Jump to content

Should Summon and Multiform be re-priced?


Recommended Posts

Presently, based on previous editions of Hero, Summon and Multiform are based on 1 base point for each 5 character points of the target creature (so a 60 active point summon or multiform gives you 300 points of a character).

 

But with each edition past 4, there's been an increase in point base for each character has gone up, and 6th edition's restructure of characteristics made all characters more expensive even if identical build to previous editions (by around 50 points, depending on how stat-based the character is, in my experience).  This means that all characters necessarily are more expensive, including things that you might summon or multiform.  

 

So those 60 points are buying less than they used to, even while your character's base points have gone up.  Meanwhile, 300 points is less than a base character a recommended Champions Game will have a character be built around, by around 150 points.  So your points for summoning are going down in value in two ways at the same time, making summoning and multiform weaker and weaker than ever.

 

Just raise the active point caps for your campaign, you say?  Sure, except everything else in character design is based around 60 active point values for all characters in superheroic games.  And this gets even more troubling in lower point value games like Star Hero or Fantasy Hero.  So you'd be boosting everything else while making Summon and Multiform barely keep up.

 

Maybe these powers might be recosted so that you get more bang for your buck?  Character points divided by 3 or something?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Multiform is a standard power now so you can put it inside power frameworks. So even though it's less effective than it once was, it's also much cheaper than it has ever been.

 

If you give multiforms more points, you'd probably have to switch it back to being a special power. I'm not sure I'm willing to make that trade.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd be willing to consider this only if the rules for exceeding the base cost were dramatically re-written.

 

Another consideration:  what if your Multiforms (and especially Summons) are not general-purpose, but special purpose?  You've got the general form...for the sake of argument, say, it's an HTH specialist.  They're fairly efficient builds.  Then form #2 is movement and infiltration, for example.  Or to bypass the Special Powers restrictions, particularly with special defenses and possibly enhanced senses.  It probably wouldn't make sense to do that as the only difference, but once you have the baseline covered...?  More forms is cheap.

 

All of this holds even more true for Summon.  

 

You might have a better case on Follower, but again...when you don't have to make the character combat-capable, the cost issues drop considerably.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The issue for me is that the powers each have gotten significantly weaker over time in the same game and build.  The active cost remains the same no matter how you build the power or what framework you put them in.  Being able to buy them more cheaply in real cost doesn't change that, and active point caps (particularly in frameworks) negates any potential lower cost in the end.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Take a 500 point character.  Buy Multiform;  put it into a 2-slot multipower, 100 active.  The other slot is a compound power that is 100 points' worth of characteristics.  Now I have 480 points' worth of combat-effective and another 500 points' worth of whatever else I want...or vice versa.  (The form paying for the Multipower loses 20 points to cover the slot costs.)  OK, the point about active point caps in a framework MIGHT come into play, and might need reconsideration...when they're in use, and when they'd be exceeded.  That's a far narrower issue, tho, and a far narrower house rule can be made.  If that's the issue, re-costing Multiform just to solve this problem is like using a .30-06 to shoot a squirrel.

 

And you aren't getting less, assuming your multiform is the same cost as your base.  You're getting relatively the same amount.  BOTH aspects are getting reduced, sure but that doesn't change the relative influence, and the cost to cover the multiform is causing a proportionate reduction, by and large, regardless of version.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No, just no.

 

It was a major mistake to make these powers into Standard Powers when they should be Special Powers and even with that I'd make the following changes.

 

Multiform- Highest point form must be the base form.

 

Summon- Cannot Summon a creature  based on more Active Points than the summoner. Summon should automatically have Lockout so it can't be used again until the previous Summon is dismissed/banished/destroyed.

 

Multiform even as a Special Power gives you a base form that is only slightly less powerful that a character that doesn't use it. And because you will be able to change forms, you can optimize the base form for combat and handle one or more out of combat role . Battle Beast can be a 360 point engine of destruction and have 4, 150 point alternate forms  with the remaining 40 or just 1 200 point super agent type. @unclevlad has just pointed out the problems being in a multipower or VPP can cause.

 

Summon is less problematic as a Special Power. The active points cost limits in most campaigns will keep it from being a PC power without special dispensation from the GM. You still run into the specialized combat monster versus skills god choices though. As a Standard Power it is can quickly go out of control especially where VPP's are involved.

 

They are both Stop Sign Powers and deservedly so. No cost reduction is needed.

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

The issue for me is that the powers each have gotten significantly weaker over time in the same game and build.  The active cost remains the same no matter how you build the power or what framework you put them in.  Being able to buy them more cheaply in real cost doesn't change that, and active point caps (particularly in frameworks) negates any potential lower cost in the end.

 

Multiform doesn't need Frameworks. The 2x forms for 5 points is enough. A framework just lets you have Multiform and some other Powers.

 

Summon in a Framework allows you to avoid the cost of Expanded Class of Being.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

46 minutes ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

I guess people just ignore active costs in games.

 

It matters when you are talking about Summon, but Multiform has never had this issue unless you want max points on your alternate forms.

 

A 500-point character can be a 450-point combat monster with 4 200-point alternate ID's for that 50 points. So Battle Beast is also Ace Aero-pilot, Dirk Dollars-Billionaire Playboy, Lex Legal-Lawyer and detective and Sam Smart-super scientist and inventor.

 

Hero makes the cost of noncombat focused characters much less than combat oriented ones. This is a feature and a bug that Multiform, Summon and Follower all have as a common sweet spot and is really compounded by the 2x for 5 points adder.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/15/2021 at 2:11 PM, Christopher R Taylor said:

Maybe these powers might be recosted so that you get more bang for your buck?  Character points divided by 3 or something?

 

I get your meaning, though your math was expressed incorrectly. Let make those powers 50% more effective and see what we get.

 

First off we'll  go with 8 Active Points per point in the power.

 

So your 500-point Multiform could buy a 500-point  alternate form for 62 points or 4 400-point alternate forms for 60 points

 

That same 62 points will get you a 500-point Summon or 4 400-point specialized Summons.

 

The math for Followers is the same but Followers don't have to be identical and they are loyal to you by default. 

 

All of those options set off my GM alarms and tickle the heck out of my inner evil powergamer. . They are too much bang for the buck. As a GM, I can use the normal versions and just pay the points and if I want to do these as a player, I'd need a session with the GM to hash out what I could or couldn't do and whether I 'd be allowed to exceed campaign limits.    

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Multiform also gets boosted when a characters starts earning XPs. Gaining five points of power for every XP spent on Multiform can get overpowering pretty quickly unless there is some mechanism in place in the campaign that you have to spend on other things too, not just keep dumping XP into Multiform.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Quote

Multiform also gets boosted when a characters starts earning XPs

 

So does summon.  And followers.  And they have since they were put in the game.  What's changed is the double whammy of more expensive character builds and higher point values with static active cost limits.  Which I thought was pretty compelling but apparently since you can build a 100 point multipower in some insane GM's game, that doesn't matter.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's ONE potential problem, but it's by no means the only one.  Mild limitations on the multiform knock a great deal off the real cost very quickly, and the cost can be quite bearable if you build with that in mind.  As Grail and I both pointed out...DON'T build two general-purpose characters, build one that's combat-capable and another that's...other things.  And with no limitations, you can make the non-combat type the 'base form'...and if 500 is the standard, you can build a WHOLE LOT of non-combat effectiveness for 400 points and still have a full, 500 point combat type.  

 

Now, ok...active point limit?  Be prepared to waive it for Multiform or Duplication, if that's the root of your issue.  You can keep the active point limit in a framework if you like;  that just means Multiform probably becomes a Special Power in effect.  No further ramifications, no new issues created.  Changing the costing has ramifications and may well introduce OTHER problems...and that is the LAST thing you want on such a complex power.  And a power that I think many of us feel *should* be a Stop Sign power.

 

You can potentially make a better argument for Summon because amicability is SO expensive...but by the same token, a summoned critter gives more actions, so it needs to be expensive...especially with the 2x critters for just +5 points, as was noted.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

 

So does summon.  And followers.  And they have since they were put in the game.  What's changed is the double whammy of more expensive character builds and higher point values with static active cost limits.  Which I thought was pretty compelling but apparently since you can build a 100 point multipower in some insane GM's game, that doesn't matter.

 

What does the size of the Multipower have to do with this? A large reserve doesn't have to have a power that uses all of it.

 

As a GM and player,  I've had many NPC's and PC's that had Multipowers of 90-150 point reserves in games with 60 AP attacks/ 75 AP max with Red. END and never had an issue. It's the AP of the actual powers that matters.  You can use two or more powers if the reserve can cover them and, last I looked, Variable slots are still a thing although you wouldn't know it from published examples.

 

Multipower, 75-point reserve

10v-Flight 30m, x8 Noncombat, Reduced Endurance (1/2 END; +1/4) (50 Active Points)

 5u-Invisibility to Sight, Hearing and Smell/Taste Groups , No Fringe, Costs Endurance Only To Activate (+1/4) (50 Active Points)

10v-Telekinesis (20 STR), Fine Manipulation, Reduced Endurance (1/2 END; +1/4) (50 Active Points)

 

That character can use all three powers at once but if Invisible can't lift very much or fly very fast. Perfectly capable of hovering near the ceiling and using a computer keyboard while remaining unseen though. Doesn't make me an insane GM or player.

 

If Summon and Multiform are too weak for your AP limits, it's still easier to relax the limits with GM supervision than to change the cost structure. Summon/Follower is the worst offender. Or have you forgotten Takofanes and the 512 1000-point liches?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You can just do "Army in a can" summons.

 

Give each summoned creature a multipower with one of the slots as Summon that triggers "when the creature himself is summoned".

 

And that second newly summoned creature has a multipower with a Summon that triggers "when the creature himself is summoned".

 

And the third newly summoned creature has a multipower with a Summon that triggers "when the creature himself is summoned". And so on and so on and so on....

 

You get a ridiculous number of creatures of various power levels very, very fast. (Someone with a better head for numbers than I can figure out an equation to determine how many "generations" that would continue before the summoned creature wouldn't have enough points to buy a Summon power.)

 

And some of them the next turn may decide to increase their numbers rather than do whatever else.

 

Offhand, that doesn't seem underpowered. ;) 

 

(OMG, I may have just discovered the origin story of Tribbles!)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, Grailknight said:

It was a major mistake to make these powers into Standard Power when they should be Special Powers and even with that I'd make the following changes.

 

Multiform- Highest point form must be the base form.

 

I don't usually pitch into these types of threads because i consider it a pointless subject.  No game is ever perfect and every time one thing is changed it skews something else.

 

But I would definitely not do this.  Most of the multiform versions I am familiar with in books, comics, anime, manga and on is best simulated by Multiform with Reversion.  The normal form is the under-powered "normal" and the various forms are "power ups".   If the highest form is the "true/base form" it becomes "hurry up, knock me out so I can get more powerful".  It is just counter initiative and anti-trope.

 

Of course it is just an opinion from a guy that thinks 6th ed destroyed Hero and still plays 5thR :angel:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Quote

What does the size of the Multipower have to do with this? A large reserve doesn't have to have a power that uses all of it.

 

Its a 100+ active point power.  Multipower isn't a structure outside the rules, its part of your powers.  You can have as many powers as you have points that are 100 active points in that pool.  This is "not in my campaign" territory.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 hours ago, Grailknight said:

Multiform- Highest point form must be the base form.

 

Summon- Cannot Summon a creature with based on more Active Points than the summoner. Summon should automatically have Lockout so it can't be used again until the previous Summon is dismissed/banished/destroyed.

 

They are both Stop Sign Powers and deservedly so. No cost reduction is needed.

 

Starting from the end, agreed that these are powers which must be carefully vetted for appropriate campaign use.  No, you cannot have a 450-point Super who spends 400 points on a Multiform to change into a 2,000 point character. and another 25 to have 32 choices of 2,000 point characters.

 

Could you have a Wizard spell in a Multipower that allows a 200 point Fantasy Hero character to take on the form of a 500 point Dragon?  Maybe.  Let's see the limitations on the spell.

 

Multiform - highest points must be the base form?  All that means is that Bruce Banner has to spend points on a 200 INT, every science in the book and massive skill levels.  It's not hard to spend points.

 

Summon - which was created for Fantasy Hero initially - so the Demonologist can never summon a demon more powerful than himself?  That takes out a lot of Fantasy tropes.

 

Review it carefully because it is a Stop Sign, but don't remove options, especially valid options.

 

15 hours ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

I guess people just ignore active costs in games.

 

At some point in the 6e SETAC days, I mentioned something about active points and Steve Long indicated that AP is not intended to be capped.  That's an issue to me for frameworks, but OK.  People get too hung up on "Character Guidelines" and treat them as "character maxima".  From 6e v1 p 35, "Some Characteristics tend to be on the higher end of (or even outside) the range" defines "the typical range" used in the note for every item in those guidelines.  None of them are intended as a cap, and my personal view is that AP is the least useful to cap.  Powers with no limitations can be a lot more useful than powers with higher AP and significant limitations.

 

14 hours ago, Steve said:

Multiform also gets boosted when a characters starts earning XPs. Gaining five points of power for every XP spent on Multiform can get overpowering pretty quickly unless there is some mechanism in place in the campaign that you have to spend on other things too, not just keep dumping XP into Multiform.

 

This comes down to GM oversight and player reasonableness.  No, you don't get to use Multiform to build a character several orders of magnitude more powerful than the others in the campaign.  You also don't get a laser pistol, force field belt and jet pack in Fantasy Hero.  Build to the game parameters.

 

8 hours ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

 

Its a 100+ active point power.  Multipower isn't a structure outside the rules, its part of your powers.  You can have as many powers as you have points that are 100 active points in that pool.  This is "not in my campaign" territory.

 

So what?  You can have a 120 point multipower pool with a dozen 60 AP slots and a 120 point Multifporm if you want.  Variable slots provide way more choice.  There is no requirement that every slot be capable of using the entire pool, and many cases where they should not.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 hours ago, Hugh Neilson said:

So what?  You can have a 120 point multipower pool with a dozen 60 AP slots and a 120 point Multifporm if you want.  Variable slots provide way more choice.  There is no requirement that every slot be capable of using the entire pool, and many cases where they should not.

 

Marion G. Harmon's Wearing the Cape series has a metamorphic tank.  HTH type, the usual Str, Con, defenses.  The metamorphing part is options like claws, adding more Dex, Spd, and possibly ground movement, buffing Str and defenses, etc.  You can do quite a bit with a 40-50 point multipower with no slot over 20.

 

A step further is a VPP where the control cost is 30, say, and the pool size is 60...with Requires a Skill Roll, it'd be 90 active.  So a trio of 30 pointers, or a nice balance of +10 STR, +5 DEX, +5 CON, +2 OCV and DCV, +2 SPD, and boosts to REC and END.  Or whatever.  

 

I think DCs are more important to keep contained than AP.  Sometimes APs just blow up.  Summon (with a high Amicable advantage especially).  Duplication.  Multiform.  Desolid with selective desolid.  OK, should  a character sheet with anything this big, draw some extra scrutiny?  Probably, yeah. So?  Any character sheet should be carefully sanity-checked on a few levels.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Multipower doesn't ignore active point limits.  You have a 100 point multipower, you just let that character have a 100 active point power.  To bypass the limitations that multipower usually applies; negating its purpose.  If you can just build a multipower big enough to allow you to have several gigantic powers on at the same time, all that's happened is that you've let people buy a ton of powers cheaply.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

Multipower doesn't ignore active point limits.  You have a 100 point multipower, you just let that character have a 100 active point power.  To bypass the limitations that multipower usually applies; negating its purpose.  If you can just build a multipower big enough to allow you to have several gigantic powers on at the same time, all that's happened is that you've let people buy a ton of powers cheaply.

 

Multipowers are Frameworks placed in the game to save points on a build, not Powers. The size of a Multipower Reserve does not invalidate an Active Point Limit on Powers and Multipowers do not provide any savings if you want to run two Powers at full AP.  You can realize some savings if you use Variable slots and run one or more Powers at less than full strength but you can get that same savings or slightly less in other ways.

 

Consider these builds.

 

60- Multipower(60 point Reserve)

6u- 12d6 Blast

6u- 6d6, 6 BODY Entangle

6u- Telekinesis, 40 STR

 

60-Flight 40m, Reduced Endurance (0 END; +1/2)  

60-Resistant Protection (20 PD/20 ED) 

 

This build costs 198 Points and no Power is greater than 60 Active Points. You can run the Flight and Resistant Protection at full power along with one of the Multipower Slots. Pretty standard PC/NPC fare here.

 

Now for another build.

 

135- Multipower(135 point Reserve)

 6u- 12d6 Blast

 6u- 6d6, 6 BODY Entangle

12v-Telekinesis, 40 STR

12v- Flight 40m, Reduced Endurance (0 END; +1/2)

12v- Resistant Protection (20 PD/20 ED)

 

This has a cost of 183 Points so a savings of 15 total. If you make the Blast and Entangle with Variable Slots also you only save 3 points. But look what you've lost with that. Yes, you could Multipower Attack with  any two of the Attack Powers at full strength(and 1/4 of the third too) but you do so at the opportunity cost of your movement and defenses. This PC/NPC will most likely use an Attack Power, Resistant Protection and 1/4 of their Flight each round. If that 15 point savings is too much for you campaign, so be it, but IMO the second build does not break the game. I can easily tack Unified Power onto the first build and save 36 points, making it less than the second build.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

Multipower doesn't ignore active point limits.  You have a 100 point multipower, you just let that character have a 100 active point power.  To bypass the limitations that multipower usually applies; negating its purpose.  If you can just build a multipower big enough to allow you to have several gigantic powers on at the same time, all that's happened is that you've let people buy a ton of powers cheaply.

 

Show me where the rules discuss "active point limits" in detail.  The closest I see is 6e v2 p 282. 

 

By contrast, page 398 clearly states that "Characters use Power Frameworks to buy a number of powers that are grouped together and draw from a common “pool”
of points."  That one opening sentence tells us a power framework is something different from a power. 

 

If you impose a limit on points in a framework, that is a limit you have chosen to set, different from an active point limit on powers.

 

If you have chosen to set an active point limit on powers, that is also a choice you have made, and not a fixture of the game.  To say it again, Hero is not designed around active point limits.

 

It's your choice whether to set an active point limit on powers, whether to somehow set a point limit on frameworks over and above that limit on powers, and whether to apply it to Multipower or Summon or whatever else.  As one example, an AP limit might apply to frameworks, Multiform and Summon to cap the AP of any power in the framework, or of any form or summoned being, without capping the cost of the framework, or the Multiform or Summon power. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is a setting in HD that is "max active points in an attack."  But that's HD, and only for attacks...not all powers.  And it can be set to whatever anyway...including "high enough that no one cares."  Like the default upper limit on a characteristic;  it's 999.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...