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Charges vs 0 Endurance


Toadmaster
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Maybe I'm just not seeing it but I can't find any reason to buy 33+ charges instead of 0 Endurance, both are +1/2 advantages.

 

I can understand that charges could be used for a magazine in a gun but unless you have less than 33 charges it is not cost effective. As far as special effect, it seems like using the 0 Endurance and the Real weapon lim to restrict the number of rounds carried to a "realistic" amount (couple of magazines of a reasonable size) would be more elegant.

 

This came up while I was building a Sherman tank, it carries 97 rounds for the main gun, 5000 rounds for the .30 cal machineguns and 1000 rounds for the .50 cal machine gun. I was going to use charges but then I came up with this argument.

 

Any reason I shouldn't use 0 end instead of charges?

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Actually, there are a few reasons.

 

1) Powers with Autofire advantage has an additional cost for 0 END, so there are rare cases where you would want 32 or 64 charges or perhaps charges on clips.

 

2) Another reason is to simulate items that have so many charges and then are used up. Alien Artifacts or Magic Items that only work so many times and then stop (or recharge slower than once per day). Such things may have special powers that use multiple charges at a time per use.

 

3) The ever popular, "He's got to run out of bullets eventually."

Remember a round is not a charge, if the firing rate is 100 rounds per minute (or was that per second???), that works out differently than something like 15 charges per minute (at 3 speed) or 20 charges per minute (at 4 speed). But if you can really fire each round and the gunner is patient enough to aim each one, then you're probably better off (costwise) to buy it at 0 END.

 

 

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It can make a difference in certain vehicular and mecha games. A power plant hit might disable all weapons that are powered off of the vehicle's power plant (0 END) while weapons on Charges might be unaffected. (I postulate a modified form of 0 END called 0 END Connected, in which a weapon uses no Endurance only when it is connected to a vehicle power plant, allowing for things like backup power supplies bought as END Reserves).

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Also note that Charges will max out at a +0 (regardless of the number of Charges) if the Power is already 0-END.

 

So that extra +1/2 that you're spending is because you are gaining the benefit of 0-END from the Charges. If you apply it separately, you don't have to pay the +1/2.

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I think it helps to not think of "a bullet" as a charge - a .30 cal machine gun fires around 500 rounds a minute - that's around AF 50 for your average Schmoe.

 

Do you really want to buy AF50? Then consider that a .30 cal is considered to have a relatively low RoF for a HMG...

 

Considering that your tank carries enough ammo for 10 minutes sustained fire and that you are unlikely to to blast that lot off in a single firefight, I'd say 0 END is fine - alternatively, buy AF5 or 10 and a few hundred charges (define each charge as "a burst" if it helps ;) ). In either case, that should keep you from running out of ammo in most cases.

 

cheers, Mark

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It's simply a flaw in the system. We all want to avoid admitting that, but it's true.

 

Power 1: 2d RKA; 64 charges (+1/2).

 

Power 2: 2d RKA; 0 END

 

Power 1 can fire 64 times and you're out. Power 2 can fire an infinite number of times. When you introduce Autofire, that just delays the onset of the problem to +1 or so (250 c).

 

Nothing's perfect. Sorry.

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Originally posted by Arthur

It's simply a flaw in the system. We all want to avoid admitting that, but it's true.

 

Power 1: 2d RKA; 64 charges (+1/2).

 

Power 2: 2d RKA; 0 END

 

Power 1 can fire 64 times and you're out. Power 2 can fire an infinite number of times. When you introduce Autofire, that just delays the onset of the problem to +1 or so (250 c).

 

Nothing's perfect. Sorry.

I honestly don't think that this is a flaw.

 

All it's saying is that at a certain point, the "limitation" of having only X charges isn't really limiting the character enough to be worth any points.

 

For Charges, that cutoff lies at 33. Frankly, I agree with that. I've played characters with charges fairly often in the past, and when they have more than 12 I rarely have an issue running out. It's rare that a character is in combat more than once a day, and given that most combats are fairly short-lived, it's rare that you get a chance to fire off that many rounds.

 

Now, with the new MPA rules and such, it helps make Charges more limiting, but I still feel that 33 is a good cutoff for it not being limiting enough to warrant any points.

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The object of the mechanics is to put numbers to the concept of the character. If your concept of the character is someone who has a thousand rounds of ammunition, that's what the write-up should reflect, no matter if some other solution is more "cost effective."

 

On the other hand, if the genre conventions of your game allow for "good guy guns," there is certainly no reason not to take the 0 END option (I usually do this with NPC's to simplify the math and record keeping.)

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Thanks

 

I did find under charges that as an advantage it maxes out at +1 because that is how much 0 end costs with AF. Had I seen that before it would have made more sense to me.

 

One of the benefits I see to the 0 end vs charges is that when combined with real weapon vehicle loads are that it is easy to assign a total load of say 5000 rounds to be used in all the guns rather than assigning 2500 to each gun which than technically can not be used in the other gun.

 

For the main gun which is fairly limited in the number of rounds and which has a variety of rounds to choose from (AP, HE, smoke etc) I have no problem with using charges.

 

Thanks for the comments, I agree with what many of you said about the effect of having thousands of rounds that there is little differance between 5000 charges and 0 end, but TUV lists vehicles with 1000+ charges so I wanted to double check that I wasn't missing something.

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I weigh in on the side of at that point its just FX.

 

64 charges or 0 end is a non-issue in enough cases to make them functionally equivalent, which is why they cost the same. Heck for most superhero games, my charges for powers usually topped at +0 (8 charge clips, 4 clips each = rarely needing to chaneg clip in a fight and able to handle four fights without reloading) although on occasion it did get to +1/4 (12 round clips with 8 clips or 8 round clips with around 16 clips) and i cannot recall enough times to fill a hand that I ever ran out.

 

While 0 end is IN THEORY better than 64 charges, in practice it will play the same, except for the once in a great while special scenarios which basically occur barely often enough to be FX.

 

Now, FWIW, i prefer as game design for CHARGES to be just a limit, a flat restriction on "uses per day" and let you buy 0 end yourself instead of having it included, but thats me being anal cuz i don't like advantages or limitations that "go both ways" as a design element.

 

If you want to find problems with the charges system, it doesn't happen at the +1/2 stage...

 

it happens at the +0 stage where four 8 round clips is enough to handle most fights with next to no "flaw" to offset the 0 end used...

 

it happens when fuel charges are used for almost anything... it used to be continuous charges but fuel charges seem to outdo them now...

 

and it may happen in multipowers where charges are bought for the slots producing a lot of shots for little points.

 

I think i would look at these other issues before i worried too much about 0 end vs 33++ charges...

 

but again, thats just me being anal.

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Originally posted by tesuji

I weigh in on the side of at that point its just FX.

 

64 charges or 0 end is a non-issue in enough cases to make them functionally equivalent, which is why they cost the same. Heck for most superhero games, my charges for powers usually topped at +0 (8 charge clips, 4 clips each = rarely needing to chaneg clip in a fight and able to handle four fights without reloading) although on occasion it did get to +1/4 (12 round clips with 8 clips or 8 round clips with around 16 clips) and i cannot recall enough times to fill a hand that I ever ran out.

 

While 0 end is IN THEORY better than 64 charges, in practice it will play the same, except for the once in a great while special scenarios which basically occur barely often enough to be FX.

 

Now, FWIW, i prefer as game design for CHARGES to be just a limit, a flat restriction on "uses per day" and let you buy 0 end yourself instead of having it included, but thats me being anal cuz i don't like advantages or limitations that "go both ways" as a design element.

 

If you want to find problems with the charges system, it doesn't happen at the +1/2 stage...

 

it happens at the +0 stage where four 8 round clips is enough to handle most fights with next to no "flaw" to offset the 0 end used...

 

it happens when fuel charges are used for almost anything... it used to be continuous charges but fuel charges seem to outdo them now...

 

and it may happen in multipowers where charges are bought for the slots producing a lot of shots for little points.

 

I think i would look at these other issues before i worried too much about 0 end vs 33++ charges...

 

but again, thats just me being anal.

Fuel Charges cannot be applied unless Continous Charges are bought. Continuous Charges cannot be applied to non-Constant Powers (or Powers that purchase the Continuous Advantage separately from Charges).

 

Charges placed on a MP affect the entire MP. They are not applied to each slot. For example, if you have 12 Charges on your MP, the combined total of ALL slots is 12....not 12 per slot. If you want 12 per slot, you buy Charges on each slot, but not on the MP as a whole.

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Fun with Charges

 

Buy 1 google Charges that Never Recover. You get a -1 net limitation on every single power purchased, and you never ever have to worry about End again. :P

 

Oddly enough when I asked this question to Steve, he never outright banned this construct. :confused:

 

You can also purchase 1 google Charges of End Reserve for essentially the same effect. Again, it's perfectly legal according to Steve, although your GM probably wouldn't agree. ;)

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Originally posted by dsimon

Charges placed on a MP affect the entire MP. They are not applied to each slot. For example, if you have 12 Charges on your MP, the combined total of ALL slots is 12....not 12 per slot. If you want 12 per slot, you buy Charges on each slot, but not on the MP as a whole.

 

Not necessarily. The following construct is legal:

 

30 Multipower

3 u 6d EB, 16c

3 u 2d RKA, 16c

 

Now I concur that this is another area that is not balanced. Champions III introduced a rule that charges are halved when placed in slots of a MP like this. That is, these would get only 8c, not 16. I was surprised that FRED did not incorporate this as a base rule.

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Originally posted by McCoy

The object of the mechanics is to put numbers to the concept of the character. If your concept of the character is someone who has a thousand rounds of ammunition, that's what the write-up should reflect, no matter if some other solution is more "cost effective."

 

Then why bother with the points at all?

 

A strength of HERO is that it has a point-based system that at least TRIES to balance characters. It may fail in certain areas, but that doesn't mean we should forget about it.

 

60 2d RKA; 250c

 

vs.

 

45 2d RKA; 0 END.

 

So an infinite number of shots is cheaper than 250 shots. Something is wrong. Granted, it's not a disaster, since the effect in play is USUALLY the same. However, that's no reason to ignore errors.

 

Pointing out flaws is how you improve the product. I'm not pointing fingers and screaming "Aha! See why HERO sux? We should all play d20!". Quite the opposite. I think HERO is the best RPG ever designed, flaws and all, and it is our duty as fans to try to make it even better.

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Re: Fun with Charges

 

Originally posted by Gary

Buy 1 google Charges that Never Recover.

 

Pick of Nit:

 

"Google" is the web's foremost search engine. It has become a verb. To "Google" means "to look up on the web" - cyberslang.

 

No such number as "Google".

 

Now, someone is about to pounce on me to correct me with glee.

 

Sorry.

 

You are probably thinking of "A googol", which is 10^100. A one followed by a hundred zeroes. That's also semi-slang: it was named such when a math professor wrote on a chalkboard and asked his young son what it looked like. The kid said "a googol!", and the baby-talk number was born.

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If this charge issue is really bothersome, you could have charge costs max out at +1/4 or have 0 END cost a bit more. Then, there would be a noticable point difference between infinite and eventually running out. In most games there would be no point, but I guess it could come up often in some of these military simulations.

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Originally posted by Arthur

Not necessarily. The following construct is legal:

 

30 Multipower

3 u 6d EB, 16c

3 u 2d RKA, 16c

 

Now I concur that this is another area that is not balanced. Champions III introduced a rule that charges are halved when placed in slots of a MP like this. That is, these would get only 8c, not 16. I was surprised that FRED did not incorporate this as a base rule.

Yes, read the last sentence of my original post: If you want a specific number of chartes for each slot, you place the modifier on each slot and not on the MP as a whole, which is precisely what you did.

 

The cost of the MP itself is not affected by the above construct (nor should it be, per the rules).

 

If you put the Modifier on the MP itself, then the entire MP (all slots) would have a total of 16 Charges.

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[/b]

 

Originally posted by dsimon

Fuel Charges cannot be applied unless Continous Charges are bought. Continuous Charges cannot be applied to non-Constant Powers (or Powers that purchase the Continuous Advantage separately from Charges).

Absolutely, which still leaves what i said standing fine.

Originally posted by dsimon

Charges placed on a MP affect the entire MP. They are not applied to each slot. For example, if you have 12 Charges on your MP, the combined total of ALL slots is 12....not 12 per slot. If you want 12 per slot, you buy Charges on each slot, but not on the MP as a whole.

 

you are simply wrong, or citing a house rule.

 

In HERO5, you can place charges for each slot, whether advantage or lim OR you can put charages on the multipower pool (reducing the pool cost but limiting the total uses of the MP) OR you can do both. All are legal and supported within the rules. There is even a section IIRC under multipowers which specifically discusses these options.

 

Thanks.

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Originally posted by tesuji

you are simply wrong, or citing a house rule.

 

In HERO5, you can place charges for each slot, whether advantage or lim OR you can put charages on the multipower pool (reducing the pool cost but limiting the total uses of the MP) OR you can do both. All are legal and supported within the rules. There is even a section IIRC under multipowers which specifically discusses these options.

 

Neither wrong nor a house rule, though I suspect we may be saying the same thing here. I'll go into some detail below to hopefully clear up any confusion.....

 

If you place the Charges Limitation on the MP as a whole (reducing the cost of the MP itself), the the sum total of the charges for the MP (all slots combined) is the number of Charges that you have selected. Each slot gains the benefit of 0-END from the Charges, but the cost of the slot is unaffected by the Charges Limitation.

 

If you place the Charges Limitation on an individual slot within the MP (not reducing the cost of the MP itself), the that one slot has the number of Charges specified. The cost of the slot is altered, but the cost of the MP is not affected at all.

 

For example:

 

If you have a blaster rifle with four different settings and the rifle only has enough charge for four shots, regardless of type, then you would place the Charges Limitation on the MP for the blaster. The cost of the MP would be reduced. The cost of the individual slots would not be affected, though they would get the benefit of the 0-END from the Charges. You could fire off four rounds of a single type, one of each type, or any combination therein, so long as the total shots fired did not exceed four.

 

If, however, you have a bow and arrow with several different types of arrows, then the MP for the bow would not get the Charges Limitation....the Charges Limitation would be placed on each slot, representing the number of each type of arrow that you had. The cost of the MP as a whole is not affected, just the cost of each slot.

 

I've spent quite some time going over the rules for Charges with Steve....this is the way they are supposed to work.

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[/b]

 

Originally posted by Arthur

Then why bother with the points at all?

Oh my god! Don't get me started!

Originally posted by Arthur

A strength of HERO is that it has a point-based system that at least TRIES to balance characters. It may fail in certain areas, but that doesn't mean we should forget about it.

I don't think anyone is forgetting about it. You are simply hitting one of the "common sense" areas that keeps HERo from being a computer game and keeps it being an RPG.

Originally posted by Arthur

60 2d RKA; 250c

 

vs.

 

45 2d RKA; 0 END.

 

So an infinite number of shots is cheaper than 250 shots. Something is wrong.

Indeed! But what is wrong is the apparent lack of a GM.

 

Consider the following as potential character main attacks.

 

12d6 EB

4d6 Eb with 4 levels of AP.

 

Now both cost 60 ap but they obviously have different effectivenesses. The latter would be practically useless, since the frequency of double hardened defense much less triple or quadruple hardened defenses is so low to make the attack useless, not to mention its low dc.

 

This is where the Gm should step in and say "you know, paying that much for counter hardness wont show up for this campaign often enough to make that worth the value.. "

 

Similarly, in your example, the Gm should step in and tell your guy "you know, it will be so rare that 125 shots will ever run out before you get to reload, that buying the extra doubling is really not going to show up in play." Frankly, if the guy wanted to keep the 250 charges because he is trying to emulate the real world gun or somesuch, I would think a reasonable Gm would give it to him for +1/2... the extra charges being SFX... they will never get used anyway.

 

Of course, all this changes if we are talking autofire, but if 0 end is +1/2, we ain't talking autofire.

 

The increased values beyond +1/2 are only going to be relevent and worth anything for autofire attacks, if then, so the reasonable Gm would not charge 60 for the 250c.

 

Thats why we have GMs... to be reasonable people.

Originally posted by Arthur

Granted, it's not a disaster, since the effect in play is USUALLY the same. However, that's no reason to ignore errors.

Its not an error. For the cases where 125c vs 250c will matter, its probably right spot on. These cases, however, are almost certainly going to mean AUTOFIRE. In all the other cases, if the player wants to be "unreasonable" the Gm should stpe in and lend a helping hand.

 

I mean, seriously, would you charge him 60 ap for the 250c or leave it at 45 ap?

Originally posted by Arthur

Pointing out flaws is how you improve the product. I'm not pointing fingers and screaming "Aha! See why HERO sux? We should all play d20!". Quite the opposite. I think HERO is the best RPG ever designed, flaws and all, and it is our duty as fans to try to make it even better.

 

Remember the GM sense group: Common sense, dramatic sense, and sense of balance and fairness. Without these, you are playing blind.

 

:-)

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This goes more to the other thread I started but

 

The only problem I have with putting the charges on the individual slots is that they can not be adjusted in play. So in the archery example the player has exploding, AP, gas and shock arrows. If the charges are on the slots than he must always have 4 Ex, 4 AP, 2 Gas, and 2 Shock arrows, while putting 12 charges on the whole MP with a lim that they must be selected before play allows the character to have a quiver of 1 dozen assorted arrows tailor fit to the expectations of the game session. Might make sense in some situations to have the selection be static but seems artificial for most that I can think of.

 

As far as the 0 end vs 1000 charges the advantage I see to 0 End is that assuming the real weapon lim is used the character is limited in how much ammo is carried but can be assumed to scavenge ammo from similar weapons to explain reloading, while my understanding of charges, allowing fairly easy reloads is frowned on.

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Re: Fun with Charges

 

Originally posted by Gary

Buy 1 google Charges that Never Recover. You get a -1 net limitation on every single power purchased, and you never ever have to worry about End again.

 

Oddly enough when I asked this question to Steve, he never outright banned this construct. :confused:

 

Ummm...page 179 FREd - the rule against this is in the left column, in a rather large font, prefaced by "All limitations are governed by a very simple rule:"

 

So, I would have to rule that you do not receive the -2 limitation, but you still have the +1 advantage for having over 125 charges. Guess you should have bought 0 END instead :P

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Originally posted by Toadmaster

As far as the 0 end vs 1000 charges the advantage I see to 0 End is that assuming the real weapon lim is used the character is limited in how much ammo is carried but can be assumed to scavenge ammo from similar weapons to explain reloading, while my understanding of charges, allowing fairly easy reloads is frowned on.

 

The rules suggest reducing the value of the limitation if the charges are especially easy to recover, or increasing it if they are especially difficult. So, I think the ability to recharge whenever you can return to base and scavenge shells from other tanks is worth...let's say four lines up the chart. Which is still a +1 advantage starting at with 1,000 charges.

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