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Midas

Point Caps: Why are limitations inferior to advantages?

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Re: Point Caps: Why are limitations inferior to advantages?

 

Still here guys. Just because I don't reply often doesn't mean I've gone away. :P

 

Actually, I've been at this a long time.

 

My nephew and I had been playing Carwars, and went to a convention. Sam brings me this new thing called "Autoduel Champions" to run. I say I'm not into superheroics, but he convinces me to buy this "Champions" system anyway. I remember hooking the team up to the buggy like it was yesterday...

 

My question isn't really a "newbie" question, or a "game" question, it's a math question: I need to explain to Mathlete (and myself) how the following formula works:

 

3X over 3 =/= X.

 

And yes, Lucius and Killer Shrike answered the question, well enough. I'm curious though about the difference between "active point caps" and "damage point caps."

 

(No, I'm not still playing 1e, but FReD is the last rulebook I've picked up).

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Re: Point Caps: Why are limitations inferior to advantages?

 

I

My point (and I did have one) was that regardless of the join dates, years spent playing Hero, number of posts, whatever, of those replying to their questions... some people have spent that extra 3 points on Life Support: Immune to Advice and the only way they'll learn anything is to try something for themselves and find out the hard way whether it works or not. (I used to be one of them. Occasionally I have a relapse, and it sucks.)

 

 

I'm the same way too. For me, it takes the play experience to understand that there is a reason why the creators put those funny symbols by certain powers. Also it helps that I play with a very experienced person too so when the dice give you different results than what is to be expected, he points out that the result is a fluke. First time I used find weakness in a game, some people rolled extremely well (he was one of them) and I had 1/8 normal defenses for the master villian-ouch. (Since the rolls didn't specifiy a limit, I wanted to see how bad it could get. Now I know.)

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Re: Point Caps: Why are limitations inferior to advantages?

 

I'm curious though about the difference between "active point caps" and "damage point caps."

 

Most Active Point Caps are put into place because the GM wants to limit the amount of Damage that can be done in a campaign - or is most worried about Combat Powers (or work in, around, or effect Combat). Therefore the AP is mostly there to measure Attack Powers and limit Damage Classes.

 

One of the ideas introduced in 6th Edition was that if an Advantage doesn't add into how a power does Damage, it doesn't add to the overall Damage Classes of the Power. For example "Reduced Endurance" doesn't add, change, affect, or otherwise interact with the Damage Roll and Applied Defenses, and isn't an Advantage that adds Damage Classes to an attack, therefore it will add to the Active Points, but not the Damage Class; if you have an AP Cap, then a power with Reduced Endurance may be used indiscriminately, but overall does less damage, making it moderately less effective from a pure combat aspect.

 

If you implement a Damage Class Cap, you're only concerned with the actual damage causing parts.

 

Now, if you implement both a Damage Class and Active Point Cap you can limit both sides - say 12 Damage Classes (60 AP of straight Blast) and 75 AP (adding a +1/4 Advantage to that); you can make sure they don't stack just tons of Advantages and Limitations onto a Power while still concentrating one of the limits on just the damage portion.

 

Furthermore, once you leave Combat Effects behind, there's a lot of interesting and cool things that can be done in Hero, but sometimes just require lots of points, and sometimes not. Without an Active Point Cap in the campaign you give players a little more free reign to get inventive.

 

If you're worried about game breaking - well, a creative enough player can do that with 10 Active Points as easily as he can with 100 Active Points. Which is where the GMs "No" comes in.

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Re: Point Caps: Why are limitations inferior to advantages?

 

Hero only pretends to balance, and it co-opts us to the illusion by the subtle use of mnemonic cues scattered through the text that alter our moral nature, ensuring that we do not abuse the power we have been given, which is all too easy.

 

With that in mind, build whatever you want.

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Re: Point Caps: Why are limitations inferior to advantages?

 

One of the ideas introduced in 6th Edition was that if an Advantage doesn't add into how a power does Damage' date=' it doesn't add to the overall Damage Classes of the Power. For example "Reduced Endurance" doesn't add, change, affect, or otherwise interact with the Damage Roll and Applied Defenses, and isn't an Advantage that adds Damage Classes to an attack, therefore it will add to the Active Points, but not the Damage Class; if you have an AP Cap, then a power with Reduced Endurance may be used indiscriminately, but overall does less damage, making it moderately less effective from a pure combat aspect.[/quote']

 

Actually, I'm pretty that's been in the rules since at least 5ER, but you're spot on otherwise.

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Re: Point Caps: Why are limitations inferior to advantages?

 

This:

 

Slow Burn: Blast 2d6, Constant (+1/2), Attack Versus Alternate Defense (Life Support: Heat; All Or Nothing; +1), Does BODY (+1), Reduced Endurance (0 END; +1), Autofire (5 shots; +1/2), Non-Standard Attack Power (+1) (60 Active Points)

 

...is a 10DC attack (the reduced END does not add to the active points for calculating DCs) that does 2d6 Damage (average 7 STUN and 2 BODY) to anyone who does not have LS: Heat, and keeps doing it, until they burn up from the inside and go all crispy like. It is autofire so, on a good roll, can do up to 5 times that amount (youch!) and can be re-applied cumulatively every phase.

 

That is well within a superhero game DC limit, and active point limit, but is probably a demonstration of a power you'd all have a good laugh about then, well, burn. You can build this perfectly legally and it is nasty because of synergy. It is a good demonstration that not every power that can be built for a certain number of points, or within a given DC limit, comes out equal.

 

Points are one of many balancing mechanisms that Hero uses, but not the only one.

 

Someone is going to ask me what is wrong with it now, I can feel it coming...there will probably be charts.

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Re: Point Caps: Why are limitations inferior to advantages?

 

Slow Burn: Blast 2d6' date=' Constant (+1/2), Attack Versus Alternate Defense (Life Support: Heat; All Or Nothing; +1), Does BODY (+1), Reduced Endurance (0 END; +1), Autofire (5 shots; +1/2), Non-Standard Attack Power (+1) [b'](60 Active Points)[/b]

 

...is a 10DC attack (the reduced END does not add to the active points for calculating DCs) that does 2d6 Damage (average 7 STUN and 2 BODY) to anyone who does not have LS: Heat, and keeps doing it, until they burn up from the inside and go all crispy like. It is autofire so, on a good roll, can do up to 5 times that amount (youch!) and can be re-applied cumulatively every phase.

The main problem is the Does Body. Without it, this will only deal Stun making it a lot more manageable.

Constant + 0 END for an AVAD/NND attack is also a difficulty.

And I have no idea what the rules for Constant Autofire are.

 

Nobody argues that you can build a "book legal" attack on a 60 AP Guideline that still does damage (AVAD tends to help a lot here). You also can build: Darkness, UAA, 0 END on much less points than any flash.

But that is the thing with guidelines they aren't perfect. They can't cover 100% of the cases. But when they cover 80-95% that means people can be a lot faster at creating a character.

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Re: Point Caps: Why are limitations inferior to advantages?

 

Blast from the past here. :eg:

 

OK, as I said, I'm trying to explain *why* AX/L =/= X, when A and L are equal.

 

The answer is that A (advantages) really is (A-a), and L is really (L-l) where the small letters are the percentage chance that the advantage or limitation will apply in a given situation. In 5e small a is usually 0, yet in 6e - when A is reconsidered as DC - small a is a fraction larger than zero. However, in both rules, small l is almost never zero. In essence, even though A and L are the same on paper, in game play, they are not equal.

 

Re up thread someone said they played in a narrativist style, and didn't worry too much about points: "If it works, and doesn't wreck the game, don't sweat the points." Oh how I wish I could. :o

 

Let's take an example from the last two Dresden books, carried into HERO terms.

 

Harry has had a "radiation accident."

He's traded in that really nasty watched (Wizard's Council: More powerful, harsh, 14- watch), and his hunted (Unseelie Fey, More Powerful, 8-, local) for two contacts (Wizard's council and Unseelie Court), and bought a base (hidden island). To "make the points come out" he also sold back some of his "Godkiller" fireball EB.

 

Now with a strict point structure, that is exactly what happens: "Buy off your two hunteds and buy two expensive contacts? OK, but you don't have quite enough EP. How about you lose two or three dice from your fireball?"

 

On the more narrativist front, the ref has to do what Butcher did: " 'Jim,' Harry's fireball is too powerful for what I'm running, I need to knock it back a couple of damage classes, 'k?" Harry, not having 'script approval' takes what he can get. But why should a player be willing to just give up the points?

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Re: Point Caps: Why are limitations inferior to advantages?

 

Let's take an example from the last two Dresden books, carried into HERO terms.

 

Harry has had a "radiation accident."

He's traded in that really nasty watched (Wizard's Council: More powerful, harsh, 14- watch), and his hunted (Unseelie Fey, More Powerful, 8-, local) for two contacts (Wizard's council and Unseelie Court), and bought a base (hidden island). To "make the points come out" he also sold back some of his "Godkiller" fireball EB.

 

Now with a strict point structure, that is exactly what happens: "Buy off your two hunteds and buy two expensive contacts? OK, but you don't have quite enough EP. How about you lose two or three dice from your fireball?"

 

On the more narrativist front, the ref has to do what Butcher did: " 'Jim,' Harry's fireball is too powerful for what I'm running, I need to knock it back a couple of damage classes, 'k?" Harry, not having 'script approval' takes what he can get. But why should a player be willing to just give up the points?

No idea of the series, but I think you put the wagon before the horse with your analysis.

 

You usually make a adventure out of buying off the complcations (wich means you should have the XP for it). The GM has no right to force anything on you that causes you XP loss or to sell back powers!

 

In 6E you also have the ability to trade complications against equal ones. So if those hutend get boring and you want them as contacts, you define your new compclaitons* (to repalce those hunteds) and have the points for the contacts before you approach your GM with an idea for the adventure in wich the planned changes become in-game radiation accident.

 

*this can be new hunteds (foe of my friend), or maybe a long lost sibling pops up (DNCP!), or a character trait will be more in the front now that he has more people to interact with (Psychological Complication). The only important thing is that the total does not drops, and you don't have to pay one XP for it!

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