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How do you treat VPP's AP in regards to a Campaign Limit?


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If you establish a Campaign AP Limit, how do you apply that to a VPP? My understanding is that is should only usually apply to the slots and the Reserve of your AP. 

 

But HD calls the real cost of the Pool + Control Cost as the 'Active Points'. So does that mean that the Pool + Control if they were above the AP limit of a campaign would be forbidden? Or should you only look at the Pool? Certainly the examples in Champions 6e seem to indicate that the Pool is the element that must abide by the campaign's AP limit, not the total. 

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If you establish a Campaign AP Limit then it should be on individual Powers. It doesn't matter if these Powers are in or out of the VPP.

 

So if necessary as GM, you just have to flat out forbid creating any Powers with the VPP that are above the Campaign AP Limit. If it truly becomes an issue ( "..but by the rules I have enough Points for this, Why can't I...?" ) forbid VPP's all together.  

 

The VPP is something you as GM allow for PC versatility not a tool for cleverly evading Campaign Limits.

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Moving this to the discussion forum as the Rules Questions answer is simply that HD is correct in how the Active Points of a VPP are calculated.

In terms of design philosophy or actually answering your question, it's more of a discussion. To start, a VPP allows for massively increased flexibility for the character, so having the same AP cap on the actual slots in the VPP as the other players have on their non-VPP Powers would make the VPP character overpowered in comparison.  Having the VPP itself (pool + control) face the same AP limit as other characters _and_ the individual slots having the same AP limit keeps the character roughly in-line with the power limits of the campaign...at least as much as AP limits allow.

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Why should the size of the pool be limited at all? I would require, as a campaign standard (so no points saved as a limitation) that the maximum AP of any single power in the pool be the campaign max AP.  I would require the same of a Multipower, but I would not cap the pool.  There is no reason that a character could not have several VPP or Multipower slots active at the same time, and as long as no single power exceeds the campaign max AP, this strikes me as not being at all problematic.

 

In 6e, this is even easier to administer - the control cost cannot be purchased to allow any powers over campaign max AP.

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Why should the size of the pool be limited at all?

 

I can think of several reasons, including:

  • the point of these structures is to make choices, not have everything you want all at once, or there's no reason for the cost break
  • Power Frameworks in part are an exchange of flexibility for power
  • Active Point limits on campaigns aren't just to limit individual power, but to keep powers within a scope which adjustment powers can take effect consistently on them
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So your pool can only be used for one thing at a time, pretty much?  

The point of a VPP isn't about choices, it's flexibility.  I can define a Blast that's single target, hit the hex, do autofire.  I can set my defenses to be focused on PD or ED.  I can go more offense with a bigger Blast, or more defense.  Maybe my Flight is in my VPP...so I can fly and defend, or fly and blast, or blast and defend on the ground.

 

Limiting my pool size to active point cost is crippling in 6E...OR, just says, tack on some required limitations (like RSR) on all the powers, so each individual power's real cost shrinks enough so I can fit multiple powers in.

Control cost max == campaign cost max, sure.  I can see a pool size cap, particularly if there's required limitations (like RSR)...but not necessarily just to the AP limit.  I've sometimes designed my pool size to be X points for attacks, Y points for defense, Z points for movement, or possibly "miscellaneous" like Invis.

 

Tywyll, the notion of the overall AP cost of the VPP comes into play for things like Linked.  You can add a VPP only modifier, Linked, such that the entire VPP is only available when the prerequisite power is active.  An example I've built...the "main power" is 3 levels of Shrinking, with Normal Mass, 0 END, Persistent.  3 levels of shrinking means 1/8th height, ergo 1/512th mass...so normal mass says your density is 500 or so.  (For comparison, IIRC, the active fusion layer of the sun has a density of about 150.)  So, OK, at that point the midget's a walking fusion reactor.  VPP has blasts, flashes, force field style defenses, possibly resistant flash/power def.  (You can't put standard flash def into a framework.)  Plus flight.  

 

The Shrinking is still...pretty cheap.  40 points or so, IIRC.  The VPP is much higher.  So even saying Linked...the rule kicks in that you only get the -1/4 limitation, not the -1/2, cuz the VPP is the 'greater power' in this context.  That might hold true even if you put the Shrinking into a Combined Power, where, say, you also gain 12/12 hardened, resistant defense.  If the active points of the VPP are still higher?  Only get the -1/4.

 

Oh, another angle here.  The AP limits don't apply to everything per se.  Multiform, Duplication, and Summon will consistently require higher APs.  If the campaign limit is 60 AP, with 500 point characters...Duplication is 100 active.  So.......oops.  The limit typically applies to attack powers.

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Personally I let people go as high as they can afford. Look at Green Lantern. I can see the Power Ring having a VPP with some per-defined powers, plus the ability to come up with things on the fly with a good Power: Green Lantern Ring roll. The powers themselves couldn't go over the AP of the campaign and he'd be limited how many AP he has total. If I wanted a 'one power at a time only' I'd use Multipower with all the slots set at Ultra.

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4 hours ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

Why should the size of the pool be limited at all?

 

I can think of several reasons, including:

  • the point of these structures is to make choices, not have everything you want all at once, or there's no reason for the cost break

 

The flexibility of a VPP comes with the Control Cost, which erodes the character's CP (even more rapidly if he wants to change the powers in combat rapidly and reliably).  No one ends up with "everything you want all at once", but having an attack, defense and misc/movement power up at the same time (Green Lantern flying, attacking and having a force field) strikes me as both in-genre and balanced.  Ditto a wizard with more than one spell active at a time.

 

4 hours ago, Christopher R Taylor said:
  • Power Frameworks in part are an exchange of flexibility for power

 

Again, the control cost addresses this. Would you also cap the Multipower pool? All your approach does is incent a framework for attacks and direct purchase of other abilities,  Or multiple Pools (perhaps an Attack multipower, defenses bought directly and a VPP for movement and miscellaneous powers; multiple frameworks, even of the same type, are perfectly legal as well).

 

4 hours ago, Christopher R Taylor said:
  • Active Point limits on campaigns aren't just to limit individual power, but to keep powers within a scope which adjustment powers can take effect consistently on them

 

AP limits are for whatever you want them to be for.  I recall Steve Long responding to a concern about AP in the SETAC days that AP limits are not part of the Hero rules, and he was not designing rules around AP limits.  Power Defense is a much more effective means of avoiding issues with adjustment powers anyway.

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18 hours ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

The active cost limit of a campaign should apply to the pool's size: that is, the maximum allowable power in a pool should be what the pool can contain. Just like Multipower: the pool of points you can activate at any given time should be equal to the active point cap of the campaign.

Yeah, that's pretty much my understanding and way of thinking.

 

HD implies that real cost of pool plus control is "active points" and therefore should fall under any AP cap, which to me at least is clearly wrong (it's real cost vs active points).

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So HD should calculate Active Points for VPPs in a manner different from the rest of the HERO System abilities in order to better accommodate your interpretation of campaign AP limits (which, as mentioned, are not part of HERO System rules)?  They shouldn't be based on the cost of the ability in question before Limitations are applied?

 

 

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An MP and a VPP are *entirely* different in a key respect.  In an MP, pool size and max active points for a power are the same.  In a VPP in 6E, max active points are defined by the control cost.

 

If you require the active points for the VPP to fall within campaign rules, you're totally eviscerating VPPs.

 

Let's start by setting the AP limit at 60.  For the VPP, we want it to be an attack VPP mostly...Blast, Flash, Images, Change Environment.  Light-based.  Nothing fancy.  Let's go with a control cost of 60.

 

Attack VPP needs 1/2 phase to change slots, so that's +1/2.  Light-based powers, let's call it -1/2.  Those are both VPP mods.  The *active points* of the control cost ALONE is 40 points...so my absolute max pool size, if I have to keep the AP of the VPP under 60...is 20.  If I want it to be 0 phase?  The control cost AP *alone* is 60 points.

 

Forget that noise.  That's not even close to reasonable or playable.  To use that full 60 points, I gotta come up with -2 in limitations if I want to be able to use my pool in combat.  Heck, even if I *can't* adjust my pool in combat, the largest pool size I could have is 30 here.

 

How can that possibly be reasonable?  

 

AP guidelines do NOT!! apply to the overall AP of a framework. 

 

Quote

HD implies that real cost of pool plus control is "active points" and therefore should fall under any AP cap, which to me at least is clearly wrong (it's real cost vs active points).


It is a bit odd, but it's basically for bookkeeping...in a totally different area.  The contribution of the control cost is clear-cut.  Well, clearly a pool size of 50 should have more AP than a pool size of 30.  Go to left column, 6E1, page 140.  Under improving a framework.  Aid and Absorption can target the VPP.  By the rules there, the points must be distributed.   (TO BE TWEAKED, I think I wrote something improper.)
 

The rules mention 30 pool + 60 control as an even split...30 + 30 CP for the control.  Note that does NOT consider advantages on the control cost.  It's based on something separate...character points.  Not real points, not active.  And that's strictly for partitioning the character points given by the adjustment power.

 

The "active points" for the framework only come into play, I believe, for Linked.  If I want to link a VPP to another power, I must know what the AP of the overall VPP is.  It is kind of messed up;  the word "points" is insanely overloaded in Hero, and distinguishing them is NOT!!! always simple.  

 

And again:  go back to powers like Summon, Duplication, and Multiform.  The campaign rule AP limits do NOT apply to everything.  And frameworks are NOT even powers.

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To me it makes more sense to limit the control cost rather than the pool cost.  The Control cost determines how high the active cost of the power in the pool can be.  Allowing the control cost to be higher than the campaign limit would allow breaking of the limit.  Putting a limit on the control cost does not make since in this case.   Do you count the cost of the slots in a multipower when determining if it is over the campaign limit?    If you are going to limit one framework with a campaign limit you should limit all frameworks as a matter of fairness.

 

 If that is the case the classic 3 power multipower with blast, flight and force field in a campaign limited to 60 active points would mean you can only put in 36 points into the power.   39 points for the multipower itself and 3 variable slots at 7 active points each works out to 60 points. That would give you a 8d6 blast, a 12 DEF force field, and a 37 “ flight. 

 

Seems like that is going to really limit certain character concepts to the point where they become unplayable.  Throwing In barrier to the multipower listed above would be a basic green lantern concept.  But that would require reducing the blast to 6d6 the force field to 10 DEF and the flight to 30” to afford a barrier of 6 PD 6 ED 1 Body with a length of 8”, height of 2”.   Does that seem reasonable for a character in a campaign with a 60 point active cost limitation? 

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You cannot link a framework (or more than one slot in a framework) to a power outside the framework, nor can you link a power in one framework to another framework, or to another framework.

 

Frameworks are not really powers they are constructs you use to purchase power. Looking over the framework section of 6th edition I don’t see the word active cost used in describing the frameworks themselves.   The use terms like base cost, control cost, pool cost or cost of the slot.  The only time I see active cost actually used is to state that a power cannot have an active cost higher than the base (or control cost for a VPP).  They probably show up in Hero designer that way because it is easier to program and to understand.  

 

The best ways to deal with the active cost limitation of a framework is to apply them to the slots of the framework, not the framework itself. That also means you get no limitation on the cost of the framework, or the slots of a framework based on campaign active cost limits. 

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On 6/13/2022 at 7:37 PM, LoneWolf said:

You cannot link a framework (or more than one slot in a framework) to a power outside the framework, nor can you link a power in one framework to another framework, or to another framework.

 

[red/bold/italics mine]  You can link to a power outside the framework (6e1, pp. 388-389).  But you're right that frameworks can neither be linked, nor can one add to or modify a slot in the same or another Power Framework, or the same or another Power Framework as a whole.

 

As far as Active Point cost, I'd just say that the base Control Cost can't allow for more than the campaign AP limit.  The Gm may also want to put a limit on the Pool CPs...

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You can link a slot of a framework to a power outside the framework, but you cannot link the actual framework to a power outside the framework.  It specifically states that on page 401 of the 6th edition volume 1.   The text you highlighted and the part just before it is copied word for word from the rule book.  

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10 hours ago, LoneWolf said:

You can link a slot of a framework to a power outside the framework, but you cannot link the actual framework to a power outside the framework.  It specifically states that on page 401 of the 6th edition volume 1.   The text you highlighted and the part just before it is copied word for word from the rule book.  

 

It's p. 399 in my version.

 

Quote

Linked
A character cannot (a) Link two slots in the same Framework to each other, (b) Link a slot in one Power Framework to a slot in another Power Framework, (c) Link an entire Power Framework (or more than one slot in a Framework) to a power outside a Framework, a slot in another Framework, or another Framework, or (d) Link a power or Power Framework to the reserve or base cost of a Power Framework.

 

Bold mine.  That said...HD *does* allow applying Linked as a Common Modifier (to all slots), or as an MP-only modifier.  Both reduce the framework cost.  So what clause c) actually means, is not at all clear to me.  

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The rules seem pretty clear to me that you cannot link a framework to another power.  This seems to be a new restriction in 6th edition which is why it was probably overlooked. Unless this was changed it may be something Simon needs to fix. I suspect it may be due to removing elemental controls as frameworks in 6th edition.

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Incorrect - HD is allowing Linked in accordance with the rules (in particular with Steve Long's clarifications over time). Adhering to the rules for Linked and Power Frameworks was one of Steve's main requests with HD and a particular focus during development.

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A point came up today, about AP limits.

 

There are cases where even the control cost of a VPP might be allowed to exceed the nominal AP limit.  Let's set 45 AP as the campaign limit.

 

1.  Does that mean I can't buy 1/2 END on my 9d6 Blast?  That limits my choices greatly.  And note that as I go higher...say, to 60.  Saying my control cost can't exceed 60 would mean my 12d6 Blast can't have 1/2 END...and that's potentially VERY constraining.

2.  Does that mean I can't buy 5 PD, 5 ED damage negation implicitly?  If that's my only defense, it shouldn't be excessive in a 9 DC game.  Or do I have to buy each half as a separate power?  That's just awkward.  

3.  Similarly, how about buying Resistant Protection...12 PD, 12 ED, and 8 Flash (sight)?  You can't buy normal Flash defense in a framework.

4.  Note that I *could* buy 50% resistant DR for both PD and ED, within a 45 point control cost...because they're completely separate.  

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