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How To: Scare Someone To Death


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  • Killing Attack NND (Defense is PRE 20+)
  • Transform 10d6 Living > Dead (Based on PRE)
  • Mental Attack (Does Body)

 

Alternatively, if you were running a game akin to Horror Hero, it could be scoring a rather high rate of a PRE Attack. Maybe at 30+ characters affected suffer cardiac arrest. This could mean a CON check (minus a PRE check) to resist, or even count the BODY of the PRE attack and take that much.

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Offhand?

 

Expensively.

 

I'm thinking Mental Illusion.  Note that for +20, the target takes BODY and STUN from illusory attacks.  Doubt you'd get too much argument from saying the BODY damage is cardiac arrest...especially if this makes for a separate method for healing it, CPR.  

 

So you need a scenario where the target believes he'll die as a result.  Fear of falling is a big one...the person suddenly finds himself 'teleported', say, 200 feet above the ground.  Or suddenly someone puts a Desert Eagle .50 cal right between the target's eyes, and pulls the trigger.  The DE is listed as 2d6+1 killing...and I'd probably allow the x2 BODY aspect to impact the active points, so as much as 4 1/2 d6 killing.  6E1 251 gives the cap on the "attack power"...the effect roll, or the active points in the power, whichever is less.  (Almost certainly the effect roll.)  

 

But I'd also probably require "character no longer interacts with real environment"...so we're talking EGO + 30, then +20 to do BODY.  So we're talking EGO + 50.  OUCH.

 

5 minutes ago, Sketchpad said:
  • Killing Attack NND (Defense is PRE 20+)
  • Transform 10d6 Living > Dead (Based on PRE)
  • Mental Attack (Does Body)

 

Alternatively, if you were running a game akin to Horror Hero, it could be scoring a rather high rate of a PRE Attack. Maybe at 30+ characters affected suffer cardiac arrest. This could mean a CON check (minus a PRE check) to resist, or even count the BODY of the PRE attack and take that much.

 

The PRE attack's another option.  The basis for cowed is +30, tho, so inducing a heart attack has to be MUCH higher.  The rules have the +40 level...and there's nothing about inflicting a heart attack.

Killing attack NND requires Does Body, so we're talking 45 points per die.  

I'd never allow that Transform myself, but if I did?  it's a Severe transform, so that's 150 points.

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7 minutes ago, unclevlad said:

The PRE attack's another option.  The basis for cowed is +30, tho, so inducing a heart attack has to be MUCH higher.  The rules have the +40 level...and there's nothing about inflicting a heart attack.

Killing attack NND requires Does Body, so we're talking 45 points per die.  

I'd never allow that Transform myself, but if I did?  it's a Severe transform, so that's 150 points.

 

Like you said "Expensively." ;)

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Is this something that works on everybody or something targeting someone with some sort of physical complication?  Scaring someone with a weak heart is going to be easier than someone who is healthy as a horse.      

 

I would combine the NND and the PRE attack ideas.  Instead of the defense of the NND being 20 PRE have the defense be not being cowed (as defined by the PRE attack chart).  Having a 20 PRE does not mean you are immune to fear.         

Edited by LoneWolf
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It is easier to scare someone if they are already on edge.  To make a 'scare someone to death' power more affordable and potentially more interactive, you might have a gradual effect to prime the victim before the killing scare.  That could be a gradual Major Transform to give them a potentially fatal heart condition, an EGO drain if you want the final scare based on a Mental power, or a BODY Drain that only lowers BODY for the purposes of the 'killing scare' which could then be a NND Attack that Does BODY, but then you wouldn't need lots of dice for it to work.  Such a power would still be expensive (and anything that can outright kill a character should be), but not 150 points expensive.  Plus it gives the killer opportunity to walk all over Psych Disads and such, which makes for better role-playing than "Boo! You're dead!"

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39 minutes ago, Grailknight said:

Mind Control has a "DIE" option at +30 and Mental Illusions at the +30 level can do BODY. From there, it's just SFX.

 

Mmm...yeah, I missed it a bit.  An illusion needs the Major Change, so the net would be EGO+30.  

 

Mind Control does 1d6 normal damage per 5 points rolled, with the defense being Mental Defense;  Mental Illusions allows you to do killing damage, because it's based on the attack...but the defense is whatever fits the attack you create.  Take your pick.  

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+50 PRE, only for PRE attacks, Does Knockback. The terror flings them backwards.

 

It's not "so scared they get a heart attack," instead it's "I just did something so scary it picked you up off your feet and flung you backwards and you take KB damage now." In theory this could kill someone, yeah?

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19 hours ago, JackValhalla said:

+50 PRE, only for PRE attacks, Does Knockback. The terror flings them backwards.

 

It's not "so scared they get a heart attack," instead it's "I just did something so scary it picked you up off your feet and flung you backwards and you take KB damage now." In theory this could kill someone, yeah?

Yes, it could.

 

I'm sure Victorian Hero has something for "women pron to faint" effect.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Not necessarily that expensive...

 

The Terror

24 Active Points: Fear Of The Dark:  Killing Attack - Ranged 1 point, Attack Versus Alternate Defense (Mental Defense; +0), Does BODY (+1), Invisible Power Effects (Invisible to [two Sense Groups]; +1), Damage Over Time, Lock out (cannot be applied multiple times), Target's defenses only apply once (17-32 damage increments, damage occurs every 5 Minutes, can be negated by Ego Roll; The target can make an EGO roll and, if successful, the attack fails.  The GM may allow further EGO rolls, depending on circumstances.; +3) (30 Active Points); Limited Range (-1/4) 3 END

 

The GM can obviously allow a PC to make additional EGO Rolls to break out of The Terror, where circumstances allow, such as if a character gets somewhere safe and a companion is able to soothe their fears, but otherwise 1 point of Body every 5 minutes until their heart stops.  You might also allow any such damage to recover much quicker than Body usually does, perhaps Rec per Day or even quicker, because once The Terror is gone there's no real damage.

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Or maybe this: more expensive but not by much and the 'Partial Effect' allows the illusions to start haunting the target before they reach full effect (not a standard Advantage, poached from Transform).  The target starts becoming distracted by something awful, twitching and starting at shadows, then screaming at them and becoming increasingly divorced from reality then becomes sicker and sicker until they fall into a nightmare and die over the course of a day or so.  You probably want to add in something like 'removed by exorcism' and they obviously get breakout rolls.

 

The Haunting

32 active points: Mental Illusions 2d6, Partial Effect (The target becomes increasingly divorced from reality as The Fear takes hold; +1/2), Damage Over Time, Target's defenses only apply once, Lock out (cannot be applied multiple times) (13-16 damage increments, damage occurs every 1 Hour, +1/2), Cumulative (96 points; +1 1/4) (32 Active Points) 3 END

 

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6 hours ago, Sean Waters said:

Not necessarily that expensive...

 

The Terror

24 Active Points: Fear Of The Dark:  Killing Attack - Ranged 1 point, Attack Versus Alternate Defense (Mental Defense; +0), Does BODY (+1), Invisible Power Effects (Invisible to [two Sense Groups]; +1), Damage Over Time, Lock out (cannot be applied multiple times), Target's defenses only apply once (17-32 damage increments, damage occurs every 5 Minutes, can be negated by Ego Roll; The target can make an EGO roll and, if successful, the attack fails.  The GM may allow further EGO rolls, depending on circumstances.; +3) (30 Active Points); Limited Range (-1/4) 3 END

 

The GM can obviously allow a PC to make additional EGO Rolls to break out of The Terror, where circumstances allow, such as if a character gets somewhere safe and a companion is able to soothe their fears, but otherwise 1 point of Body every 5 minutes until their heart stops.  You might also allow any such damage to recover much quicker than Body usually does, perhaps Rec per Day or even quicker, because once The Terror is gone there's no real damage.

 

How is AVAD Mental Defense +0?  

 

Plus, this is taking gross advantage of 2 rules...Damage over Time and defenses only apply once should almost always, IMO, be rejected, and the basic fact that piling on advantages to a power with trivial base cost is too cheap.  Like buying 1m of teleport with 100,000 miles of MegaScale to teleport anywhere on the planet.  

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26 minutes ago, unclevlad said:

 

How is AVAD Mental Defense +0?  

 

Plus, this is taking gross advantage of 2 rules...Damage over Time and defenses only apply once should almost always, IMO, be rejected, and the basic fact that piling on advantages to a power with trivial base cost is too cheap.  Like buying 1m of teleport with 100,000 miles of MegaScale to teleport anywhere on the planet.  

 

Built in Hero Designer and just copied. Blame whoever programmed that.

 

The point is that this isn't an instantly fatal power. It's a tension building power that will encourage role playing and inventive solutions. There's been almost no point for a PC to have this, unless it's a really dark campaign.

 

Matter for you whether you consider that a good thing.

 

Also, you'll need 'Safe Teleport' with that.

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Nope, user error.  In HD, AVAD has 2 combo boxes.  The upper one defines the attack's baseline defense frequency, and the frequency of new defense being bought.  Both range from Very Common to Rare.  In this box, you need to remember to have it go from Very Common (since the stun goes against normal defense) -> Uncommon (Power Defense.)  That makes it +1.

 

The second drop-down box gives a list of the example AVAD/NND defenses, per RAW.  This is simply descriptive, it has no impact on the limitation value. 

 

So you set the Power Defense, but forgot to set the Very Common -> Uncommon.  I've done that many times myself.

 

And no, you don't need Safe Blind Teleport per se, but even if you did, so what?  The base power is still 1 point.  You can toss in UBO (everyone in a 10m radius) and it'll add, what, 1 or 2 points...because all advantages are based on the *base* cost, which is...1 point here.  And ok, if you want to avoid the technical complexities?  Fine, 1m of Flight with 1m = 10 km Megascale.  Fly up a couple km.  You get good LOS for exceptional distance this high, so you can readily do 10 km per phase, with adjustments to course well within your turn mode.  With a 5 SPD, you still have LA to New York in about 100 turns...20 minutes.  Or, buy 1m = 1000 km flight.  Fly up to 100 km...1 phase.  You've got insane coverage from that high up.  In 5 phases, you're in New York.  The only thing you need to buy is Bump of Direction;  you don't really need the LS, you won't be in that environment for long enough to matter.  OR, heck, toss in No Turn Mode on the flight, and you can basically follow a geodesic arc at a more-or-less constant elevation, regardless of velocity.  What's it cost?  Nothing meaningful, because it's another +1/2 on a 1 point power.

 

It's a root issue with the core system definition.  Its flip side...the best example is trying to teleport half a ton of gear 1000 km.  THAT gets expensive in a hurry, because now you're force to include the extra mass adder, which is 5 points per level of doubling.  So that first meter of teleport is 16 points...and that's the basis cost for all advantages.  That 1m = 100 km is now 40 points for the first 100 km.  Piling on advantages on a super-cheap base power is abusive;  trying to apply plausible advantages to even medium-cost powers gets to be seriously onerous...to the point where everyone starts looking for a cheaper workaround.  Which is an unfortunate hallmark:  Hero is a system where players are trained by the system to cut costs without cutting abilities.

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32 minutes ago, unclevlad said:

Nope, user error.  In HD, AVAD has 2 combo boxes.  The upper one defines the attack's baseline defense frequency, and the frequency of new defense being bought.  Both range from Very Common to Rare.  In this box, you need to remember to have it go from Very Common (since the stun goes against normal defense) -> Uncommon (Power Defense.)  That makes it +1.

 

The second drop-down box gives a list of the example AVAD/NND defenses, per RAW.  This is simply descriptive, it has no impact on the limitation value. 

 

So you set the Power Defense, but forgot to set the Very Common -> Uncommon.  I've done that many times myself.

 

And no, you don't need Safe Blind Teleport per se, but even if you did, so what?  The base power is still 1 point.  You can toss in UBO (everyone in a 10m radius) and it'll add, what, 1 or 2 points...because all advantages are based on the *base* cost, which is...1 point here.  And ok, if you want to avoid the technical complexities?  Fine, 1m of Flight with 1m = 10 km Megascale.  Fly up a couple km.  You get good LOS for exceptional distance this high, so you can readily do 10 km per phase, with adjustments to course well within your turn mode.  With a 5 SPD, you still have LA to New York in about 100 turns...20 minutes.  Or, buy 1m = 1000 km flight.  Fly up to 100 km...1 phase.  You've got insane coverage from that high up.  In 5 phases, you're in New York.  The only thing you need to buy is Bump of Direction;  you don't really need the LS, you won't be in that environment for long enough to matter.  OR, heck, toss in No Turn Mode on the flight, and you can basically follow a geodesic arc at a more-or-less constant elevation, regardless of velocity.  What's it cost?  Nothing meaningful, because it's another +1/2 on a 1 point power.

 

It's a root issue with the core system definition.  Its flip side...the best example is trying to teleport half a ton of gear 1000 km.  THAT gets expensive in a hurry, because now you're force to include the extra mass adder, which is 5 points per level of doubling.  So that first meter of teleport is 16 points...and that's the basis cost for all advantages.  That 1m = 100 km is now 40 points for the first 100 km.  Piling on advantages on a super-cheap base power is abusive;  trying to apply plausible advantages to even medium-cost powers gets to be seriously onerous...to the point where everyone starts looking for a cheaper workaround.  Which is an unfortunate hallmark:  Hero is a system where players are trained by the system to cut costs without cutting abilities.

I was just being an arse about the Safe Blind Teleport. Not a fan of Megascale.

 

The things is that Hero, for all it's much vaunted Point Balance, isn't really that balanced. 

 

What matters as you rightly identify, I think, is whether the end product is 'abusive'. Killing Someone by Fear, over a period of time, with options to avoid the consequences doesn't sound abusive. Heresy, I know, but I'm kinda okay with the real (and acetone) points on that one: noone is going to die if they think about it, so the power shouldn't be ridiculously expensive to build.

 

There's times, as you again identify, where a power gets expensive fast for relatively little actual added utility. 

 

Hero gives an excellent framework for building characters, but we either need to overhaul the rule set quite substantially to cut the bloat and clarify inconsistencies or well, no - just that. That would be lovely (and probably less than half the page count of 6E).

 

Alternatively we can eyeball it. You can create astonishingly abusive builds for almost no points, but that's why we have GMs with the ability you say "No!" (14-)

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I love Megascale *for Teleport*, and to a lesser degree, Leaping, but I agree that the blanket use of a uniform cost structure for all applications is just wrong.  I actually built my High Scale advantage specifically for Running and Flight, because for these, Megascale is horribly excessive, in most cases, because it's just ridiculously too cheap and too much.  Flip side?  Try building a character that can teleport from one end of the city to another...call it 50 km...at reasonable cost.  

 

I don't use abusive/non-abusive as the last word.  It's an important one, but I value whether it makes narrative sense...or whether it just feels like slapping a bunch of things together with no rhyme or reason.  That is, of course, highly individual...and I'll freely grant I hate DoT with defenses only apply once, and when connected to a dirt-cheap power.  It too often feels like it's being done...because it can be, not because it makes any sense at all.  

 

Also understand I played with one person who abused combinations of advantages and limitations regularly, and illegally.  As a player...and worse, as a GM.  As a player...the GMs were better at constructing stories than editing character sheets.  As a GM...who's to constrain him?  That's a big reason why I'm very leery about saying "well, it's just for a villain" when something gets this way.  Or just flat-out throw the points out, as this is a plot device power in any case...you said that yourself.

 

To be sure, a complete rules overhaul would be wonderful.  Just not gonna happen. 

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12 hours ago, unclevlad said:

I love Megascale *for Teleport*, and to a lesser degree, Leaping, but I agree that the blanket use of a uniform cost structure for all applications is just wrong.  I actually built my High Scale advantage specifically for Running and Flight, because for these, Megascale is horribly excessive, in most cases, because it's just ridiculously too cheap and too much.  Flip side?  Try building a character that can teleport from one end of the city to another...call it 50 km...at reasonable cost.  

 

I don't use abusive/non-abusive as the last word.  It's an important one, but I value whether it makes narrative sense...or whether it just feels like slapping a bunch of things together with no rhyme or reason.  That is, of course, highly individual...and I'll freely grant I hate DoT with defenses only apply once, and when connected to a dirt-cheap power.  It too often feels like it's being done...because it can be, not because it makes any sense at all.  

 

Also understand I played with one person who abused combinations of advantages and limitations regularly, and illegally.  As a player...and worse, as a GM.  As a player...the GMs were better at constructing stories than editing character sheets.  As a GM...who's to constrain him?  That's a big reason why I'm very leery about saying "well, it's just for a villain" when something gets this way.  Or just flat-out throw the points out, as this is a plot device power in any case...you said that yourself.

 

To be sure, a complete rules overhaul would be wonderful.  Just not gonna happen. 

 

Yeah: you can get to 20km with 5m of Teleport and lots of NCM for 60 points, but it is a bit much after that.  Mind you, with Megascale, that same 5 m of Teleport can become teleport to the Moon and back for 16 points, which does not seem enough.  It feels like there ought to be a way to combine the two into some sort of useful middle ground.  The thing is that NCM doubles and adds to the base power at 5 point per and Megascale multiplies by 10 and is an advantage so it multiplies. We could make NCM cheaper (say 2 points for NCM doubling), or more effective (say x8 per level rather than doubling) and say no Megascale for move distance.  Megamoves shouldn't have any real combat application: I've seen people do the old 'I grab him and non-combat move to orbit' but I usually just rule that you can't use non-combat movement directly from combat or you have to spend an extra phase preparing (at 1/2 DCV and 0OCV) to go non-combat.

 

It's actually more egregious in many ways with Area of Effect: +3 will get you an 8km AoE if you pay for doubling the AoE size, but 40million km radius if you buy the minimum Area (+1/4) and Megascale it (+2 3/4) for the same overall +3.  You can buy a Megascale Cumulative Mind Control that makes everyone on the planet without mental defences try and kill each other for 30 active points.  Or, I suppose, if you a Hero, love each other.

 

Hero gets bent out of shape - not necessarily broken, but certainly bent - when you have a lot of advantages on a low cost power because of maths.  The best way to deal with it, at least for me, is to have a GM who knows what they are doing.  Like a lot of problems that arise, carefully thought out builds can be the answer.  I like coming up with new rules and tweaks but, in practice, I usually run a pretty vanilla game.  Many of the villains I come up with are wildly unbalanced, so there's almost always a way to beat them relatively easily, but they can be very dangerous.  Glass Cannons.  PCs can have that sort of built too, but they are going to spend half their time unconscious or ineffective.

 

Also 'acetone', in one of the previous posts, should have read 'active', but I didn't catch the spellcheck and now I'm going to leave it because it's funny.

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6 minutes ago, Sean Waters said:

 

Yeah: you can get to 20km with 5m of Teleport and lots of NCM for 60 points, but it is a bit much after that.  Mind you, with Megascale, that same 5 m of Teleport can become teleport to the Moon and back for 16 points, which does not seem enough.

 

 

Why not?  What will it be used for?

 

"Oh, too bad you did not have a Teleport power to get you to the moon before Dr. Diabolical blasted it out of orbit to crash into England.  The world ends, everyone is dead, campaign over - all because you were too cheap to spend some points on a long-range teleport power so you could quickly get to the moon should the need arise."

 

How many points should be required to allow the GM to set plots over a broader area without accounting for how the PCs might get to the location of the adventure?

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8 minutes ago, Hugh Neilson said:

 

Why not?  What will it be used for?

 

"Oh, too bad you did not have a Teleport power to get you to the moon before Dr. Diabolical blasted it out of orbit to crash into England.  The world ends, everyone is dead, campaign over - all because you were too cheap to spend some points on a long-range teleport power so you could quickly get to the moon should the need arise."

 

How many points should be required to allow the GM to set plots over a broader area without accounting for how the PCs might get to the location of the adventure?

 

The example was for illustrative purposes comparing the cost of NCM with the cost of Megascale.

 

If we're doing hyperbole and being able to teleport vast distance is so inconsequential, why not just let everyone have it for free?  I mean, at that price pretty much every character could afford it anyway.  Then we'll all be safe from Dr Diabolical and we can all go to the beach.  Any beach.

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Practically, I seldom see NCM used any more. I have to move to noncombat for NCM or Megascale, and maybe if we had Megascale in 1e, NCM would have been removed, or simply "you can move ful-out by taking no other actions and dropping to 0 CV".

But by 3e, we had developed to Multipowers like 30" Movement Power, 1/2 END (75 AP) and 5" Movement Power, x 16,384 NCM.

Why don't we just make it free?  Why don't we make 4 SPD free if we know the game will be based on 4+ SPD characters?  A lot of the higher points in Supers games are offset by "character taxes" already.

 

And 6e, at least, already tells you that, if an ability will have no in-game advantage, it should be free.  So if that "Teleport the Team to the Moon" power is only used to provide GM fiat to set adventures in far-flung areas, maybe it does have no real in-game advantage and it should be free.

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16 hours ago, Hugh Neilson said:

Practically, I seldom see NCM used any more. I have to move to noncombat for NCM or Megascale, and maybe if we had Megascale in 1e, NCM would have been removed, or simply "you can move ful-out by taking no other actions and dropping to 0 CV".

But by 3e, we had developed to Multipowers like 30" Movement Power, 1/2 END (75 AP) and 5" Movement Power, x 16,384 NCM.

Why don't we just make it free?  Why don't we make 4 SPD free if we know the game will be based on 4+ SPD characters?  A lot of the higher points in Supers games are offset by "character taxes" already.

 

And 6e, at least, already tells you that, if an ability will have no in-game advantage, it should be free.  So if that "Teleport the Team to the Moon" power is only used to provide GM fiat to set adventures in far-flung areas, maybe it does have no real in-game advantage and it should be free.

 

I see you are doubling down and willing to drive the whole thing off a cliff to make a point.

 

I can respect that.

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