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Campaign limits help. (6e)


JPicasso
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Okay, been away from the super hero Genre for a long time.  I'm most familiar with 5th, and but I very much want to set up a game for my kids in the 6e universe.

 

So, I'm going to make up some characters for them quick like, so they can start playing and then they can change modify or completely redo anything they like.  But I'm at a total loss for the kinds of limits that would be reasonable for a silver age 300 point super team.  Are there any "accepted" formulas for max damage levels / combat levels etc that people use?

 

Also, what rules are good for villian levels?  for instance if I have a 3 man super team at 300 points, what point/power levels would a single villian with nominal henchmen use?

 

I know a lot of this will come with experience, but looking for a jumping off point where the heroes are not going to be easily defeated by the BBEG.  Thanks in advance.

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First off, I would strongly encourage you to let your silver age heroes be 400 points.  If you are used to older editions, now that 6th doesn't have figured characteristics or elemental controls the points don't go as far as they used too (Multipowers are still a thing, but unless you can afford some powers outside it your characters can feel anemic).  In general, 400 point characters feel more like comic heroes.

As to your real question: the biggest thing to sort out in a Hero team vs. Villain team vs. Mega villain fight is how long do you want a fight to last. 
You decide this when setting campaign limits.  How many attacks are getting thrown around, how many are hitting, and how much damage is getting through?

If a hero with a 12d6 attack, 5 speed, 23 Def, 8 OCV and DCV and 40 stun fights a mirror image of himself, he will
- hit about (edited) 62.5% of the time (because his OCV and DCV match)
- on an average roll his 12d6 attack will do 42 stun against his 23 def, allowing 19 stun though
- Assuming he isn't con stunned, he will drop on the 3rd hit (having *just* avoided going down after the 2nd hit)
- Given that he has a (EDITED) 62.5% chance to hit, he will likely get that third hit near the end of his first turn or early in the 2nd turn of combat (if he is unlucky).  If it goes into the 2nd turn of combat, post segment 12 recoveries will mean he some stun is recovered, meaning you may or may not need an extra hit to drop the opponent depending on how high their recovery is.

This is what happens if the character and his mirror just stand there and hit each other.  If folks start dodging, blocking, multiattacking, etc things get complex.
If someone rolls above average to hit, more hits happen faster.  If someone rolls above average for damage, it may only take 2 hits instead of 3 to drop their opponent.  This leads to a fight that is over in phase 5 or 8 instead of 12 or on the next turn.  That is probably fine if the player feels like their good rolls are resulting in their character defeating enemies faster (which they should!)
If you want fights to last longer, reduce damage, reduce the chance to hit by limiting OCV/increasing DCV, or increase defenses.  If you want combat to go faster, reverse that.

I personally like combats to last from 1 to 1.5 turns (10-18 segments).  If an enemy goes down in less than 6 segments they feel weak, if it takes longer than 2 turns people get bored.

In general, for new players I like to have villain teams that match the PCs pretty well but have one fewer member, that way the individual fights are pretty even but the extra manpower means the PCs are likely OK.  An actually even fight will usually go the PCs way as they are usually much more focused on getting the most out of every action than you are as the GM running the Enemies.

If you want a group of PCs to fight a master villain, that villain needs to be able to take hits from *all* the PCs and last for as long as you want the fight to last.  So their Defenses need to be higher.  Higher DCV means fewer hits land, but that can be frustrating for players.  High enough Def to allow just 5-6 stun past defenses instead of 15-25 goes a long way to making it feel like attacks matter but that you need the team to take this guy.  Lower defenses combined with Damage Reduction can be good for master villains as it allows weaker attacks to matter but doesn't allow one really lucky roll from doing too much damage & ending the fight quickly.
While the PCs are fighting the bad guy, that bad guy needs to be doing enough damage to drop a PC in 1-2 hits.  The bad guy is unlikely to be getting nearly as many attacks as the whole PC team, so they need to be able to make it matter when they do get an action.  It is *very* common for master villains to have attacks 6-8 DC higher than the PCs for this reason.

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Thanks for the feedback.  

 

Generally, I like the lower powered heroes, more like x-men on their first mission rather than x-men after they've trained for a while.  But I am becoming aware that 4th edition point levels need to be upped some.

Also, they will be quickly brought up to 350-400 level soon enough but there will be powers that they will want to purchase in order to maintain effectiveness so I want to start them lower and give them opportunity to purchase those powers and defenses at effective levels.

 

Good points on the one villain vs many supers.  I hope to level out the heroes sooner than later so I have a better idea what my numbers should be.  Although I think I'll be getting some Champions source books soon enough, that should help more.

 

 

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9 hours ago, alternatum said:

People keep talking about running combat sims like they're easy. What's the secret?

 

Side 1: Villain(s) you intend to use.

 

Side 2: Heroes you intend to have used.

Map or what have you of where the fight will take place. Roll dice, move your pieces, see how long the fight goes in rounds/turns. Adjust the characters as needed.

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3 hours ago, Jhamin said:

- hit about 50% of the time (because his OCV and DCV match)

 

Great advice overall, but note that 11- is a 62.5% chance, so he will hit (or be hit) almost 2/3 of the time, not 50%, so three hits in a turn is fairly likely.

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1 hour ago, Hugh Neilson said:

 

Great advice overall, but note that 11- is a 62.5% chance, so he will hit (or be hit) almost 2/3 of the time, not 50%, so three hits in a turn is fairly likely.

 

Excellent point.  I was posting too quickly & overlooked the obvious.
 

1 hour ago, Greywind said:

 

Side 1: Villain(s) you intend to use.

 

Side 2: Heroes you intend to have used.

Map or what have you of where the fight will take place. Roll dice, move your pieces, see how long the fight goes in rounds/turns. Adjust the characters as needed.


In my mind that's a lot of work for in-obvious results.  You can get most of the way there by figuring out average hits vs average def and working out how long a fight will last.
Simulating a game takes almost as long as playing it!!

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4 hours ago, Jhamin said:

Simulating a game takes almost as long as playing it!!

 

Not even close unless the person doing it distracts themselves with side conversations totally unrelated to what they're doing, makes a food run, etc.

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On 3/4/2021 at 3:46 AM, alternatum said:

People keep talking about running combat sims like they're easy. What's the secret?

Can I ask “what makes you think it’s hard?”.

 

The biggest thing I do for a simulation is cheat. As in “how does X work?” And if the dice don’t give me the results, I change the results to what I want to see as it plays out. By no means does a simulation give all the answers but I feel it gives you a rough guide as to what to expect.

On 3/4/2021 at 3:09 PM, Jhamin said:

In my mind that's a lot of work for in-obvious results.  You can get most of the way there by figuring out average hits vs average def and working out how long a fight will last.
Simulating a game takes almost as long as playing it!!

Yeah I never had this problem but maybe because I’m the only one doing the simulation? I can adjust as to what to see when I want to see it.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 3/1/2021 at 11:14 AM, JPicasso said:

 

Also, what rules are good for villian levels?  for instance if I have a 3 man super team at 300 points, what point/power levels would a single villian with nominal henchmen use?

 

I know a lot of this will come with experience, but looking for a jumping off point where the heroes are not going to be easily defeated by the BBEG.  Thanks in advance.

Also a returning GM setting up a game for my son. Last time I play TT rules was 2nd Ed. Played a little of the Online version. I tend to put all the KS and and role-playing element type items into a 0 pt group so that i get a better idea of the actual power level of my villians. Since most fights will be one on one, they won't have the time or reason to use the various Knowledge/Language/Research type skills and, while all of that is great for the PCs to use and do to find out clues and leads during a scene, it would just bog down with the villain doing those things that more than likely would have/could have been done behind the scenes. Then again I was a theater major and I probably get into the role more than I should. 🤓

 

As far as power levels I look at the attacks of the heroes. Figure out what they can do at MAX and what they can do on average. Max hits from all heros in one round (phase) should definitely rock your villians world but not take him out at the start of the battle. At the same time average hits should be able to whittle him down to be taken out eventually. My villains are always beatable unless the PC insist on foolish actions or have a run of bad luck dice-wise. The difference is how long it takes and whether the heroes bring back up.

 

I recently found a ChampionsMUSH and I have been trying to get a character up and running to get some more current experience with the current rule set but I have not been able to find the time to really commit to the experience. If you are interested ... https://www.mudconnect.com/cgi-bin/search.cgi?mode=mud_listing&mud=Champions+MUSH ... you might be able to get some ideas/help here as well.

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I usually calculate out some basic number for characters.   

 

The first would be a damage threshold.  Look at the characters numeric defenses don’t include damage negation or damage reduction.  Take that number and divide by 4.  Add to that number the DC of damage negation the character has.  That gives you the number of dice that the character can probably ignore.  Due to the law of averages the higher the number of dice the more likely this will be true. Do the same thing except divide by 3 instead of 4.  This will give you the number of dice that will usually get some damage through.   

 

The next number is the stun threshold.  Take the characters CON and divide by the inverse number of the characters damage reduction.  So if the character has 25% damage reduction divide by .75.  take this number and divide by 4.  Add this number to the numbers in the paragraph above.  Any attack with dice above this number will usually stun the character.  Do the same thing except divide by 3.  The second number will give you the character can take without being stunned.   To figure out the KO threshold do the same thing except use the characters CON.

That give you some basic ideas of how well the character will handle attacks.   You know how many dice the character can ignore, how many will have a good chance of stunning the character and how many dice will KO the character.  Compare these numbers to the attacks the villain has and it gives you a rough idea of how the combat should play out.

 

If you want to take it a step further figure out the odds of the character being hit as a percentage.  Subtract the characters damage threshold from the attack and multiply it by 3.5.  Multiply that number by the chance of being hit and it gives you and average damage per hit.  Compare this number to the characters STUN to figure out how long they will last.  

 

These are very basic calculations and the game will probably play out a differently, but it gives you a place to start from.  
 

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