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Should Summon and Multiform be re-priced?


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20 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.

 

Other examples lay out the math, but to make the verbiage clear:  Having a Multipower with more points than your AP limit does NOT negate the AP limit of individual powers / slots.  It lets you have multiple slots running.

 

Chris.

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The best way to determine whether things are appropriately costed is just look at a variety of characters from experienced players in different games.  If you go through a bunch and make note of which abilities are over and under represented it will give you a good idea which powers are over and under costed.  This is how I came to my opinion that Enhanced Senses just generally cost too much.  Basically the only time you see them is some sort of generic radio or nightvision goggles, and very, very rarely on anyone other than a specialty character.  And the same is true of Multiform or Summon.  They never appear on anyone's sheet except as a slot in a framework, generally indicating they are underperforming abilities.

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5 hours ago, Nekkidcarpenter said:

The best way to determine whether things are appropriately costed is just look at a variety of characters from experienced players in different games.  If you go through a bunch and make note of which abilities are over and under represented it will give you a good idea which powers are over and under costed.  This is how I came to my opinion that Enhanced Senses just generally cost too much.  Basically the only time you see them is some sort of generic radio or nightvision goggles, and very, very rarely on anyone other than a specialty character.  And the same is true of Multiform or Summon.  They never appear on anyone's sheet except as a slot in a framework, generally indicating they are underperforming abilities.

I think you are drawing  false conclusions here. Your assumption is that if the price is right you should see a certain amount of an ability bought? Do most experience players build solely based on cost? There are several factors that people use in designing characters. Here’s 3 for you; Character Concept, Gaming group and Old Habits. With Character Concept people may not be buying Enhanced Sense because it just doesn’t make sense to them for their character to have it. Like Seeker having Ultra Sonic Hearing. Some people can resist the urge to buy things just because it’s good for a character mechanical wise but not concept wise. Gaming group, I’m not blaming any GM but if you adventures always happen during the day in fair weather, why should you as a player buy any enhanced senses? And lastly Old Habits, people tend to build by there habits no matter what rules change. One complaint of 6th official characters were that they were a cut and paste of 5th but didn’t seem to take advantage of any changes in 6th, notably the divorcing of Figured Characteristics.

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On 7/15/2021 at 10:17 PM, Spence said:

 

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:

Reverting to Base form is that a rule? (Which I’m pretty sure it is). So in my mind I see to prevent Sir Munchkin from doing that either House Rule that you default to the weakest form (unless otherwise that doesn’t make sense, like a dragon in human form. The dragon should revert back into dragon form) Or just put a physical limitation stating that if knocked out you revert to wimpy form. 

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7 hours ago, Nekkidcarpenter said:

The best way to determine whether things are appropriately costed is just look at a variety of characters from experienced players in different games.  If you go through a bunch and make note of which abilities are over and under represented it will give you a good idea which powers are over and under costed.  This is how I came to my opinion that Enhanced Senses just generally cost too much.  Basically the only time you see them is some sort of generic radio or nightvision goggles, and very, very rarely on anyone other than a specialty character.  And the same is true of Multiform or Summon.  They never appear on anyone's sheet except as a slot in a framework, generally indicating they are underperforming abilities.

 

While I agree that cost plays into these issues, it's far from the only relevant factor.  Ninja-Bear sets out a few above (although I would suggest the GM who sets adventures where certain abilities are never useful has altered their relative value himself, a different concern).

 

Some abilities are simply more common than others, in the source material and thus reasonably in the game.  Both Multiform and Summon were absent from early Hero products, probably for the reason that they were less common.  If I were seeing Summon and Multiform with identical frequency to Blast, Killing Attack, Resistant Protection or Flight, I'd believe Summon and Multiform were underpriced.  They are not that common in the source material.

 

They are also more complicated, which makes some players shy away - write ANOTHER (or multiple other) character sheet(s)?  No thanks!

 

How common are Drain or Mind Control relative to Blast or Killing Attack?  I don't think their relative costs are unbalanced.  I think the former are less common conceptually than the latter.  An INT Drain is very powerful directed at a typical Supers team.  So is an END drain.

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On 7/15/2021 at 3:11 PM, Christopher R Taylor said:

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?

So is the issue mainly because the assumed default is 60 ACT in any one Power? If that is the case, perhaps you weren’t aware but in a Standard game you are allowed up to 75 Act power. Would that be enough? If not, then this is GM discretion territory. I remember downthread you mentioned 100 ACT Power. Is that the amount needed or was that a hypothetical number?

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I guess some of this is different GMs experiences with players putting stuff in power frameworks that just isn't in my own experience. While I use the AP limit as a guide, I've also been flexible with players if they have a good character concept that requires a power or more rarely a power framework that requires a higher AP limit to make it work. And multiform is one of those rare powers I've usually required to be 1) built outside of a power framework and 2) isn't restricted by the AP limit because usually people aim for multiform equal to their main character's cost (let's say 400 CP for example) plus how much it costs if they have multiple forms. Part of that arrangement is because it's already has that 5 CP for 1 CP ratio so it's been discounted plenty as is and putting it into as framework is double dipping to me.  But I can see possible avenues in a multipower or cosmic power pool where I'd allow it but I'd always reserve judgement on that based on the build. Like if you wanted a Multiform or Summon half or less the total points of the main character, I could be convinced. But beyond a couple of times where I ran Fantasy games using HERO, Summon just hasn't been particularly common - maybe I've seen it used two or three times over 30+ years of Champions/HERO play.

 

I just don't think I've seen either used enough in a limited fashion to warrant changing point costs. That doesn't mean it doesn't have merit for one to do, but I don't know if it's enough a problem to warrant an official point change.

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11 hours ago, Ninja-Bear said:

Reverting to Base form is that a rule? (Which I’m pretty sure it is). So in my mind I see to prevent Sir Munchkin from doing that either House Rule that you default to the weakest form (unless otherwise that doesn’t make sense, like a dragon in human form. The dragon should revert back into dragon form) Or just put a physical limitation stating that if knocked out you revert to wimpy form. 

 

Reversion is a power modifier added to multiform.  When stunned or knocked out, the character reverts to their base form.  

 

For a characters normal form to be the less powerful one with the additional forms being more powerful is a trope.  It is used in everything from superheros (Billy Batson/Shazam) to horror (werewolves) to anime (Dragonball Z, Bleach, etc). 

 

There is no "rule" requiring it, but it is a basic staple of a lot stories. 

If you require the base form to be the most expensive one you establish a "rule" that eliminates entire swaths of story.  

 

IMO this thought process is another reason hero as a whole slowly slipped away.  In laying far too much effort and detail onto the alter of "mathematical balance perfection" they lost the magic that was Hero.  Especially since there is no such thing as perfection or even balance in any RPG.  There is only close enough for fun. 

 

 

 

 

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Making the base form be the most expensive has no effect on the "story" at all. It's a mechanical choice just like every other part of Character Generation. That's not to say the modifiers you choose won't affect the story but it all depends on how you write the power. Just like the modifiers you place on every other aspect of the character.

 

Which form is the main form is a choice. If you want to use Reversion then you save more points mechanically by having  it apply to largest form you can but there is no rule for this. Reversion has rules for both directions

 

Using The Hulk as an example, you'd probably be more justified in putting Reversion on Banner.  It then becomes an Advantage, so you can't stop The Hulk from appearing by KO'ing  Banner but if you KO Billy he can't become Captain Marvel/Shazam. 

 

Having the most powerful form be the one that pays for Multiform is fairer to the other PC/NPC's that don't use Multiform. But this only works if the GM is not allowing the alternate forms to be built to the same(or more) Active Points as the main form and keeping it out of frameworks. 

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20 hours ago, Grailknight said:

Making the base form be the most expensive has no effect on the "story" at all. It's a mechanical choice just like every other part of Character Generation. That's not to say the modifiers you choose won't affect the story but it all depends on how you write the power. Just like the modifiers you place on every other aspect of the character.

 

Which form is the main form is a choice. If you want to use Reversion then you save more points mechanically by having  it apply to largest form you can but there is no rule for this. Reversion has rules for both directions

 

Using The Hulk as an example, you'd probably be more justified in putting Reversion on Banner.  It then becomes an Advantage, so you can't stop The Hulk from appearing by KO'ing  Banner but if you KO Billy he can't become Captain Marvel/Shazam. 

 

Having the most powerful form be the one that pays for Multiform is fairer to the other PC/NPC's that don't use Multiform. But this only works if the GM is not allowing the alternate forms to be built to the same(or more) Active Points as the main form and keeping it out of frameworks. 

 

I was going to get on my soap box and pontificate but decided to go back and re-read the the actual rules.

After reading 6th, 5thR and 4th multiform entries I realized that I was completely misremembering how it works :think:

So..... nevermind :nonp: 

 

nothing to see here but us chickens 🐓

 

 

12 hours ago, Ninja-Bear said:

Sorry Spence I was asking about 4th edition. (And why, I don’t know anymore).

 

I'll say don't apologize as soon as I get my foot out of my mouth............:shock:

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