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Sean Waters

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Re: Drifting further off topic

 

Do you mean this paranthetical aside to indicate that you do not care what I believe' date=' or that you think my belief does not care whether it is some or all?[/quote']

 

You had made a reference to my not mentioning negative implications balancing out positive ones, where I had restricted my comments to positive implications in the (failed, as Sean notes) interests of brevity.

 

As I read your comments to date, you want to cover both the plusses and minusses the abilities might have by virtue of common sense, but that only some of these were freebies, while others would be acquired mechanically as conventional advantages and limitations.

 

True' date=' but I did [i']not[/i] advocate that every benefit a power "ought to have" be implemented in this fashion.

 

Which leaves the player not knowing which benefits (or drawbacks) a power ought to have (ie should not lack, by virtue of common sense - as opposed to might or might not reasonably have) should be incorporated into the mechanical build and which should not. This serves only to further complicate the creation of a character. Even if I accept that moving the baseline will remain balanced (at least as balanced as we can reasonably hope to get), I still see no material benefit in shifting the baseline from one which is documented in the basic rules as written to one which forces the player to guess or, alternatively, requires an extensive document of house rules.

 

In my little world, a rules change is appropriately implemented only where the benefits of enhanced gameplay are adequate to offset the complexity of additional rules, generally lacking the same detail as the written game rules. Your proposed changes do not meet this cost-benefits test, again in my own opinion.

 

I disagree with "that being the case' date=' it seems reasonable". Yes, the GM and player ought logically to agree on what common sense [i']indicates[/i] (note that I do not, here, say "dictates", unlike you), but this is because such sensibility is "common"; conversely, that belief is no longer reasonable after one experiences that their sensibilities are at odds with most other people's.

 

But how does one break that tie. If that common sense is, after all, not held in common, who gives way. The GM, presumably, dictates which version of common sense will apply, regardless of whether that version is truly common amongst the group.

 

And how does any one member of the group know which version of that common sense will prevail when deciding whether to add a certain advantage or limitation to his powers.

 

In the absence of that shared vision of common sense, I suggest that all you have done is codify a series of house rules on automatic freebies for certain special effects. [ignoring, for the moment, unusual situations of which the players/characters are not, from the outset, aware of.]

 

False . . . you can describe the effect you envision your character as having' date=' and the GM can tell you whether this will take place (and, if so, at least a general estimate of how often; and, though not including any "to be discovered" circumstances, give you an idea of [i']which[/i] conditions would not be conducive to the desired effects).

 

Perhaps I am in the minority, but I prefer to minimize the number of times a character must be drafted and frevised thanks to a need for third party input. An inability to stat out each ability without GM input every step of the way does not facilitate character creation. Here, however, we may be encountering a significant play style difference. My group does not sit round the table having a character creation bee. We draft characters on our own time, and submit them for GM approval by email in most cases. Reasons?

 

First off, we don't believe every player should start with detailed knowledge of every character - for "sense of discovery" reasons similar to those you have already alluded to. Second, as adults, opportunities where we are available to game are scarce enough that we prefer they be used for gaming that cannot practically be done without the presence of the group as whole.

 

I have been flexible about which attributes can be moved across the border' date=' but game balance has [b']always[/b] been openly given as of primary importance: just because you can choose (as GM) which attributes move across the border, does not mean that anything (without limits, specifically those of game balance) should go across.

 

While I agree with the balance issue, this reduces the predictability even further in that even items we both agree common sense demands the ability possess may or may not be included in their automatic modifiers.

 

I disagree - and I criticize your Absolutist view of gameplay' date=' which has blinded you to the concept of [b']compromise[/b] (which you use only in the "violated" sense). It is no sacrifice to make an already unrealistic system more realistic; improvement need not achieve perfection to be worthwhile.

 

I refer to cost-benefit above. The benefits I perceive this achieving are not, in my view, adequate to justify the costs. I'm not sure whether I am in the majority or minority on this, as there aren't a lot of other posters who have the desire to wade through these missives and join the discussion (Sean, have you read enough to comment?)

 

I've already posted examples of Vulnerabilities that will prevent a power from being utterly consistent' date=' so I won't address that. What I do find interesting is your perception that my proposal moves [i']towards[/i] the arbitrary and away from the predictable. Those two terms are not quite opposite. I have documented how the proposal is no more arbitrary than the existing baseline (in that it is possible to figure out the underlying rules for the default baseline, and use those exact rules to contruct a new baseline), but predictability is a new term, and more revealing (I think) of your deepest objections to the proposal than mere arbitrariness was.

 

I'm not addressing the interaction of two characters' special effects, but the default effect of the abilities paid for by one character. The possibility that two characters' abilities will interact in complex ways (including the basic example that the SFX of my attack and your vulnerability align) or that there are unusual environments (0 gravity; deep underwater - neither of which meet the "unusual" test in every game) where the ground rules change exists, and must exist.

 

I advocate the position that characters ought properly to pay for the manner in which their powers and abilities will mechanically function in the common game environment(s). If a vacuum is common, the fact my sonic attack is limited by "not in a vacuum" should merit a point savings. If it is not, and as this drawback is dictated by common sense, it becomes an imposed -0. I think that example is still in the rulebook, isn't it?

 

I have to question' date=' Hugh, whether your view of this proposal as moving [i']away from predictability[/i] is revealing of prior experience that you cannot predict what other people will find sensible.

 

I find your desire to make this change not to be sensible. In that, I don't perceive myself as being alone. Perhaps I am wrong - there aren't a host of posters chiming in to agree with me. Perhaps I am correct - there are also not a host of posters chiming in to agree with you. But maybe your PM is jam packed with people voicing less public approval of your position. [Mine isn't filled yet, for the record.]

 

Incorrect again. Just because only some of the obvious implications of common sense are made external (as Naked Modifiers)' date=' does not mean that those implications which were [i']not[/i] made external will be disallowed.

 

But I still lack any practical means of knowing which will be automatic and which will not. Sure, I can ask. However, even setting aside the slowdown in the creation process, this does not resolve the initial dilemma - a logical advantage or drawback flowing from the common sense interpretation of the ability which was overlooked by both player and GM has arisen in play, and we all look at the table and say "But logically, it should work that way, shouldn't it?" Assume, for the moment, that the common sense advantage is quite significant from a balance perspective - how (if at all) does your system resolve this struggle between common sense and balance?

 

Since the aquatic character will not exist (at least' date=' not in a traditional "living" state) in that setting, the GM would be within their rights to rule that the species was unavailable for player characters (do I hear an echo of "common sense" in [my words'] there?). This does not mean that the species are unbalanced.

 

They are unbalanced in that specific setting. The fact that one can survive and the other cannot is the most extreme example of unbalanced characters which I can think of.

 

I certainly do not see any problem with this. Typical conditions should* not be concealed from the players (and, logically, I see no grounds for it).

 

*YMMV, of course, depending on play style ;)

 

While I can envision a game where the typical conditions are not known, I concur it is not the standard.

 

Agreed' date=' though its place as "play style" is formally noted, and I assume you would leave the skills there (only reducing their cost to zero).[/quote']

 

Once again, a resounding "it depends". A medieval wizard with KS: 1960's music should pay no points for the skill (outside a very atypical fantasy game). However, he probably ought not to have the skill at all, as it is inconsistent with the genre (absent a time-displaced hippie who possesses magical powers in this strange new world).

 

Part of this is GM responsibility - if the skills are legitimate for their character' date=' that expenditure of points can be taken into account when the GM is planning adventures.[/quote']

 

No argument. If the player is permitted to spend the points, this is the GM's tacit promise that the points will generate a benefit. Here, however, play styles definitely do vary - there is another thread in this regard, so I propose not to examine this side issue in any detail.

 

If the SFX's limitations and benefits do not balance out' date=' they should not be made external. (This is [i']not[/i] a matter of play style; it is simple fact for the proposal I am advocating.)

 

Under the present system, I find the rule consistent. "If you wish your abilities to depart from the basic mechanics, incorporate an appropriate modifer into those abilities." A looser game system (Villains & Vigilantes, Superhero 2044 and Marvel Supers come to mind) might advocate "Those abilities common sense calls for should be granted," That rule is also consistent (though prone to create more arguments in application). But "Some freebies will apply due to common sense, but other will not due to game balance" creates a hybrid system which lacks the consistency of either pure approach, making it inferior in my eyes.

 

But I reiterate - if you like the concept, try it in play and tell us how it works out.

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Re: Drifting further off topic

 

You had made a reference to my not mentioning negative implications balancing out positive ones' date=' where I had restricted my comments to positive implications in the (failed, as Sean notes) interests of brevity.[/quote']

 

Okay, so you were just acknowledging my beliefs without precisely identifying what they were. Understood, and sorry for my initial interpretation.

 

As I read your comments to date' date=' you want to cover both the plusses and minusses the abilities might have by virtue of common sense, but that only some of these were freebies, while others would be acquired mechanically as conventional advantages and limitations.[/quote']

 

Yes, this is exactly it. Just one more clarification and you will know everything:

 

Which leaves the player not knowing which benefits (or drawbacks) a power ought to have (ie should not lack' date=' by virtue of common sense - as opposed to might or might not reasonably have) should be incorporated into the mechanical build and which should not.[/quote']

 

The player can learn this by speaking with their GM: if any Modifiers for a given SFX are already taken care of by an external build, the GM either immediately recognizes them (ID'ing them for the player) or, if advising the player on how to build their character, names it as "this happens, but don't list it on the character sheet".

 

I still see no material benefit in shifting the baseline from one which is documented in the basic rules as written to one which forces the player to guess or' date=' alternatively, requires an extensive document of house rules.[/quote']

 

A few thoughts here . . . firstly, the "common sense" theory assumes that "guessing" will be correct in virtually every case, and bases said assumption on the premise that experience has previously borne this out. If that has not been true, well, see below in my replies to what you said about "common sense" specifically :)

 

Secondly, the term "house rule" doesn't seem quite right to me, since the idea is that, by creating and publicly making available a new baseline, many more players than just those in a single house/game can benefit. More on this in my next reply (which takes something you said at the end and brings it up here for clearer association).

 

Thirdly, there doesn't seem to be much difference between memorizing HERO and memorizing a document that is much like HERO (assuming it is published in the same format), especially if the players are spared the effort of memorizing either.

 

I reiterate - if you like the concept, try it in play and tell us how it works out.

One of the advantages to free (there's that word again :nonp:) publication is that it can be seen (and used) by those who have no money to afford (additional) products. The key advantage to posting various ideas on these forums is playtesting. Critiquing is good too, but once you get past that, having multiple groups who try it out is fabulous for learning how well it can work out.

 

My clarifications here have been mainly driven by the desire to ensure that readers do not think you had correctly interpreted my idea; I lose little by failing to convince you alone, but I lose much if others read what you said about it, note my lack of objections, and think I see nothing wrong with your understanding of the idea.

 

In my little world' date=' a rules change is appropriately implemented only where the benefits of enhanced gameplay are adequate to offset the complexity of additional rules, generally lacking the same detail as the written game rules. Your proposed changes do not meet this cost-benefits test, again in my own opinion.[/quote']

 

Understood, and I believe from your later replies that, in your group, everyone owns a copy of the rules. I can see how the changes I propose would be a lot of work for a GM who is accustomed to the other players doing most of it ;)

 

But how does one break that tie. If that common sense is' date=' after all, not held in common, who gives way.[/quote']

 

If the group has that problem, then not only should they probably be using HERO, but they should be among the first trying to discover the underlying rules for its default baseline, so they can play an even less arbitrary system.

 

Many players - and, I would wager, even many HERO players - can just "sit down and play". They do not feel a need to see the mechanics, and know that everything is balanced. Unless specific cases arise during play, they probably never will know - or care - if the game is (in theory) unbalanced.

 

I think it would be easy enough to find out which type of player one has, in advance; sit down with the players, present various effects as examples, and ask them what might happen in various circumstances. Let their imaginations roam freely. Where the HERO mechanics suggest a finer granularity, gently point that out; when the players say "a hollow sword with lead inside it, that rests at the base for greater balance but lunges up to the top for better armor penetration when you swing" does more damage (to compensate for armor that will reduce damage), you say that HERO has an ability to get past armor more easily that does not add extra damage to any unarmored targets. If, in general, everyone agrees on what happens with various effects, you know they all have "common sense" (and, if you agreed with them, so do you).

 

If everyone disagrees, though (not always on the same points, but frequently), you know that you will need to be as objective as possible, and select the baseline accordingly.

 

The GM' date=' presumably, dictates which version of common sense will apply, regardless of whether that version is truly common amongst the group.[/quote']

 

Well, if you have a bad GM, the system may not save you ;)

 

In the absence of that shared vision of common sense' date='[/quote']

 

I don't believe it (this shared vision) really is all that rare, though.

 

we may be encountering a significant play style difference. My group does not sit round the table having a character creation bee. We draft characters on our own time' date=' and submit them for GM approval by email in most cases.[/quote']

 

I must admit that my own style is through Door #3: players meet up with the GM individually, before play begins, and have a thorough discussion which involves much more than just the character's mechanical abilities: background history and personality are also hashed out.

 

This has the advantage of being able to take place on each player's own time, without having to coordinate on meeting up all at the same time.

 

Second' date=' as adults, opportunities where we are available to game are scarce enough[/quote']

 

I must object, on principle, to your rationale of "adulthood". Some adults have many opportunities where they are available to game, and some children do not.

 

Since you brought up "adulthood", however, I will bring up something else that is often solely reserved for adults: income. With a reliable influx of cash each month, players (and GM ;)) can buy phone lines from the local company, and enjoy most of the benefits of a live discussion, without needing to physically be in the same place. (In fact, neither might technically need to have free time, though calling from work is not recommended ;))

 

To be completely fair, cell phones are common enough nowadays that even children might be given their very own by a parent. Minutes on those are sometimes limited, though. Children might also be able to use their parents' local line for local calls.

 

While I agree with the balance issue' date=' this reduces the predictability even further in that even items we both agree common sense demands the ability possess may or may not be included in their automatic modifiers.[/quote']

 

If character creation takes place as I described above, live and with immediate feedback available from the GM, the predictability will probably not be a concern; if the player forgets a common effect in their description, the GM can suggest it for inclusion, and if the player names an effect that would be taken care of by an automatic modifier, the GM informs them right away.

 

I'm not addressing the interaction of two characters' special effects' date=' but the default effect of the abilities paid for by one character. The possibility that two characters' abilities will interact in complex ways (including the basic example that the SFX of my attack and your vulnerability align) or that there are unusual environments (0 gravity; deep underwater - neither of which meet the "unusual" test in every game) where the ground rules change exists, and must exist.[/quote']

 

True . . . and this is cause for concern, in light of my intent to make such rules publicly available for anyone's use. It would not be suitable for every game.

 

Then again, HERO itself makes such assumptions (about "ground rules") to some extent. I can't proceed further here, since I haven't read the rules for how HERO handles (for instance) vacuum, but the recent thread on a lack of suffocation rules leads me to suspect that game balance is not easily verifiable there.

 

That might not mean anything, though. (I can't say without having read it.) I will speculate a bit, that this one question might be relevant somehow:

 

If the normal pricing of abilities assumes 1G gravity, and that factor changes, would there be other abilities (such as Flight) which would have their cost altered as well, if only to make the first inch or so free?

 

Should the abilities appropriate to one's environment be assumed for each environment (such as 6" Running by default, 1" Flight with no course correction once "in motion" unless the "ground" is touched again), or bought as Flight with the appropriate Limitations? A character can't run in midair (this is Common Sense), but do we make them buy Flight with "only in zero G" to reflect the mode of movement possible in that environment?

 

I advocate the position that characters ought properly to pay for the manner in which their powers and abilities will mechanically function in the common game environment(s). If a vacuum is common' date=' the fact my sonic attack is limited by "not in a vacuum" should merit a point savings. If it is not, and as this drawback is dictated by common sense, it becomes an imposed -0. I think that example is still in the rulebook, isn't it?[/quote']

 

Yes, it's on 5ER page 96. I highly recommend reading this page if you or one of your players has access to that book :D

 

Assume' date=' for the moment, that the common sense advantage is quite significant from a balance perspective - how (if at all) does your system resolve this struggle between common sense and balance?[/b']

 

While the idea is to set up the entire thing in advance, I do allow for how the GM wouldn't want to do all this work up front, and did allow for new situations arising during play: the baseline can be left partially undefined to begin with (provided the initial foundation* of SFX is regarded as "sufficient" - to cover every SFX the GM has been able to think of), and new elements added during play, and/or refined to minimize the number of elements. If this is taken care of the first time a case presents the group with a new juxtaposition of Special Effects, no inconsistency should be noted (there will have been no earlier cases where something different happened).

 

*The foundation should be compromised of very few elements, this is where we can borrow several basic laws from physics and broaden the scope of each element accordingly.

 

They are unbalanced in that specific setting. The fact that one can survive and the other cannot is the most extreme example of unbalanced characters which I can think of.

 

The setting is not reflective of the entire campaign world. A campaign set in the water would make the desert nomads inappropriate, but not useless outside that (marine) setting ;)

 

Once again' date=' a resounding "it depends". A medieval wizard with KS: 1960's music should pay no points for the skill (outside a very atypical fantasy game). However, he probably ought not to have the skill at all, as it is inconsistent with the genre (absent a time-displaced hippie who possesses magical powers in this strange new world).[/quote']

 

I assumed you were referring to this when you said:

 

I do consider it a GM responsibility to assess each character in light of his campaign. That means veto of inappopriate powers/abilities as discussed previously.

 

Indeed, the inappropriate powers should be barred as impossibilities. However, "flavor" skills should not be barred just because the GM thinks they would be useless; this borders perilously close on the "GM writes character sheets and hands them to players" method you were criticizing earlier.

 

Here' date=' however, play styles definitely do vary - there is another thread in this regard, so I propose not to examine this side issue in any detail.[/quote']

 

Interesting. Do you mean that there is the potential for such a thread in this regard, or there actually is (right now) or was such a thread on the forums? If currently, please let me know the title, as I have avoided only those threads which (by their titles) seemed uninteresting to me.

 

Under the present system' date=' I find the rule consistent. "If you wish your abilities to depart from the basic mechanics, incorporate an appropriate modifer into those abilities." A looser game system (Villains & Vigilantes, Superhero 2044 and Marvel Supers come to mind) might advocate "Those abilities common sense calls for should be granted," That rule is also consistent (though prone to create more arguments in application). But "Some freebies will apply due to common sense, but other will not due to game balance" creates a hybrid system which lacks the consistency of either pure approach, making it inferior in my eyes.[/quote']

 

Here we may simply disagree on whether or not the present system is "pure" and "balanced". Since the underlying rules by which HERO's baseline mechanics (those no points are paid for) were created are not available, we cannot verify this for ourselves.

 

I do think the default baseline in HERO is inconsistent, and you have read the conversation/gravity builds which suggest a few flaws in that respect.

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Re: Drifting further off topic

 

A few thoughts here . . . firstly' date=' the "common sense" theory assumes that "guessing" will be correct in virtually every case, and bases said assumption on the premise that experience has previously borne this out. If that has not been true, well, see below in my replies to what you said about "common sense" specifically :)[/quote']

 

The assumption we will all agree on each definition of "common sense" may or may not be reasonable. Let's say for the moment that it is. We still need to deal with differences in "sense of balance", both in quantity - how many freebies are balanced with the freebies offered to each other set of SFX, and in quality - presuming there are too many to grant them all for free without changing the balance, which of the abilities which common sense would call for the power to have will be granted as freebies, and which will not?

 

Secondly' date=' the term "house rule" doesn't seem quite right to me, since the idea is that, by creating and publicly making available a new baseline, many more players than just those in a single house/game can benefit. More on this in my next reply (which takes something you said at the end and brings it up here for clearer association).[/quote']

 

Semantics. A house rule is one used in a specific game which is not in the official rules. The fact it is widely used does not change it from being a house rule. The rules in Monopoly don't put money under free parking for the taking by those landing there. They also provide that any property not purchased at list price by the first player landing there be auctioned off to the highest bidder. Many players put money under Free Parking and/or ignore the auction rule, but wide use of those variants does not change the fact they are not the official rules, which makes them (by my definition) House Rules.

 

Thirdly' date=' there doesn't seem to be much difference between memorizing HERO and memorizing a document that is much [i']like[/i] HERO (assuming it is published in the same format), especially if the players are spared the effort of memorizing either.

 

Againm assumptions. Most groups have more than one player familiar with the rules set, so they are learning something else. In a group where only one person (the GM, presumably) even has access to the rules, changes to the system make minimal difference so long as the players never game with another group which does not use those house rules. Of course, in such a case, a GM who wants enough rules variants may be better off with a system he just designs himself.

 

One of the advantages to free (there's that word again :nonp:) publication is that it can be seen (and used) by those who have no money to afford (additional) products. The key advantage to posting various ideas on these forums is playtesting. Critiquing is good too' date=' but once you get past that, having multiple groups who try it out is [i']fabulous[/i] for learning how well it can work out.

 

So go ahead and playtest it so you can share your fabulous insights as to how well it worked out.

 

Understood' date=' and I believe from your later replies that, in your group, [i']everyone[/i] owns a copy of the rules. I can see how the changes I propose would be a lot of work for a GM who is accustomed to the other players doing most of it ;)

 

Well, we saved playtesters making that observation, I suppose. This might be an intro item for your document (perhaps as a supposition until/unless actual playtesting results bear it out).

 

If the group has that problem' date=' then not only should they probably be using HERO, but they should be among the first trying to discover the underlying rules for its default baseline, so they can play an even [i']less[/i] arbitrary system.

 

The fact that a group has difficulty agreeing in departures from a common baseline does not automatically lead to the common baseline being disagreeable. It's in print and documented - to depart from it, you pay points.

 

Many players - and' date=' I would wager, even many [i']HERO[/i] players - can just "sit down and play". They do not feel a need to see the mechanics, and know that everything is balanced. Unless specific cases arise during play, they probably never will know - or care - if the game is (in theory) unbalanced.

 

Many threads have discussed issues which appear to be unbalanced in theory, with several posters (often myself included) indicating they have never seen the balance problem arise in play. In some cases, this includes an acknowledgement that the lack of balance problems arises more from players not abusing the rules than from any balance inherent in the rules (itself a form of written or unwritten house rule). I would agree that, until imbalance arises in play, there is no reason to fix that imbalance.

 

By that same token, however, the problem your "freebies for SFX" rules endeavours to solve is one that has not arisen in play for me, and as such I see little benefit to attempting to "fix" it until and unless it "breaks".

 

I think it would be easy enough to find out which type of player one has' date=' in advance; sit down with the players, present various effects as examples, and ask them what might happen in various circumstances. Let their imaginations roam freely. Where the HERO mechanics suggest a finer granularity, gently point that out; when the players say "a hollow sword with lead inside it, that rests at the base for greater balance but lunges up to the top for better armor penetration when you swing" does more damage (to compensate for armor that will reduce damage), you say that HERO has an ability to get past armor more easily that does not add extra damage to any unarmored targets. If, in general, everyone agrees on what happens with various effects, you know they all have "common sense" (and, if you agreed with them, so do you).

 

This is not a differentiation between the points system and the common sense system. The issue above can be resolved by suggesting an appropriate advantage/limitation/build [eg. You should make it armor piercing], rather than applying a benefit automatically at no cost [again, Armor Piercing].

 

I don't believe it (this shared vision) really is all that rare' date=' though.[/quote']

 

Shared vision on an overall basis is vastly more common than shared vision of all details.

 

If character creation takes place as I described above' date=' live and with immediate feedback available from the GM, the predictability will [i']probably[/i] not be a concern; if the player forgets a common effect in their description, the GM can suggest it for inclusion, and if the player names an effect that would be taken care of by an automatic modifier, the GM informs them right away.

 

This avoids, rather than addresses, the question. During detailed discussions, common sense issues are identified. They can be fixed by adjusting the build, or by allowing freebies based on common sense. After as many detailed meetings as you wish to assume, a common sense issue has been overlooked. This happens. So, under your system, when that common sense issue arisies in play, and after all involved have gotten over that "How diud we miss..." moment, what happens? Do you add the significant benefit to the ability based on common sense, tell the player "sorry - if you want that added benefit, it will have to be paid for - it's too much to add for free" or take some third approach?

 

Under the "pure points" approach, my answer is pretty easy - you didn't pay for it so you don't have it. However, I would be inclined, in many cases, to make accommodations to allow the "clear miss" ability to be acquired now and paid for later. Under the common sense approach, the player is not out of line to believe this "clearly common sense" attribute of the ability should and will be granted on the basis of the clear fact it arises from common sense.

 

Then again' date=' HERO itself makes such assumptions (about "ground rules") to some extent. I can't proceed further here, since I haven't read the rules for how HERO handles (for instance) vacuum, but the recent thread on a lack of suffocation rules leads me to suspect that game balance is not easily verifiable there.[/quote']

 

Perhaps it would be appropriate to read and understand the rules as written, and perhaps playtest them yourself, with your group, prior to concluding that they require significant changes to be workable/balanced,what have you. I don't put salt and pepper on my meal before tasting it to assess whether the chef has already prepared the dish to my liking.

 

If the normal pricing of abilities assumes 1G gravity' date=' and that factor changes, would there be other abilities (such as Flight) which would have [i']their[/i] cost altered as well, if only to make the first inch or so free?

 

That's one approach. Another would be to seek descriptions of alternate environments and apply these as the baseline (I'm guessing altered gravity might be discussed in Star Hero somewhere). If I had to assess it myself, I'd be inclined to change the limitation value for "only [or "not"] in a low gravity/0 gravity environment", much like the value for "not in a vacuum" changes in games where a vacuum wiull be more common.

 

The point system is more easily adjusted for changes in the baseline environment than is the freebie system. Assume we have two sets of SFX, one which has an advantage in a vacuum and one which is reduced in effectiveness - perhaps fails to work - in a vacuum.

 

Under the point system, it is relatively simple to adjust for changes in the baseline. If vacuum conditions will be more common than the baseline, the values of the benefits go up, and the coston abilities restricted in vacuum

go down.

 

Under your system, I either must change the freebies inherent in both powers (they have both changed in balance when compared to powers whose effectiveness is unaffected by vacuum), or rebalance all the other SFX. As such, it would appear the common sense approach is more difficult tio adjust for changes in the environment.

 

Your zero g descriptions, by the way, strike me as modifications to STR. You can lift more mass, you can leap further, and leaps take longer.

 

Yes' date=' it's on 5ER page 96. I highly recommend reading this page if you or one of your players has access to that book :D[/quote']

 

As I have been away from home since Oct 9, and won't be back until Oct 21, I don't have my books on hand. [i often post from work and don't have them there either.]

 

While the idea is to set up the entire thing in advance' date=' I do allow for how the GM wouldn't want to do all this work up front, and did allow for new situations arising during play: the baseline can be left partially undefined to begin with (provided the initial foundation* of SFX is regarded as "sufficient" - to cover every SFX the GM has been able to think of), and new elements added during play, and/or refined to minimize the number of elements. If this is taken care of the first time a case presents the group with a new juxtaposition of Special Effects, no inconsistency should be noted (there will have been no [i']earlier[/i] cases where something different happened).

 

This seems a more pure Common Sense based on SFX System,. As noted previously, it makes it tough to assess the balance when some SFX have an accumulation of free benefits and others have an accumulation of free drawbacks, all fully supported by common sense.

 

The setting is not reflective of the entire campaign world. A campaign set in the water would make the desert nomads inappropriate' date=' but not useless outside that (marine) setting ;)[/quote']

 

If the characters will travel the world, the world is the setting. If the game will be a seafaring pirates game, the fact there are large land masses, some with deserts, is irrelevant. If the game will travel the world, land and sea, these deserts become far more relevant. If the campaign world is 90% water, with small island land masses and no deserts, then desert knowledge is inappropriate. Applying this to the desert nomad:

 

- pirates game, the character could logically have skills related to desert survival, but should not be charged points for them (my opinion) as they will never be relevant in this game.

 

- world travel, the skills are valid and should be paid for. The GM may wish to work desert locations into the game with greater frequency than initially planed.

 

- WaterWorld - the skills are contrary to the genre and the desert nomad should build a different character.

 

In all cases, the GM should have provided a good summary of the campaign ground rules so the player wanting a desert nomad would know how appropriate he would be.

 

Indeed' date=' the [i']inappropriate[/i] powers should be barred as impossibilities. However, "flavor" skills should not be barred just because the GM thinks they would be useless; this borders perilously close on the "GM writes character sheets and hands them to players" method you were criticizing earlier.

 

Whether desert knowledge (above) is a flavour skill, a useful skill or campaign-inappropriate depends on which of the three campaigns is contemplated.

 

Interesting. Do you mean that there is the potential for such a thread in this regard' date=' or there actually [i']is[/i] (right now) or was such a thread on the forums? If currently, please let me know the title, as I have avoided only those threads which (by their titles) seemed uninteresting to me.

 

http://www.herogames.com/forums/showthread.php?t=49525

 

Here we may simply disagree on whether or not the present system is "pure" and "balanced". Since the underlying rules by which HERO's baseline mechanics (those no points are paid for) were created are not available' date=' we cannot verify this for ourselves.[/quote']

 

The mechaqnics are in the rulebook. The manner in which these mechanics would be constructed are not. The balance can be assessed only in play.

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Re: Indirect discussion

 

I really wish people would stop being so indirect about this and get to the heart of the matter.

 

To be fair, Sean did call for an "indirect discussion"

;)

__________________

I'm going to be smacked for this pun, aren't I?

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I'm being punished for using too many smileys!

 

The assumption we will all agree on each definition of "common sense" may or may not be reasonable.

 

Hrm . . . true. It is a distinction that should be made. There are different "definitions" (I would call them "items") within "common sense", and agreeing on most of them would not be the same as agreeing on all of them.

 

Shared vision on an overall basis is vastly more common than shared vision of all details.

 

Could go with majority vote, and established precedence. Players can (theoretically) team up for game advantage and outvote the GM, but the rule still requires that the risks be just as great either way.

 

This gets into an area I haven't addressed yet: whether a rare but deadly drawback is equivalent to a common but minor advantage. In other words, is the formula frequency alone, or frequency multiplied by effectiveness?

 

Let's say for the moment that it is.

 

We'll probably go back after this to saying that it isn't, but I'm not sure that's absolutely necessary; see immediately below:

 

We still need to deal with differences in "sense of balance"' date=' both in quantity - how many freebies are balanced with the freebies offered to each other set of SFX, and in quality - presuming there are too many to grant them all for free without changing the balance, which of the abilities which common sense would call for the power to have will be granted as freebies, and which will not?[/quote']

 

Yes. We can't simply be completely arbitrary about this; the makers of HERO were not. There has to be an identifiable group of effects. I choose the same group that the makers of HERO did, though not the exact same elements within it: physics.

 

Instead of including "fire", "ice", and all those others, we go with the simpler laws of physics: heat (or lack of heat), gravity, pressure. Etcetera.

 

On second thought, gravity is already included in the HERO baseline. Well, not really, but some of its simpler effects are. HERO has commandeered some of those effects for its own Modifiers, presumably (and hopefully!) in the name of game balance. So, as well as choosing different elements, I may also be adjusting the extent to which these SFX are built into the baseline (and the extent to which points must be paid for their logical effects).

 

Semantics.

 

Necessary. The word "you" can be either singular or plural; given sections like

 

So go ahead and playtest it so you can share your fabulous insights as to how well it worked out.

 

my suspicion is that you still do not understand the meaning I intended to convey:

 

One of the advantages to free (there's that word again :nonp:) publication is that it can be seen (and used) by those who have no money to afford (additional) products. The key advantage to posting various ideas on these forums is playtesting. Critiquing is good too, but once you get past that, having multiple groups who try it out is fabulous for learning how well it can work out.

 

Read that again. Carefully. Do you see me calling my insights "fabulous"?

 

When you tell me to "go ahead and playtest it", you seem to be missing the part where other people playtest as well.

 

No single group's insights can be fabulous, in context of the larger number of groups testing it. That's one of the best reasons why developers, when working on a game, ask other people to playtest it: because they don't want something that works just for them.

 

Many players put money under Free Parking and/or ignore the auction rule' date=' but wide use of those variants does not change the fact they are not the official rules, which makes them (by my definition) House Rules.[/quote']

 

Fair enough. Note that I thought only the term wouldn't be quite right, based on its implications of "a single house", not that it wouldn't be at all right.

 

Againm assumptions. Most groups have more than one player familiar with the rules set' date=' so they are learning something else.[/quote']

 

Speaking of assumptions :P

 

I did not say that the players would need to memorize a similar document - indeed, given that I have repeatedly told you that this is not the case, I must question the tenacity with which you hold on to this idea - and from my examples you should be able to see that the players will not need to know anything about the list at all (or even that there is a list), since their encounters with it will be handled as those arise during character creation or gameplay.

 

I am familiar with the rules for AD&D, by the way, but I never had any trouble with creating the character in collaboration with the GM.

 

The fact that a group has difficulty agreeing in departures from a common baseline does not automatically lead to the common baseline being disagreeable.

 

I did not say "disagreeable" - I said "arbitrary". You obviously have no problem with accepting HERO's default baseline. You are advocating one position on principle while failing to uphold it in practice. Some of your disciples follow faithfully in your footsteps while others try to honor your teachings by "improving" on them ;)

 

It's in print and documented

 

None of which makes it any less arbitrary :P

 

By that same token' date=' however, the problem your "freebies for SFX" rules endeavours to solve is one that has not arisen in play for me, and as such I see little benefit to attempting to "fix" it until and unless it "breaks".[/quote']

 

Agreed. On the grounds, however, that I am not the only HERO player (or GM) who has noticed the occasional contradiction between the mechanics and common sense; and on the grounds that I am not the only HERO player (or GM) who, unlike such paragons of "We can model every part of a power in advance." as yourself, often fails to do so perfectly*; I think that the proposal will be worth trying (at the very least) for more groups out there than just mine.

 

*All I can say in my own defense is that I wanted to play. Sometime before next year, preferably.

 

I cannot speak for them, but I suspect that their reasoning ran along the same lines. Who wants to spend an indefinite amount of time trying to think about unusual situations, just in case there is one that has not yet occurred to anyone?

 

This is not a differentiation between the points system and the common sense system. The issue above can be resolved by suggesting an appropriate advantage/limitation/build [eg. You should make it armor piercing]' date=' rather than applying a benefit automatically at no cost [again, Armor Piercing'].

 

Understand that this example:

 

I think it would be easy enough to find out which type of player one has, in advance; sit down with the players, present various effects as examples, and ask them what might happen in various circumstances. Let their imaginations roam freely. Where the HERO mechanics suggest a finer granularity, gently point that out; when the players say "a hollow sword with lead inside it, that rests at the base for greater balance but lunges up to the top for better armor penetration when you swing" does more damage (to compensate for armor that will reduce damage), you say that HERO has an ability to get past armor more easily that does not add extra damage to any unarmored targets. If, in general, everyone agrees on what happens with various effects, you know they all have "common sense" (and, if you agreed with them, so do you).

 

If everyone disagrees, though (not always on the same points, but frequently), you know that you will need to be as objective as possible, and select the baseline accordingly.

 

was only meant to show how one could readily identify whether their group had "common sense" or not. I did not suggest that this example justified the granting of free Armor Piercing, or any other Advantage (indeed it has nothing to do with cost: it is only about common sense).

 

If character creation takes place as I described above' date=' live and with immediate feedback available from the GM, the predictability will [i']probably[/i] not be a concern; if the player forgets a common effect in their description, the GM can suggest it for inclusion, and if the player names an effect that would be taken care of by an automatic modifier, the GM informs them right away.

This avoids, rather than addresses, the question.

 

. . . question? :confused: I replied to:

 

While I agree with the balance issue, this reduces the predictability even further in that even items we both agree common sense demands the ability possess may or may not be included in their automatic modifiers.

 

I'm not seeing the question in that ;)

 

So' date=' under your system, when that common sense issue arisies in play, and after all involved have gotten over that "How diud we miss..." moment, what happens?[/quote']

 

Ahh, here's the question.

 

Do you add the significant benefit to the ability based on common sense, tell the player "sorry - if you want that added benefit, it will have to be paid for - it's too much to add for free" or take some third approach?

 

Under the "pure points" approach, my answer is pretty easy - you didn't pay for it so you don't have it. However, I would be inclined, in many cases, to make accommodations to allow the "clear miss" ability to be acquired now and paid for later. Under the common sense approach, the player is not out of line to believe this "clearly common sense" attribute of the ability should and will be granted on the basis of the clear fact it arises from common sense.

 

The two are not mutually exclusive, however. (Your approach might exclude mine - but mine does not exclude yours :))

 

Perhaps it would be appropriate to read and understand the rules as written' date=' and perhaps playtest them yourself, with your group, prior to concluding that they require significant changes to be workable/balanced,what have you.[/quote']

 

Hrm. Good idea. I ought to find a group and . . .

 

Oh, wait. :D I already did :P

 

The point system is more easily adjusted for changes in the baseline environment than is the freebie system. Assume we have two sets of SFX' date=' one which has an advantage in a vacuum and one which is reduced in effectiveness - perhaps fails to work - in a vacuum.[/quote']

 

Just to be clear, this does not require two sets of SFX - only one, or perhaps less, for "vacuum" at the most narrow in scope. I would probably want to file it under "pressure".

 

Under your system' date=' I either must change the freebies inherent in both powers (they have both changed in balance when compared to powers whose effectiveness is unaffected by vacuum), or rebalance all the other SFX. As such, it would appear the common sense approach is more difficult tio adjust for changes in the environment.[/quote']

 

I don't think so! Your "point system" requires two changes, in cost to each Modifier; my "freebie" system requires one change, to the "pressure" (or "vacuum", either way) SFX.

 

This goes back to my point about the laws of physics being very simple rules that interact in very complex ways. You don't need to make a lot of little changes throughout the system, when balance is evaluated (and modified) from the bottom up. Now, to be fair, I must acknowledge that - when the system (whatever it may be) is contradictory, balance will be nonexistent at the lower levels, and any fixes must be applied to top-level problems, making the whole mess even more inconsistent. But scientists nowadays seem to have the basic physical laws agreed on pretty well :)

 

This seems a more pure Common Sense based on SFX System' date='. As noted previously, it makes it tough to assess the balance when some SFX have an accumulation of free benefits and others have an accumulation of free drawbacks, all fully supported by common sense.[/quote']

 

True, and this is where a combination of methods can be useful. Where the benefit would be cheap, but is not covered by any SFX-based freebie, it can be charged to future XP. Where the cost of that power would be prohibitively expensive (the player effectively never receiving any XP for the rest of the game as they paid off that debt), the cost can be split with a cheap or moderately priced power, and the difference made up with an SFX law.

 

Or the GM could just handwave it as "that was a really clever plan", rewarding the player with success for that single instance :D

 

It might not be "realistic" to suspend the laws of physics just when it would be really impressive, but then, we're not talking about the laws of physics, are we? We're talking about game balance, which is already a metagame concern ;)

 

If the characters will travel the world' date=' the world is the setting.[/quote']

 

In that case, selecting a marine character would be "opting to play a character that would rarely, if ever, interact with the group". I might allow the player to take another (more available) character, unless the game were set up to allow for remote politicking and such.

 

Just because the characters will travel the world, however, does not mean there are no oceans in it. If there were, you (as the GM) would be taking the inappropriate action by creating an aquatic species in a world with no oceans or large bodies of water :P

 

In all cases' date=' the GM should have provided a good summary of the campaign ground rules so the player wanting a desert nomad would know how appropriate he would be.[/quote']

 

It is interesting to note that this has nothing to do with your original points from when you first brought up this example - you were arguing that theoretical game balance had to be measured by the specific subsection of a world that the campaign was set in.

 

I further note that my arguments have been, for the most part, centered around the concept of "cosmic" balance.

 

 

I saw that thread. Interestingly, several of my examples were drawn directly from memories of the responses by . . . oh, wait.

 

Never mind. That was you ;)

 

I have a thread bookmarked somewhere that, some day, I plan to go back to and Rep every single post of ghost-angel's and Killer Shrike's in, just for conceding points they had opposed when those points were raised in theory. It's interesting how people will often oppose some ideas on principle, but implement them without batting an eye when it's in the course of their usual activities.

 

Someday. Provided the two of them can stop doing other things that I must Rep :P

 

About that thread, though - it doesn't really seem to be focusing on play style. It's about game balance. The only way (and this is a very minor way, IMO) it relates to play style is "how do we treat game balance in our respective campaigns". It's interesting that you conflate these two, in light of your previous interpretation of "game rules" when I asked you to stop bringing "play style" assumptions into this.

 

Play style, to my mind, exists independently of system: it's about issues like "how much the players will know before they join the game", which neither requires nor even implies "game balance", and "whether the players will focus on roleplaying or combat efficiency" (not to mention whether they have any sort of "right" to be provided with everything that might help them design their character for maximum combat efficiency).

 

The mechaqnics are in the rulebook. The manner in which these mechanics would be constructed are not.

 

Thus, if we are to know the manner in which they were constructed, we must either A) ask, or B) figure it out for ourselves.

 

The balance can be assessed only in play.

 

This is true for HERO's default baseline, and any other. Comparing them on an unequal basis can only be properly (fairly) assessed by the factors that existed prior to playtesting.

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Re: I'm being punished for using too many smileys!

 

When you tell me to "go ahead and playtest it"' date=' you seem to be missing the part where [i']other people[/i] playtest as well.

 

I think the rules would need to be a lot clearer to do any playtesting.

 

Though I believe it'd make sense to personally playtest first before expecting others to do so - since you might immediately spot things to fix, being the one closest to it and understanding the intent better than anyone else as you're the author.

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Re: I'm being punished for using too many smileys!

 

Could go with majority vote' date=' and established precedence. Players can (theoretically) team up for game advantage and outvote the GM, but the rule still requires that the risks be just as great either way.[/quote']

 

I find that players inclined to take an unreasonable stance for "player advantage" can be reigned in by a statement like "Guys, I have serious misgivings about the impact on game balance. But I will abide by the group decision that this either is, or is not, the way it will work for PC's and NPC's."

 

The fact that anything unreasonable can and will be used against them tends to reign in a lot of powergaming issues.

 

When you tell me to "go ahead and playtest it"' date=' you seem to be missing the part where [i']other people[/i] playtest as well.

 

No single group's insights can be fabulous, in context of the larger number of groups testing it. That's one of the best reasons why developers, when working on a game, ask other people to playtest it: because they don't want something that works just for them.

 

I agree with Zornwil's comments. I also consider that, as the author, it is appropriate for you to playtest it first and fine tune it before sending the "beta version" out for broader playtesting. I believe that's a bit more similar to the approach taken by game designers. If it doesn't work for you, who wanted it in the first place, there's little point in others testing it.

 

I did not say "disagreeable" - I said "arbitrary". You obviously have no problem with accepting HERO's default baseline. You are advocating one position on principle while failing to uphold it in practice. Some of your disciples follow faithfully in your footsteps while others try to honor your teachings by "improving" on them ;)

 

Once I am persuaded this actually solves more problems than it creates or exacerbates, I might consider a change. I'm not a big fan of solutions running around looking for their problem. I think my current model ("Oh it should have had that - add it in for now and we'll fix the mechanics and points later" or "That one's not automatic but you can always buy it with xp") is working just fine, at least at my table.

 

None of which makes it any less arbitrary :P

 

To rephrase my own philosophy to changes:

 

If the new system is of equal merit to the default, then the need for added complexity to change over means I'll stick to the default.

 

If the new system is of marginally greater merit to the default, then the need for added complexity to change over means I'll stick to the default.

 

If the new system is of substantially greater merit to the default, then presuming the benefit of change exceeds the hassle of change, I'll change.

 

IOW, your system must be clearly superior to the status quo before I would consider it worth the effort. You haven't persuaded me thait it is. You may, of course, have persuaded some lurkers.

 

Agreed. On the grounds' date=' however, that I am not the only HERO player (or GM) who has noticed the occasional contradiction between the mechanics and common sense; and on the grounds that I am not the only HERO player (or GM) who, unlike such paragons of "We can model [b']every[/b] part of a power in advance." as yourself, often fails to do so perfectly*; I think that the proposal will be worth trying (at the very least) for more groups out there than just mine.

 

I don't see your system as any less likely to encounter a bump in the road than the status quo is. In either case, an issue not considered previously comes up, and you deal with it at that time.

 

*All I can say in my own defense is that I wanted to play. Sometime before next year' date=' preferably.[/quote']

 

And you believe a substantial system change will hasten your ability to play better than using the system as it stands? :rolleyes:

 

I cannot speak for them' date=' but I suspect that their reasoning ran along the same lines. Who wants to spend an indefinite amount of time trying to think about unusual situations, [i']just in case[/i] there is one that has not yet occurred to anyone?

 

Whether you do so to build the character's powers, or you do so to build the universe's defaults, or you do so to determine how various SFX will interact with one another and/or the universe's defaults, all of the following apply:

 

(a) You will eventually encounter something you had not considered.

 

(B) Only you can decide how long to spend trying to think about unusual situations before deciding what you currently have is close enough, playing and fixing any bumps in the road as they arise.

 

The two are not mutually exclusive' date=' however. (Your approach might exclude mine - but mine does not exclude yours :))[/quote']

 

Nor does the "stat it out" approach preclude the decision that this ability is not going to throw balance off, and is sufficiently lightweight as to form part of the -0 Limitation/+0 advantage of "sfx".

 

I can't proceed further here' date=' since I haven't read the rules for how HERO handles (for instance) vacuum[/quote']

 

Hrm. Good idea. I ought to find a group and . . .

 

Oh, wait. :D I already did :P

 

So play already and determine whether the problem is really so serious as to merit the effort you propose to put into fixing it.

 

Just to be clear' date=' this does not require two sets of SFX - only one, or perhaps less, for "vacuum" at the most narrow in scope. I would probably want to file it under "pressure".[/quote']

 

One set of SFX functions better (or only) in a vacuum. The other functions worse (or not at all) in a vacuum. I count two SFX.

 

I don't think so! Your "point system" requires two changes' date=' in cost to each Modifier; my "freebie" system requires [b']one[/b] change, to the "pressure" (or "vacuum", either way) SFX.

 

I'm not speaking of a character who has Vacuum SFX. I'm speaking of a character whose abilities function differently in a vacuum. When such a thing happens in point buy, you make one change - being "how common is a vacuum" - which affects pricing of all abilities whose functionality changes in a vacuum.

 

When the frequency of vacuum changes in "common sense", any SFX whose abilities are worsened by vacuum become less valuable (and need some more benefits to compensate, the magnitude depending on how much more limited they become in a vacuum) while those abilities enhanced in a vacuum become more advantageous (and need some more restrictions imposed, or some benefits converted from "free for common sense" to "pay the points for balance"). This assumes we balance by fixing only those SFX affected by vacuum - if that's not possible, we have to rebalance all the others as well.

 

In that case' date=' selecting a marine character would be "opting to play a character that would rarely, if ever, interact with the group". I might allow the player to take another (more available) character, unless the game were set up to allow for remote politicking and such.[/quote']

 

While the example seems played out, I will note that my example was not a character who was useles outside a marine environment, but one who had invested some portion of his character points in abilities useful only in a marine environment.

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Re: I'm being punished for using too many smileys!

 

I think the rules would need to be a lot clearer to do any playtesting.

 

Agreed, and there would have to be at least some sort of understanding (even if not exactly the one used when designing HERO) of the underlying mechanics before work on those rules could be anything more than theoretical.

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Re: I'm being punished for using too many smileys!

 

I find that players inclined to take an unreasonable stance for "player advantage" can be reigned in by a statement like "Guys, I have serious misgivings about the impact on game balance. But I will abide by the group decision that this either is, or is not, the way it will work for PC's and NPC's."

 

The fact that anything unreasonable can and will be used against them tends to reign in a lot of powergaming issues.

 

Agreed, in all respects. This is crucial to achieving balance with my proposal: the effect is a part of the universe, not a part of either character, thus it automatically applies to every character.

 

Once I am persuaded this actually solves more problems than it creates or exacerbates' date=' I might consider a change. I'm not a big fan of solutions running around looking for their problem. I think my current model ("Oh it should have had that - add it in for now and we'll fix the mechanics and points later" or "That one's not automatic but you can always buy it with xp") is working just fine, at least at my table.[/quote']

 

I'll certainly concede that point. I didn't intend this as a proposal to replace how we all play HERO, just as an alternative for those who noticed the same lacks in themselves as I had/have ;)

 

To rephrase my own philosophy to changes:

 

If the new system is of equal merit to the default, then the need for added complexity to change over means I'll stick to the default.

 

If the new system is of marginally greater merit to the default, then the need for added complexity to change over means I'll stick to the default.

 

If the new system is of substantially greater merit to the default, then presuming the benefit of change exceeds the hassle of change, I'll change.

 

Relative, not absolute. No contradictions here :)

 

I don't see your system as any less likely to encounter a bump in the road than the status quo is. In either case' date=' an issue not considered previously comes up, and you deal with it at that time.[/quote']

 

I think that depends on the group of players one has; if the builds frequently contradict common sense, a baseline that supports the group's vision of "common sense" (even if this vision is not shared by anyone else in the world) with mechanics in a balanced way would conceivably be desirable.

 

This is all assuming, of course, that the group doesn't simply handwave mechanics where common and/or dramatic sense would call for a different effect ;) I am assuming that the group desires to actually maintain the strictest definition of point balance.

 

And you believe a substantial system change will hasten your ability to play better than using the system as it stands? :rolleyes:

 

Assuming that we're speaking about the change that I proposed; if I'm the GM, no, but were I one of the players, yes.

 

Nor does the "stat it out" approach preclude the decision that this ability is not going to throw balance off' date=' and is sufficiently lightweight as to form part of the -0 Limitation/+0 advantage of "sfx".[/quote']

 

But not all "SFX" fall under the "-0/+0" Modifier categories; some are outright different powers. That, however, can wait until you get home in a few days and read page 96; I will also start a new thread around that time to address the other half of this idea :eg:

 

So play already and determine whether the problem is really so serious as to merit the effort you propose to put into fixing it.

 

Already done. I have a habit of handwaving (i.e., raising no objections) to my character's own detriment when I think it will make for better roleplaying, so no offense meant to McCoy ;)

 

Next three sections: left in for posterity, but I just realized what you were saying. Please read the edited text immediately following those three sections.

 

One set of SFX functions better (or only) in a vacuum. The other functions worse (or not at all) in a vacuum. I count two SFX.

 

You're counting powers, though. Their SFX are part of those powers. Their SFX aren't what causes the freebie. The freebie is granted by an interaction with a 3rd power.

 

I'm not speaking of a character who has Vacuum SFX. I'm speaking of a character whose abilities function differently in a vacuum. When such a thing happens in point buy' date=' you make one change - being "how common is a vacuum" - which affects pricing of all abilities whose functionality changes in a vacuum.[/quote']

 

You still have to recalculate the cost of each of these abilities, though. With the "freebie system" I am proposing, all you have to adjust is the external power that models "pressure" SFX.

 

When the frequency of vacuum changes in "common sense"' date=' any SFX whose abilities are worsened by vacuum become less valuable (and need some more benefits to compensate, the magnitude depending on how much more limited they become in a vacuum) while those abilities enhanced in a vacuum become more advantageous (and need some more restrictions imposed, or some benefits converted from "free for common sense" to "pay the points for balance").[/quote']

 

This is the whole advantage of a centralized system, though :cool:

 

Instead of looking at each SFX that is affected by pressure/vacuum, separately, we only have to look at what is affecting them.

 

To use the physics analogy again, we change one basic law instead of all the high-order instances which are affected by that law.

 

I think what you're saying here is that "game balance" would require rewriting all the other abilities anyway, to make them consistently have the expected effects. I freely acknowledge that this is where my adherence to game balance gives way to my loyalty to realism, and you have my thanks for bringing to my attention how the "game balance" principle cannot explain my proposal by itself.

 

That said, it may be that frequency is more important than effectiveness. As you said in the thread you linked to, benefits that show up once in a campaign (even if extremely powerful) may be worth only 5 points, or even freely granted. Let me rethink that: perhaps frequency reduces (the value of) effectiveness.

 

This still leaves the problem you mentioned of making gravity more common while affecting various powers no differently. I'm not entirely certain this is a problem, and that conclusion does go with game balance: consider. Where they have a choice, people generally go with the tools that are most effective for their current environment. There may be lasers, for instance, which would be extraordinarily effective in a vacuum, but are diffused through the air; would people carry these around just on the off chance that they might have to shoot them in a vacuum?

 

If the character is using a weapon that is ineffective in their common environment, perhaps the GM should be asking them why they are using that, if so many better weapons are available: and, unless this is a Superheroic campaign, why they cannot simply pick out a better weapon at the store?

 

If the PC's have access to weaponry that is best for their environment, the NPC's may have as well; balance will then be maintained, between the PC's and NPC's.

 

None of this reasoning addresses the question of what to do about powers that are innate (i.e., have no Foci) or are not mass-produced. This may be another question of "play style", or at least genre traditions; will the characters be normal people who use gadgets to beef themselves up, or inhuman heroes who boast unique powers?

 

I'll think on that; more later. One thought emerging just now is that the implementation might result in more "genre appropriate" characters (encouraging the SFX that is usually seen in those genres), where everyone's "common sense" is built from having read the popular fiction for that genre, and the "advantaged" SFX do not indicate any favoritism on the part of the GM.

 

Okay, one more thought (came to me as the server was processing my Edit). This may be a compromise with genre traditions. Just as you can opt to give extra character points to some players, solely for the purchase of concept-appropriate background skills, surely you could opt to give them extra points, solely for the purchase of powers appropriate for the genre? Then, rather than making each of them buy it on their sheets (with the extra points), and write all this down, you (as the GM) simply give the external power a boost.

 

Hrm. This has potential. I'll think about it some more and get back to you again.

 

While the example seems played out' date=' I will note that my example was not a character who was useles outside a marine environment, but one who had invested some portion of his character points in abilities useful only in a marine environment.[/quote']

 

I was responding to these examples:

 

If I have two game species, one of whom gets 15 points of freebies based around melee combat, and the other 15 points based on the ability to breathe water, we have a theoretical balance. Points have been equated.

 

If I now tell you this will be a game of desert nomads, where finding enough water to drink will be a significant challenge, which character has the clear advantage? I want to know that backdrop in advance. I will neither select the aquatic race, nor design an aquatic character, if the game will render such a character useless.

 

Since the aquatic character will not exist (at least' date=' not in a traditional "living" state) in that setting, the GM would be within their rights to rule that the species was unavailable for player characters (do I hear an echo of "common sense" in [my words'] there?). This does not mean that the species are unbalanced.

 

They are unbalanced in that specific setting. The fact that one can survive and the other cannot is the most extreme example of unbalanced characters which I can think of.

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Re: I'm being punished for using too many smileys!

 

This may be a compromise with genre traditions. Just as you can opt to give extra character points to some players' date=' solely for the purchase of concept-appropriate background skills, surely you could opt to give them extra points, solely for the purchase of powers appropriate for the genre? Then, rather than making each of them buy it on their sheets (with the extra points), and write all this down, you (as the GM) simply give the external power a boost.[/color']

 

Hrm. This has potential. I'll think about it some more and get back to you again.

 

A few more thoughts;

 

1) There is a HUGE problem with campaign crossover. But campaign crossovers suffer from a host of other problems, enough to populate several threads, so I won't even open that can of worms here.

 

2) I could make IPE vastly more complicated than it is right now. Obviously, this is not what I was looking for ;)

 

3) I stated earlier my insight that modelling reality inherently creates a biased model; life isn't fair. Thus, my speculation that balance was an attempt to correct some of the imbalance inherent to the system, by trying to line up point balance correctional measures with those changes which would bring the game more in line with the ideal reality while further away from the baseline.

 

Apparently, core HERO has not statted out every effect of the physical laws covered in its default baseline. Theory: this is for game balance. Only the effects which were completely balanced, were made automatic.

 

Hypothesis: the "automatic" abilities were those which HERO valued at less than +0.25/-0.25? Flaw: valuation might not have occurred until after a baseline was established. Perhaps the measurement was what those designers felt comfortable with handwaving?

 

So, base group: a pool of various SFX where the effects they have are deemed to be balanced at one or more levels among the range (+1/2, -3/4, etcetera). Universality can be just as important as drawbacks; sometimes, the ability for an effect to be used against the heroes is just as balancing as an effect that directly works against them. This leaves us with three factors in the formula; frequency, effectiveness, and applicability.

 

Pick a level; every SFX with effects that are balanced at that level may (must?) become part of the new baseline. All the others, do not. (The level chosen may be seen as reflective of what level of "handwaving" the GM is comfortable with.)

 

When modelling a new setting that has major differences in how "common" various SFX are, those SFX may enter or leave the baseline. (A caution against doing this for settings that vary within the same campaign; place this under the frequency variable for the entire campaign unless the GM has no control over which setting the PC's will be in at any time.) No comment is made on the balance of such migration at this time, only a note made that SFX can wander across the border based on their frequency per setting.

 

If point-bought powers are recalculated to maintain their expected functionality, this should not happen partway through the migration process - this is so that the total points "lost" and "gained" can be compared to each other before any partial tallies (or balancing decisions based upon them) are made.

 

The entire concept may be better received if it is promoted primarily as a genre tool. Game balance should not take priority over the group's ability to enjoy the game. The first question should not be "Were the PC's balanced?" but "Did anyone care?". If one of them is a powergamer, and another is keyes_bill's barbeque chef, but they all manage to have fun because these power levels are appropriate for their character concepts, is the game really going to be improved by forcing some 3rd-party idea of "game balance" upon them? If point totals vary wildly, but everyone has a single area in which their skills and/or abilities are needed (but not possessed by anyone else in) the party, each has their "moment to shine"; for purposes of that one unique function which only they can perform, they are the best.

 

The purpose of the game should be taken into account. If the purpose of the game is to have an advanced wargame with game balance, then points are vital. If the purpose is to enjoy roleplaying in a genre setting, the "ideal reality" being modelled should reflect these values rather than the typical realism. Heroic genres can offer conditional bonuses that reward heroic actions; worlds where this sort of thing occurs (regularly) can be generated by realities where this sort of thing is assisted.

 

Maybe even where this sort of thing is encouraged - what are XP points but a way to gradually change even one's own power? They're like a Transform, Set Effect (1 point's worth of change, anything may be added/improved).

 

Roleplaying bonuses (in-game or XP), "entertain the other players" bonuses, "acting in genre" bonuses; any and all of these can be modelled with the system I have proposed. Using this group instead of "physics" (or perhaps "rubber physics" instead of "physics"), characters can move from genre to genre (campaign-wise) without worrying about whether their capabilities will be unsuitable for their new home! :cool:

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Re: Indirect discussion

 

This is all assuming' date=' of course, that the group doesn't simply handwave mechanics where common and/or dramatic sense would call for a different effect ;) I am assuming that the group desires to actually maintain the strictest definition of point balance.[/quote']

 

I think we both agree that abilities which interact logically with their environment are desirable, and that game balance is desirable. I'll further assert we both agree that there is a conflict between granting each ability its logical result in all cases (at no point cost) and maintaining balance. As a result, "just apply common sense and let the chips fall where they may" isn't an option we wish to take.

 

That means, wherever the line is drawn - default or some new structure as you propose - the line is drawn. Some effects which flow from common sense must nevertheless cost points. Others do not. This point-free series of benefits and drawbacks is referred to as SFX. Even by the default, certain minor benefits and drawbacks are considered bundled as a +0/-0 SFX modifier.

 

With this in mind, my question remains why it would be worth varying from the default when the end result will still not mesh with common sense, still require some abilities that flow from common sense to be purchased, rather than received for free, and require more work to deviate from the baseline.

 

Once again, where is the huge improvement to justify the effort of making the change?

 

But not all "SFX" fall under the "-0/+0" Modifier categories; some are outright different powers. That' date=' however, can wait until you get home in a few days and read page 96; I will also start a new thread around that time to address the [i']other[/i] half of this idea :eg:

 

Absolutely. However, this situation is not modified under your proposal. As IU read it, you simply propose to expand the value of benefits and drawbacks which can fall under the "no points SFX" category. This adds the huge task of balancing the various sfx (or at least those which are appropriate to the specific game and genre) against one another, but will still leave effects that a character's abilities ought logically to provide required toi be purchased, or be foregone.

 

You still have to recalculate the cost of each of these abilities' date=' though. With the "freebie system" I am proposing, all you have to adjust is the external power that models "pressure" SFX.[/quote']

 

To clarify, if this makes an ability possessed by one player character significantly more valuable (for example, shifting a major benefit from so infrequent its absence would be a -2 limitation to this being the default environmental condition) and another's ability substantially less powerful (effectively the reverse), do you adjust those two characters' effects, previously free of charge, or does the common sense result mean that one character's powers increase vastly in utility and the other's fall away.

 

Let us take an example. Player A has a significant power which Only Works in an Intense Magnetic Field. These are not unheard of in the game, but are rare, so he gets a -2 limitation. Player B has a significant power which Does Not Work in an Intense Magnetic Field. Let us assume that this is so rare that he gets no limitation - it is bundled, in the default, into "SFX". Both afre logical outgrowths of the hypothetical special effects of the powers.

 

However, three scenarios into the game, the repercussions of an adventure include a significant modification to Earth's magnetic field, such that 98% of the planet constitutes an Intense Magnetic Field. The game takes place exclusively on Earth. Player A should now have a -0 Limitation, and Player B should have a -2 limitation. Do we:

 

(a) say "lucky you" and "tough luck", respectively - common sense says that their powers interact with magnetic fields in this way.

 

(B) reprice their powers (and any similar ones) to account for this change in circumstances and

(i) make them rebalance their points right now

(ii) somehow phase in the point rebalancing (eg. Player A gets to 'borrow' the xp)

 

I leave out the option "we planned for this". The shift in the magnetic field was a logical result of the manner in which events played out, but was not predicted by the GM (or the players) as an even remorely likely result (Players Do The Darnedest Things!).

 

Instead of looking at each SFX that is affected by pressure/vacuum' date=' separately, we only have to look at [i']what[/i] is affecting them.

 

To use the physics analogy again, we change one basic law instead of all the high-order instances which are affected by that law.

 

I think what you're saying here is that "game balance" would require rewriting all the other abilities anyway, to make them consistently have the expected effects. I freely acknowledge that this is where my adherence to game balance gives way to my loyalty to realism, and you have my thanks for bringing to my attention how the "game balance" principle cannot explain my proposal by itself.

 

BINGO! The underlying question becomes "to what extent will we sacrfice game balance to achieve common sense at no point cost".

 

That said' date=' it may be that frequency is more important than effectiveness. As you said in the thread you linked to, benefits that show up once in a campaign (even if extremely powerful) may be worth only 5 points, or even freely granted. Let me rethink that: perhaps frequency [i']reduces[/i] (the value of) effectiveness.

 

I would agree that both frequency and effect afre relevant. However, this does not change the underlying issue, as you note below.

 

This still leaves the problem you mentioned of making gravity more common while affecting various powers no differently. I'm not entirely certain this is a problem' date=' and that conclusion [i']does[/i] go with game balance: consider. Where they have a choice, people generally go with the tools that are most effective for their current environment. There may be lasers, for instance, which would be extraordinarily effective in a vacuum, but are diffused through the air; would people carry these around just on the off chance that they might have to shoot them in a vacuum?

 

If the character is using a weapon that is ineffective in their common environment, perhaps the GM should be asking them why they are using that, if so many better weapons are available: and, unless this is a Superheroic campaign, why they cannot simply pick out a better weapon at the store?

 

If the PC's have access to weaponry that is best for their environment, the NPC's may have as well; balance will then be maintained, between the PC's and NPC's.

 

As you say, this is a problem where the character's natural abilities are increased or reduced in effectiveness. In the Superheroic game, where the characters have paid points fvor everything, the issue will be most significant.

 

In the Heroic game you postulate, the issues of both game balance and points are reduced. These characters don't pay points for equipment, so the issue of paying (or recovering) points for the addition of a benefit (restriction) to the weapon is not a major concern. This doesn't entirely solve the issue but makes it much less an issue in the typical Heroic game.

 

Why isn't the Heroic situation resolved? Well, it's well and good to say "Laser beams are logically not very functional in this environment. I hadn't picked up on that, but common sense clearly makes it so. But that's OK because the more effective Radon Blasters are readily available". That does little to placate the player whose character has invested 1/3 of his points in various skills and abilities representing his character's near-supernatural proficiency with laser weapons. Meanwhile, his teammate, whose insectoid species has unusual skin which grants exceptional resistance to Radon Blasts, seems quite pleased by this turn of events. I suppose it's OK that our previously equal and balanced Elite Galactic Bounty Hunters are now "CockroachMan and His Amazing Friends". Unless, of course, the players of the amazing friends had expected to be of equal importance...

 

Okay' date=' one more thought (came to me as the server was processing my Edit). This may be a compromise with genre traditions. Just as you can opt to give extra character points to some players, solely for the purchase of concept-appropriate background skills, surely you could opt to give them extra points, solely for the purchase of powers appropriate for the genre? Then, rather than making each of them buy it on their sheets (with the extra points), and write all this down, you (as the GM) simply give the external power a boost.[/color']

 

Once again, we get to the question of whether the characters are balanced - if they all get equal boosts, why not just give them the extra points? Of course, if we want all PC's to have Astral Form in a Mystics game, why not just handwave the points and say "all PC's and most mystically powered NPC's have Astral Form for free - here's the writeup".

 

A few more thoughts;

 

1) There is a HUGE problem with campaign crossover. But campaign crossovers suffer from a host of other problems, enough to populate several threads, so I won't even open that can of worms here.

 

2) I could make IPE vastly more complicated than it is right now. Obviously, this is not what I was looking for ;)

 

Invisible Power Effects :confused:

 

3) I stated earlier my insight that modelling reality inherently creates a biased model; life isn't fair.

 

This approach works if the group wishes to sacrifice game balance for common sense realism being made more simplistic. Given the Crunch is one of Hero's greatest strengths, I have to wonder whether such a group would be better off with a system geared to place common sense and logic over precision and game balance.

 

So' date=' [i']base[/i] group: a pool of various SFX where the effects they have are deemed to be balanced at one or more levels among the range (+1/2, -3/4, etcetera). Universality can be just as important as drawbacks; sometimes, the ability for an effect to be used against the heroes is just as balancing as an effect that directly works against them. This leaves us with three factors in the formula; frequency, effectiveness, and applicability.

 

Pick a level; every SFX with effects that are balanced at that level may (must?) become part of the new baseline. All the others, do not. (The level chosen may be seen as reflective of what level of "handwaving" the GM is comfortable with.)

 

This presumes a game where the SFX which depart are either expected to be the default (as they are significantly more beneficial) or rare to nonexistent (the very disadvantages SFX).

 

The entire concept may be better received if it is promoted primarily as a genre tool.

 

Perhaps. However, we now need to revise the rules fcor every genre, and likely many subgenres and settings.

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Re: Indirect discussion

 

 

To be fair, Sean did call for an "indirect discussion"

;)

__________________

I'm going to be smacked for this pun, aren't I?

 

I'll add it to the list of thisngs that are my fault. BIG list: we are beginning to get gravity problems......:nonp:

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Re: Indirect discussion

 

That means' date=' wherever the line is drawn - default or some new structure as you propose - the line is drawn. Some effects which flow from common sense must nevertheless cost points. Others do not. This point-free series of benefits and drawbacks is referred to as SFX. Even by the default, certain minor benefits and drawbacks are considered bundled as a +0/-0 SFX modifier.[/quote']

 

Quoted for context.

 

Absolutely. However' date=' this situation is not modified under your proposal.[/quote']

 

As stated, I will start a new thread in a few days to address the outright different powers.

 

As IU read it' date=' you simply propose to expand the value of benefits and drawbacks which can fall under the "no points SFX" category.[/quote']

 

I think it unfair to indiscriminately classify the powers (SFX and mechanics, in a proper build) from my proposal as "no points", simply because the PC's were not the ones to pay those points. SFX benefits/drawbacks are effects which can be built, but (to my knowledge) are not during the course of the game. My proposal might take over the duties of this in-game "handwaving" for the SFX, but would certainly not be the same thing in execution.

 

will still leave effects that a character's abilities ought logically to provide required toi be purchased' date=' or be foregone.[/quote']

 

I think there's a missing element in our usage of "logic" here: the source. Are we being "logical" in the name of game balance, or "logical" in the name of common sense? If the source is "game balance", it is "only logical" to do those things which enforce or restore game balance. But if the source is "common sense", it becomes "only logical" to do those things which make sense for those reasons.

 

To my mind, the only way a character's abilities "ought" to provide anything logically, is if that effect is mandated by the SFX. If that's the case, the character's power must include that effect, the only question is whether said effect is provided by a power Independent of the character, or part of the character (their writeup alone, with anyone else who wishes to have such an effect being required to take it on their own). Either way, the effect will occur when it "ought" to.

 

Then there are effects which might occur for the SFX, such as successfully gliding. There is an element of chance, with gliders, not experienced with free-will flight. Skill can influence the odds, reducing the risk of "something else" happening. Such abilities may or may not be external builds (part of a baseline).

 

By the way, what does happen when the Skill Roll on one of those gliders fails? Do you stat out a specific Side Effect for those occasions, or do your GM's just use their common and dramatic sense to arbitrate what will happen for each separate occasion?

 

Third and finally, there are effects which cannot occur with the SFX; you don't get a x8 Duplication power with your laser weapon, whether you try to pay for it or expect the points for it to have some from elsewhere, because that SFX does not justify that effect.

 

In conclusion, yes, effects can still be available for the players to take, in all three groups. But only one of those groups will have powers that can be purchased, and possibly won't be available unless the character allocates points to it.

 

To clarify' date=' if this makes an ability possessed by one player character significantly more valuable (for example, shifting a major benefit from so infrequent its absence would be a -2 limitation to this being the default environmental condition) and another's ability substantially less powerful (effectively the reverse), do you adjust those two characters' effects, previously free of charge, or does the common sense result mean that one character's powers increase vastly in utility and the other's fall away.[/quote']

 

Assuming the Intense Magnetic Field was modelled with an external power (magnetics, let's say) instead of Limitations on character powers, this would be a natural consequence of power interaction. Whatever effect changed the Earth that way, also adjusted the value of the magnetic power.

 

Some people can change the world around them. Permanently.

 

Sometimes this is achieved by creating their own Independent effects or modifying someone else's. Or do you just have Independent powers vanish for good when they pass out of the character's control?

 

How about when the character dies?

 

In the process of changing the world, some people grow more powerful. I think this is a common motivation ;)

 

Just don't forget that the villains can do this too! If there is a real chance of failure and when the PC's lose there are serious consequences, but those consequences do not necessarily include PC death (and therefore the end of the campaign, or at least their segment of it, thus no more need to play after losing a battle), the players will realize that their losses as well as victories can have a significant impact on future games, and will act to protect their own future by treating their current battles as more important.

 

BINGO! The underlying question becomes "to what extent will we sacrfice game balance to achieve common sense at no point cost".

 

Agreed. Some has already been sacrificed; you, and others, are comfortable with that amount. I seek to provide an alternative, for we who are not as comfortable with it.

 

The more play styles HERO supports, the better claim it can lay to being a "toolkit". Genre is one area of flexibility, but play style is another. HERO is flexible to genre, but not so much for style of play, and could use some improvements in that area;

 

You may recall the lack of a "What is roleplaying?" section in the core books, as if presuming that HERO players will only be those who are moving into the system with prior experience from other games. This may restrict the attractiveness to new players, in that - how many will want to look for a new system if they have already become accustomed to, and are satisfied with, the first system they encountered? HERO can be more customizable.

 

As you say' date=' this is a problem where the character's natural abilities are increased or reduced in effectiveness. In the Superheroic game, where the characters have paid points fvor everything, the issue will be most significant.[/quote']

 

What is interesting here is that I prefer the Heroic genre, but I think the Heroic genre can be (and maybe even has been) built from the Superheroic genre. There is a specific set of effects which no cost need be paid for; given Wealth, who would need a reliable weapon when they can just buy a crate of new handguns? (This may be mitigated, to some extent, by my idea that Wealth be built as a VPP.) For other effects, however, full cost must still be paid.

 

A "handgun" is not a freebie for SFX! (Unless we count the physical object as merely the SFX of wealth.) Also, it can be costly. But, nonetheless, it is "free" in the Heroic campaign. This seems very similar to what I'm proposing; is a Heroic game inherently unbalanced?

 

it's well and good to say "Laser beams are logically not very functional in this environment. I hadn't picked up on that' date=' but common sense clearly makes it so.[/quote']

 

Keep in mind "precedence"; it is when the players first encounter an environment (or other SFX interaction) that they have an opportunity to apply "common sense". If it only makes sense when it's to their benefit, point out that the interaction made perfect sense the last time ;)

 

But that's OK because the more effective Radon Blasters are readily available". That does little to placate the player whose character has invested 1/3 of his points in various skills and abilities representing his character's near-supernatural proficiency with laser weapons.

 

Here the consultation is again of "common sense"; what is the character's background? Did they train with laser weapons because these were the best weapons available, or because their beloved father (whose death they are training to avenge) passed it on as a legacy weapon, and they want to kill their father's murderer with it? During character creation, the former can be handwaved (just change the word "laser" to "Radon" on the character sheet).

 

If this change (advance in technology) occurs after character generation, however, it is one of the aforementioned "impacts on the world". Many other characters will be affected by the change, having trained with lasers as well, and a few hardcore Radon hold-outs will be rejoicing at the new advances in technology which turned the tables and made them (their skill) more valuable to employers.

 

Once again' date=' we get to the question of whether the characters are balanced - if they all get equal boosts, why not just give them the extra points?[/quote']

 

To borrow from the thread you pointed out, how can you be sure those points will be spent in equal ways?

 

Or is it not a concern (with "game balance") when some players spend those extra points on background skills and one player spends them all on a very-high-point combat power?

 

Invisible Power Effects :confused:

 

Yes, that's the one. Trust me . . . you really don't want to know :idjit:

 

This approach works if the group wishes to sacrifice game balance for common sense realism being made more simplistic.

 

I'm not sure you understand here. I wasn't referring to an approach that would be made by players; I was referring to a deeper truth about anyone designing a game system that models reality.

 

Reality is, by nature, "not fair". Therefore, to the extent that the baseline is "realistic", it is not balanced (and, I would argue, cannot be balanced).

 

This presumes a game where the SFX which depart are either expected to be the default (as they are significantly more beneficial) or rare to nonexistent (the very disadvantages SFX).

 

I don't understand what you mean by "depart" here. Of course, my own vocabulary so far has been less than elegant :o

 

Perhaps. However' date=' we now need to revise the rules fcor every genre, and likely many subgenres and settings.[/quote']

 

Not with the centralized approach I described, no. We would need to establish a baseline for each genre, but I have an idea on how to do that, and be sure that it is done objectively (though it may well result in having to establish a new baseline for each game :ugly:).

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Re: Indirect discussion

 

I'll add it to the list of thisngs that are my fault. BIG list: we are beginning to get gravity problems......:nonp:

What, it may undergo collapse and become a black hole? :eek:

Hrm . . . so, if enough is done by you (and thus was your fault), a black hole opens up nearby and swallows you in?

 

Automatic punishment for an excess of sins. I like it :thumbup:

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Re: Indirect discussion

 

I think it unfair to indiscriminately classify the powers (SFX and mechanics' date=' in a proper build) from my proposal as "no points", simply because the [i']PC's[/i] were not the ones to pay those points. SFX benefits/drawbacks are effects which can be built, but (to my knowledge) are not during the course of the game. My proposal might take over the duties of this in-game "handwaving" for the SFX, but would certainly not be the same thing in execution.

 

I use "no points" as shorthand for "no points paid by, or recovered by, the character". The character receives the ability to recover each post segment 12 for "no points", but presumably The Cosmos must have paid to purchase a Stun, END and BOD Healing that has Standard Effect equal to the character's Rec and Extra Time - One Turn for Stun and END and Extra Time - 1 month for BOD. I see no need, however, to cost that out. Neither do I feel the need to cost out some exotic environ's reduction of "once per month" for BOD to "once per day", although if that were to be my genre convention for the campaign, I would certainly make it known, and modify the cost of Regeneration, and possibly Healing's frequency, as a consequence.

 

I think there's a missing element in our usage of "logic" here: the source. Are we being "logical" in the name of game balance' date=' or "logical" in the name of common sense? If the source is "game balance", it is "only logical" to do those things which enforce or restore game balance. But if the source is "common sense", it becomes "only logical" to do those things which make sense for those reasons.[/quote']

 

In the context which began the thread - abilities which common sense dectates the ability should have, despite the fact the ability's writeup fails to include them.

 

Then there are effects which might occur for the SFX, such as successfully gliding. There is an element of chance, with gliders, not experienced with free-will flight. Skill can influence the odds, reducing the risk of "something else" happening. Such abilities may or may not be external builds (part of a baseline).

 

By the way, what does happen when the Skill Roll on one of those gliders fails? Do you stat out a specific Side Effect for those occasions, or do your GM's just use their common and dramatic sense to arbitrate what will happen for each separate occasion?

 

If a failed skill roll will have an impact in play, I determine the ramifications of a failed skill roll in advance. Unless someone will actually pay the points for a glider (ie it is a power/focus, not merely a plot device or piece of point-free equipment), I see no need to stat out the mechanics, any more than I need to roll to see whether the adventure hook arrives on time.

 

Assuming the Intense Magnetic Field was modelled with an external power (magnetics, let's say) instead of Limitations on character powers, this would be a natural consequence of power interaction. Whatever effect changed the Earth that way, also adjusted the value of the magnetic power.

 

Some people can change the world around them. Permanently.

 

Sometimes this is achieved by creating their own Independent effects or modifying someone else's. Or do you just have Independent powers vanish for good when they pass out of the character's control?

 

So I take it you do not adjust the point cost for any of the characters when the magnetic field shifts. Let's take the example further:

 

Character A has powers which only function in an intense magnetic field (-2 limitation). Player B purchases a Change Environment which creates an intense magnetic field. Do you now change Player A's limitation value? If so, how is this any different from the world's magnetic field changing for some other reason.

 

If not, would your answer change if it is Character A who possesses the power to create an intense magnetic field, as well as the various limited powers?

 

In other words, if we accept that "some people can change the world, thus changing the effectiveness of your abilities - life is unfair", does it matter who those people are?

 

A "handgun" is not a freebie for SFX! (Unless we count the physical object as merely the SFX of wealth.) Also' date=' it can be costly. But, nonetheless, it is "free" in the Heroic campaign. This seems [i']very[/i] similar to what I'm proposing; is a Heroic game inherently unbalanced?

 

In a Heroic game, balance is more commonly maintained by restricting resources. If one character can access a Sherman Tank - whether by points or by "free sfx" - and the rest have access to nothing more advanced than pointed sticks, I suggest the game is unbalanced - however they got there - presuming the game is combat-oriented. Similarly, allowing a Telepath - whether he paid points or bought a device - in a murder mystery game is allowing an unbalanced character.

 

Reality is' date=' by nature, "not fair". Therefore, to the extent that the baseline is "realistic", it is not balanced (and, I would argue, [i']cannot[/i] be balanced).

 

Frankly, I don't game to simulate reality. In a Medieval Fantasy game, "realism" requires a roll to determine whether your character dies in childbirth, and numerous further rolls to survive to adulthood. Even then, the odds, realistically, very strongly favour him being a serf. "Radishes and Rodents" does not appeal to me as a genre, so I'll pass on an overly realistic game, and favour the cinematic - which is what Hero strives for, by the way.

 

Not with the centralized approach I described' date=' no. We [i']would[/i] need to establish a baseline for each genre, but I have an idea on how to do that, and be sure that it is done objectively (though it may well result in having to establish a new baseline for each game :ugly:).

 

And therein lies the problem. I will add that you may need to rebalance with each PC arrival or departure, as they will all bring different skills, abilities and SFX to the table.

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Re: Indirect discussion

 

The character receives the ability to recover each post segment 12 for "no points"' date=' but presumably The Cosmos must have paid to purchase a Stun, END and BOD Healing that has Standard Effect equal to the character's Rec and Extra Time - One Turn for Stun and END and Extra Time - 1 month for BOD. I see no need, however, to cost that out.[/quote']

 

Building the ability and calculating a cost for it are two different steps. Not only is the second unnecessary, but it is arguably impossible unless we decide on exactly how many points have been invested into the base power (before Modifiers) - and then we run the risk of the Standard Effect being insufficient.

 

Character A has powers which only function in an intense magnetic field (-2 limitation). Player B purchases a Change Environment which creates an intense magnetic field.

 

Provided they can satisfy SFX prerequisites (i.e., more than just "I want to have this power."), this is possible.

 

Do you now change Player A's limitation value?

 

I should point out here that, under the system I propose, Player A might not have been permitted to take such a Limitation, precisely because that effect could already have been enforced by the external power.

 

But, if it were taken as a Limitation, is the Modifier worth a different value because the extreme magnetic field is more common, or is the CE power more expensive because its beneficial effects stand to be greater than the points being paid for it?

 

The same question arises in the current system.

 

If so' date=' how is this any different from the world's magnetic field changing for some other reason.[/quote']

 

If the world (thus setting, per your example) always has a strong magnetic field, this is very different from a person who is an ally at this time, and may not always choose to spend their time/energy creating or sustaining that strong magnetic field, but will otherwise only affect frequency for that individual.

 

Others are less fortunate.

 

The power's balance is measured for its overall effect, and potential thereof, not for any individuals who might happen to experience an effect that is offset (in any direction) from the average.

 

Also, don't forget that (as GM) you can introduce villains whose SFX benefit from this intense magnetic field: it is your responsibility, as Game Master, to maintain balance during play. Such balance can only be evaluated over the long term. An immediate and extreme advantage here, an immediate and extreme disadvantage there; it all balances out.

 

If not' date=' would your answer change if it is Character A who possesses the power to create an intense magnetic field, as well as the various limited powers?[/quote']

 

Sounds like the ability to partially buy off Limitations, to me. The effects produced by power interactions may be free, but the ability to generate those powers has a mechanical cost within the system.

 

Either the PC's are paying that cost, or they are not. If they are, continue using the existing system; the new one does not entirely replace it, only infringe upon its territory ;)

 

In other words' date=' if we accept that "some people can change the world, thus changing the effectiveness of your abilities - life is unfair", does it matter who those people are?[/quote']

 

For the purposes of changing the world, i.e., adding a power with a scope larger than your own self; no, it does not. You pay for the effects you are getting, so this price is based on the potential effects it would over all the area you propose to affect.

 

For anything less, you are looking for a personal ability, and (assuming that the world has not yet been changed, so the ability is not already covered by existing powers) you consider only yourself when it comes to costing it. (If your fellow PC's were bought as allies, you would effectively be raising the points of that Ally if you gave yourself the ability to boost their strength or reliability).

 

Frankly' date=' I don't game to simulate reality.[/quote']

 

Frankly, you don't have a choice about it!

 

The default HERO baseline simulates reality.

 

By accepting that baseline, you accept some level of realism. You then pay points to compromise that realism. With your usage of any part of that baseline, though, you are modelling reality.

 

So, to retreat a bit on my initial exclamation; you do have a choice about it. But, so far, your choices have been to simulate reality :P

 

favour the cinematic - which is what Hero strives for' date=' by the way.[/quote']

 

. . . HERO is not just Champions, as has been said before.

 

And therein lies the problem. I will add that you may need to rebalance with each PC arrival or departure' date=' as they will all bring different skills, abilities and SFX to the table.[/quote']

 

I disagree, and furthermore, I know that I am right - a position that you cannot possibly share, since you have not heard a word of this idea yet. I know that it would make campaign crossovers extremely smooth, and PC's could migrate every session without causing any disruption whatsoever, no matter what genre they arrived from. I suggest, however, that we can both wait on arguing the finer points of this for a few days.

 

Until you read page 96 and I post that new thread, of course.

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Re: Indirect discussion

 

Building the ability and calculating a cost for it are two different steps.

 

To my mind, it is not essential to stat out a game effect at all, in many cases. If, in the topsy turvy Dimension of Random Chance, the segments of the turn appear in random order, rather than neat 1s to 12s, separated by PS 12 recoveries, they do so. Knowing how such a Change Environment might be constructed is irrelevant.

 

I should point out here that' date=' under the system I propose, Player A might not have been [i']permitted[/i] to take such a Limitation, precisely because that effect could already have been enforced by the external power.

 

Each time an example is posited, it seems you dismiss the example rather than answering it. How about YOU provide an example of the elegamt workings of your magnificent plan, then? Perhaps at such later date as you refer to below. I, for one, need to actually SEE this great new plan to believe in it. At this point, it seems to bring back memories of the Emperor's New Clothes, this marvelous invention which, alas, I cannot in any way perceive.

 

But' date=' if it [i']were[/i] taken as a Limitation, is the Modifier worth a different value because the extreme magnetic field is more common, or is the CE power more expensive because its beneficial effects stand to be greater than the points being paid for it?

 

The former. The value of a Limited Power limitation is predicated on its frequency. [unless this, too, is changed under the Emperor's New Rules.]

 

The same question arises in the current system.

 

Indeed it does. And the answer is that the value of the limitation depends on the frequency with which it will remove the power from being available. Thus, if magnetic fields are more common, the limitation applied to a power not available in such a field is reduced.

 

If the world (thus setting' date=' per your example) [i']always[/i] has a strong magnetic field, this is very different from a person who is an ally at this time, and may not always choose to spend their time/energy creating or sustaining that strong magnetic field, but will otherwise only affect frequency for that individual.

 

Others are less fortunate.

 

Others must deal with the frequency as it applies to them. I would provide a greater limitation for "Only on dry land" when a character lacks the ability to breathe in air, and is played in an undersea Atlantean campaign, or even for one who will be a swashbuckling pirate at sea (and without the power) as often as not, than I would for a character in a more typical game where most of the action takes place on dry land, or an Arabian Nights game taking place in a desert.

 

The power's balance is measured for its overall effect, and potential thereof, not for any individuals who might happen to experience an effect that is offset (in any direction) from the average.

 

Also, don't forget that (as GM) you can introduce villains whose SFX benefit from this intense magnetic field: it is your responsibility, as Game Master, to maintain balance during play. Such balance can only be evaluated over the long term. An immediate and extreme advantage here, an immediate and extreme disadvantage there; it all balances out.

 

Let's customize that power...Change Environment, Megascale, Selective ought to do the trick. It only creates an intense magnetic field - it should be quite inexpensive.

 

Sounds like the ability to partially buy off Limitations' date=' to me. The effects produced by power interactions may be free, but the ability to generate those powers has a mechanical cost within the system.[/quote']

 

And to me. I would not permit a character to purchase an array of powers with a -2 limitation, and then neutralize that limitation for a small fraction of the points saved. Even if such a structure happens to be "book legal", it is "balance illegal" in my game.

 

Either the PC's are paying that cost' date=' or they are not. If they are, continue using the existing system; the new one does not entirely replace it, only infringe upon its territory ;)[/quote']

 

Since you have not stated an answer to the question, I am forced to intuit. From the above, I intuit that your answer is "As they have paid the cost in book legal fashion, no further adjustment need be made." I trust you will correct me if my Telepathy has not activated, and its side effect of Delusion has unknowingly been triggered.

 

Frankly, you don't have a choice about it!

 

The default HERO baseline simulates reality.

 

Hero makes no bones about the fact it neither is, nor is intended to be, a perfect simulation of reality. It is intended to simulate cinematic reality, which departs significantly from real reality. The latter is much more realistic, by definition. For me, that is as much realism as my game requires.

 

. . . HERO is not just Champions' date=' as has been said before.[/quote']

 

Cinematic reality is not just Super Heroes. In fact, it is not even primarily or, I would suggest, significantly superheroes. It includes:

 

- fantasy wizards and warriors who, despite the filth and poor medical care of medeival times, rarely catch a disease or infection, and recover from horrific wounds.

 

- space farers with their faster than light travel technology and sentient robots.

 

- cops, soldiers, spies and mercenaries who, though appearing to reside in our real world, can crash through plate glass windows with barely a scratch.

 

- lantern-jawed pulp heroes who have mastered dozens of skills, each of which would occupy a professional for his entire career, while still training to physical perfection.

 

- ninjas - what more need be said?

 

- those who stand between mortal man and the Things from Beyond, steadfastly defeating Eldritch Horrors which would drive other men mad

 

- cyberpunks and their many electronic parts and neural nets

 

- the cowboys whose every bullet sends a dozen Injuns to the Great Buffalo Range in the Sky, yet who are never struck by the multitude of arrows slung at them in return, and whose six shooters seem to manage far more than six shots

 

Not a Super in the bunch above (although they too fall under the Cinematic Reality headline), but no one I find overly realistic either. But they sure are cinematic!

 

I disagree' date=' and furthermore, I [b']know[/b] that I am right - a position that you cannot possibly share, since you have not heard a word of this idea yet.

 

Just because I like the way it rolls off the tongue, I'll say it again: The Emperor's New Rules. [Please feel free to plagiaraize that as the thread title when you post these new rules and show us all how vastly the game can be improved under your care.]

 

I know that it would make campaign crossovers extremely smooth' date=' and PC's could migrate every session without causing any disruption whatsoever, no matter [i']what[/i] genre they arrived from. I suggest, however, that we can both wait on arguing the finer points of this for a few days.

 

Until you read page 96 and I post that new thread, of course.

 

I'll go out on a limb and bet that Page 96 says what its predecessors have always said - "Not in a Vacuum" is a -0 limitation which comes with the sonic-based character's special effects in most games, but might be valued at -1/4 in a spacefaring game where vacuums will be a more common occurence.

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Re: Indirect discussion

 

Each time an example is posited' date=' it seems you dismiss the example rather than answering it.[/quote']

 

I accepted the example, but I did caution you against assuming that it would be legitimate for all possible cases.

 

How about YOU provide an example of the elegamt workings of your magnificent plan' date=' then?[/quote']

 

No, you're doing quite well on your own. But perhaps you're not satisfied with the failure of your examples to set up the contradictions they were meant for? I see no reason to create an entire example when your own can be adapted into perfect working order simply by removing the elements (usually Absoluteness) which do not fit into my proposed system.

 

Perhaps at such later date as you refer to below.

 

Do not misunderstand; the "later date" referred to in my latest post was not at all having to do with this idea; the proposal we have spent most of this thread discussing was only an offshoot, a tangent, a spinoff, a side thought, related to the idea that has been under development for a much longer time. For a few posts I thought this idea was going to let me introduce that one, but the posts merely touched on some related reasoning for a while before drifting away again. Not to worry, I can still post a new thread for it as originally planned.

 

Others must deal with the frequency as it applies to them.

 

One might criticize the current system for this. But the example of gravity (another effect which does apply globally but is not paid for by each person its effects apply to, though many individuals are affected to a greater or lesser degree than the average), has already highlighted these contradictions enough.

 

Let's customize that power...Change Environment' date=' Megascale, Selective ought to do the trick. It only creates an intense magnetic field - it should be quite inexpensive.[/quote']

 

SFX need to justify powers, which is already a limiting factor. Furthermore, if you want to adjust the frequency/effectiveness of an external power, you must effectively Transform it, but if you do not use another external power to do so, the GM is free to base the cost off of the full effect you are achieving.

 

I would not permit a character to purchase an array of powers with a -2 limitation' date=' and then neutralize that limitation for a small fraction of the points saved.[/quote']

 

Then recost them, yes? Assuming that Limitation has been taken, there is nothing in my proposal to render this illegal: the only aspect preventing you from charging the character a price based on total effect would be an external power already responsible, and if that external power were indeed responsible, the player would not have been permitted to take such a Limitation in the first place! As with powers, so too would the value of that Limitation have been achieved by the external power, and so forbidden to individual characters.

 

Since you have not stated an answer to the question' date=' I am forced to intuit.[/quote']

 

I split your question into the two legitimate cases that would be possible under my proposal. I gave an answer for each of them. True, the question I answered was not the question you wanted me to answer, but then, that question was not legitimate for my proposal. I assumed you would prefer a partial answer rather than no answer at all.

 

From the above' date=' I intuit that your answer is "As they have paid the cost in book legal fashion, no further adjustment need be made."[/quote']

 

If they (personally) paid the cost, continue using the existing system. The new system I proposed would only take over if the cost had been paid by an external power.

 

Hero makes no bones about the fact it neither is' date=' nor is intended to be, a perfect simulation of reality.[/quote']

 

And again your presumption of Absoluteness leaves you missing my point completely!

 

HERO does not need to be, nor even to want to be, a "perfect" simulation of reality, in order to qualify as something that "simulates reality". It simulates gravity. I certainly notice gravity in our reality. Thus, it simulates reality.

 

It does not simulate all of reality, but then, what does? Usage generally allows for referring to anything which does something else, even only a little, as having done that; compromise is inherent to the common conceptual grasp of our language :P

 

Cinematic reality is not just Super Heroes.

 

Fair enough. I have addressed the realism above.

 

Just because I like the way it rolls off the tongue' date=' I'll say it again: The Emperor's New Rules. [Please feel free to plagiaraize that as the thread title when you post these new rules and show us all how vastly the game can be improved under your care.']

 

Is there any need to commit yourself to a statement that I believe the game can be "improved under my care"? It indicates a compulsion to believe the worst of others, whereas a question would be more more peaceful and indicative merely of an uncertainty.

 

I'll go out on a limb and bet that Page 96 says what its predecessors have always said - "Not in a Vacuum" is a -0 limitation which comes with the sonic-based character's special effects in most games' date='[/quote']

 

Alas, it doesn't say this at all. Still, not the only time you've gone out on a limb and been wrong, as I just noticed ;)

 

but might be valued at -1/4 in a spacefaring game where vacuums will be a more common occurence.

 

It does bring up the Limitation's value as -1/4 in the context of "a campaign involving frequent adventures in outer space".

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Re: Indirect discussion

 

One might criticize the current system for this. But the example of gravity (another effect which does apply globally but is not paid for by each person its effects apply to' date=' though many individuals are affected to a greater or lesser degree than the average), has already highlighted these contradictions enough.

 

To my knowedge, the effect of gravity is the same on all characters at baseline. Only when they expend (or receive) points for an ability (or disadvantage) which causes gravity to have a different effect do the effects of gravity change.

 

SFX need to justify powers' date=' which is already a limiting factor. [/quote']

 

The SFX of absolute control of the Earth's magnetic field would seem to justify the power in question. I suppose you can simply conclude that all abilities which would cause concern under your system will be banned, however this will inevitably result in the banning of an ability which, logically, based on his SFX, a character could or even should possess. How can you be the Master of Magnetism, yet be incapable of creating a magnetic field?

 

Furthermore' date=' if you want to adjust the frequency/effectiveness of an external power, you must effectively Transform it, but if you do not use another external power to do so, the GM is free to base the cost off of the full effect you are achieving.[/quote']

 

Does this mean your proposal eliminates the Change Environment power entirely, or only in part?

 

Then recost them' date=' yes? Assuming that Limitation [i']has[/i] been taken, there is nothing in my proposal to render this illegal: the only aspect preventing you from charging the character a price based on total effect would be an external power already responsible, and if that external power were indeed responsible, the player would not have been permitted to take such a Limitation in the first place!

 

Under your system, where that Limitation was prohibited from the outset because it was already a logical outgrowth of SFX which balanced off some free benefits achieved by virtue of the same special effects, and a permanent change to the external power NOT PREDICTED PREVIOUSLY, and therefore not taken into account when you balanced the benefits and drawbacks attributable to each character's special effects has changed that balance

 

[pause to inhale]

 

what happens?

 

(a) The character must pay for the new, greater benefits provided to his abilities, in order to preserve game balance.

 

(B) The character gets the new, greater benefits provided to his abilities, and all the other SFX get rebalanced in some as yet unknown manner in order to preserve game balance.

 

© The character gets the new, greater benefits provided to his abilities - life is not fair, so hang the balance, and count the player lucky that he had the right SFX.

 

(d) There can be no long-term changes to external forces in order to prevent the need to deal with these issues - there are strict limits on the impact game actions can ultimately have on the game environment.

 

Is there any need to commit yourself to a statement that I believe the game can be "improved under my care"? It indicates a compulsion to believe the worst of others' date=' whereas a [i']question[/i] would be more more peaceful and indicative merely of an uncertainty.

 

Given the time and effort you have (I assume) placed into the design and planning of these changes and (I observe from the length of the thread) into espousing and defending the merits of these changes, I would hope you believe that they would improve the game. Do you have another purpose in mind for these changes?

 

It does bring up the Limitation's value as -1/4 in the context of "a campaign involving frequent adventures in outer space".

 

That part, at least, is unchanged. I will suggest the implication is that, where a vacuum would be considerably less common, so would the limitation value.

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Re: Indirect discussion

 

To my knowedge' date=' the effect of gravity is the same on all characters at baseline. Only when they expend (or receive) points for an ability (or disadvantage) which causes gravity to have a different effect do the effects of gravity change.[/quote']

 

So the baseline only incorporates identical effects, not frequency?

 

This theory bears out the single example I have, so far; I'll consider this area in abeyance, and drop it if we all abandon the idea of figuring out HERO's underlying rules, or if none of the underlying rules break your observation (but I'll raise it again if we come up with a new example ;)).

 

The SFX of absolute control of the Earth's magnetic field would seem to justify the power in question. I suppose you can simply conclude that all abilities which would cause concern under your system will be banned' date=' however this will inevitably result in the banning of an ability which, logically, based on his SFX, a character could or even should possess. How can you be the Master of Magnetism, yet be incapable of creating a magnetic field?[/quote']

 

I see it as one of those "effects appropriate to, but not required by, SFX" abilities. I can name the SFX "my character is a deity", but this doesn't allow me to simply buy the power because I can think of an SFX that would justify it. SFX must be earned in-game. More often, they should (IMO) be assigned (you receive the energy blaster from your allies; you do not get to choose what its SFX will be).

 

Does this mean your proposal eliminates the Change Environment power entirely' date=' or only in part?[/quote']

 

Apply earlier reasoning on the acquisition of an effect that is Megascale (or otherwise AOE to an extent that affects the entire game world). Also factor in considerations such as charges, zero endurance, and other abilities bought with the power that would influence how often it can be used and/or how lasting it is.

 

Oh, and don't forget to restrict access to the SFX as mentioned in my previous reply. Someone can be a "Master of Magnetics", but, oops! they don't appear to be as powerful as they thought! :eg:

 

Under your system' date=' where that Limitation was prohibited from the outset because it was already a logical outgrowth of SFX which balanced off some free benefits achieved by virtue of the same special effects, and a permanent change to the external power NOT PREDICTED PREVIOUSLY, and therefore not taken into account when you balanced the benefits and drawbacks attributable to each character's special effects has changed that balance[/quote']

 

Quoted for context :)

 

© The character gets the new' date=' greater benefits provided to his abilities - life is not fair, so hang the balance, and count the player lucky that he had the right SFX.[/quote']

 

There it is, he gets more (or less, depending on circumstance) powerful. Great efforts earn great rewards, albeit not (necessarily/always) in the XP sense ;)

 

Given the time and effort you have (I assume) placed into the design and planning of these changes and (I observe from the length of the thread) into espousing and defending the merits of these changes' date=' I would hope you believe that they would improve the game.[/quote']

 

I do not, however, believe that these improvements can only take place "under my care", when I am personally overseeing them.

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Re: Point-Counterpoint

 

This discussion is better than the SNL Weekend Update segments with Jane Curtin and Dan Aykroyd.

 

My only question is which one is which?

:D

 

Glad we could entertain!

 

I suspect that I'm the one with a sense of humor, unless Hugh has been slyly interjecting wry comments into the exchange all along and I merely missed them, in which case I'm the one with no sense of humor :eek:

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