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Super Action rules interpretation


RDU Neil
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Interpretation of Action question: I'm very interested in hearing how some of you would interpret the following: A villain with a forcewall... a speedster with desolidification. Speedster wants to run at through the forcewall desolid and then turn solid and hit them. It is very "in concept" but likely violates the rules.

 

Those of you who really are into the RAW of Hero... how would you interpret these actions? Can a zero phase action (turning on or off a power) happen in the middle of another action (in this case, move through)? Would the character need to "Turn desol, half move through wall, turn solid, strike" by the RAW? (This seems much more in line with the rules IMO.)

 

I, personally, as the GM would like to allow a combination of Int and Dex roles to judge timing and distance by the character... failure at which could mean a variety of screw ups... but still allow the potential. I would just like to compare that idea with the RAW.

 

(Again, I understand that as GM, I can allow any interpretation I want... I'd just like to get an objective RAW statement on this, as I have no access to 5th Ed at this time.)

 

thanks

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Re: Super Action rules interpretation

 

Interpretation of Action question: I'm very interested in hearing how some of you would interpret the following: A villain with a forcewall... a speedster with desolidification. Speedster wants to run at through the forcewall desolid and then turn solid and hit them. It is very "in concept" but likely violates the rules.

 

Those of you who really are into the RAW of Hero... how would you interpret these actions? Can a zero phase action (turning on or off a power) happen in the middle of another action (in this case, move through)? Would the character need to "Turn desol, half move through wall, turn solid, strike" by the RAW? (This seems much more in line with the rules IMO.)

 

I, personally, as the GM would like to allow a combination of Int and Dex roles to judge timing and distance by the character... failure at which could mean a variety of screw ups... but still allow the potential. I would just like to compare that idea with the RAW.

 

(Again, I understand that as GM, I can allow any interpretation I want... I'd just like to get an objective RAW statement on this, as I have no access to 5th Ed at this time.)

 

thanks

 

Would you allow Indirect on his Move Through attack? Because that's what it sounds like he wants.

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Re: Super Action rules interpretation

 

Would you allow Indirect on his Move Through attack? Because that's what it sounds like he wants.

 

This isn't a "build" question, but an "in game maneuver" question.

 

Can someone turn off desol midway through a move through attack, to pass through stuff on their way to the target, then be solid to hit the target at the end?

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Re: Super Action rules interpretation

 

I had this come up with my PC recently, and no he can't do all those things in one Phase, as per the RAW.

 

Even though activating a Power is a Zero Phase Action' date=' unless the GM rules otherwise a character may not both activate and deactivate a given power in a Phase (nor may he switch slots in a Power Framework more than once in a Phase). For example, a character cannot start his Phase solid, Hold his Phase, become Desolidified when someone attacks him, then become solid again and attack — having chosen to turn on his Desolidification this Phase, he can’t turn it off during this Phase as well. However, the GM may choose to allow a character to do this as a campaign ground rule, as a one-time thing in appropriate circumstances, or as a trick occasionally pulled with the assistance of an appropriate Power Skill roll.[/quote']

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Re: Super Action rules interpretation

 

This isn't a "build" question, but an "in game maneuver" question.

 

Can someone turn off desol midway through a move through attack, to pass through stuff on their way to the target, then be solid to hit the target at the end?

 

I'm just going back to the question of "What are you trying to do?" It seems that he is trying to hit his opponent by circumventing a barrier, which means Indirect to me. The special effect would be "he goes Desol, passes through the force wall, then goes solid again in time to hit the big bad."

 

If this doesn't track for you, then no biggie, that's just how I see it. Personally, it seems pretty inventive, so I would allow it if the character had a speedster tricks roll, or like you said a Dex and Int roll (and the character would have to see the force wall, or seen attacks hit it, to know how much room he had to go back solid again).

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Re: Super Action rules interpretation

 

According to the rules for the speedball special in the Champions genre book (Which is doing the kind of thing your asking) it states:

the character could

activate Desolidification

after making a Half

Move, and thus move

through solid objects in

his path. The problem

with doing so is that the

rules would not normally

allow him to turn his

Desolidification off in

time to hit the target and

injure him. In this case,

the GM can either grant

an exception to that rule,

or allow an exception if

the character succeeds

with a roll with an appropriate

Power Skill or

other Skill.

 

That basically means, the character could run desolidified, but only if his speed didn't exceed a half move. He needs a half move to turn off, and you could treat it as if the guy was using his speed to push him ahead, or the concentration slowed him down.

 

Again, Use GM common sense in this case.

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Re: Super Action rules interpretation

 

I'm just going back to the question of "What are you trying to do?" It seems that he is trying to hit his opponent by circumventing a barrier, which means Indirect to me. The special effect would be "he goes Desol, passes through the force wall, then goes solid again in time to hit the big bad."

 

If this doesn't track for you, then no biggie, that's just how I see it. Personally, it seems pretty inventive, so I would allow it if the character had a speedster tricks roll, or like you said a Dex and Int roll (and the character would have to see the force wall, or seen attacks hit it, to know how much room he had to go back solid again).

 

If he wanted to buy a build like that... could be cool, yes. He doesn't have that power, so I was really trying to look at just the manuever of Move-Through, married with the maneuver of zero phase action to turn off a power.

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Re: Super Action rules interpretation

 

According to the rules for the speedball special in the Champions genre book (Which is doing the kind of thing your asking) it states:

the character could

activate Desolidification

after making a Half

Move, and thus move

through solid objects in

his path. The problem

with doing so is that the

rules would not normally

allow him to turn his

Desolidification off in

time to hit the target and

injure him. In this case,

the GM can either grant

an exception to that rule,

or allow an exception if

the character succeeds

with a roll with an appropriate

Power Skill or

other Skill.

 

That basically means, the character could run desolidified, but only if his speed didn't exceed a half move. He needs a half move to turn off, and you could treat it as if the guy was using his speed to push him ahead, or the concentration slowed him down.

 

Again, Use GM common sense in this case.

 

A half move to turn off a power? Really? Wow. I totally missed that. Thanks for the reference.

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Re: Super Action rules interpretation

 

I had this come up with my PC recently, and no he can't do all those things in one Phase, as per the RAW.

 

 

Great reference. I hadn't realized (still stuck in 4th ED in my mind) that the "can't turn on and off in same phase" rule existed.

 

Still... this implies that if a character STARTED the phase desol already, he could move and turn it off and then attack... hmmmm.

 

I wonder how much this "rule" exists purely because of the power of desol. What other power has such munchkin issues if allowed to be turned on and off multiple times in a single phase?

 

thanks

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Re: Super Action rules interpretation

 

Great reference. I hadn't realized (still stuck in 4th ED in my mind) that the "can't turn on and off in same phase" rule existed.

 

Still... this implies that if a character STARTED the phase desol already, he could move and turn it off and then attack... hmmmm.

 

I wonder how much this "rule" exists purely because of the power of desol. What other power has such munchkin issues if allowed to be turned on and off multiple times in a single phase?

 

thanks

Are you using Luck Chits and if so can he Flex his Power?

 

Otherwise, Turn on Desolidification, Move.

 

Next Action Turn Solid then Attack.

 

 

Cheers

 

 

QM

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Re: Super Action rules interpretation

 

Are you using Luck Chits and if so can he Flex his Power?

 

Otherwise, Turn on Desolidification, Move.

 

Next Action Turn Solid then Attack.

 

 

Cheers

 

 

QM

 

Yeah... a blue chit solves this completely! :)

 

Unfortunately, this is an online game and "throwing chits" isn't so effective. Really, the question is one of me verifying the RAW before I make my call.

 

Thanks (and Rep) to all!

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Re: Super Action rules interpretation

 

the hero would have had to already be desolid before his phase starts

then he could pass through the force wall then become solid to hit the villian

it is a matter of timing

this is where the hero needs to think 1 or 2 moves ahead of the time

 

now this may also prove to be a problem for the speedster as the cost of force-walls can be huge(might not be a problem for the villian)as it might have a small area it covers if it is all incompassing and the speedster will have no chance to slow down

and slam into the backside of the force wall

the villian may also sucker the speedster by putting his back to the wall to add to not getting knocked backed so the speedster takes full damage

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Re: Super Action rules interpretation

 

I think we are running into a situation with a HERO Power (Desolidification) that happened to be at least partially modeled on the abilities of a certain speedster from comics (Flash). This in turn is confusing the principle of 'reason from effects'.

 

If the speedster in question just wants to move past the Force Wall (which we'll assume is not opaque) and already has the power to 'vibrate his molecules through solid objects' why not just use the ultimate method of moving past something - Teleportation (instead of Desolidification)? If the Desolidification is in a Multipower and labeled "Walking Through Walls' just make another slot for the Teleportation and label it "Walking Through Walls 2". If it's a one time use you could arguably use the Power Skill to pull this off as well.

 

Sure, he can't use it to increase any velocity based combat manuevers but he can certainly make a Half Move and then punch the guy (adding any appropriate HA) once inside the Force Wall.

 

HM

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Re: Super Action rules interpretation

 

You could have the speedster buy desolid with affects real world modifier. This could simulate the "speed" with which the character could turn on & off their desolid power.

 

The Affects Physical World Advantage is probably what you're referring to. It usually has to be applied to a Power that affects others or STR.

 

One way to do that would be:

 

40 Affects Physical World (+2) (40 Active Points) applied to STR (20 in this example) - END=4

 

So the character in question could use the Power Skill to use this ability with Desolidification & Running as well. In this case he could add any velocity based bonus damage to his STR as well (Any HA would need its own separate APW Advantage to work too).

 

HM

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Re: Super Action rules interpretation

 

At this point the discussion has gone far beyond my initial question... but hey, thread tangents are fun.

 

What we get into now are very different game philosophies and interpretations of Hero.

 

To me... having to start worrying about weird builds with telelportation and STR usable when desol and such is not a good thing. Basically, I have a Speedster who can move fast and vibrate through solid objects. I want to move through objects and hit something on the far side in one action.

 

The game answers this very simply... no, you can't for game balance reasons.

 

To me, that is fine.

 

To others it seems to instill this desire to go out and find mechanical power builds in order to simulate the effect wanted.

 

Neither interpretation is right or wrong... but they are sometimes at odds with each other in terms of actual game play and "fun."

 

I find nothing fun about digging around with strange power builds to generate specific effects. The whole "stunt build" thing is WAY over done, IMO. Yet others really get into it. Part of the fun and challenge of Hero is to "engineer" cool game effects through power builds.

 

The big issue is that both of these are possible, but they actually indicate very different and often opposing game play styles and desires.

 

I'm of the school that the harder it is to build an effect, the more you need to realize the game is telling you "don't do this" and so it becomes a philosophical question of "how and when do I allow this rule breakage in actual play that doesn't degenerate the game"... whereas the other side is saying, "Anything is possible as long as you throw enough points and engineered power constructs at it."

 

The philosopher's approach to play vs. the engineer's.

 

On the philosopher side, my question is, "Why should it be so hard to create a pretty standard genre convention with Hero?"

 

That leads to "Because in game play of an RPG as opposed to a written story in a comic book, that genre convention is unbalancing."

 

This leads to, "Ok, so the real question is, how do we (or do we at all) incorporate the genre convention without it breaking the game?"

 

Which leads to "Why do we even want that genre convention?" Normally the answer is either, "eh... we don't really, it isn't that big a deal or is actually something we actively don't like" or "the convention is pretty cool and dramatic in the right moments."

 

Now the real question is revealed... "How do we allow for Dramatic use of character abilities that are probably game unbalancing if considered a conventional use ability?"

 

That's the way my mind works.

 

While I completely understand the "power construct/power stunt" way of thinking, it is unnaturaly, mind numbing and decidedly un-fun for me to do or discuss. I dislike having to jump through Rube Goldberg-like hoops for what is a very clean and simple concept.

 

The engineer LOVES those hoops. That hoop jumping is part of the absolute appeal of Hero. That puzzle building, mechanical functioning is entertaining for its own sake in many ways, and thus drives a very different method of problem solving.

 

Both create a very, VERY different feel in actual play, because play is based on interpretation in RPGs. The SIS is all about shared imaginary interpretation about "how things work."

 

 

I find it fascinating... and the reason I post this, is that I think a lot of Hero interpretation discussions talk past each other... 'cause one person is an engineer and the other more a philosopher and they aren't really approaching things from the same stance at all... and my not even define the problem in the same way.

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Re: Super Action rules interpretation

 

When I read the following from your first post:

 

 

I, personally, as the GM would like to allow a combination of Int and Dex roles to judge timing and distance by the character... failure at which could mean a variety of screw ups... but still allow the potential. I would just like to compare that idea with the RAW.

 

 

I immediately thought "Power Skill".

 

When I read this from your more recent reply:

 

The game answers this very simply... no, you can't for game balance reasons.

 

I thought...

final game balance decisions (that is, what effects are unbalancing for a specific game) are ultimately the GM's responsibility. The rule system is just a tool. Whether or not some builds are easier because the desired effect has a similar name to a default power should not be a constraint on how that effect is built in HERO (or whether or not it's balanced or not for a particular game).

 

But there is no right or wrong answer in this case.

It's your game to run.

:celebrate

 

HM

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Re: Super Action rules interpretation

 

I gave you an example of what to do

you just need to be desolid before the start of your phase

then go solid after you pass through the force wall

it gets the effect you want

you just have to set your self up 1 phase before you do it

you could be desolid and dodging to draw fire from your target or not

this is a way and there is no need to have a complex build

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Re: Super Action rules interpretation

 

I don't understand why we're overcomplicating this.

 

Teleport 15" (Or more, if your player is a cheesemonkey, he shouldn't be able to do this instantaneously from vast distances away)

 

+6d6 HA, only to hit people after the teleport is completed.

 

BIFF!

 

And that way, if the Force Wall is hardened vs. Teleportation, there's even a defense.

 

If you don't want to be able to have a defense, then buy the teleport with NND, and define the defense as some sort of motion based force screen special effect and a couple weird defenses, and you're good.

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Re: Super Action rules interpretation

 

I gave you an example of what to do

you just need to be desolid before the start of your phase

then go solid after you pass through the force wall

it gets the effect you want

you just have to set your self up 1 phase before you do it

you could be desolid and dodging to draw fire from your target or not

this is a way and there is no need to have a complex build

 

No... i totally agree that this is the best answer. Use two actions to set yourself up to do it, so you are using the base, clean, functional rules and not trying to break them, or create a kludgy power stunt.

 

It was just that I framed the initial question as "Can this be done in one action..." and got the answer I expected, which was "no"

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Re: Super Action rules interpretation

 

... or create a kludgy power stunt.

 

Let me give a counter view to such a situation.

 

When I encounter a situation similar to what you describe I have, on more than one occasion, heard a GM ask "is that power on your character sheet?" and if the answer is no, then that is the justification for denying the action. This can be regardless of whether the action otherwise fits withing the character's 'shtick' or sfx.

 

This makes it look like bad character design is being used as a justification to deny a character's desired action when the real reason is the GM feels that the action (whatever it may be) if successful could be unbalancing to the game. This is why I 'over-engineer' most of my character builds. It helps me better describe all the various directions that my character's powers can be used. At the same time it helps the GM see potential issues with plot and/or game balance breaking abilities (that are not always apparent when using a one-word description for a character's powers like 'speedster').

 

I know that there are many HERO/Champions players who do not approach character creation with an engineer's eye. It wouldn't suprise me if they outnumber the engineer types (like myself). I have played in games where the GM's had a clear vision of what they felt was unbalancing and relied on this vision to overide whatever was on character sheets and/or the rules. They relied upon character 'shtick' more than core mechanics (especially when ALL the characters were not built in an overly-efficient manner). They were often good games.

 

I see that I am rambling...

 

I don't mean this as a personal attack so please don't take it that way.

 

It just bothers me when I see GM's saying one thing (let me see if this is allowed in 'the' rules..) when what they really mean (let me think about whether I want to allow this within 'my game'). The core rules for HERO are just a set of options that a GM chooses from to build a consistent ruleset (for all intents and purposes - house rules, even if not codified) to run his chosen game setting. Whether or not a player's description of his character's actions make sense or not in game terms, by itself, does not mean the actions are illegal in the game setting. It could just mean that the player should have instead described the actions without using any game mechanic terms. Then the GM can judge the actions outside of game terms to see if they make sense or not. The mechanics are just a way to codify such GM value judgements for consistent implimentation in the future. The rules should not be used as a crutch.

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Re: Super Action rules interpretation

 

Let me give a counter view to such a situation.

 

When I encounter a situation similar to what you describe I have, on more than one occasion, heard a GM ask "is that power on your character sheet?" and if the answer is no, then that is the justification for denying the action. This can be regardless of whether the action otherwise fits withing the character's 'shtick' or sfx.

 

This makes it look like bad character design is being used as a justification to deny a character's desired action when the real reason is the GM feels that the action (whatever it may be) if successful could be unbalancing to the game. This is why I 'over-engineer' most of my character builds. It helps me better describe all the various directions that my character's powers can be used. At the same time it helps the GM see potential issues with plot and/or game balance breaking abilities (that are not always apparent when using a one-word description for a character's powers like 'speedster').

 

I know that there are many HERO/Champions players who do not approach character creation with an engineer's eye. It wouldn't suprise me if they outnumber the engineer types (like myself). I have played in games where the GM's had a clear vision of what they felt was unbalancing and relied on this vision to overide whatever was on character sheets and/or the rules. They relied upon character 'shtick' more than core mechanics (especially when ALL the characters were not built in an overly-efficient manner). They were often good games.

 

I see that I am rambling...

 

I don't mean this as a personal attack so please don't take it that way.

 

It just bothers me when I see GM's saying one thing (let me see if this is allowed in 'the' rules..) when what they really mean (let me think about whether I want to allow this within 'my game'). The core rules for HERO are just a set of options that a GM chooses from to build a consistent ruleset (for all intents and purposes - house rules, even if not codified) to run his chosen game setting. Whether or not a player's description of his character's actions make sense or not in game terms, by itself, does not mean the actions are illegal in the game setting. It could just mean that the player should have instead described the actions without using any game mechanic terms. Then the GM can judge the actions outside of game terms to see if they make sense or not. The mechanics are just a way to codify such GM value judgements for consistent implimentation in the future. The rules should not be used as a crutch.

 

 

Great post... and no I don't take it as an attack at all. It is a perfect example of what I mean when the two approaches can be opposing in game play.

 

I know people who would absolutely expect and feel justified to play by the "is it on your sheet?" kind of game. They would feel cheated by a GM allowing loose interpretation for dramatic sake, when they had spent so much time trying to engineer the most complete character and wanted that to really mean something.

 

Just as those who'd get quite p.o.'d if a rule meant for game balance is used to say, "no you can't do that schtick, no matter how cool it would seem."

 

Actual play often reveals these things and I totally agree with you that what the GM really means is "it would hinky things up" but uses the "not per the rules." In some folks defense, they KNOW that the rules exist as is in order to "not hinky things up" and thus "no, that isn't on your sheet" is implicitly saying that. Unfortunately the message gets lost.

 

In many ways, Hero leaves itself so open to interpretation that it generates these miscommunication areas. Whenever I've talked about "Please put design intent into the book" this is exactly what I want to see. Things as simple as, "The reason the game doesn't allow multiple on-offs of powers in a single phase is because certain powers like Desol and Force Wall can be quite abusive and unbalancing, so this general rule prevents that." Explain the intent of the rule when possible.

 

It is also the age old curse of the GM that they are judged as being unfair when they break the rules against the player, but never get recognized when they break the rules in the player's favor. People instinctively want to put the decision on "the rules" rather than on themselves, 'cause they avoid the potential reaction of what might be seen as arbitrary or unfair.

 

Also... one of the reasons I point this out is that on these threads it is interesting to see how certain people answer from a "Well, how would you allow this as a GM" and others jump to "How would I build a power construct to achieve that?" kind of answer. We are all formed by our environments, and to your point, your environment has rewarded the engineer, so you are primed to think that way as often as not.

 

Not right or wrong... but different enough that people need to recognize when they might seem like they are talking about the same thing, but are really in different worlds.

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