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What do you think


AwesomusPrime
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First off, in my supers campaign I allow my characters to 'level up' (spend character points to improve their character) at any point in time, including in combat. They rarely do this for obvious reasons. I also impose no point cap on them.

 

So last night, in the climactic final battle, one of my heroes comes up with something I think is pretty unique.

 

He is made completely of water, and has an EC of various powers to reflect that. So he grapples the boss and floads into his lungs (using a modified desolidification) and asks how drowning works. I'm impressed and tell him, but also tell him that it could take a while. So he says to me, I want to spend my character points to gain a new ability.

 

Shoot I say to him, what will it be and I'll see if it will be allowed. Since I'm made out of water he says, and have a small amount of environmental control over water, I want an ability that wiill allow me to suck oxygen out of peoples body into myself, but only while I'm in their lungs.

 

I laughed my butt off, there goes my boss. I gave him a 140 AP END Drain with the 1 pt limitation "Only when in target's lungs".

 

It took him three drains to get his max end drained from the boss, which made the boss burn Stun for end, and when the boss finally lost consciousness my player just stayed there until his heart stopped. (This particular boss, they had seen the future, was responsible for the complete discttruction of the omniverse).

 

Anyway, struck me as amusing, now that I type it, it doesn't read as good a story, but there you have it.

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Re: What do you think

 

A 140 AP End drain?

 

:nonp:

 

How much END did that freak HAVE?

 

Still, good story (if a little morally ambiguous - to say the least - on the suffocation to death; if they have seen him destroy the omniverse but KNOW the future is not certain (if they can kill him it can't be) then there is likely to be a middle ground between murder and oblivion). I think this sort of 'apply the XP when you need it' approach is excellent for superhero games - so long as it doesn;'t slow the action too much.

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Re: What do you think

 

He had more than 100 END and more than 300 STUN.

 

The reason for the 140 AP Drain though was because the player wanted the task done, and he said I have 77 points, how much Drain can I afford with that 1 pt limitation. I said max 140, leaving you 7 points. He said Let's do it then.

 

Good times were had by all. Also concerning the moral ambiguity, the future version of this guy begged them to kill him. Also time travel ended up being very *****, if you changed the future scars would remain, so they retconned an alien invasion, but like 10% of the damage from the invasion happens anyway without cause and the populous remembers two histories.

 

Running this game taught me to never allow time travel to be a focus at all.

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Re: What do you think

 

For normal drowning' date=' we just used change environment...[/quote']

 

Change environment does not cause damage unless you buy damage for the power. Similarly it cannot normally drain or remove characteristics (REC). Being able to switch off someone's REC is a massive advantage that would normally cost a lot. In a superheroic game where REC is routinely around 15, you'd beed a 9d6 supress to accomplish the REC loss. That's 45 points, ranged and costs END.

 

You then have to be able to remove 1 END per turn (and, oddly, that's the hardest part of all of this - there simply is not a mechanic for 'damaging' END - you have to adjust it) then cause 1 STUN/phase when the END is gone then 1 Body/phase when the stun is gone.

 

Assuming an average 'superhero speed' of 6 that is 6 END/turn on average or a 1 pip drain. 3 points, but you need to add range and constant, so 7.

 

All of the above (52 points) is limited 'doesn't work if the target doesn't need to breathe'. Say (we're building this for a superhero game) -1/2 - that is fairly common. 34 points.

 

The Stun and Body is a NND Does Body, with some limitations. We'll make it a 1 pip KA NND Does Body, constant, for 20 points, only does NND Stun when target has no END/Only does Body when target has no END or STUN. Say -1: 10 points.

 

So the whole thing, costed to affect a reasonably average super character is about 44 points worth. Of course building it to actually affect ANYONE including the 50 REC 12 SPD nasty over there is prohibitively expensive, but if we assume average means it is a bargain sometimes and a burden sometimes, we bury the mechanics and just charge 45 points (we are psychotic about stuff ening in a 5 or a 0) for the ability to stop someone breathing at range, costs END.

 

Sounds about right.

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Re: What do you think

 

There's already a model in place for "suffocating" people -- mechanically it works as an NND -- it's called "CHOKE".

 

It does more damage than suffocation alone does, requires your character have martial arts and is of very limited use at range. I'd like to see the effect added as a power so MA is not the only way to access this, it can be linked to things like Entangle and Force Wall, it can be made Ranged and Area Effect, etc.

 

Just like an Eye Poke MA maneuver is not the only way to temporarily blind someone.

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Re: What do you think

 

I was about to say 'buy an NND with the same conditions as a Choke Hold,' then it occurred to me why that won't work.

 

No matter how many times you hit someone with an NND, they never take BODY.

 

Choke Hold will do 1 BODY per phase if maintained on an unconscious opponent. By current definitions, an NND cannot. You'd need a separate Drain BODY, NND, Does BODY, Triggered (when target goes unconscious). Or a separate suffocation power in the 6E rules. Or GM handwaving.

 

But a suffocation power would be a FX written as a power, wouldn't it? I'd settle for a definition on how to do it using the existing rules.

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Re: What do you think

 

Y'see we have a problem right there. Choke doesn't simulate the rules for being unable to breathe. It has no effect on REC, it has no effect on END and, unless you apply the coup de grace rule it is never, ever going to kill you.

 

We'd be better off ditching the current choke MA mechanic and doing it with a grab, defined as always targeting the throat, no direct damage but prevents you from breathing if you win a STR v STR.

 

You could do 'powered' suffocation with TK then.

 

Of course it doesn't solve the problem because it doesn't really address the situation of what happens when you want an attack that does not rely on squeezing the throat i.e. on STR.

 

Perhaps it is time of an 'airless' adder to change environment.

 

Of course one of the reasons why we don't do this is because it causes other logical and game problems.

 

If you had a power that, say, created a vacuum, then it wouldn't just prevent you from breathing, it would stop most fire powers, and prevent most electricity attacks being used at range, and all sorts of other things I have not thought of.

 

So, what we want is simply a power that triggers the suffocation rules. A suffocation adder to change environment then...or, better yet, a seperate suffocation power.

 

I'm going for this:

 

Suffocation

40 character points*

Ranged

Costs END

Constant

 

If you make a normal ranged attack against the target they cannot breathe whilst you maintain line of ssight and the power. This causes them to suffocate if they are capable of suffocation i.e. if they need to breathe. It is up to the GM to determine, based on sfx, common sense and their special GM powers, whether a particular form of LS counteracts this power. Generally it will be obvious: if the target does not need to breathe this doesn't work. If the target has extended breathing, this works, but they take damage more slowly. The problem comes with other environments. Go, GM!

 

 

NB this power would be in addition to the new rule that if you grab someone by the throat and squeeze then they cannot breathe. Actually it is a shame we need a rule like that.

 

 

 

*Arbitrish, but based round the calculation in the post above. Sort of.

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Re: What do you think

 

Y'see we have a problem right there. Choke doesn't simulate the rules for being unable to breathe. It has no effect on REC' date=' it has no effect on END and, unless you apply the coup de grace rule it is never, ever going to kill you.[/quote']

 

Quote 5Ep.264, second paragraph under Choke Hold:

 

"A charcter who is rendered unconscious by a Choke Hold maneuver can be killed by continued application of the Maneuver. After the Choke Hold has rendered the target unconscious, it will do 1 BODY per phase to the target if it is maintained."

 

Yes, choke can kill. Although why it needs to be a martial maneuver escapes me.

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Re: What do you think

 

I was about to say 'buy an NND with the same conditions as a Choke Hold,' then it occurred to me why that won't work.

 

No matter how many times you hit someone with an NND, they never take BODY.

 

Choke Hold will do 1 BODY per phase if maintained on an unconscious opponent. By current definitions, an NND cannot. You'd need a separate Drain BODY, NND, Does BODY, Triggered (when target goes unconscious). Or a separate suffocation power in the 6E rules. Or GM handwaving.

 

But a suffocation power would be a FX written as a power, wouldn't it? I'd settle for a definition on how to do it using the existing rules.

It's really not that complicated.

 

It's not that Choke Hold does 1 BODY per phase natively; its that Choke Hold references the rules for hold breath and drowning once the target is reduced to 0 STUN and below, which is what does the BODY.

 

Any effect that prevents someone from breathing would do the same; despite the topic label the "Holding Breath and Drowning" rules are indiscriminant as to cause. This is the mechanic the rules defines for not being able to breath for characters that need to. Of course, in HERO combat time terms its a very slow way to die, but that's not inaccurate -- people generally don't suffocate in a 12 second TURN or less ;)

 

 

On the other hand if your intent is simply to KILL and to do so quickly, and you are willing to pay for a power to do it then some variation of a KILLING attack (perhaps with NND does body, perhaps with just lots of dice and partially limited to not affect people with some flavor of LS), with the SFX of "choking" or "drowning" is likely to be more efficient. If you want it to be less persistent then a DRAIN vs BODY is also an option. SUPPRESS vs BODY would be an even better option but is unusable due to the stupid "comes back to live when the Suppress is over" clause explicitly noted for BODY (which makes no sense to me personally). Whichever floats your boat.

 

To reiterate, there is a built in mechanic for people to die when they cannot breathe that does not cost points to utilize but is circumstance driven and relatively slow to work. However if you just want to kill then its more efficient to go after BODY directly; the means / rationale of how you are killing is just SFX.

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Re: What do you think

 

It's not that Choke Hold does 1 BODY per phase natively; its that Choke Hold references the rules for hold breath and drowning once the target is reduced to 0 STUN and below, which is what does the BODY.

 

Any effect that prevents someone from breathing would do the same; despite the topic label the "Holding Breath and Drowning" rules are indiscriminant as to cause. This is the mechanic the rules defines for not being able to breath for characters that need to. Of course, in HERO combat time terms its a very slow way to die, but that's not inaccurate -- people generally don't suffocate in a 12 second TURN or less ;)

****************************************************

To reiterate, there is a built in mechanic for people to die when they cannot breathe that does not cost points to utilize but is circumstance driven and relatively slow to work. However if you just want to kill then its more efficient to go after BODY directly; the means / rationale of how you are killing is just SFX.

 

There is a built-in mechanic that people who cannot breathe take no STUN damage until they run out of END, get no recoveries while unable to breathe, and lose END while unable to breathe.

 

Choke Hold does not follow any of these mechanics. Why not? If it results in loss of the ability to breathe, would it not reasonably follow that we would look to the rules of what happens if you are unable to breathe to determine the results?

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Re: What do you think

 

There is a built-in mechanic that people who cannot breathe take no STUN damage until they run out of END, get no recoveries while unable to breathe, and lose END while unable to breathe.

 

Choke Hold does not follow any of these mechanics. Why not? If it results in loss of the ability to breathe, would it not reasonably follow that we would look to the rules of what happens if you are unable to breathe to determine the results?

 

 

Actually it does. Go read the rules on it again; Choke Hold directly refers to the suffocating rules and reiterates the important piece of them from the context of combat (the rate at which BODY damage accrues).

 

A Choke knocks someone out via NND STUN damage if maintained long enough.

 

 

EDIT: Of course, on a side note, if the victim is knocked out, its also possible to do a coup de'grace and kill them if you have means, so the point is largely moot.

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Re: What do you think

 

Actually it does. Go read the rules on it again; Choke Hold directly refers to the suffocating rules and reiterates the important piece of them from the context of combat (the rate at which BODY damage accrues).

 

A Choke knocks someone out via NND STUN damage if maintained long enough.

 

EDIT: Of course, on a side note, if the victim is knocked out, its also possible to do a coup de'grace and kill them if you have means, so the point is largely moot.

 

OK, maybe there's a major change I'm not reading (no book with me). Correct me on where I'm wrong:

 

- Choke Hold does STUN each phase. Drowning does no STUN as long as you have END left.

 

- Drowning requires the victim lose 1 END per phase minimum. Does Choke Hold now also have that effect?

 

- Drowning removes the ability to recover. I assume Choke Hold now also has that effect.

 

- Once I'm out of END, I drown at 1 STUN per phase. Choke Hold does more than 1 STUN per phase.

 

Finally, I can't enhance suffocation damage by purchasing damage classes. I can upgrade Choke Hold damage by purchasing damage classes.

 

With this, and the fact that Choke Hold is available only as a martial maneuver (making it hard to incorporate into, say, an Entangle, Change Environment or Force Wall), I suggest there is a need for an actual "suffocate" power.

 

And if we're coming up with 40+ points for Suffocate, I further suggest that Choke Hold is substantially underpriced!

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Re: What do you think

 

OK, maybe there's a major change I'm not reading (no book with me). Correct me on where I'm wrong:

 

- Choke Hold does STUN each phase. Drowning does no STUN as long as you have END left.

 

- Drowning requires the victim lose 1 END per phase minimum. Does Choke Hold now also have that effect?

 

- Drowning removes the ability to recover. I assume Choke Hold now also has that effect.

 

- Once I'm out of END, I drown at 1 STUN per phase. Choke Hold does more than 1 STUN per phase.

 

Finally, I can't enhance suffocation damage by purchasing damage classes. I can upgrade Choke Hold damage by purchasing damage classes.

 

With this, and the fact that Choke Hold is available only as a martial maneuver (making it hard to incorporate into, say, an Entangle, Change Environment or Force Wall), I suggest there is a need for an actual "suffocate" power.

 

And if we're coming up with 40+ points for Suffocate, I further suggest that Choke Hold is substantially underpriced!

 

You're missing the point...Choke knocks you out first, and then you start suffocating. "Finish to start".

 

As far as the need for a suffocate power, why? If you want to kill just kill. The how of killing is just SFX.

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Re: What do you think

 

OK, maybe there's a major change I'm not reading (no book with me). Correct me on where I'm wrong:

 

- Choke Hold does STUN each phase. Drowning does no STUN as long as you have END left.

 

- Drowning requires the victim lose 1 END per phase minimum. Does Choke Hold now also have that effect?

 

- Drowning removes the ability to recover. I assume Choke Hold now also has that effect.

 

- Once I'm out of END, I drown at 1 STUN per phase. Choke Hold does more than 1 STUN per phase.

 

Finally, I can't enhance suffocation damage by purchasing damage classes. I can upgrade Choke Hold damage by purchasing damage classes.

 

With this, and the fact that Choke Hold is available only as a martial maneuver (making it hard to incorporate into, say, an Entangle, Change Environment or Force Wall), I suggest there is a need for an actual "suffocate" power.

 

And if we're coming up with 40+ points for Suffocate, I further suggest that Choke Hold is substantially underpriced!

 

It is possible for things to be related without being identical.

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Re: What do you think

 

Choke Hold (I just looked it up - p399) does not do END damage of any sort. It does NND stun and, once you are KO'd, it does 1 Body per phase if maintained. Presumably from context, that is 1 Body per attacker phase. This is a 'logical freebie' - you don't pay points to be able to kill with this particular NND. I was wrong about not being able to do Body with it in my earlier post, but that is unnecessary anyway, as you could use the coup-de-grace rule anyway on a helpless opponent - p411)

 

Moreover is does 2d6 NND damage per phase and the damage can be increased with damage classes - which makes no sense at all if what you are doing is suffocating.

 

The effects of holding someone's had under water and putting them in a choke hold are therefore enormously different.

 

To be honest, although it is called a choke hold I'd always assumed that what you were doing was cutting off the blood supply by squeezing on the major veins. That will KO and then kill you nice and quick.

 

Choke hold does not in any useful way emulate the rules for suffocation IMO.

 

The problem is we have a system mechanic (suffocation) and we are a bit timid about using it when we play the game. If you hold someone's head under water, then you wouldn't worry about using suffocation rules. If you cover someone's mouth and nose, ditto. If you squeeze their airways shut then ditto too IMO, and you could do that physically or with TK.

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Re: What do you think

 

You're missing the point...Choke knocks you out first' date=' and [i']then [/i]you start suffocating. "Finish to start".

 

As far as the need for a suffocate power, why? If you want to kill just kill. The how of killing is just SFX.

 

Because it is a rational power effect for a character who can:

 

- removing the air from an area (Red Tornado and Flash can do this)

 

- tainting the air in an area (remove oxygen from the air; Aquaman has had to deal with opponents who remove it from water)

 

- closing the victim's airways (some spells in source material)

 

- an entangle that blocks the airways (SpiderMan, Trapster, Iceman, a Web spell)

 

- a Force Wall that is airtight (Sue Storm has beaten the Hulk HOW many times using this?)

 

The goal is not to kill the target. It is to simulate a character who cuts off the target's supply of air. We currently have no means of permitting a character to cause the environmental effects of having no oxygen to breathe. Yet the ability to do so is not so strange that it should not be allowed for.

 

As the real world results from them are also enormously different I would hope that the game effects would be as well.

 

Which says "we don't have a power which emulates the effects of suffocation in the game". That's my point exactly - a choke hold is not simply loss of oxygen.

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Re: What do you think

 

Choke Hold (I just looked it up - p399) does not do END damage of any sort. It does NND stun and, once you are KO'd, it does 1 Body per phase if maintained. Presumably from context, that is 1 Body per attacker phase. This is a 'logical freebie' - you don't pay points to be able to kill with this particular NND. I was wrong about not being able to do Body with it in my earlier post, but that is unnecessary anyway, as you could use the coup-de-grace rule anyway on a helpless opponent - p411)

 

Moreover is does 2d6 NND damage per phase and the damage can be increased with damage classes - which makes no sense at all if what you are doing is suffocating.

 

The effects of holding someone's had under water and putting them in a choke hold are therefore enormously different.

 

To be honest, although it is called a choke hold I'd always assumed that what you were doing was cutting off the blood supply by squeezing on the major veins. That will KO and then kill you nice and quick.

 

Choke hold does not in any useful way emulate the rules for suffocation IMO.

 

The problem is we have a system mechanic (suffocation) and we are a bit timid about using it when we play the game. If you hold someone's head under water, then you wouldn't worry about using suffocation rules. If you cover someone's mouth and nose, ditto. If you squeeze their airways shut then ditto too IMO, and you could do that physically or with TK.

 

I agree 100%. I think the problem comes to costing. On the one hand, this can be hideously effective (no REC, for example) on a large proportion of opponents. On the other hand, it's extremely slow if applied in combat.

 

But it's an effect the system should be able to emulate.

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Re: What do you think

 

Moreover is does 2d6 NND damage per phase and the damage can be increased with damage classes - which makes no sense at all if what you are doing is suffocating.

 

But given the FX, there could also be sufficient presssure on the carotid arteries to diminish (or even cut off) blood flow to the brain. That would speed things up considerably.

 

The effects of holding someone's had under water and putting them in a choke hold are therefore enormously different.

 

Both in real life and in the game.

 

To be honest, although it is called a choke hold I'd always assumed that what you were doing was cutting off the blood supply by squeezing on the major veins. That will KO and then kill you nice and quick.

 

That could be. But the defense is 'not needing to breathe' (among other things).

 

Choke hold does not in any useful way emulate the rules for suffocation IMO.

 

Debateable. But I conceed your point as your honest opinion.

 

The problem is we have a system mechanic (suffocation) and we are a bit timid about using it when we play the game. If you hold someone's head under water, then you wouldn't worry about using suffocation rules. If you cover someone's mouth and nose, ditto. If you squeeze their airways shut then ditto too IMO, and you could do that physically or with TK.

 

Some advice for GM's about this situation would be nice, I agree with you there. I just don't know that a separate power build is necessarty for this single special effect.

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