secret Identity), and by characters with some types of shape-shifting or body alteration abilities. It’s most appropriate for Superheroic campaigns.

For this Limitation to be valid, the character must have some difficulty changing forms — the change must take at least a Full Phase, if not longer (during which the character can do nothing else), and/or there must be other difficulties or ways to prevent him from changing identities."

 

So, the idea of "multiple identities" is important, with 'Secret Identity' being the most common one, at least in my understanding of Superheroic games. But your mileage may vary. Either way, there must be a risk, however incidental, where the transformation poses a chance of failure, or a chance of revelation. After all, the character may not want to reveal his secret identity and hence may have to deal with a dangerous situation in his normal identity.

 

Personally, I like to use a full phase. In the case of secret identity, I find it is easy to have character 'earn' the complication when you put a lot of other people in the scene, and there are just no convenient phone booths around where s/he can change. The time it takes to find a broom closet, change, and come out again, not to mention what ever you need to do to convince the bystanders around you that you just need to touch up your hair/makeup is plenty when added to the actual change of identity. The character ignores a 'clean, unobserved change' at their own risk.

 

I also find that a turn is too much for a Champions battle, as the battle may already be concluded (or the hostages taken, or the vault looted, or the doohickey transmogrified, what have you) in a full turn. Such a large amount of time usually means the character will have missed most of the fight, in my opinion. You battles may vary.

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1 hour ago, MrKinister said:

I also find that a turn is too much for a Champions battle, as the battle may already be concluded (or the hostages taken, or the vault looted, or the doohickey transmogrified, what have you) in a full turn. Such a large amount of time usually means the character will have missed most of the fight, in my opinion. You battles may vary.


I see no reason not to go with Full Phase as per the description. One could also use a full turn if the character can act while transforming

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The primary difference between Only in Alternate Identity and Secret ID is access to the power.  If the character possess the power even in his secret ID, then the "Only" part is invalid.  He may not wish to use the power while in his secret ID, but he does still have it.

 

This Limitation first appeared in the days before Multiform and Shapeshift and other powers that introduced mechanics for changing forms and mapping the abilities of those forms.  Before Multiform, for example, Only in Alternate ID was a pretty common way to model someone like the Hulk, who clearly did not have his super-strength unless he was in his alternate identity.

 

That was not the only use for this Limitation, though.  Even today, it's a great way to represent Powered Armor: if the character is not in his powered armor-- his "Hero ID," then he does not have his jet boots or laser gauntlets or radar sense, etc.   Characters who bind themselves to demons to use the demon's powers, characters who make a physical change into something else (growing wings, becoming the Hulk, transforming into pure energy, etc), or even characters who have to suit up with gadgets (anything in Batman's utility belt is likely going to be "Only in Alternate ID."

 

Characters who are actually deprived of a power when they are not in their "hero mode" are the characters for whom this Limitation works best.  Characters who maintain control and use of their powers but simply do not wish to use them while in their "civilian mode" may want to consider Secret ID.  While this is not the _only_ complication of maintaining a dual identity, it is one of the many complications folded into it.

 

 

Hope that helps.

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It appears that yes, I can.

For everyone else:  LEARN TO READ.  The Rules Questions forum is not the place for discussion.  I will start using the infraction system for repeat offenders -- it's not fair to those who want to use the Q&A forum for what it's supposed to be to keep moving questions here when you just can't keep yourself from commenting and discussing rather than answering.

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