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Only In Hero ID: Clarification


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Hello! Pardon, as this will likely be a bit long of a question.

Firstly I wanted to set up a Topic to discuss this as people had questions about it in the Q/A Portion above. But, as that isn't exactly the place for discussion, wanted somewhere more apt to place that questioning and so on. Hopefully this is more apt.

 

Secondly, I believe the core of the question that was and currently is at hand is How, and more Specifically, When is Only In Hero ID a Limitation? Some of the less than helpful examples listed were simply, "When it limits the character." While that is true, it is also not super handy to determine how limiting that is, or by what means. The book itself provides the example of taking a Full Phase to "Activate" that ID and it's requisite powers and passives and so on. It also gave notion that should someone require to say a specific word or phrase to activate that form and thus could be gagged to prevent it, it would make sense as Hero ID. However, it also gives indication to use it for Heros who tend to have a Hidden Identity or tend to Shapeshift around. Lots of options but it's hard to... pin so to speak.

 

If from what I am reading is correct, these are all... correct... but difficult to pin down why and how it is a limitation. From what I am getting though, is Only In Hero ID is made to simulate a power that is difficult or consequential to access. Someone turning into a demonic form makes sense to have as Only in Hero ID, if there is sutable Complications with said form, or it takes longer to shift to, or there is natural consequence to the form or so on. If you can only access your powers via a Incantation or Ritual, Only in Hero ID makes sense. It is.... rewarding the limitation of access I think. However that may be.
 

 

It doesn't help the text examples provided feel like they are trying to modify the Transition from person to Hero, rather than the Power that the Limitation is applied to. In The Text, the option that one can Say an Activation word and become Hero-ified which it even calls out as allowing the option to gag them to prevent it, which feels like Incantations on a Transformative Effect, rather than on the following powers. If You say the Magic Word and gain flight, your Flight doesn't require Incantations, but getting there does, and you can only fly while in Heroic Form, so OIHI seems to make sense.
 

However, take a look at  the Example power listed. Amulet of Horus. A host of abilities are gained when being the Avatar of Horus, so having those powers OIHI makes sense. The form itself doesn't list as having any following complications, or taking a Full Phase, or even coming from the same Power Source Ala Unified Power though. But, as they are only Accessable in that form, the limitation is applied. So is it the limited Access to the Power by having it behind a different ID, or in the trouble in trying to access that ID that causes the Limitation? It seems to be trying to pull double duty.

 

 

Concrete question time: Now that I've rambled on the source of confusion, question.

When is Only In Hero ID Applicable? Is it
A: When I have to access a separate form to have the Ability?
B: When Access to that ability can be limited or prevented?
C: When
Accessing that ability causes additional problems?

D: A combination of the above?

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If you look at Thor in the beginning, he was the OIHID poster boy. Donald Blake, a lame doctor who used a cane to get around. Strike the cane against the ground and he becomes Thor, God of Thunder. His hammer was the cane.

 

Take his cane away and he can't transform. If the hammer is out of his hands for more than a minute, Thor reverts to being Blake.

 

Blake can't call down the thunder and lightning. Thor can't perform surgery.

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And the answer is (drumroll please)...: A.

 

The general idea behind Only in Alternate ID (henceforth written as OIAID) is that the Player Character has two (or more) distinct identities and that the power(s) with OIAID are only accessible in one form. If a sniper fired bullets at Clark Kent and Billy Batson, the Bullet that hit Clark's head is gonna vaporize when it hits his head, whereas the bullet that hits Billy's head... well... Billy's brains will make pretty art. Both of them are invulnerable in their superhero IDs (Superman and Captain Marvel, respectively), but Billy has to be Capt. Marvel to enjoy the benefits of his powers, while Clark can use his in or out of costume.

 

To maintain suspense, sometimes there is a 'fail condition': a specific condition must be met in order to shift into the alternate identity (Billy Batson must say the magic word 'SHAZAM!' (incantations), Donald Blake must rap his walking stick on something solid (gestures), Bruce Banner's body warps and bulges as he transforms (full phase), and if that condition is interfered with (Billy's been gagged, Loki throws Donald's stick out the window, Bruce has been KO'd) then there is no transformation.

 

This isn't always the case, though. Sometimes a PC can transform through a simple act of will (Piotor Rasputin doesn't have to say anything, make any funny gestures or take any time to become Colossus - he just activates his (30,30) Resistant Defense, Perceivable (inobvious to obvious) and he's suddenly in his Alternate ID and all the abilities he bought OIAID (+70 STR, +15 CON, Life Support) come online instantly). The only thing Billy, Bruce, Donald, and Piotor have in common is that until they transform into their alternate IDs, they're vulnerable to their opponents, and that commonality is what makes OIAID a limitation.

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17 minutes ago, Oruncrest said:

And the answer is (drumroll please)...: A.

 

The general idea behind Only in Alternate ID (henceforth written as OIAID) is that the Player Character has two (or more) distinct identities and that the power(s) with OIAID are only accessible in one form. If a sniper fired bullets at Clark Kent and Billy Batson, the Bullet that hit Clark's head is gonna vaporize when it hits his head, whereas the bullet that hits Billy's head... well... Billy's brains will make pretty art. Both of them are invulnerable in their superhero IDs (Superman and Captain Marvel, respectively), but Billy has to be Capt. Marvel to enjoy the benefits of his powers, while Clark can use his in or out of costume.

 

To maintain suspense, sometimes there is a 'fail condition': a specific condition must be met in order to shift into the alternate identity (Billy Batson must say the magic word 'SHAZAM!' (incantations), Donald Blake must rap his walking stick on something solid (gestures), Bruce Banner's body warps and bulges as he transforms (full phase), and if that condition is interfered with (Billy's been gagged, Loki throws Donald's stick out the window, Bruce has been KO'd) then there is no transformation.

 

This isn't always the case, though. Sometimes a PC can transform through a simple act of will (Piotor Rasputin doesn't have to say anything, make any funny gestures or take any time to become Colossus - he just activates his (30,30) Resistant Defense, Perceivable (inobvious to obvious) and he's suddenly in his Alternate ID and all the abilities he bought OIAID (+70 STR, +15 CON, Life Support) come online instantly). The only thing Billy, Bruce, Donald, and Piotor have in common is that until they transform into their alternate IDs, they're vulnerable to their opponents, and that commonality is what makes OIAID a limitation.


   To supplement what Oruncrest wrote,  I would say that while all the cases mentioned have Hero Mode Only, that only Peter has only that.  Billy also has the limitation of incantation, Don has Gestures and Focus and Bruce has an Activation Roll. These can lessen the total cost of the power set.

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4 minutes ago, Tjack said:


   To supplement what Oruncrest wrote,  I would say that while all the cases mentioned have Hero Mode Only, that only Peter has only that.  Billy also has the limitation of incantation, Don has Gestures and Focus and Bruce has an Activation Roll. These can lessen the total cost of the power set.

 

Gottcha.

 

So, in Short... Only in Alternate ID is to indicate that the powers are only accessible in a separate form. If there is a problem or delay in accessing that form, that appears to be a secondary limitation. If I am reading this correctly

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17 minutes ago, Tjack said:


   To supplement what Oruncrest wrote,  I would say that while all the cases mentioned have Hero Mode Only, that only Peter has only that.  Billy also has the limitation of incantation, Don has Gestures and Focus and Bruce has an Activation Roll. These can lessen the total cost of the power set.

No those are already rolled into Only Hero ID.  Colossus just bought his powers normally and when he activates (uses them) that is the Special Effect.

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There have also been examples given of powered armor characters who use OIAID instead of Focus.  It takes time for them to put on the suit, and they can be prevented from putting on the suit, but once it's on, it never gets damaged or taken away.  That's more a story function than something inherent in the suit though.  Molybdenum Man's enemies never manage to break or remove his armor during an encounter in the comics, even if they knock him out.

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We had a big, long thread on OIAID not long ago.  The relevant text from p. 387:
 

Quote

Volume 1: Character Creation n Chapter Seven 387
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.

 

Because, understand:  this limitation ONLY applies in extremely narrow circumstances, and it's subject to serious abuse.  

 

There are workarounds, and in many cases I prefer their functionality.  Costs END Only to Activate is -1/4 if the power normally doesn't cost END (Resistant Prot, Damage Negation, Damage Reduction);  it's a +1/4 advantage if the power does...but it's 0 END after that, so it's still cheaper for Growth, Shrinking, DI, and Desolid (standard form or the very interesting APG version).  Plus, you can get tack on Full Phase only to activate for another -1/4.  The drawback?  Even if the power was Persistent, it's now Constant, so it's subject to getting dropped by damage.  BUT, now you have a -1/2 limitation...oh, and you can still dodge, with your full DCV.  

 

So it's quite possible, yes, that OIAID is overly harsh.

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