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atlascott

Multiple-Power Attacks--Untenable Rule

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The Multiple Power Attack Rule (p.234 in the standard 5th Ed rulebook (pre-revision) unequivocally states that "[a] character can use as many Attack Powers in a Phase as he wishes." The only caveats are:

 

1. You have to be able to afford the END cost.

2. You cannot mix ECV and CV attack roll powers in this all-out attack.

3. You cannot mix ranged and hand to hand attacks.

4. The attacks must be against a single target.

5. You cannot apply limites combat skill levels to the entire attack if the CSL' are bought only to benefit one power.

6. You take the worst of the OCV and DCV modifiers of all the attacks.

7. The use of incompatible specials effects is discouraged (using a fire power and ice power).

 

The ADVANTAGE of doing this is pretty obvious. You essentially can get a massive number of attacks over with in one phase (though defenses apply separately). You get one attack roll--if you hit once, EVERYTHING you used all hits. You can land what used to be an entire combat worth of attacks in your first phase. Now note, other than taking whatever combat maneuver penalty, THERE IS NO OFF HAND OR OTHER PENALTY, EVEN THOUGH YOU WOULD BE ESSENTIALLY MAKING SEVERAL DISCRETE ATTACKS, one right after the other, no rest, no aiming, just cutting lose with every applicable offensive power.

 

This means that the average martial artist, with, let's say, 5 martial maneuvers, can use them all on a single enemy, all in one Phase. Yes, that's correct. A martial Sweep, offensive strike, a defensive strike, a sacrifice throw, and, what the heck, throw in as many more as you wish, all done in a SINGLE PHASE.

 

It also means that Lord Energy Blast can hit you with his standard EB, his AP EB, his NND EB, his Piercing EB and as many other EB's he might have dreamed up, all at once, in the first phase of combat.

 

While some folks said that this is a OPTIONAL rule, it is not presented as such in the book--it is presented as a standrd rule, with some statements like "A GM can Disallow this or that..."

 

The rule does not make sense as a general part of the HERO system. It violates genre conventions of almost every sci-fi and fantasy genre I can think of, and it just BEGS for meta-game thinking in character creation. Its a terrible, terrible rule.

 

I have heard some say that the rule helps people who want to create speedster characters, or John Woo style, 2-gun-shooting characters. The problem is--this is not a power or talent or perq or skill. It is a rule of combat--that means, with only the above restrictions, EVERYONE gets to use it. It makes no sense.

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Re: Multiple-Power Attacks--Untenable Rule

 

I vaguely remember this being discussed at some point.

 

 

If I remember correctly, the discussion generally boils down to:

 

-Some agree with your position

-Most feel that MPAs have their place

-Most heroic fiction does have examples of MPAs, even if they aren't used all the time.

-This rule was used by the origional designers of Hero, who never realised that it wasn't understood to be legal by most players.

-Linked only makes sense if you can use MPAs, and it has been in the rules for years.

-Like 90% of the rest of the rules, you have to use your judgement on when MPAs are appropriate and when they are just a stupid munchkin trick.

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Re: Multiple-Power Attacks--Untenable Rule

 

Like many things in Hero, MPAs can be abused. That having been said, in 23 years of Champions play I've never actually seen one used by player or GM. Multiple Sweep attacks, yes. MPA, no. It's one of those things that in theory looks really awful but doesn't seem to get actually used much.

 

Who wants to play with metagamers anyway? I generally avoid those like the plague.

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Re: Multiple-Power Attacks--Untenable Rule

 

Lord Energy Blast can only do that if all of his blasts are purchased separately, or within a multipower/VPP which allows for more than one attack. That's the reason why some characters have more than one multipower, or a power purchased outside of a multipower, in the game. As for your martial arts example, there are rules limits which go with that as well.

 

The rule does make sense in certain circumstances [ironman firing his repulsor and unibeam, thor summoning lighting and wind attacks, etc]. It doesn't get as much use in the non-super genres but I can see a jedi doing force grip and throwing his lightsaber at the same time.

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Re: Multiple-Power Attacks--Untenable Rule

 

I always understood 'Linked" as being a means by which to accomplish 2 or more attack powers simultaneously--without linked, it doesnt happen. This rules interpretation worked fine.

 

And my big beef with this rule is that, one, it should be limited by definition to a particular genre or power effect. I just do not see it as a standard rule. Second, it cant help by change the way players design characters. I mean, great character conception is wonderful, but when one PC is in effect twice (or more) as powerful as everyone else in the super team, resentment and dissatisfaction with the design inevitably follow, unless you really have wonderful (no, really, saintly is a better word) gamers.

 

Here's just a simple example. I want a character whose EB is the main attack. Active points are limited to 50 pts for any one attack. So, I buy two, one with each hand, and then also buy 2 more with AP for each hand. Now, while Captain Wonderful, my teammate, is throwing his indestructible shield at the enemy, and doing his 10d6 (against PD) EB, I get to do 10d6, plus 10d6, plus 6d6 AP, plus 6d6 AP. This DOESNT HAPPEN in the comic books. Now, it makes PERFECT SENSE that EB boy can focus his EB to do AP. And it also makes PERFECT SENSE that if he shoots EB out of his hands, he should be able to do it out both hands simultaneously. So EB's player isnt being a munchkin, or abusive, or a rules lawyer, but his character design makes sense and is 4x as effective in combat as Captain Wonderful.

 

This problem is compunded exponentially if you factor in the rule that gives you an additional focus for 5 more CP's More EB character's powers into 4 guns on his hips. Now he has 4x the effectivness for a fraction of the points.

 

And as to the 'its always been this way'--while this is theoretically possible, I wonder why it never was clear in 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 4th Edition, and in NONE of my games?

 

End of the day, it is in the rules. Maybe its inclusion makes HERO more flexible, even tho I see it as almost 100% liability. I dont like it, so I wouldnt use it unless someone gave me a good reason for character conception reasons why it should be allowed for a particular character.

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Re: Multiple-Power Attacks--Untenable Rule

 

That's the reason why some characters have more than one multipower' date=' or a power purchased outside of a multipower, in the game. [/quote']

 

I always thought that, since often movement, defenses and attacks are often put together in a multipower, separate powers were bought outside to help character effectiveness or for conception reasons (discrete powered armor systems, eg).

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Re: Multiple-Power Attacks--Untenable Rule

 

Again, in your example that character spent 190 points on energy blasts. If the GM allowed him to do that, then he should allow him to use them.

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Re: Multiple-Power Attacks--Untenable Rule

 

I always thought that' date=' since often movement, defenses and attacks are often put together in a multipower, separate powers were bought outside to help character effectiveness or for conception reasons (discrete powered armor systems, eg).[/quote']

No, there are certain characters, like Dr. Destroyer, who have primary and secondary attack multipowers just so they can take advantage of the MPA rules. It's mostly situated for the big-gun characters though.

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Re: Multiple-Power Attacks--Untenable Rule

 

I always understood 'Linked" as being a means by which to accomplish 2 or more attack powers simultaneously--without linked' date=' it doesnt happen. This rules interpretation worked fine. [/quote']

 

But linked is a limitation. Meaning it hurts you. What you are describing is helping you. It only makes sense that linked limits something you could do anyway by making it more restrictive. If you normally couldn't fire off multiple powers at once, a modifier that let you do so would be an Advantage.

 

Here's just a simple example. I want a character whose EB is the main attack. Active points are limited to 50 pts for any one attack. So' date=' I buy two, one with each hand, and then also buy 2 more with AP for each hand. [/quote']

 

Well, you could use all those points to buy one 200 active point power instead of 4 50 active point ones.

But you don't. Because that wouln't be reasonable, fair, or fun.

Which is the same reason you don't buy what you are describing.

 

It isn't because you can't it's because you don't.

 

And as to the 'its always been this way'--while this is theoretically possible' date=' I wonder why it never was clear in 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 4th Edition, and in NONE of my games?[/quote']

 

Back in the days of 4th edition, the hero internet community was constantly torn by "the great linked debate". MPAs were not spelled out anywhere in the rules, but were implied by the implications of Linked. Many people thought the whole concept was stupid (I was one of them), others embraced the expanded character design possibilites. Steve Long was one of them . He wrote 5th editon. Which leads into your next point....

 

End of the day' date=' it is in the rules. Maybe its inclusion makes HERO more flexible, even tho I see it as almost 100% liability. I dont like it, so I wouldnt use it unless someone gave me a good reason for character conception reasons why it should be allowed for a particular character. [/quote']

 

It took alot of us old timers by suprise when 5th editon spelled it out. I know I was pretty flabbergasted. While it may not technically be a rule change, it works like that for alot of the Hero community.

 

If I was a little sarcastic when I first replied to you I'd like to apologize. A thread like this starts every few months when someone from older editions returns to 5th, reads the rule, and responds with a post that lists most of the arguments you make. I'm pretty sure I started a thread like this a couple years ago.

 

But I've played with it for a while. I have a couple characters that make them from time to time, and it is usually dramatically appropriate when they do. It expands your options, and as long as you watch the character builds, it works fine. (Which is pretty much the rule of thumb for the rest of Hero)

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Re: Multiple-Power Attacks--Untenable Rule

 

Well, if you peruse the FAQ on multiple-power attacks, there are a few additional rulings that, if applied in your game, would make the situation considerably less egregious:

 

MPA should not use two or more attack Powers or Maneuvers that function essentially the same way or do the same kind of damage. That means, for example, that two Energy Blasts, or one unAdvantaged Energy Blast and one Armor Piercing Energy Blast, should normally not be allowed to combine in a MPA. EB with Flash, Drain, Entangle etc. would usually be allowed. Similarly, two Martial Maneuvers that are similar, such as Martial Strike, Offensive Strike or other types of Strike should not normally be combined. Strike with Throw or Legsweep is more what this is intended for. Again, the GM might make an exception for SFX like two guns, if desired.

 

Power Frameworks also have restrictions when used for MPA. You can't combine two attack Powers in an Elemental Control in a MPA. For Multipowers and Variable Power Pools, you have to have a large enough Reserve to accomodate all of the attack slots you want to use simultaneously. If you want to freely combine any of your offensive Powers in a MPA, you have to buy them outside a Framework or as part of a large Framework. As is usual with HERO, you get what you pay for. ;)

 

I wouldn't say that Multiple-Power Attacks don't have to be supervised carefully; they certainly have the potential to be devastating. IMO if you keep all of the above restrictions in mind, you can keep them from becoming overwhelming. FWIW I've yet to see them being used unreasonably in my games. :)

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Re: Multiple-Power Attacks--Untenable Rule

 

One of the main qualms I have always had with MPA is that I cannot understand why you shouldn't be able to freely combine HTH and ranged attacks in an MPA against an enemy at HTH range (i.e. combining punching and blasting in melee).

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Re: Multiple-Power Attacks--Untenable Rule

 

I haven't played under 5th yet - lack of opportunity and too many other games to play in the time we have.

 

However, I see MPA as a good addition to a toolkit, I think you have to remember that there are not really 'standard' rules anymore if you buy into the toolkit approach.

 

I might consider making MPA a perk - possibly 5 points or so and that allows two combinations (as agreed with the GM) and an extra combination for every point spent (all with GM agreement).

 

I'd argue that it isn't just for supers - I can think immediately of several sci-fi scenes where a starship goes into a situation full on - firing from all directions (in Star Trek alone I can think of several scenes from TNG and DS9 where a ship uses MPA style attacks).

 

I'm sure given time I could think of examples from fantasy and other genres as well.

 

Perhaps your qualms about it could be soothed simply by making a ruling in your game that MPAs have to be agreed before a session begins. That allows you to discuss the combinations (and their reasonableness) out of the context of a tense combat situation.

 

 

Doc

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Re: Multiple-Power Attacks--Untenable Rule

 

I dont like it' date=' so I wouldnt use it unless someone gave me a good reason for character conception reasons why it should be allowed for a particular character.[/quote']Then why all the complaining? You've already come up with a valid control for MPA in your game. Do you think other GMs can't apply the same logic and limit it in their campaigns as they see fit? Anything can be stopped by a GM doing his job properly; which often involves saying "No" to munchkinism.

 

"Just Say No. It's not just for drugs anymore!" :D

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Re: Multiple-Power Attacks--Untenable Rule

 

One of the main qualms I have always had with MPA is that I cannot understand why you shouldn't be able to freely combine HTH and ranged attacks in an MPA against an enemy at HTH range (i.e. combining punching and blasting in melee).

We allow them depending on the special effects. I do understand that it's a balance issue though. At some point you need to draw the line an say no. For the rules that line is hth and ranged attacks.

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Re: Multiple-Power Attacks--Untenable Rule

 

Again' date=' in your example that character spent 190 points on energy blasts. If the GM allowed him to do that, then he should allow him to use them.[/quote']

 

BINGO - deal with it when you see the character, not when the character now tries to use the points he paid. This character has purchased four attacks, two for 50 points each and two for 45 points each. Assume, for the moment, they are different and can all be combined in an MPA.

 

This character, MPAMan paid 190 points for four attacks with which he can MPA. That is the ONLY advantage he receives over Ms. Multi, who pays 70 points to have the same four attacks in a Multipower of ultra slots. Shouldn't MPAMan's investment of 120 points carry some advantage?

 

[ASIDE: If MPAMan used an EC and paid 125 points instead of 70 for 4 50 point attacks, why should be be prevented from an MPA - he paid an extra 55 points. Other than "the rules say", of course.]

 

If this particular advantage will be too unbalancing, the construct should be disallowed at the outset, and MPAMan allowed to rebuild to invest his 120 points elsewhere. I doubt Ms. Multi used her savings to buy 60 Knowledge Skills in esoteric areas!

 

I would also echo the comment that this seems nowhere near as unbalancing as other uses of those points, for example a 190 point single attack, a Multipower of 9 - 100 AP attacks, or Ms. Multi's multipower, +20/+20 Resistant PD/ED and 30" of flight (before we even consider putting these in an EC with another 60 point power).

 

There are tactics for dealing with MPA's. Ms. Multi spends 5 END per phase on attacking. If MPAMan always enters combat firing all his blasts, for 18 END, bet on villains learing to dodge that attack, and wear MPAMan down, for example. I'd like to hear from someone who has foolishly allowed MPA's in his game, unrestructed, and had the game crushed by this huge advantage. Every comment I've heard from players who've seen this in-game has indicated they have had little appreciable impact on the "balance of power". I've yet to hear a single anecdote like "Well, everyone else bought a Swiss Army Multipower, and one guy had two full-cost attacks he MPA'd with, and was hugely more effective."

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Re: Multiple-Power Attacks--Untenable Rule

 

[ASIDE: If MPAMan used an EC and paid 125 points instead of 70 for 4 50 point attacks' date= why should be be prevented from an MPA - he paid an extra 55 points. Other than "the rules say", of course.]

I think the reasoning for this is that an elemental is supposed to represent different aspects of a single power. You can't MPA a single power. For that you use rapid fire.

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Re: Multiple-Power Attacks--Untenable Rule

 

I think the reasoning for this is that an elemental is supposed to represent different aspects of a single power. You can't MPA a single power. For that you use rapid fire.

 

That's a rational interpretation, but one that sits poorly. When I first read the MPA rules, I considered this a reason to finally see a character with multiple attacks in an EC, instead of a Multipower. Then I read the "no EC powers" rule. IIRC, that even precludes one attack in an EC combining with one or more attacks outside that EC, which would not violate your "one power - one use" rule.

 

For that matter, that "single power" can be used to fly, generate a force field and a damage aura and fire an EB at the same time. Why is adding an EB which can also blind the target (ie a MPA EB and Flash) not a viable use of this single power? Why is it a viable use if the EB and Flash are Linked in a single EC slot?

 

While I can see your reasoning being the rationale, that rationale is, in my view, neither logically consistent nor balanced from a mechanical perspective (nor have you said it is above, so I don't know your feelings on the matter).

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Re: Multiple-Power Attacks--Untenable Rule

 

That's a rational interpretation, but one that sits poorly. When I first read the MPA rules, I considered this a reason to finally see a character with multiple attacks in an EC, instead of a Multipower. Then I read the "no EC powers" rule. IIRC, that even precludes one attack in an EC combining with one or more attacks outside that EC, which would not violate your "one power - one use" rule.

 

For that matter, that "single power" can be used to fly, generate a force field and a damage aura and fire an EB at the same time. Why is adding an EB which can also blind the target (ie a MPA EB and Flash) not a viable use of this single power? Why is it a viable use if the EB and Flash are Linked in a single EC slot?

 

While I can see your reasoning being the rationale, that rationale is, in my view, neither logically consistent nor balanced from a mechanical perspective (nor have you said it is above, so I don't know your feelings on the matter).

I think it depends on special effects, but again, I also see it as a balance issue as with the hth and ranged rule. You don't want players buying an elemental with 3 attacks for no other reason than to be able to MPA them. The GM needs to look at each situation and decide for themselves. Sometimes I would allow it, sometimes not.

 

I haven't read the MPA rules for some time but I don't think you are not allowed to use elementals with other powers outside of the EC. I just think you can't use EC attacks with themselves. I could be wrong.

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Re: Multiple-Power Attacks--Untenable Rule

 

I think it depends on special effects' date=' but again, I also see it as a balance issue as with the hth and ranged rule. You don't want players buying an elemental with 3 attacks for no other reason than to be able to MPA them. The GM needs to look at each situation and decide for themselves. Sometimes I would allow it, sometimes not. [/quote']

 

I have no problem with allowing or disallowing a given character construction. I do believe allowing MPA's with EC powers by default would provide some reason to put multiple attack powers in an EC, rather than a multipower, and maybe get some variety from the standard "attacks multipower; EC for defense, mnovement and miscellaneous powers" structure.

 

I haven't read the MPA rules for some time but I don't think you are not allowed to use elementals with other powers outside of the EC. I just think you can't use EC attacks with themselves. I could be wrong.

 

I could also be wrong, but I seem to recall you can't use EC powers in MPA's. If you can, I'd expect to see more constructs with a base attack (most likely an EB) in an EC, and a multipower of more esoteric attacks (say, an NND, a Flash, etc.) in a Multipower to take advantage of this ability, but it may be something which just hasn't been explored yet.

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Re: Multiple-Power Attacks--Untenable Rule

 

I was on the edge of house ruling MPA attacks away, but decided that a) the rule was useful for certain specific characters and B) it didn't really matter anyway.

 

There are two problem area...

 

1. It's a way around campaign damage caps.

 

Why do two different 60 points attacks instead of one 120? Because of campaign caps of course. It's a way of extending your damage beyond the normal limits. You pay extra for it, but it can easily be worth it.

 

This however only works under one condition, the GM has to allow it.

 

Since I do all the character designs and make sure they fit exactly where they should in the campaign- this was not and never would be an issue for me.

 

The example at the top of the thread (I MPA Martial Arts Strike, Throw, and block in one go...), I do flatly disallow. Those are all one power in my view, i.e. you didn't buy STR but once and MA just adds to STR.

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. I hate two-weapon combat as written.

 

Silly rule. It says it should be adjusted in value if you're using the optional sweep/rapid fire rules- but doesn't give a value. So much of 5th edition pulls that stupid stunt.

 

Two-Weapon Combat (and sweep/rapid fire) doesn't reference MPA, nor does MPA reference it. The result is confusing, requiring multiple page flips. Bad writing, bad editing. I imagine lots of people bought Two-Weapon combat that a) costs too much and B) was likely unnecessary due to MPA.

 

 

Not a problem after doing all the page flipping and adjusting the costs on my own, but a pain I could have down without.

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Re: Multiple-Power Attacks--Untenable Rule

 

I could also be wrong' date=' but I seem to recall you can't use EC powers in MPA's. If you can, I'd expect to see more constructs with a base attack (most likely an EB) in an EC, and a multipower of more esoteric attacks (say, an NND, a Flash, etc.) in a Multipower to take advantage of this ability, but it may be something which just hasn't been explored yet.[/quote']

 

I checked this out, and the prohibition is against using two or more attack Powers within an Elemental Control for Multiple-Power Attacks. It's perfectly acceptable to combine an attack from an EC with another from outside it. In Conquerors, Killers And Crooks the supervillain Phoenix is built with two ECs, and is described as often combining them in a MPA.

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Re: Multiple-Power Attacks--Untenable Rule

 

1. It's a way around campaign damage caps.

 

Why do two different 60 points attacks instead of one 120? Because of campaign caps of course. It's a way of extending your damage beyond the normal limits. You pay extra for it, but it can easily be worth it.

 

Of course, two 60 pt. attacks will usually do much less damage after subtracting Defenses than one 120 pt. attack.

 

 

2. I hate two-weapon combat as written.

 

Silly rule. It says it should be adjusted in value if you're using the optional sweep/rapid fire rules- but doesn't give a value. So much of 5th edition pulls that stupid stunt.

 

I readily admit that the original 5th Edition rulebook was a little incoherent on some issues, most often the ones iinvolving new rules like Two-Weapon Fighting that didn't have the same time and input to iron out the kinks as the revised older rules. Hopefully 5ER has caught most of those, but not having bought it yet I can't say for certain.

 

That said, the old FAQ suggested making the DCV penalty for Sweep and Rapid Fire a straight -2 when using TWF, rather than 1/2 DCV. I read an assertion from another poster that this is now the default in 5ER, which of course I can't attest to.

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Re: Multiple-Power Attacks--Untenable Rule

 

That said, the old FAQ suggested making the DCV penalty for Sweep and Rapid Fire a straight -2 when using TWF, rather than 1/2 DCV. I read an assertion from another poster that this is now the default in 5ER, which of course I can't attest to.

 

Sweep and Rapid Fire still have DCV listed as x1/2 on pg 384

 

Under twf on pg 73, it depends on whether the campaign allows RF/Sweep normally

.

if the campaign doesn't allow RF/Sweep, then TWf gives the character the ability to use them.

 

if the campaign does allow anyone to use RF/Sweep, then characters with TWF get -2 DCV instead of x1/2, but maybe only -1 DCV if their DCV is so low normally that the -2 is no better than x1/2.

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Re: Multiple-Power Attacks--Untenable Rule

 

BTW, if I saw huge compound attacks coming at me like those in the original post, I would Block, Dodge, or Dive for Cover for all I was worth, and let the attacker run out of End (which they would be bound to do in very little time). Then it would be time to put the hurt on!

 

What's that you say? The attacks bought Reduced End Cost (i.e., "it appears the attacker isn't tiring")? Oh. Okay. Then I'll simply attack and not worry about their little MPAs, as they aren't going to get through my decently high defenses.

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