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zornwil

Taming Absolutes

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I'm toying with something like this for my game...and interested in the topic more generally for the system implications...

 

As has been discussed many times/elsewhere, HERO isn't fond of absolutes. It occurs with Desolid, and many have mentioned how those 40 points get to be trivial in higher points games.

 

I was thinking, though, that if you simply allowed Desol a counter to "Affects Desolid", it would be at least somewhat more scalable and work like other HERO powers. So we have "Hardened" Desol, +1/4, against the "Affects Desol" for +1/2. Each level of Hardened offsets a level of Affects Desol.

 

In my game, as a few others do, I have Invulnerability. I'm thinking then of allowing an "Affects Invul" for +1/2 and "Hardened" Invul for +1/4. Theoretically Penetrating would be nice in this mix...

 

I'm also thinking of the semi-absolutes, Invisibility and Darkness. Of course, there are good workarounds already in the multiple Senses. But often we have reasonable concepts executed with Invis to everything, with a GM exception to allow Unusual Senses Group. Same for Darkness.

 

If we want to go down this path (admittedly, not really necessary if you want to live with the "achilles heel" approach and leave it at that, and that's way less complciated), then perhaps we could consider PER bought against Invisibility, at the cost of +1/2 Advantage to the PER levels.

 

How would this work? Well, I would say that you start at 0 PER, the point at which the HERO system says that you cannot make a PER attempt. So you buy from that 0 base, e.g., +5 PER vs Invisible, and that also dictates your range, of course, per the normal HERO rules, so you have a 5/less roll and a range of up to 8", because 5"-8" is -4 and the 9"-16" being -6 would reduce it to -1. If you bought the PER as a + vs Darkness, then that means you'd have at least a shot at seeing through up to 8" of Darkness.

 

And the Invisibility or Darkness could be bought with a +1/4 Hardened.

 

Just some ideas - your thoughts?

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Re: Taming Absolutes

 

I'd have to actually sit down and think about it a bit more, zornwil, but at first glance they sound like good ideas. I've had a few similar thoughts myself, but nothing quite so structured. For Invulnerability I've see-sawed back and forth between "Desolid, Only to Avoid Damage" and "100% Damage Reduction" (80/120 points), and have used both. I've also used just really high PD/ED, though that has the problem of not being able to do stunts like 'fly through the heart of a star' without making the defenses so high that nothing else is ever going to affect them, either.

 

Admittedly this does tend to be a problem more with Silver Age Superman type characters...but then, I do run an ongoing Legion campaign, and Superboy, Supergirl, Mon-El, and Ultra Boy -- all of whom are, or can be, "invulnerable" -- are regular members, so this is a problem I find myself trying to deal with fairly often...and there are also some supporting characters (Dev-Em) and villains (Validus) who are, or might as well be, invulnerable as well. I still haven't come up with a solution I really like, but it looks like your proposals may end up being something I can use.

 

More thought/study is obviously required on my part! ;)

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Re: Taming Absolutes

 

One thing I realized is costing out the +s for PER levels, it might make sense for that to be simultaneously against Invis and Darkness, it would make sense anyway, I tend to think. The issue is just balancing costs here.

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Re: Taming Absolutes

 

I'm not that keen on desolid only to avoid damage, official as the construct may be. I've always considered very high defences to be sufficient. Doctor Anomaly - if soeone could fly unscathed through the heart of a star, and survive the gravity, heat, radiation and such, I'm not sure what could affect them....

 

Even 'invulnerable' characters ge hurt if they are hit hard enough: Superman/Doomsday....

 

The problem with this is balance. You don't want to have a power so cheap that everyone will take it.

 

Perhaps then you should build it like this:

 

Desolid (only to avoid damage up to 2x active points -1)

 

That way you have to buy more desolid as time goes by to avoid higher damage attacks getting to you.

 

I am not keen on starting a hardened/affects war either. I think that controlling the powers that heroes and villains take is a far more appropriate way to ake sure the game works than ACTUALLY building invulnerable characters. If nothing in the campaign can harm Mr Collossal then he is invulnerable - he does not have to be invulnerable to stuff he will never encounter, just like it works in the comics.

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Re: Taming Absolutes

 

I'm not that keen on desolid only to avoid damage' date=' official as the construct may be. I've always considered very high defences to be sufficient. Doctor Anomaly - if soeone could fly unscathed through the heart of a star, and survive the gravity, heat, radiation and such, I'm not sure what could affect them....[/quote'] In Marvel, anyone with "Cosmic" Powers, it's fairly common in comic source material that "mundane" things just do not effect characters in the same way as equivalent in damage "super" things.

 

Even 'invulnerable' characters ge hurt if they are hit hard enough: Superman/Doomsday....
While that is true, usually it's because there is some special quality of the attack that makes it able to get by their defenses. Such as Johnny Storm being immune to fire, but still being burned when exposed to hellfire. Both could be considered fire just from their effects, but one is just metaphysically so much "hotter" than the other that even Johnny could be burned. That still doesn't mean that he isn't invulnerable to fire.

 

The problem with this is balance. You don't want to have a power so cheap that everyone will take it.
Other games are able to deal with some pretty sweeping absolute invulnerabilities fairly well and still keep a semblance of balance. I think Hero players just need to think a little outside their box so to speak.

 

TB

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Re: Taming Absolutes

 

I'm not that keen on desolid only to avoid damage, official as the construct may be. I've always considered very high defences to be sufficient. Doctor Anomaly - if soeone could fly unscathed through the heart of a star, and survive the gravity, heat, radiation and such, I'm not sure what could affect them....

 

Even 'invulnerable' characters ge hurt if they are hit hard enough: Superman/Doomsday....

 

The problem with this is balance. You don't want to have a power so cheap that everyone will take it.

 

Perhaps then you should build it like this:

 

Desolid (only to avoid damage up to 2x active points -1)

 

That way you have to buy more desolid as time goes by to avoid higher damage attacks getting to you.

 

I am not keen on starting a hardened/affects war either. I think that controlling the powers that heroes and villains take is a far more appropriate way to ake sure the game works than ACTUALLY building invulnerable characters. If nothing in the campaign can harm Mr Collossal then he is invulnerable - he does not have to be invulnerable to stuff he will never encounter, just like it works in the comics.

I don't want to concentrate so much on Invulnerability as much as the existing powers, though, for sake of argument.

 

The reality is, in a high-points game, that 40 point Desol is rapidly useless, as characters can, and should given the high-powered comics we've seen, start to have "workarounds" which merely represent their increased power and/or knowledge, their learnings. After all, after having faced "Mr. Ghost" and "Extra-Planar Man" for a few years, it's only natural that Captain Robust finds a spell from Dr. Strange in order to bolster his ability, for example.

 

And while you're right, the GM shouldn't then start saying, "Nah, you have Affects Desolid but guess what, 9 out of 10 villains have "hardened" (or whatever) versus that," and create an escalating war, it's nice to have options for the 1 out of 10 that should have it. And the competing characters can decide if it's logical to have higher levels themselves. For a few it will be appropriate, for most not. So you end up with some specialists with greater levels in these things.

 

It's all really about how HERO hates absolutes and how to thoughtfully incorporate them.

 

An alternative approach, which I considered, is to eliminate absolutes entirely. Build Desoild as versus BODY/DEF/DCs per phase, for example - so let's say for 10 points of Desolid you get to bypass up to 1 BOD+DEF+DCs in a given moment of time (just as an example). Then double it per +5. That would mean for 40, an implied minimum, you can ignore a 64 DC attack and move through 64 BOD+DEF at a time - just as an example. Any attack or BOD/DEF which "Affects Desol" basically cuts down some "levels" of it, let's say, or some sort of thing like that, so for example +1/2 Affects Desolid ignores the first 40 points, so 64 BOD+DEF, and each +1/2 doubles what you can affect, just as a for-instance (so +1 1/2 Affects Desolid ignores the first 256 BOD+DEF or 256 DCs that Desol grants, so your 4d6 EB hits unless the target has Desol of 55 points, doubling that 64 thrice over to 512). Then for Darkness you would simply indicate a high PER penalty, say -10 or more, for the Darkness field, and do something like say double it per +5 Adder. Same for Invisibility.

 

The primary issue I saw was such things don't seem to scale well at all, the incremental nature and trying to make the absolute scale up against incremental abiltiies gets difficult.

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Re: Taming Absolutes

 

In Marvel' date=' anyone with "Cosmic" Powers, it's fairly common in comic source material that "mundane" things just do not effect characters in the same way as equivalent in damage "super" things.[/quote']

 

Indeed, and 'mundane things' are unlikely to get past very high defences, equally my suggestion of scaling desolid to damage would mean that someone with 40 points in desolid would in effect be immune to 16 DC of damage, but anything above that COULD effect them - thus, again, making them invulnerable to the mundane.

 

While that is true' date=' usually it's because there is some special quality of the attack that makes it able to get by their defenses. Such as Johnny Storm being immune to fire, but still being burned when exposed to hellfire. Both could be considered fire just from their effects, but one is just metaphysically so much "hotter" than the other that even Johnny could be burned. That still doesn't mean that he isn't invulnerable to fire.[/quote']

 

It may be 'hotter' or just a different sfx that LOOKS like fire, or, using the above examples, would just be far higher DC than normal attacks. Point is that I can't think of any truly invulnerable characters in comics. Take Superman, even leaving aside his vulnerabilities to magic and the big K, you hit him hard enough and you can kill him: as far as I know there was nothing special about Doomsday that worked on Supe's vulnerabilities - he was just tougher and stronger.

 

Other games are able to deal with some pretty sweeping absolute invulnerabilities fairly well and still keep a semblance of balance. I think Hero players just need to think a little outside their box so to speak.

 

TB

 

I agree, but other games have a fundamnetally different philosophy and character construction technique to Hero, and unless we have 'scaled absolutes' it upsets the balance.

 

Don't get me wrong: in a particular game or campaign I have no problem with just thinking up a point total and saying that represents a type of invulnerability for a particular hero*. I just don't think absolutes should be a part of the system if it can be avoided.

 

 

 

 

*in fact I'd rather make stuff like that up, calling it a powerful type of Life Support, than trying to squeeze desolid into something I don't think it was really mean to do.

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Re: Taming Absolutes

 

It seems to me that often, the perception of "absolutes" is really a convenient shortcutting of development / writeups. So...

 

(1) Trying to base results off comic books is inherently flawed.

Comics don't operate under the limitations of any internal coherence. In one issue, Green Arrow might look very human because he's in a street-level adventure, and getting whomped on the back of the head with a crowbar will put him under. In the next issue, he'll look absolutely godly because he's fighting alongside the likes of Superman, and they can both be backhanded by the same villain and be flung away, neither killed. It's dramatic license and it's a necessary part of the genre.

 

Only Dramatic License doesn't go down so well when refereeing a game with multiple egos involved. If we wanted that type of game, we'd have way, way, less systems. Instead, we'd probably have a three part book: Brainstorming, Building Plot and Excitement, and Player Conflict Management. No systems at all.

 

(2) When an SFX is determined to be an "absolute", it really is, IMO, a hand-waving of all those exceptions that are generally inconsequential, largely because they don't happen very often.

For example, Misty Mary has a "body of mist" form. She declares herself vulnerable only to mental powers, but is really possibly-vulnerable to a whole whack of supposedly generally unlikely things:

* What if gale force winds hit the area?

* What if someone inhales a part of her? Is the hurt? Did she lose a limb?

* What a chunk of her mist is separated?

* What if the air is hot and dry: will she evaporate? What then? Is she forced into her regular form or is she "magical mist" that can ignore that?

* What if she tries to enter water?

 

But we want to get on with the game, so we just make her desolid, and we somehow handle things when the time comes. Often, we stick strictly to the absolute, despite seemingly reasonable SFX, "to be fair" to the player who has the character with the Desolid power, and then we get into the problem of being inplausible, which any moviemaker will tell you is worse than seeming plausible but actually being impossible.

 

Specific mechanical solutions without corresponding SFX will not dodge implausibility. Suppose someone with a microwave beam gun takes "Affects Desolid", with the intent that the molecular agitation should affect even desolid, yet on some level still physical, beings. That particular Affects Desolid advantage has a limited range of SFX and should not affect, say, a ghost or a spirit with no atoms in its makeup to agitate.

 

The question with absolutes generally becomes whether SFX will take precedence over mechanics. And if you go by SFX, how much knowledge you have of the way things work.

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Taming Absolutes

 

I think one of the design principles in Hero, besides an aversion to absolutes, is that an absolute must always have an exception. (That's an absolute rule to which there are no exceptions (that's a joke))

 

I can think of two absolutes in Hero: No Normal Defense, the Absolute Attack, and Desolid, the Absolute Defense.

 

I'll have to think about the contention that Darkness and Invisibility are "absolutes..." Back to the point.

 

A No Normal Defense attack requires some kind of "reasonably common defense." Similarly, unless it changed and I didn't notice, Desolid requires some kind of special effect that still effects it.

 

Another principle is that everything's scalable. For instance, if your Armor Piercing attack comes up against a Hardened defense, and you want to overcome that, the answer isn't necessarily just to up your dice of damage so that same damage gets through. You can buy Amor Piercing again. I've heard that heroes and villains can get into an "arms race" of buying multiple Armor Piercing and multiple Hardened and perhaps that's a problem; I haven't seen it happen but that doesn't mean much. Personally I think it may be necessary to sometimes "rein in" such an arms race, but I don't think there's anything wrong IN PRINCIPLE with this "scalability" factor.

 

Now, one thing that ISN'T scalable as it currently stands is Damage Reduction. You can try to get around high defenses with Penetrating or Armor Piercing, multiple times if you want to get around Hardened. But if you want to get around, say, half Damage Reduction, you have to double your dice of attack. There is no "Irreducible Damage" advantage - and there should be.

 

A major problem with Desolid is the fact that it is actually two powers that ought to be bought seperately. The first is Tunnelling, No Normal Defense, a movement power (which would still be required to specify a special effect it can't tunnel through, of course) The second is 100% Damage Reduction, a defense power, which should still specify a special effect it can't defend against. Just as when Armor Piercing (ignore half of defenses) is extended to No Normal Defense (ignore ALL of defenses) and becomes an absolute, it must specify an exception, so with Damage Reduction (ignore some damage) is extended to Invulnerability (ignore ALL damage) and becomes an absolute, it must specify an exception.

 

Instead of "Affects Desolid" (some version of which may still be used to make an impassable wall) you would have "Irreducible Damage." Each level of Irreducible Damage reduces the effect of Damage Reduction by one step. So an "Invulnerable" character with 100% Damage Reduction would only have 75% against such an attack.

 

Presumably, you could buy 125% Damage Reduction, but even with all the limitations you'd have to put on it, that gets expensive.....

 

I have tried and failed to find the write-up I did once that showed how, by extending the Damage Reduction power and then limiting it appropriately (Costs END for instance) it came down to the same point cost as Desolid. Maybe I'll have to work that all out again.....

 

Lucius Alexander

 

Maybe the palindromedary ate it

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Re: Taming Absolutes

 

.........................................

An alternative approach, which I considered, is to eliminate absolutes entirely. Build Desoild as versus BODY/DEF/DCs per phase, for example - so let's say for 10 points of Desolid you get to bypass up to 1 BOD+DEF+DCs in a given moment of time (just as an example). Then double it per +5. That would mean for 40, an implied minimum, you can ignore a 64 DC attack and move through 64 BOD+DEF at a time - just as an example. Any attack or BOD/DEF which "Affects Desol" basically cuts down some "levels" of it, let's say, or some sort of thing like that, so for example +1/2 Affects Desolid ignores the first 40 points, so 64 BOD+DEF, and each +1/2 doubles what you can affect, just as a for-instance (so +1 1/2 Affects Desolid ignores the first 256 BOD+DEF or 256 DCs that Desol grants, so your 4d6 EB hits unless the target has Desol of 55 points, doubling that 64 thrice over to 512). Then for Darkness you would simply indicate a high PER penalty, say -10 or more, for the Darkness field, and do something like say double it per +5 Adder. Same for Invisibility.

 

The primary issue I saw was such things don't seem to scale well at all, the incremental nature and trying to make the absolute scale up against incremental abiltiies gets difficult.

 

I like this approach in principle, although I'd simplify the maths in practice. Buy invulnerability to....(effect:eg: ) at whatever number of points you deem fit and ignore attacks of up to (say) twice the active points. Attacks can purchase an advantage or adder to increase their effective active points.

 

This sort of approach would mean that you could have a 600 point campaign where the characters are effectively immune to 350 point heroes and villains, but vulnerable to characters of their own sort of level without having massively different levels of attack and defence.

 

This would create a sort of tiering effect: the most powerful heroes can only really be threatened by the most powerful villains. We have that at the moment, of course, but it is far less obvious, and just do do with big differences in attack and defence level, rather than an in-game mechanic. The same could be applied to invisibility etc with an advantage (unpenetratable?)

 

This may be imposing a certain design constraint on higher powered heroes though - certainly all attacks would need to be bought with the advantage/adder once invulnerability became commonplace.

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Re: Taming Absolutes

 

Lucius, I think the definition of 'absolutes' we are using is 'anything that does not cost more to be more effective, so desolid is an obvious one, and life support. Invisibility is a semi-absolute: you can wident he number of senses the power effects but it is basically pay the points and you are invisible, whether you are in a 200 or 2000 point game.

 

My particular take on invulnerability, and indeed all absolutes is that they should not be tackled by the system, but on an individual game basis. If Inferno wants to be 'completely invulnerable to fire' and has spent a lot of points on fire defences, I'm going to make darn sure he doesn't get hit with a fire attack that gets through those defences, unless there is a plot driven reason to do so. In that game he WILL be invulnerable to fire by every meaningful definition.

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Re: Taming Absolutes

 

I'm revisiting this thread since I was thinking about this topic again and wanted to remember what was said. I liked Lucius' "irreducable damage" idea, will think about it some more. It would be interesting to allow higher-level characters 100% (or 87.5% or whatever) Dam Red along with this, and presumably the cost of Dam Red > 75% would be rather linear than exponential given the ability to counter it, but the Advantage would have to be costed carefully given that it would have the strange effect that your "irreducable" damage would be great against Dam Red but useless against PD/ED, an odd imbalance. Though the imbalance at high play levels where Dam Red is very effective generates odd effects, too. And to boot I'd have to think pretty carefully since I've used a custom Invulnerability power which has worked pretty well to this point, and since it's finally been balanced in this campaign after years of effort and playtest, I'd hate to unbalance it!

 

I'd like to say to Sean's point, I agree all this should remain in house rule realm. I'm not advocating a core system change.

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Re: Taming Absolutes

 

Lots of interesting ideas on this thread. :thumbup:

 

The idea of scalability for Desolid has precedent behind it: in Third Edition Champions and earlier, Desolid was bought for the amount of Body of material that you could pass through per Phase, 1 Body per 5 Active Points in Desolid. IIRC someone here on the boards proposed something similar for Damage Classes of attack that could be avoided. That would make Desolid scale to the power level of the campaign, and make it easy to separate the movement component from the defensive component with a Limitation, if desired.

 

OTOH I've found that the 40-point Desolid, Only To Protect Against Limited Type of Attack (-1), actually works well for me when I'm trying to create very high-powered characters who are supposed to be effectively invulnerable to mundane weapons, environmental effects and the like. I simply declare that that kind of damage is the only thing that Desolid protects the character from; any attacks by other superbeings, whatever the SFX, still affect them normally. Even if you buy Desolid to 0 END, Persistant, and Fully Invisible (which I require for this ability), the final Real Cost of 60 points is easily affordable by characters at this level. So, you can give Superman the toughness to bounce artillery shells, or the Silver Surfer the capacity to fly through the sun, without having to buy up their actual Defenses to a ridiculous degree. And this Invulnerability build has no effect on combat between supers who have it. (Of course I adopt the suggestion from the 5E rules for Desolid, that the Advantage "Affects Physical World" isn't needed when this Limited Power is in use.)

 

I consider this an example of using an absolute to establish a baseline supporting the conventions of the genre, so it being an absolute is a plus in this case. :)

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Re: Taming Absolutes

 

While that is true' date=' usually it's because there is some special quality of the attack that makes it able to get by their defenses. Such as Johnny Storm being immune to fire, but still being burned when exposed to hellfire. Both could be considered fire just from their effects, but one is just metaphysically so much "hotter" than the other that even Johnny could be burned. That still doesn't mean that he isn't invulnerable to fire.[/quote']

 

A bit offside, but I always hate the "Human Torch is invulnerable to fire" example. Way back in an old FF annual where they first brought back the original Human torch, he WAS able to burn Johnny, despite the fact Johnny is "invulnerable to fire". The android Torch could burn hot enough to get past Johnny's defenses. Ultimately, Johnny beat the android Torch by burning hot enough (Nova Blast - first real appearance, I believe) to damage his inner workings.

 

So we have two characters, both invulnerable to fire, and both damaged by it in the same battle. Either they don't possess "invulnerability" or their invulnerability is not an "absolute".

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Re: Taming Absolutes

 

I'm toying with something like this for my game...and interested in the topic more generally for the system implications...

 

As has been discussed many times/elsewhere, HERO isn't fond of absolutes. It occurs with Desolid, and many have mentioned how those 40 points get to be trivial in higher points games.

 

I was thinking, though, that if you simply allowed Desol a counter to "Affects Desolid", it would be at least somewhat more scalable and work like other HERO powers. So we have "Hardened" Desol, +1/4, against the "Affects Desol" for +1/2. Each level of Hardened offsets a level of Affects Desol.

 

In my game, as a few others do, I have Invulnerability. I'm thinking then of allowing an "Affects Invul" for +1/2 and "Hardened" Invul for +1/4. Theoretically Penetrating would be nice in this mix...

 

I'm also thinking of the semi-absolutes, Invisibility and Darkness. Of course, there are good workarounds already in the multiple Senses. But often we have reasonable concepts executed with Invis to everything, with a GM exception to allow Unusual Senses Group. Same for Darkness.

 

If we want to go down this path (admittedly, not really necessary if you want to live with the "achilles heel" approach and leave it at that, and that's way less complciated), then perhaps we could consider PER bought against Invisibility, at the cost of +1/2 Advantage to the PER levels.

 

How would this work? Well, I would say that you start at 0 PER, the point at which the HERO system says that you cannot make a PER attempt. So you buy from that 0 base, e.g., +5 PER vs Invisible, and that also dictates your range, of course, per the normal HERO rules, so you have a 5/less roll and a range of up to 8", because 5"-8" is -4 and the 9"-16" being -6 would reduce it to -1. If you bought the PER as a + vs Darkness, then that means you'd have at least a shot at seeing through up to 8" of Darkness.

 

And the Invisibility or Darkness could be bought with a +1/4 Hardened.

 

Just some ideas - your thoughts?

I'd be in favor of removing absolutes from the system (even invisibility and darkness); obviously we'd want to replace them all with non-absolute versions of the powers.

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Re: Taming Absolutes

 

A bit offside, but I always hate the "Human Torch is invulnerable to fire" example. Way back in an old FF annual where they first brought back the original Human torch, he WAS able to burn Johnny, despite the fact Johnny is "invulnerable to fire". The android Torch could burn hot enough to get past Johnny's defenses. Ultimately, Johnny beat the android Torch by burning hot enough (Nova Blast - first real appearance, I believe) to damage his inner workings.

 

So we have two characters, both invulnerable to fire, and both damaged by it in the same battle. Either they don't possess "invulnerability" or their invulnerability is not an "absolute".

Excellent point! That is exactly how I see this matter. :thumbup:

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Re: Taming Absolutes

 

Don't get me wrong: in a particular game or campaign I have no problem with just thinking up a point total and saying that represents a type of invulnerability for a particular hero*. I just don't think absolutes should be a part of the system if it can be avoided.

 

 

 

 

*in fact I'd rather make stuff like that up, calling it a powerful type of Life Support, than trying to squeeze desolid into something I don't think it was really mean to do.

 

BINGO!

 

Rep if I could.

 

This is one area where I feel Hero is broken (in the Desol rules that are part of the book) and where trying to do absolutes in Hero is truly "not playing Hero."

 

Clearly my preference... but I see attempts like this as the most egregious "Hero was not meant to do this so just don't try" as it would be to try and use DitV to Sim Star Wars. Going against the "no absolutes" in Hero is violating a core axiom (and again, the system itself does this, which bugs me to no end) and ignores the "rationalizing the fantastic" assumption of Hero. Invulnerable has no meaning unless teamed with a "vs."

 

So 36 rPD is not invulnerable... until you say, "vs. 6d6 normal damage" and then it is true (because without house rules 6d6 can't do more than 36 stun and 12 body). Invulnerability only exists until something more powerful shows up. It is just not a "rational" concept... and Hero is a rational system... thus it struggles mightily to include those.

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Re: Taming Absolutes

 

A bit offside, but I always hate the "Human Torch is invulnerable to fire" example. Way back in an old FF annual where they first brought back the original Human torch, he WAS able to burn Johnny, despite the fact Johnny is "invulnerable to fire". The android Torch could burn hot enough to get past Johnny's defenses. Ultimately, Johnny beat the android Torch by burning hot enough (Nova Blast - first real appearance, I believe) to damage his inner workings.

 

So we have two characters, both invulnerable to fire, and both damaged by it in the same battle. Either they don't possess "invulnerability" or their invulnerability is not an "absolute".

 

Perfect example to my point above.

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Re: Taming Absolutes

 

I'd be in favor of removing absolutes from the system (even invisibility and darkness); obviously we'd want to replace them all with non-absolute versions of the powers.

 

I'm so with you on this one, Warp9. :thumbup:

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Re: Taming Absolutes

 

I'd be in favor of removing absolutes from the system (even invisibility and darkness); obviously we'd want to replace them all with non-absolute versions of the powers.

Although I think it's a good idea in one sense, the problem I see is that it's rather niche. I don't think the need applies to enough scenarios, and, moreover, the type of "non-absolute" invisibility and usch isn't very predictable in modeling in a way that I think people will generally accept.

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Re: Taming Absolutes

 

BINGO!

 

Rep if I could.

 

This is one area where I feel Hero is broken (in the Desol rules that are part of the book) and where trying to do absolutes in Hero is truly "not playing Hero."

 

Clearly my preference... but I see attempts like this as the most egregious "Hero was not meant to do this so just don't try" as it would be to try and use DitV to Sim Star Wars. Going against the "no absolutes" in Hero is violating a core axiom (and again, the system itself does this, which bugs me to no end) and ignores the "rationalizing the fantastic" assumption of Hero. Invulnerable has no meaning unless teamed with a "vs."

 

So 36 rPD is not invulnerable... until you say, "vs. 6d6 normal damage" and then it is true (because without house rules 6d6 can't do more than 36 stun and 12 body). Invulnerability only exists until something more powerful shows up. It is just not a "rational" concept... and Hero is a rational system... thus it struggles mightily to include those.

What about Darkness and Invisibility?

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Re: Taming Absolutes

 

What about Darkness and Invisibility?

 

Same thing, really. I see no need for "absolute darkness" any more than "absolute invisibility."

 

To me they are flip sides of the same game effect. Minuses to perception.

 

Darkness is "Obscuring all normally visible (perceivable?) objects/persons in an area." You then give -2 per Five AP to perceptions rolls...

 

Invisibility is "A single object/person is hard to see/distinguish (perceive)" Probably the same cost.

 

Add on concepts like different sense groups (Game Rule level constructs, but totally worthy IMO) and you are good to go.

 

I don't think folks are against "Darkness? How dark is it?" nor should they be against "Invisible? How hard are you to see?"

 

Invulnerable, dark, invisible... are all relative terms looking at them rationally. And certainly this is no more weird on non-intuitive than other Hero builds. (I could go into more detail on how to build Invisibility this way... but I don't think that's what you are asking.)

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Re: Taming Absolutes

 

Although I think it's a good idea in one sense' date=' the problem I see is that it's rather niche. I don't think the need applies to enough scenarios, and, moreover, the type of "non-absolute" invisibility and usch isn't very predictable in modeling in a way that I think people will generally accept.[/quote']

 

See, I don't think that the idea is niche at all.

 

I think the rather comic booky concept of "invulnerable" or "desolid" or "invisible"... THOSE things are more niche... and having darkness as "a power to make it harder to see (as the default) stuff in an area" or invisibility as "a power that makes it harder to see me" are much more open and applicable to a variety of scenarios.

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Re: Taming Absolutes

 

Same thing, really. I see no need for "absolute darkness" any more than "absolute invisibility."

 

To me they are flip sides of the same game effect. Minuses to perception.

 

Darkness is "Obscuring all normally visible (perceivable?) objects/persons in an area." You then give -2 per Five AP to perceptions rolls...

 

Invisibility is "A single object/person is hard to see/distinguish (perceive)" Probably the same cost.

 

Add on concepts like different sense groups (Game Rule level constructs, but totally worthy IMO) and you are good to go.

 

I don't think folks are against "Darkness? How dark is it?" nor should they be "against "Invisible? How hard are you to see?"

 

Invulnerable, dark, invisible... are all relative terms looking at them rationally. And certainly this is no more weird on non-intuitive than other Hero builds. (I could go into more detail on how to build Invisibility this way... but I don't think that's what you are asking.)

I'd actually prefer Invisibility and Darkness to be built as penalties to the senses than as they now are. It would allow for much better gradiation; making "Invisibility" subsume everything from low contrast clothing (-2) to camouflage (-4) to high-tech chameleon suits (-8) to full "Invisible Woman"-type (-10) invisibility and beyond. Likewise for Darkness; it just applies to an area rather than just a person. And it still means even a mook might spot you with a "3" PER roll.

 

Repped. :)

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Re: Taming Absolutes

 

To note something based on what other's have said here and what Treb wrote in a side note...

 

... I have no problem with Absolutes as concept... just that they are not core Hero... and if you choose to implement them you should be aware of the implications to the system.

 

Also... a "minuses to perception" way of using Invis/Darkness gives you a bench mark for Game Rule/judgment call areas... which is where I think absolute powers fall.

 

Example: If you took my (arbitrary) idea of 5pts for -2 to Sight for invisibility... then you take 30 points worth (-12)... this is equivalent to standard Invisible w/no fringe. Very easy to say "For my game -12 is considered "Can't be seen" and perception rolls won't even be made UNLESS a story element gives reason for people to be actively looking for you and have an idea WHERE TO LOOK!

 

So 90% of the time, sneaking into the villain's HQ, you are just "invisible" and it works out... BUT... when the bad@$$ lieutenant gets the idea you are around, and comes looking... and he knows you are probably somewhere in the main generator room... ok, now he rolls his 15- Perception roll (I am zen master villain) vs. -12, to hopefully overcome your invisibility by picking up the odd light warp, dust movement, whatever... still with very little chance without more powers.

 

The point I'd make is that using Darkness/Invis this way really relies more on how you interpret Skill/Characteristic rolls. I see them as "call for them only when it is important for the story" and not "You go up to the counter? Ok, I roll to see if the clerk notices you, even though he's standing there bored to tears and you are walking right up in front of him." The old school... "roll for everything, even if the roll is meaningless" doesn't work for me, so I don't do that in games, and would interpret rules with the concept of "meaningful rolls only" in mind.

 

(To Treb's example... a mook could see you with a "3" but only if it was important to the story that the mook have a chance to see you... not just to make the player sweat an inconsequential, "does the mook see you?" scene. Basically, is it important to the game that the mook might see you and the player sweat it a little? Ok... roll it. If not... you are "invisible" and move past the mook and good to go.)

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