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HKA and Strength -- pricing issue?


Alcibiades
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In general, damage in Hero costs 3ish points per DC, with the caveat that the Active cost will be 5 - you always "get something" with the damage:

 

STR: lifting

Blast: range, spreading

Hand Attack: the ability to apply the Hand Attack limitation :)

 

One nice way to clean this up (and one I wish I had thought of earlier, though maybe someone else did) would be to change Hand Attack to be Ranged by default, so you have a nice parallelism:

 

Blast: range and spreading

Hand Attack: range and adds to STR

 

Add No Range and you are good to go. (Yes, this goes back to the 5E value for the Hand Attack limitation.)

 

You could then do something similar for KAs:

 

RKA: range and spreading [add spreading as an option to RKAs]

HKA: range and adds to STR

 

Now HKAs are cheaper than STR, so the value proposition is a little better. This does make HKAs cheaper and RKAs slightly better, but given the STUNx reduction in 6E that's not a bad thing.

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We are clearly not going to agree on "paying extra to have your desired concept". I do not believe the rules function appropriately if they overprice (or underprice) a concept. Implicit in the promise of playing any character you can imagine is the commitment that concepts will be treated equitably, and it will not be necessary to be a second banana by virtue of choosing one concept over another. Again, the only purpose character points have [again for emphasis - THE ONLY PURPOSE OF CHARACTER POINTS) is to create a balance by costing abilities consistent with their benefits. If they do not do this, there is no point to their existence.

 

How is it that we can debate whether the RAW for adding damage are appropriate, but whether we can use STR to add to damage from other attacks, whether we can use other stats to add to damage and whether "STR enhances damage" is appropriately priced as a +1/2 advantage on the enhanced attack can all be settled (according to your responses) by how these issues are handled under RAW? Current RAW says STR adds to HKA without limit. So did 1e - its only those middle editions which varied from the RAW!

 

First off, the rules overprice and underprice many things. How else do you account for all the changes Growth has undergone? Is Shrinking really costed correctly by utility? What about CON as compared to STR or INT or PRE? I could go on and on.

 

I love HERO and actually like 6th but I realize its not perfect or perfectly balanced.

 

Secondly, I think that RAW is wrong for Adding Damage to HKA, The doubling rule corrected the error of 1ST, was properly applied in 2ND through 5TH and then incorrectly removed in 6th.

 

 

 

 

 

The doubling limit mitigates the worst extremes (see 1e Enemies where every Brick has a small HKA), but does not solve the problem overall.

 

If anything, problems should be less visible in 6e. Although the doubling rule is gone, its most significant impact was in Supers games (few high STR, high skill Fantasy characters wielded small knives anyway). The change to the Stun multiple has markedly reduced the effectiveness of a KA in most Supers games, where resistant defenses mitigate most or all BOD damage anyway.

 

The issue is that paying 5 points to have the option of a 12DC KA seems wrong, at least as I read it. Somehow, we accept that it's OK to pay 30 points to get a 12DC KA instead, though. And it costs that Energy Blaster 6 points to add a 12 DC KA to his Multipower * - why is it OK for him to have low-cost versatility, but not OK for the high STR character? Make his KA "no range" and he pays only 4 point - less than the Brick!

 

* OK, 12 if he has to go from Blast to a MP, but how many Blasters don't already have the MP?

 

Let's go back to that 15 STR character with a 3d6 HKA. Why doesn't he buy a 4d6 RKA, No Range, SFX Claws instead? He saves 5 points, gets the same DC's and the HKA buyer and gets the ability to Spread to trade damage for OCV. Again, objectively better and lower cost. I think it requires wilful blindness to not see a pricing issue.

 

It seems you even agree somewhat here but just not on the option to fix it. 

 

There is nothing stopping the HTH character from buying a Multipower and getting the same savings. 

 

We are clearly not going to agree on "paying extra to have your desired concept". I do not believe the rules function appropriately if they overprice (or underprice) a concept. Implicit in the promise of playing any character you can imagine is the commitment that concepts will be treated equitably, and it will not be necessary to be a second banana by virtue of choosing one concept over another. Again, the only purpose character points have [again for emphasis - THE ONLY PURPOSE OF CHARACTER POINTS) is to create a balance by costing abilities consistent with their benefits. If they do not do this, there is no point to their existence.

 

 

 

But what if my concept is Rogue? What about an Elemental immune to its element?  What if I want a Growth Brick built on the same points as the other PC's?  Why is my 12d6 Mind Control(assuming a +20 effect)only effective 50% of the time against someone with a 13 EGO?

 

Not all concepts are viable at a given point level and there are plenty of concepts that build less efficiently than others.

 

How is it that we can debate whether the RAW for adding damage are appropriate, but whether we can use STR to add to damage from other attacks, whether we can use other stats to add to damage and whether "STR enhances damage" is appropriately priced as a +1/2 advantage on the enhanced attack can all be settled (according to your responses) by how these issues are handled under RAW? Current RAW says STR adds to HKA without limit. So did 1e - its only those middle editions which varied from the RAW!

 

Simple.

 

I think the doubling rule is necessary and that 1ST and 6TH got it wrong.

 

I think that Ranged and STR add is priced correctly at +1/2 for either as it is in every edition of the game.

 

These are two separate issues to me, not codependent.

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First off, the rules overprice and underprice many things. How else do you account for all the changes Growth has undergone? Is Shrinking really costed correctly by utility? What about CON as compared to STR or INT or PRE? I could go on and on.

The comparison can become difficult. I don't believe Growth or Shrinking ever changed in price alone - the mechanics of the powers also changed.

 

I love HERO and actually like 6th but I realize its not perfect or perfectly balanced.

That does not mean we should not be working towards balance, and identifying issues that do not balance.

 

 

Secondly, I think that RAW is wrong for Adding Damage to HKA, The doubling rule corrected the error of 1ST, was properly applied in 2ND through 5TH and then incorrectly removed in 6th.

If it doesn't matter whether they are balanced, why should you care whether there is a cap on the damage which can be added by STR, or whether it adds or not? And why is the cap appropriate only when applied to a Killing Attack? I can buy a +1d6 Hand Attack - Baton for my 80 STR Brick, and he gets to add his full STR to that attack. To me, the question is whether it should be possible for one ability to enhance the damage of another ability. I say "no". With the exception of one mechanic, the HKA, the rules agree with me from 1e to 6e.

 

Hand Attack does not violate my precept - it is simply limited STR that enhances STR damage only. HKA violates my precept - STR (which does not do killing damage) is being applied to enhance killing damage. This is no different from letting me buy a 1d6 Flash (or a 1 pip RKA) and add my Blast DC's.

 

But what if my concept is Rogue?

Rogue builds have certainly been published - a large enough Multiform with some limitations, or a Mimic pool with substantial Drains, or a VPP Multiform, are all effective means of simulating the character. If the problem is an overpowered character, that is separate. Hero gives the tools to build any character you can imagine, but also mandates you find the game where that character is an appropriate fit. I can imagine a character who is normal in all respects and wants nothing more than to run a small tea shoppe. I can build that character. It will not be suitable for most games. But I can build the character I imagined, and he'll spend the points he is worth.

 

What about an Elemental immune to its element?

What about a fireblaster that can burn anything? Absolutes are an issue for any game. "Never misses" and "always dodges" don't fit well either. However, I believe one of the APG's contemplates 100% damage reduction. Damage Negation (my element) works pretty well too. Assuming this is an appropriate ability to the campaign, I would expect the GM to set the level of Negation at which the character is considered 100% immune to his element.

 

What if I want a Growth Brick built on the same points as the other PC's?

I've played Growth Bricks. They didn't get bonus points, and they were effective. If your concept doesn't fit with the points in the game, this does not mean your concept cannot be built, rather than that it is a poor fit for the game. What if my concept is Superman and we're playing a grim & gritty horror game with 25 point PC's?

 

Why is my 12d6 Mind Control(assuming a +20 effect)only effective 50% of the time against someone with a 13 EGO?

Why does my 12d6 Blast not take out my opponents in a single shot? It does not, and your 60 AP attack should not reliably one punch the average opponent either. I'd rather double the price of the mental powers and make them Cumulative by default. Two average hits with a 6d6 Cumulative Mind Control against a target with 5 mental defense will get 32 points of effect, and three will get 48 points. So if you get lucky, you'll get that +20 from two hits and you'd have to have horrible rolls to not be there after three.

 

How many hits does a 12d6 Blast require to take a typical target out? Well, if he has 22 defenses and 50 STUN, that would be 3 (two if you get really lucky). That seems pretty balanced to me, certainly more balanced than "the blaster needs three hits to take down the Mentalist, and the Mentalist can reliably dominate the Blaster's mind with a single hit".

 

I think that Ranged and STR add is priced correctly at +1/2 for either as it is in every edition of the game.

"STR adds to damage" is not priced in any edition of the game. You cannot purchase it for any ability - none - in any edition to date. You get it automatically for an HKA. You can't take HTH Entangle and sacrifice Range to add STR at the same point cost. Hand Attacks have never suggested "STR Adds - +1/2 advantage", nor have martial arts DC's. And I can't even buy my STR "does not add to killing attacks" for a limitation. Nor am I permitted to purchase Range on my STR.

 

For some bizarre reason, though, my 0 STR character can either buy a 4d6 HKA (and do 12 DC's damage) for 60 points, or buy a 4d6 RKA with no Range (and do 12 DC's plus spread to trade damage for OCV) for 40 points, or buy a 4d6 HKA, no STR adds, for that same 40 points.

 

So why are three characters, each with a 4d6 HKA, spending 60, 40 and 40 points? Oh, and conceptually, his KA is claws, so higher STR should logically make them do more damage - but he will never have the STR to add that damage (he's "Unaffected by STR Aid or similar Effects" as a Physical Complication).

 

And "it was like this in every edition" only applies until an edition changes it. Until 2e came out, one could rightly criticize that you could add unlimited STR to your HKA in every edition of the game. "Every edition" gave bonus mental defense for Ego until one edition stopped doing that. You can't rationally discuss the appropriateness of the rules if you believe "that's what the rules say" resolves the question.

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 Growth has changed with every edition but Shrinking was a constant until 6th. With the advent of DCV as a Characteristic in 6th, it had to become less but 6 points is a bit low. I didn't want to argue power by power, just using these as the first examples that sprang to mind.

 

 

I apply doubling(and prorate Advantages) to HA as well. Largest AP power is considered the base.  As I said earlier, I don't see HA as STR, I view it as the HTH version of Blast. Just as I see HKA and RKA as the equal and opposite. This is a matter of personal perspective but for me it completes the meta-ruleset.

 

 

For the next three, I feel you changed arguments on me. Those examples were given in answer to your assertion that " paying extra to have your desired concept " should never be done. I agree that the rules should work toward eliminating this but we also have to accept that all powers aren't equal. Character creation always involves trading capability and points around a concept.

 

As for the Mind Control, can you not see the difference between 3-5 points for a 13 EGO and buying 22 ED and 50 STUN?  Please tell how those are balanced?  

 

You are correct that Str add to damage is not priced in any Edition. I have seen it used on characters and may be assuming here.

 

 I don't understand  why you are hung up on STR adding to HKA though. The simple reason is because that's how muscle powered weapons work. It just doesn't suspend my disbelief that there is a maximum that the weapon can be boosted by STR or velocity. 

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As for the Mind Control, can you not see the difference between 3-5 points for a 13 EGO and buying 22 ED and 50 STUN?  Please tell how those are balanced?

Sure. Both result in the typical character requiring about 3 hits to be taken out of the fight. Mind Control until a breakout roll succeeds, and Blast until they recover. If Mind Control reliably took the typical opponent to an 8- breakout roll on a command that basically takes him out of the fight with a single hit, then that would not be balanced - it's the clearly superior attack.

 

The fact is the game applies "character taxes". We accept that Supers typically have OCV and DCV 8-10 and SPD 4-6. That means you must spend 70 points just to be at the low end of the range. If you don't, you save some points but are clearly substandard in that area. If we instead decided Supers are much closer to Normals, and typically are OCV and DCV 4 - 6 and SPD 3 - 5 (low end Super just a bit better than an average person), a 20 point investment would bring you to the low end of average, and you could spend 50 points on something else. IOW, if all Supers lost 4 CV and 1 SPD, they would have the same power relative to one another, but spend a lot less points to get there.

 

Similarly, if we dropped defenses by 10 and DC's by 3, we'd have Supers spending less points to average the same damage per hit.

 

There are other ripple effects (the value of STUN, END and REC change a lot if we reduce SPD or reduce DC's), but relative power would be pretty consistent.

 

The system has never evolved a standard that Supers have high EGO's, so being able to effectively mental attack a 13 EGO is quite effective against those typical Supers opponents.

 

You are correct that Str add to damage is not priced in any Edition. I have seen it used on characters and may be assuming here.

I stand to be corrected, but I don't believe it has ever been used in an official Hero writeup. You want more Entangle, buy more Entangle. You want more Blast, buy more Blast. HKA is the odd man out (at least under my "Blast no Range is not the same as Hand Attack" view of the world, which is consistent with the fact you can buy either one under standard rules).

 

I don't understand  why you are hung up on STR adding to HKA though. The simple reason is because that's how muscle powered weapons work. It just doesn't suspend my disbelief that there is a maximum that the weapon can be boosted by STR or velocity.

 

It does not suspend my disbelief that a very healthy and fit character has to pay for CON, STUN, END and REC separately either, or that Life Support which allows me to be unharmed in the frigid depths of space or the heart of a star does not in any way reduce the damage I take from a flamethrower or a Freon blast.

 

Hero is not a game of logical effects of powers and abilities being granted for free, but a game where you determine and purchase the logical effects of those powers. The target of a Flame Blast is not at any risk of continuing damage because he catches fire, nor is the target of a Sonic Beam at risk of hearing impairment, short term or long term, unless the attacker has paid the points to attain these logical effects.

 

Unless it's an HKA. Here, we apply the logic of STR enhancing the attack, but then (pre-6e, anyway) we cap the potential enhancement. It's never worthwhile for a high STR Super to pick up a sword or a knife. Hell, he gets little from picking up a train car (and no extra damage), yet the comics always see Bricks wailing on each other with such implements - pretty stupid, under Hero rules, since they don't really need a bonus to hit the other Brick.

 

The HKA result is that any build that does not derive half its HKA damage from STR (again, pre 6e) is inefficient. Removal of the damage cap focuses the spotlight on that issue, as now you are foolish to pay for more than 1 DC, but it did not create an issue where none existed previously. The solution?

 

Either remove damage adds overall, which really only means revising the HA fluff to be STR with a limitation - if you want advantages on it, pay for the advantage on your STR and HA and removing the adder to HKA.

 

Or expand the concept so it can be universal in scope. Captain Claws can have a KA enhanced by his STR, but Electric Man can use the same mechanic to add his Lightning Bolt Blast DC's to his RKA and his Flash. Not two differently priced mechanics, the same mechanic. And make that mechanic balanced, which probably means this is an advantage on the power that does the adding, not the one that is added to. As I think on it, it's likely closer to M&M's "alternate power" structure - put a +1/4 advantage on your Blast and it can also be used as another power,say, Flash. Or put the same advantage on STR and it's now usable as a KA.

 

The ability to enhance one, and only one, ability with another (capped or not) is an orphan mechanic. A lot of the 6e changes were about de-linking - removing exceptions to getting what you pay for. No more Figured Characteristics, Jumping from STR, Mental Defense from Ego, damage from Growth or Stretching Momentum, etc. The last one is the STR adder to HA.

 

And, I suppose, velocity damage. That one I can live with, as it carries an advantage (added damage) with drawbacks (CV penalties and potentially damaging the attacker as well). I note, however, that here again we historically capped the adder to KA's, but not normal damage. Getting rid of that inconsistency was a plus of 6e, in my view, not a minus. And consistent with the source materials ("Just as the force of a hurricane can drive a straw through an oak tree, the speed of the Flash enables him to...")

 

And the removal of various oddities in adding damage has the added feature of making the damage adding rules easier understood and applied.

 

The way i see it, STR adds to damage is inherent to hth attacks. ranged is inherent to ranged attacks and this, since ranged as an advantage is +1/2, then by all rights, STR adds to damage should be +1/2 as well.

 

 

That's the way I see it also, but I concede that it is not in RAW.

True. However, I don't get "STR adds to damage" if I trade in Range on any other attack, do I? And I don't consider an advantage whose benefits vary with the amount of STR you have is appropriately applied to any ability other than STR. Really, the inappropriateness of that is a big part of the backlash against removal of the cap.

 

"That 65 STR Brick should not be able to pay 5 points and get a 14 DC HKA". I see the logic that he should pay full cost for that 14 DC HKA. But the same logic applies to a 35 STR minibrick paying 35 points to get a 14 DC HKA. If we accept the latter and not the former, we're not discussing principals any more, just haggling over the price.

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Now you're talking about philosophy of game design.  There are a lot of things I'd do differently from 6th edition HERO.  In fact I'd probably rewrite the entire system.  When I initially read through it, I went "blecchh!!!" and threw the book down.  I think it's quite out of whack at this point.

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Sure. Both result in the typical character requiring about 3 hits to be taken out of the fight. Mind Control until a breakout roll succeeds, and Blast until they recover. If Mind Control reliably took the typical opponent to an 8- breakout roll on a command that basically takes him out of the fight with a single hit, then that would not be balanced - it's the clearly superior attack.

 

The fact is the game applies "character taxes". We accept that Supers typically have OCV and DCV 8-10 and SPD 4-6. That means you must spend 70 points just to be at the low end of the range. If you don't, you save some points but are clearly substandard in that area. If we instead decided Supers are much closer to Normals, and typically are OCV and DCV 4 - 6 and SPD 3 - 5 (low end Super just a bit better than an average person), a 20 point investment would bring you to the low end of average, and you could spend 50 points on something else. IOW, if all Supers lost 4 CV and 1 SPD, they would have the same power relative to one another, but spend a lot less points to get there.

 

Similarly, if we dropped defenses by 10 and DC's by 3, we'd have Supers spending less points to average the same damage per hit.

 

There are other ripple effects (the value of STUN, END and REC change a lot if we reduce SPD or reduce DC's), but relative power would be pretty consistent.

 

The system has never evolved a standard that Supers have high EGO's, so being able to effectively mental attack a 13 EGO is quite effective against those typical Supers opponents.

 

 

But the NPC doesn't have to be a Super to get that effect. Any Incompetent Normal with a 13 EGO has that 50 percent defense. A punch from 60 STR will leave said Normal dying,the Mind Control may not cost them an action.

 

 

 

 

It does not suspend my disbelief that a very healthy and fit character has to pay for CON, STUN, END and REC separately either, or that Life Support which allows me to be unharmed in the frigid depths of space or the heart of a star does not in any way reduce the damage I take from a flamethrower or a Freon blast.

 

Hero is not a game of logical effects of powers and abilities being granted for free, but a game where you determine and purchase the logical effects of those powers. The target of a Flame Blast is not at any risk of continuing damage because he catches fire, nor is the target of a Sonic Beam at risk of hearing impairment, short term or long term, unless the attacker has paid the points to attain these logical effects.

 

Unless it's an HKA. Here, we apply the logic of STR enhancing the attack, but then (pre-6e, anyway) we cap the potential enhancement. It's never worthwhile for a high STR Super to pick up a sword or a knife. Hell, he gets little from picking up a train car (and no extra damage), yet the comics always see Bricks wailing on each other with such implements - pretty stupid, under Hero rules, since they don't really need a bonus to hit the other Brick.

 

The HKA result is that any build that does not derive half its HKA damage from STR (again, pre 6e) is inefficient. Removal of the damage cap focuses the spotlight on that issue, as now you are foolish to pay for more than 1 DC, but it did not create an issue where none existed previously. The solution?

 

Either remove damage adds overall, which really only means revising the HA fluff to be STR with a limitation - if you want advantages on it, pay for the advantage on your STR and HA and removing the adder to HKA.

 

Or expand the concept so it can be universal in scope. Captain Claws can have a KA enhanced by his STR, but Electric Man can use the same mechanic to add his Lightning Bolt Blast DC's to his RKA and his Flash. Not two differently priced mechanics, the same mechanic. And make that mechanic balanced, which probably means this is an advantage on the power that does the adding, not the one that is added to. As I think on it, it's likely closer to M&M's "alternate power" structure - put a +1/4 advantage on your Blast and it can also be used as another power,say, Flash. Or put the same advantage on STR and it's now usable as a KA.

 

The ability to enhance one, and only one, ability with another (capped or not) is an orphan mechanic. A lot of the 6e changes were about de-linking - removing exceptions to getting what you pay for. No more Figured Characteristics, Jumping from STR, Mental Defense from Ego, damage from Growth or Stretching Momentum, etc. The last one is the STR adder to HA.

 

And, I suppose, velocity damage. That one I can live with, as it carries an advantage (added damage) with drawbacks (CV penalties and potentially damaging the attacker as well). I note, however, that here again we historically capped the adder to KA's, but not normal damage. Getting rid of that inconsistency was a plus of 6e, in my view, not a minus. And consistent with the source materials ("Just as the force of a hurricane can drive a straw through an oak tree, the speed of the Flash enables him to...")

 

And the removal of various oddities in adding damage has the added feature of making the damage adding rules easier understood and applied.

 

I think my proposed solution was fairly simple also. Reinstate doubling and apply it to HA also with the stipulation that the largest Active Point component is the base power. Martial Arts, Pushing and Haymaker are the unified mechanics for adding damage to anything 

 

Your way simplifies HKA for Supers but doesn't give a method for adding damage. It also requires the rewrite of every HTH weapon in the system not purchased as a power since they use the doubling rule and the additional STR minimums. They even use that system for those normal damage weapons bought as HA. Curious that.

 

 

 

 

 

True. However, I don't get "STR adds to damage" if I trade in Range on any other attack, do I? And I don't consider an advantage whose benefits vary with the amount of STR you have is appropriately applied to any ability other than STR. Really, the inappropriateness of that is a big part of the backlash against removal of the cap.

 

"That 65 STR Brick should not be able to pay 5 points and get a 14 DC HKA". I see the logic that he should pay full cost for that 14 DC HKA. But the same logic applies to a 35 STR minibrick paying 35 points to get a 14 DC HKA. If we accept the latter and not the former, we're not discussing principals any more, just haggling over the price.

 

No, you don't get STR adds to damage by putting No Range on a power. You get a point savings from applying a Disadvantage.

 

The Str Minimum rules imply that STR adds to HKA(and HA) and the cost was changed in 2nd to fix an exploit that was overpowered. 6th got it wrong by changing it back.

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But the NPC doesn't have to be a Super to get that effect. Any Incompetent Normal with a 13 EGO has that 50 percent defense. A punch from 60 STR will leave said Normal dying,the Mind Control may not cost them an action.

So what? How often will a Normal be an adversary for the PC's? The fact is that most Supers have Super defenses, but are mentally 'normal'. If Mind Control were as effective against a 'Normal' as a physical attack, it would be hugely unbalanced against Supers as well (or impose a new 'character tax' that you can't be an effective Super unless you have at least a 20 - 26 Ego and 15 Mental Defense, just like you need well above 'normal human' CV's, SPD and PD/ED).

 

I think my proposed solution was fairly simple also. Reinstate doubling and apply it to HA also with the stipulation that the largest Active Point component is the base power. Martial Arts, Pushing and Haymaker are the unified mechanics for adding damage to anything

And anyone buying a HA or HKA in an amount not equal to their STR add gets a substandard character. And these abilities can beat the doubling rule, but those ones can't, confusing the damage adding system.

 

Wait a minute, if the largest AP component is always the base power, then we eliminate the doubling rule. 65 STR is more AP than 1 DC Killing attack, so I get 14 DC's by adding 1 (the smaller power, the KA) to the highest base power (the 65 STR).

 

Your way simplifies HKA for Supers but doesn't give a method for adding damage.

It gives exactly the same "adding damage" mechanics available for every other power in the game - buy more of the attack, with or without a limitation.

 

It also requires the rewrite of every HTH weapon in the system not purchased as a power since they use the doubling rule and the additional STR minimums. They even use that system for those normal damage weapons bought as HA. Curious that.

Oh, horrors! Standard builds created long before the game begins and applied the same way every time need to be changed! "2d6 HKA + 2d6 HKA, extra DC's require STR 8 + 5/extra DC" - Heroic games don't pay points for equipment, so it makes no real difference how complex the actual power build is. And all we need is the same chart we have now, with STR Min and the actual and real cost of the weapon off to one side. Plus, we can now get more creative and have weapons that are easier (less STR per DC) or harder (more STR per DC) to wield, should we wish to get more complicated, or perhaps feed off a different attribute (anyone succeeding with a Magic Skill roll can use this Wand for a 1 pip AoE Accurate RKA, +1 DC per 2 points they make the roll by (maximum to taste); this ranged weapon is mechanical, so STR does not add, but well placed shots do, so add 1 DC for every 2 points you hit by, maximum doubled, or add 1 DC for every 3 points your DEX exceeds the 6 DEX minimum).

 

No, you don't get STR adds to damage by putting No Range on a power. You get a point savings from applying a Disadvantage.

Actually, it's a limitation. But for a KA I can choose to get STR Adds in exchange for Range at the same cost, instead of taking a point savings for the limitation, and not increase my active points. Why only for KA? Either "STR Adds +1/2" is balanced, or it is not.

 

The Str Minimum rules imply that STR adds to HKA(and HA) and the cost was changed in 2nd to fix an exploit that was overpowered. 6th got it wrong by changing it back.

There were no STR Min rules in either 1e or 2e. They were introduced in Fantasy Hero, a separate game published during the 2e era, and were a balancing factor for, if anything gear one could have without paying character points. There were also no HA's - those came along in 4e, IIRC. Prior to that, we just had some weapons in Heroic games that did normal damage, but were otherwise subject to all the same rules as KA weapons. And no one was too concerned because it was gear you paid cash, not character points, for, so the exact build was not a big deal.

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So what? How often will a Normal be an adversary for the PC's? The fact is that most Supers have Super defenses, but are mentally 'normal'. If Mind Control were as effective against a 'Normal' as a physical attack, it would be hugely unbalanced against Supers as well (or impose a new 'character tax' that you can't be an effective Super unless you have at least a 20 - 26 Ego and 15 Mental Defense, just like you need well above 'normal human' CV's, SPD and PD/ED).

 

 

Heh, you're the one who cried about equal utility for equal points. I accept that not all concepts on equal points give equal utility. 

 

How often do your PC's want to Jedi Mind Trick some guards?  How big a threat is that Mentalist villain when mechanically he can barely convince a guard to let him past?  And this is assuming 60 point active powers, in a 50 AP or 40 AP games the brick or blaster can still one shot normals just fine, the mentalist can barely get a date.

 

 

 

And anyone buying a HA or HKA in an amount not equal to their STR add gets a substandard character. And these abilities can beat the doubling rule, but those ones can't, confusing the damage adding system.

 

Wait a minute, if the largest AP component is always the base power, then we eliminate the doubling rule. 65 STR is more AP than 1 DC Killing attack, so I get 14 DC's by adding 1 (the smaller power, the KA) to the highest base power (the 65 STR).

 

 

 

 

They don't get an inferior build, they get what they chose to purchase. The costs are the same for everyone in every legal build. 

 

I didn't give any exceptions to doubling. Please point out where I wrote something that makes you think I did. 

 

Sure you can add those two. It makes sense that if you can add STR to HKA or HA the reverse would also be true. But in this case you wouldn't do a 14 DC HKA, you'd do a 70 STR punch. See, largest AP power is base.

 

Also, could you please stop using the 1e exploit to defend your position. It was called an exploit for good reason, was out of the game for 20+ years, doesn't apply in non-super games and even the new rules which reinstate it posit using doubling as an optional rule. I think you are the person  wedded to an orphaned mechanic here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

It gives exactly the same "adding damage" mechanics available for every other power in the game - buy more of the attack, with or without a limitation.

 

 

 

 

The game system already has mechanics for increasing your attacks. You can Push, you can Haymaker and you can buy a Martial Art to use with range or HTH. None of those involve buying more of the attack.

 

Of course if you want to increase the actual power, you have to buy more.

 

 

 

Oh, horrors! Standard builds created long before the game begins and applied the same way every time need to be changed! "2d6 HKA + 2d6 HKA, extra DC's require STR 8 + 5/extra DC" - Heroic games don't pay points for equipment, so it makes no real difference how complex the actual power build is. And all we need is the same chart we have now, with STR Min and the actual and real cost of the weapon off to one side. Plus, we can now get more creative and have weapons that are easier (less STR per DC) or harder (more STR per DC) to wield, should we wish to get more complicated, or perhaps feed off a different attribute (anyone succeeding with a Magic Skill roll can use this Wand for a 1 pip AoE Accurate RKA, +1 DC per 2 points they make the roll by (maximum to taste); this ranged weapon is mechanical, so STR does not add, but well placed shots do, so add 1 DC for every 2 points you hit by, maximum doubled, or add 1 DC for every 3 points your DEX exceeds the 6 DEX minimum).

 

 

 

 

Builds that have in large part remained basically unchanged since 3rd/FH1. And which use a mechanic that has been unchanged until a 1st exploit was reinstated in 6th. I missed the part where you decried these as unbalanced and unfair.

 

I stated my rules in three sentences and made one clarification above that pretty much covers a vague instance. I'm still waiting to see your new rules for weapons and adding to powers. I'm open to better ideas but I need to see details so I can grok the ramifications.

 

 

 

 

Actually, it's a limitation. But for a KA I can choose to get STR Adds in exchange for Range at the same cost, instead of taking a point savings for the limitation, and not increase my active points. Why only for KA? Either "STR Adds +1/2" is balanced, or it is not.

 

 

 

 

 

 

That's because HKA and RKA are two separate powers.And there are Metarules involved here. One that makes the more expensive build the vaild one, to keep things like your munchkin example in check and another more pertinent one that says Don't use another power to simulate a power that already exists. They're both on 6e2 page 296.

 

Or if you insist, KA is a Metapower that must choose either ranged or HTH at purchase and can add the other as an Advantage. As I stated earlier, I believe HA and Blast are the non-killing options of this Metaset choosing ranged or HTH at purchase also.

 

 

 

 

There were no STR Min rules in either 1e or 2e. They were introduced in Fantasy Hero, a separate game published during the 2e era, and were a balancing factor for, if anything gear one could have without paying character points. There were also no HA's - those came along in 4e, IIRC. Prior to that, we just had some weapons in Heroic games that did normal damage, but were otherwise subject to all the same rules as KA weapons. And no one was too concerned because it was gear you paid cash, not character points, for, so the exact build was not a big deal.

 

Yes, STR minimum came along with FH1. Notice how it kept and if anything gave more teeth to the doubling rule. 

 

The idea for HA was born from those normal damage weapons. They also used doubling and STR  minimum. HA's were also subject to doubling in 4th but went to some strange places in 5th and 6th.

 

No one was concerned because the rules worked. I guarantee you HA in 4th was cause for concern with its 3 point/die cost. 

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OK, have to split the post for too many quoted blocks of text...

 

Heh, you're the one who cried about equal utility for equal points. I accept that not all concepts on equal points give equal utility.

 

How often do your PC's want to Jedi Mind Trick some guards? How big a threat is that Mentalist villain when mechanically he can barely convince a guard to let him past? And this is assuming 60 point active powers, in a 50 AP or 40 AP games the brick or blaster can still one shot normals just fine, the mentalist can barely get a date.

First off, Mind Control already has effects that go beyond KOing the target. How useful is EnergyMan's Blast in convincing a guard to let him pass, or getting a date? I submit it has minimal, if any, noncombat utility, unlike the Mind Control. As I said, I would compare the Blast with a Cumulative mental attack - both build up their effect against a typical, credible opponent over several attacks.

 

A standard Mental power is better compared against a Flash (imposes a significant, lasting weakness on the target vs takes the target right out of the fight - more like a +0 or +10 Mind Control to alter tactical decisions, rather than the big hit that takes the opponent out of the fight or even switches the side he fights on), or an Entangle (takes the target out of the fight, but not often for more than a phase, where MC has a shot of taking him out for a turn if the breakout rolls - immediate and phase - fail, offset by the possibility it will be removed by a breakout roll even faster than breaking the Entangle).

 

They don't get an inferior build, they get what they chose to purchase. The costs are the same for everyone in every legal build.

If they pay more points to get the same effect, or pay the same points to get a lesser effect, that is an inferior build. I don't caveat that with "IMO". Comparing a 60 point Mind Control to a 60 point Blast involves a lot of variables, making it challenging and uncertain. If a 15 STR character and a 30 STR character both pay 30 points for an HKA, one gets a 3d6 HKA and the other gets 4d6. Same cost, different benefits. That's a very different result. Alternatively, the 15 STR character paying 45 points for HKA and the 30 STR character paying 30 points for HKA both spend 50 points to get a total 4d6 HKA, but only one of them gets the added benefits of a 30 STR points higher. Again, same points spent, for different benefits.

 

I didn't give any exceptions to doubling. Please point out where I wrote something that makes you think I did.

You listed Haymaker, Pushing and Martial Arts to enhance damage. All three are exceptions to Doubling.

 

Except Martial Arts definitely was not an exception in 5e - that Fantasy Warrior's sword max'ed out at double after STR, skill levels and Martial Arts. As well, you missed Skill Levels, also historically subject to the Doubling Rule. And then there's the "roaming bonus DC" concept of the 5e "Deadly Blow" and similar constructs, no longer needed in 6e with the doubling rule eliminated (and IIRC, 6e Deadly Blow is built with skill levels - that was also discussed at some length in SETAC).

 

As well, in 1e, and for many editions afterwards, Haymaker was only applicable to STR. In fact, most combat maneuvers were only usable with a HTH STR attack for many editions of the game. The ability to Haymaker an Entangle, or use Ranged Martial Arts with your Blast or RKA, are relative newcomers as far as editions go. Over time, many mechanics that could initially only be used with STR have grown to be usable with any type of attack.

 

But we still have that lonely KA, the only attack that can choose between Range (5 points per DC), Augmented by STR (5 points per DC) and Ranged and Augmented by STR (7.5 points per DC assuming no other advantages). And we still have STR as the only attack power capable, under any circumstance, of augmenting a second attack power.

 

When we have "only one ability can do this or is subject to this restriction", I classify that as an orphan mechanic.

 

Sure you can add those two. It makes sense that if you can add STR to HKA or HA the reverse would also be true. But in this case you wouldn't do a 14 DC HKA, you'd do a 70 STR punch. See, largest AP power is base.

OK, now I see your theory. So why can't I add my 2d6 RKA to my 12d6 Blast and get an 18 DC Blast? Again, why are STR and HKA the only separate attack mechanics which can augment one another?

 

And why can't I choose to add my 2d6 HKA to my 30 STR and get a 12d6 Punch, rather than adding 30 STR to my 2d6 HKA for a 4d6 HKA? Or choose between a 4d6 HKA and a 13d6 Punch if I have a 2d6 HKA and a 35 STR?

 

Understanding your logic, but not agreeing with it.

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Part Deux

 

Also, could you please stop using the 1e exploit to defend your position. It was called an exploit for good reason, was out of the game for 20+ years, doesn't apply in non-super games and even the new rules which reinstate it posit using doubling as an optional rule. I think you are the person wedded to an orphaned mechanic here.

There are three approaches I perceive under discussion.

 

First, "You can't add damage from one attack to damage from another attack". This is the rule throughout all editions, with the sole exception (orphan mechanic) of Killing Attack (and Hand Attack if interpreted as Blast, no Range instead of STR, Damage only).

 

Second, "You can add damage from only one attack (STR) to only one other attack (HKA) but you can't more than double the second attack." The added caveat of the doubling rule applied from 2e to 5e, and was twisted into applying to some advantaged Hand Attacks in some later editions. But if your STR and HA had the same advantages, no doubling rule, and if you forego the HA advantages, again no doubling rule. But if it's a weapon instead of a Hand Attack, pro rate your STR for the advantages to add damage (remember the comment that 6e aimed to simplify the "adding damage" rule?).

 

Third, "You can add damage from one attack to another attack", perhaps as a +1/2 advantage on one of the two attacks. That's the underlying theme suggested for Killing Attacks - you can have either Range or Augmented by STR. But the latter has never been an option for any other type of attack. Only the KA comes with a Ranged version and an HTH version, the latter gaining this "STR Adds" benefit rather than just being less expensive by virtue of the "no range" limitation.

 

One core precept of Hero to me has always been "you get what you pay for". You want to be immune to environmental effects, you buy Life Support. You want to be resistant to damage, you buy a defense power (it does not come free with Life Support, nor vice versa). Many examples exist. 6e enhanced this - you want high END, high STUN and high REC, you buy them, not CON. But we're still left with "you want sharp claws, buy STR". Pre6e, you matched your STR DC's to your HKA DC's. 6e took away that limit, and now we hear the wails about how unbalanced it is that a guy with 60 STR can have a 14 DC KA for 10 points. So why is it somehow OK for a guy with a 35 STR to get a 14 DC KA for 35 points, when the guy with 10 STR has to spend 60 points to get the same KA? These are variations on the theme, but STR is granting the guy who wants a non-ranged KA (or will pay the +1/2 advantage for a Ranged HKA and get both range and STR adds) something for nothing. He's not bound by the metarule that "you get what you pay for". He's not bound by "the most expensive approach is the right one" (that would be 14 DC HKA, STR does not add). He's an orphan mechanic exception to the general principal that abilities are each purchased separately.

 

To me, the "exploit" is a mechanic which allows the character to get more than he pays for. That includes all of "65 STR + 5 points HKA = 14 DC's of HKA", "65 STR + 5 points HKA = 14 DC's of Normal Damage", and "35 STR + 35 points HKA = 14 DCs of HKA or of normal damage". THEY ARE ALL EXPLOITS - 65 + 5 is just more blatant than 35 + 35.

 

The game system already has mechanics for increasing your attacks. You can Push, you can Haymaker and you can buy a Martial Art to use with range or HTH. None of those involve buying more of the attack.

There's your list which includes Martial Arts, which was subject to the doubling rule before its removal in 6e.

 

Builds that have in large part remained basically unchanged since 3rd/FH1. And which use a mechanic that has been unchanged until a 1st exploit was reinstated in 6th. I missed the part where you decried these as unbalanced and unfair.

Again, until 6e, Martial Arts was subject to the Doubling Rule. I believe Haymaker still is (does it add 4d6 to a 10 STR punch? it did not in 5e, I believe), and only recently (not in 3e for sure) became usable with anything but STR under RAW. Pushing we have had for a long time, but I don't believe you could Push your Sword - you had to push your STR, which was still subject to the doubling rule.

 

I stated my rules in three sentences and made one clarification above that pretty much covers a vague instance. I'm still waiting to see your new rules for weapons and adding to powers. I'm open to better ideas but I need to see details so I can grok the ramifications.

My rule? "You want more DCs of a power, you buy more DC's of a power". Martial Arts, Haymakers and Pushing are unchanged, with no doubling cap. So the 10 STR guy can do 6d6 with a Haymaker. That's not the focus of the game anyway. Most Noncombat Normals don't get to use many combat maneuvers. Problem solved.

 

Now it's down to Builds. Longsword: 5 DC HKA, plus 5 more DC, only available at 1 DC per 5 STR in excess of [whatever LS STR min is]. Add all remaining weapon advantages and limitations historically applied. The Longsword can even be an example of a Partially Limited Power right beside the Blaster with more dice at extra END. We can even use it as an example of how limitation values vary by contrasting the Fantasy Game pricing (where gear is CP free and STR's limited) and the price to a Super with STR 45 (where we may slap a -1/4 limitation on for the possibility of a Drain, similar to Unified Power, or we may say that's not common enough for a limitation in this game).

 

That's because HKA and RKA are two separate powers.And there are Metarules involved here. One that makes the more expensive build the vaild one, to keep things like your munchkin example in check and another more pertinent one that says Don't use another power to simulate a power that already exists. They're both on 6e2 page 296.

So why don't we have Ranged Drain and HTH Drain, using the same mechanics? Again, they are only two powers because they have always been two powers. RKA, no Range and HKA with Range are both constructs used in official products, so I assume both legit powers, yet they clearly are using one power to simulate the other. For a 30 STR character, a 2d6 HKA is less expensive than a 4d6 RKA with no Range and Unified Power with STR [60/1.75 = 34 vs 30]. HKA and RKA already violate both of these metarules. Eliminating HKA in favour of Killing Attack, ranged by default, would be consistent with both of these metarules. [Mental Blast is another great example of violating the metarules with a longstanding power, by the way.]

 

Or if you insist, KA is a Metapower that must choose either ranged or HTH at purchase and can add the other as an Advantage. As I stated earlier, I believe HA and Blast are the non-killing options of this Metaset choosing ranged or HTH at purchase also.

To be consistent, this should then be extended to other powers - Entangle, Drain, Flash, etc. If you choose either Range or HTH at purchase, and this is fair and balanced, how is it only fair and balanced for KA (and Blast, but I prefer Hand Attack as STR that does damage only - it's cleaner and consistent with partially limited powers).

 

Yes, STR minimum came along with FH1. Notice how it kept and if anything gave more teeth to the doubling rule.

 

The idea for HA was born from those normal damage weapons. They also used doubling and STR minimum. HA's were also subject to doubling in 4th but went to some strange places in 5th and 6th.

Because we already had a doubling rule. If 1e Wolverine had been build with "Killing Attack, no Range", the issue would never have come up. And the HA doubling issue caused plenty of issues over the years. Daredevil's Billy Club can either double his damage or be useless??

 

No one was concerned because the rules worked. I guarantee you HA in 4th was cause for concern with its 3 point/die cost.

If no one was concerned, why did the rules change? 4e was a problem only because people imposed AP limits instead of DC limits. However, HA as limited STR solves the problem in its entirety, without adding to the Damage Adding inconsistencies.

 

The problem - and it is a MAJOR problem, unquestionably - is perceptual. That perceptual issue is, from my recollection of SETAC, the reason HKA remains linked to STR when so many other abilities were de-linked in the move to 6e. It remains an inconsistency, and I don't think anyone involved with SETAC denied that - Steve certainly didn't, as I recall.

 

"Why doesn't STR add to my Sword attack?" Well, why doesn't DEX add to your combat values or Speed, nor CON to your REC or END or STUN, nor STR to your chance to hit in melee combat, nor EGO to your mental defenses, nor Life Support to defenses against those attacks, ad nauseum? Because that is not the way Hero works. If a HTH killing weapon (or a HTH Entangle, or anything else) would, in your vision of the character, be enhanced by STR, build it with additional DC's that are linked to STR.

 

And let's incorporate in that -1/4 limitation on those extra DC's the inability to use your STR dedicated to those DC's in any other attack in that same phase. No more "Combined attack - I hit him with both the sword enhanced with my STR and a STR strike at the same time".

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OK, gonna seperate these first two points because I feel they address a different issue.

 

OK, have to split the post for too many quoted blocks of text...


First off, Mind Control already has effects that go beyond KOing the target. How useful is EnergyMan's Blast in convincing a guard to let him pass, or getting a date? I submit it has minimal, if any, noncombat utility, unlike the Mind Control. As I said, I would compare the Blast with a Cumulative mental attack - both build up their effect against a typical, credible opponent over several attacks.

A standard Mental power is better compared against a Flash (imposes a significant, lasting weakness on the target vs takes the target right out of the fight - more like a +0 or +10 Mind Control to alter tactical decisions, rather than the big hit that takes the opponent out of the fight or even switches the side he fights on), or an Entangle (takes the target out of the fight, but not often for more than a phase, where MC has a shot of taking him out for a turn if the breakout rolls - immediate and phase - fail, offset by the possibility it will be removed by a breakout roll even faster than breaking the Entangle).

 

There are plenty of situations where the interaction of Powers with Normals is vital to the PC's and NPC's. In those situations,  Mental Powers ( without the benefit of surprise ), aren't truly equal for cost vs effect.

 

Just games I've played or GM'D include.

 

Villain/Renegade Hero Campaigns; The Blasters and Bricks are good to go against the authorities. They can put down one(or more) targets per phase with little trouble. The Mentalist can't count on his powers to do so reliably. He can use Cumulative, but then it costs him two attacks per one compared to the others and is still vulnerable to a roll in the 6 or 7< range.

 

Fantasy: How much does that Jedi Mind Trick cost?

 

Undercover/Secret/Espionage Heroes: The guard/agent problem again, the damage types knock them unconscious and guards can't break equally priced Entangles on their own, The Mentalist has to hope a one minute distraction is good enough. 

 

Post-Apocalyptic/Rebellion Worlds: Normals vs  Monsters/Supers- The Blaster/Brick/Slasher requires no strategy in his confrontation with the PC's. The Controller/Corrupter needs an devious plot or some controlled agents. ( Not a violation of genre but an example of unequal utility for the points)

 

And that's my main point, in genre Mentalist's can easily take over Normals, even in the middle of a firefight or natural catastrophe. They are feared for the behind the scenes control they exert. In actual game play, Normals are not significantly more controllable than Supers and any control lasting more than a day is very difficult to achieve.

 

 

If they pay more points to get the same effect, or pay the same points to get a lesser effect, that is an inferior build. I don't caveat that with "IMO". Comparing a 60 point Mind Control to a 60 point Blast involves a lot of variables, making it challenging and uncertain. If a 15 STR character and a 30 STR character both pay 30 points for an HKA, one gets a 3d6 HKA and the other gets 4d6. Same cost, different benefits. That's a very different result. Alternatively, the 15 STR character paying 45 points for HKA and the 30 STR character paying 30 points for HKA both spend 50 points to get a total 4d6 HKA, but only one of them gets the added benefits of a 30 STR points higher. Again, same points spent, for different benefits..

 

Okay, I understand your point here, but it never comes up for me. The only way I see it becoming an issue is if one character is forced into one build and another is not.

 

Otherwise this is an instance of writing a character to a certain concept that is willfully done by the player, not coerced by the GM in some attempt to restrict one concept over another. If the player wants something that is not optimized, I'll allow it so long as his character is viable for the campaign.

 

The 15 STR character has a concept chosen by the player. The points  saved on STR will be used to buy other things, like say a Multipower with 3 attack slots ,one of which being the HKA.

 

And again all concepts are not equal at equal points. Take three Bricks. Even after 30+ ears of rules revisions, Stupendous Man with his 60 Str is just better off points wise than Big Boy with Growth or Obstacle with Density Increase, yet all three are valid concepts that players freely choose to play and build.

 

Until we can come up with a perfect ruleset, I'm willing to settle with what we got, especially in the case of things in the player's control. Make it better and I'll be near the head of the line to switch.

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You listed Haymaker, Pushing and Martial Arts to enhance damage. All three are exceptions to Doubling.

 

Except Martial Arts definitely was not an exception in 5e - that Fantasy Warrior's sword max'ed out at double after STR, skill levels and Martial Arts. As well, you missed Skill Levels, also historically subject to the Doubling Rule. And then there's the "roaming bonus DC" concept of the 5e "Deadly Blow" and similar constructs, no longer needed in 6e with the doubling rule eliminated (and IIRC, 6e Deadly Blow is built with skill levels - that was also discussed at some length in SETAC).

 

As well, in 1e, and for many editions afterwards, Haymaker was only applicable to STR. In fact, most combat maneuvers were only usable with a HTH STR attack for many editions of the game. The ability to Haymaker an Entangle, or use Ranged Martial Arts with your Blast or RKA, are relative newcomers as far as editions go. Over time, many mechanics that could initially only be used with STR have grown to be usable with any type of attack.

 

But we still have that lonely KA, the only attack that can choose between Range (5 points per DC), Augmented by STR (5 points per DC) and Ranged and Augmented by STR (7.5 points per DC assuming no other advantages). And we still have STR as the only attack power capable, under any circumstance, of augmenting a second attack power.

 

When we have "only one ability can do this or is subject to this restriction", I classify that as an orphan mechanic.

 

 

No, I listed Martial Arts. Haymaker and Pushing as universal methods of Adding Damage.

 

Haymaker and Pushing provide a one time increase to the DC's of a power with a hefty penalty incurred.  In a sense, they do avoid doubling, but do so by changing the actual value of the power involved beforehand. Doubling is still there but the cap is raised.Thus you can do 8d6 with a 10 STR(Pushed to 20)+Haymaker.

 

Martial Arts is still subject to doubling unless you use the exploit. 

 

As to HKA  being an orphaned mechanic, thats an illusion you get from 30+ years of using the system.  STR/HA,  Blast, HKA and RKA are the subset of Attack Powers that we use to model real world things. They are so commonly used and advantaged in-game, that we forget that these are the only four powers that are resolved against PD/ED using OCV/DCV. There are just as many Mental Powers that use an entirely different mechanic and other Powers that use other variations/combinations for resolution. This is one reason newbies find Hero complicated, that us veterans tend to gloss over.

 

Will respond to Part Deux later, sinus infection is making sleep and therefore thinking difficult.

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There are plenty of situations where the interaction of Powers with Normals is vital to the PC's and NPC's. In those situations,  Mental Powers ( without the benefit of surprise ), aren't truly equal for cost vs effect.

 

Just games I've played or GM'D include.

 

Villain/Renegade Hero Campaigns; The Blasters and Bricks are good to go against the authorities. They can put down one(or more) targets per phase with little trouble. The Mentalist can't count on his powers to do so reliably. He can use Cumulative, but then it costs him two attacks per one compared to the others and is still vulnerable to a roll in the 6 or 7< range.

 

Fantasy: How much does that Jedi Mind Trick cost?

How often was the Jedi Mind Trick effective? I count twice in three movies in the original trilogy, once persuading the Storm Trooper and once getting Luke in to see Jabba. Jabba was utterly immune, and it only influenced the "weak minded". It was used only in HTH range, and the user needed to speak. It was never used in combat, could easily take a full phase, and require dropping to 0 DCV (they weren't dodging around while using it). Fantasy seems right - lots of limitations piled on that Power. What effect was sought? I doubt the Trooper had a total commitment to examining every droid in detail, nor did Bib have much reason to care whether Luke got in to see Jabba (he didn't suffer any consequences on screen). A +10 seems adequate. 8d6 averages a roll of 28, enough for +20 against a "weak minded" Ego of 8.

 

Undercover/Secret/Espionage Heroes: The guard/agent problem again, the damage types knock them unconscious and guards can't break equally priced Entangles on their own, The Mentalist has to hope a one minute distraction is good enough.

 

Post-Apocalyptic/Rebellion Worlds: Normals vs Monsters/Supers- The Blaster/Brick/Slasher requires no strategy in his confrontation with the PC's. The Controller/Corrupter needs an devious plot or some controlled agents. ( Not a violation of genre but an example of unequal utility for the points)

The mental powers are also a lot more versatile. I doubt either Mind Trick victim would stand up long to a Lightsaber, but Mind Control (even with its more limited potential effectiveness) seems a much better option when combat is not desirable. If fighting your way in is simply not an option, neither the Entangle nor the Blast/KA are a viable option at all. Again, the less the abilities have in common, the harder it is to compare their value. Getting loyal/fanatical agents is a lot easier using Mind Control than RKA.

 

And that's my main point, in genre Mentalist's can easily take over Normals, even in the middle of a firefight or natural catastrophe. They are feared for the behind the scenes control they exert. In actual game play, Normals are not significantly more controllable than Supers and any control lasting more than a day is very difficult to achieve.

In genre, sometimes mentalists have it easy and sometimes they don't. Plot Immunity makes translation of a lot of abilities from fiction to gaming table quite difficult. Slap a -1 limitation on all those "reliable on normal and never used on the important characters" powers for "GM assigned immunity" and they seem much more in genre, and a lot less expensive.

 

 

Okay, I understand your point here, but it never comes up for me. The only way I see it becoming an issue is if one character is forced into one build and another is not.

 

Otherwise this is an instance of writing a character to a certain concept that is willfully done by the player, not coerced by the GM in some attempt to restrict one concept over another. If the player wants something that is not optimized, I'll allow it so long as his character is viable for the campaign.

I don't think one concept should gain an automatic point advantage over another. "Guy with claws and normal human STR" should not be automatically disadvantaged over "Guy with claws and superhuman strength". Under the current system, the guy with 15 STR and a 3d6 HKA spends the same points and gets the same HKA as the guy with 30 STR and a 2d6 HKA. The second one has more versatility that costs him nothing.

 

This is my view whether we're discussing a 30 STR as Superhuman (buys a 2d6 HKA to get 4d6 damage), or a 55 STR (buys a 5 point HKA to get 4d6 damage). And I note you are arguing the former example is OK while the latter is not, as you are only OK with damage adding if it can't do more than double the result.

 

The 15 STR character has a concept chosen by the player. The points  saved on STR will be used to buy other things, like say a Multipower with 3 attack slots ,one of which being the HKA.

He did not save any points on STR. He spent 5 points on STR and 45 points on HKA to get the a 4d6 HKA. The other one spent 20 points on a 30 STR and 30 points on a 2d6 HKA. The first player does not get any extra points to spend on other things - he spent the same total points and got less for it.

 

And again all concepts are not equal at equal points. Take three Bricks. Even after 30+ ears of rules revisions, Stupendous Man with his 60 Str is just better off points wise than Big Boy with Growth or Obstacle with Density Increase, yet all three are valid concepts that players freely choose to play and build.

Again, harder to compare. Growth and DI make it a lot easier to battle in HTH. If the average hit will do, say, 4"/8m Knockback, having Knockback Resistance from Growth/DI seems pretty advantageous over having to stand up (half phase) and move back into HTH range (half phase). Growth and DI bring other abilities along with them.

 

Until we can come up with a perfect ruleset, I'm willing to settle with what we got, especially in the case of things in the player's control. Make it better and I'll be near the head of the line to switch.

Why did we bother moving from 1e to 2e, then? The same logic applies to the complete removal of the damage adder cap in 6e - until it's 100% perfect all around, live with that added imperfection as well. It is just as much "in the player's control" to choose a 55 STR and 1 DC HKA as it is to choose a 30 STR and 2d6 HKA, or a 10 STR and a 3d6+1 HKA.

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No, I listed Martial Arts. Haymaker and Pushing as universal methods of Adding Damage.

 

Haymaker and Pushing provide a one time increase to the DC's of a power with a hefty penalty incurred. In a sense, they do avoid doubling, but do so by changing the actual value of the power involved beforehand. Doubling is still there but the cap is raised. Thus you can do 8d6 with a 10 STR(Pushed to 20)+Haymaker.

But they aren't. In particular, prior to 6e, Martial Arts maneuvers only added half their DC's to killing attacks, as well as being subject to the doubling rule. Pushing works on Healing, but Haymakers do not (never thought about an Offensive Strike Healing...). Martial Arts DC's could only double the damage from my sword, but they could increase my Normal Damage without limit, and increase my Killing Strike without limit, but only half as fast.

 

BTW, Haymakering that Jedi Mind Trick also adds 4 DC - and who cares about an extra segment or a -5 DCV when one is not in combat anyway? Pushing (if we allow tat anytime you want to - the rules by default do not)adds another 2 DC, and you get your END back pretty fast out of combat.

 

Haymaker now has that kludgy "you can't do it unless the drawbacks are problematic" rule - so I can't haymaker the wall of my prison cell - unless there is someone invisible there waiting to attack me. Looking at 6e, "you can't more than double the damage" is gone from Haymaker, but I believe it was there in 5e - anyone have those rules handy? Pushing does not get the same restriction as Haymaker - how much does it matter that I spend a ton of END if I'm not rushed? I can get my END back pretty quickly. And Pushing is not capped unless your EGO roll is. The three, and Skill Levels as a fourth, are all different means of adding damage. Making their interactions more consistent, with less exceptions and variations, is a good game simplification, in my view. It is either unbalanced to allow damage adders or it is not, so an arbitrary "you can only double it" limitation isn't that great in my view, and is made worse when it only applies to some combinations and not to others.

 

Martial Arts is still subject to doubling unless you use the exploit.

Your constant reference to a rules change as an exploit is annoying. If I don't like the benefits of a new rule, then the new rule is an exploit. If I don't like the benefits of the old rule, then they are an exploit. You seem willing to accept an exploit (adding damage from STR) so long as we cap the benefits of the exploit (can't more than double the damage) and restrict it (only HKA's can change the damage type).

 

Figured Characteristics could also be considered an exploit. Buying DEX was the only cost-effective way to raise OCV and DCV. It was cheaper to buy CON than purchase the related figured characteristics, and STR (with all its other advantages) was not far behind. That exploit lasted 5 editions without being varied (the HKA was modified between 1e and 2e, so it has less history). I'm OK with CON no longer bringing 105% of its cost in the form of figured characteristics, STR not granting 110% of its cost in figured characteristics and the ability to have a cost-effective character whose OCV, DCV, SPD and DEX skills do not move in lockstep. And I'd be even more OK if we applied that de-linking philosophy one more time to Killing Attacks.

 

The d6-1 Stun Multiple rendering a KA the superior means of doing STUN to high DEF opponents was also with us for five editions. I was initially quite opposed to the 6e change, but I have come to agree that it is a vast improvement - the KA is effective at inflicting BOD damage in games where that is appropriate. It is a niche power, at best, in four colour Supers games, but I'm OK with that, as attacks that are designed to kill their targets are a poor fit in four colour games. I'm much happier with Armor Piercing priced at a level that makes it a viable attack choice. These are more changes from 5 consecutive editions with which I agree.

 

My preference would have been de-linking STR and KA's entirely - we don't need two different variants on KA any more than we need it for Flash, or Entangle, or Drain. But we all have our lines - I would not support removing HTH damage from STR. That is, however, another extreme of de-linking.

 

As to HKA  being an orphaned mechanic, that's an illusion you get from 30+ years of using the system.  STR/HA,  Blast, HKA and RKA are the subset of Attack Powers that we use to model real world things.

Nets are not real world things? Neither are flash-bangs? Poisons? Lassos? Imagine that!

 

They are so commonly used and advantaged in-game, that we forget that these are the only four powers that are resolved against PD/ED using OCV/DCV.

Why would we need more? For that matter, why do we need so many? One Killing Attack (Ranged by default), just like one Flash, one Entangle, one Drain, etc. would work just fine. It doesn't hugely confuse anyone that handcuffs are an Entangle with no Range, so why is a Sword being a Killing Attack with no Range so hard to comprehend?

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WTG on cherry-picking the points you reply to, and on moving the target of the argument in your reply.

 

You didn't address any of the instances where a Mental concept is less viable that others. Instead you used the one example where the Mental concept was effective, posited a heavily disadvantaged Mental Power and changed the required effect level. 

 

How often was the Jedi Mind Trick effective? I count twice in three movies in the original trilogy, once persuading the Storm Trooper and once getting Luke in to see Jabba. Jabba was utterly immune, and it only influenced the "weak minded". It was used only in HTH range, and the user needed to speak. It was never used in combat, could easily take a full phase, and require dropping to 0 DCV (they weren't dodging around while using it). Fantasy seems right - lots of limitations piled on that Power. What effect was sought? I doubt the Trooper had a total commitment to examining every droid in detail, nor did Bib have much reason to care whether Luke got in to see Jabba (he didn't suffer any consequences on screen). A +10 seems adequate. 8d6 averages a roll of 28, enough for +20 against a "weak minded" Ego of 8.
 

The mental powers are also a lot more versatile. I doubt either Mind Trick victim would stand up long to a Lightsaber, but Mind Control (even with its more limited potential effectiveness) seems a much better option when combat is not desirable. If fighting your way in is simply not an option, neither the Entangle nor the Blast/KA are a viable option at all. Again, the less the abilities have in common, the harder it is to compare their value. Getting loyal/fanatical agents is a lot easier using Mind Control than RKA.
 

In genre, sometimes mentalists have it easy and sometimes they don't. Plot Immunity makes translation of a lot of abilities from fiction to gaming table quite difficult. Slap a -1 limitation on all those "reliable on normal and never used on the important characters" powers for "GM assigned immunity" and they seem much more in genre, and a lot less expensive.

 

So, Mental Powers (and their "limited potential effectiveness") are only useful when the more direct options are not viable? Sounds like a concept that is not getting equal value for the points. How would we solve that? Oh, I see, give them a cost break and let them effect unimportant targets, then use effective powers to combat the real threats. Doesn't quite seem competitive with a Blaster, Lightsaber or  Chewbacca's STR.

 

 

.
In genre, sometimes mentalists have it easy and sometimes they don't. Plot Immunity makes translation of a lot of abilities from fiction to gaming table quite difficult. Slap a -1 limitation on all those "reliable on normal and never used on the important characters" powers for "GM assigned immunity" and they seem much more in genre, and a lot less expensive.
 
 

I don't think one concept should gain an automatic point advantage over another. "Guy with claws and normal human STR" should not be automatically disadvantaged over "Guy with claws and superhuman strength". Under the current system, the guy with 15 STR and a 3d6 HKA spends the same points and gets the same HKA as the guy with 30 STR and a 2d6 HKA. The second one has more versatility that costs him nothing.

This is my view whether we're discussing a 30 STR as Superhuman (buys a 2d6 HKA to get 4d6 damage), or a 55 STR (buys a 5 point HKA to get 4d6 damage). And I note you are arguing the former example is OK while the latter is not, as you are only OK with damage adding if it can't do more than double the result.
 

 

How do you reconcile your 2nd paragraph here with the 1st? 

 

For me it's simple, the concept of "Guy with normal STR and claws" is not as good all-around as the concept of "Guy with superhuman STR with claws" unless claws have as much all-around utility as STR.

 

Normal STR guy paid more for his HKA so he gets to equality for HKA usage but he doesn't hit as hard with just STR. That's what he paid for.

 

55 STR guy shouldn't get equal usage for his HKA as the other two. He didn't pay for it. He does get the benefits of more STR.

 

Why did we bother moving from 1e to 2e, then? The same logic applies to the complete removal of the damage adder cap in 6e - until it's 100% perfect all around, live with that added imperfection as well. It is just as much "in the player's control" to choose a 55 STR and 1 DC HKA as it is to choose a 30 STR and 2d6 HKA, or a 10 STR and a 3d6+1 HKA.

 

To get a better ruleset. We both agree that the 6th rule change is a problem, the difference is to me what we had in 2nd-5th was workable while to you it's just a change to a rule that needs discarding in toto for another method.

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WTG on cherry-picking the points you reply to, and on moving the target of the argument in your reply.

 

 

 

That's part of why I stopped responding.  There's a lot of moving goal posts in this thread.  People are just arguing to argue.  Respond to one point and they'll move to something else so they can keep arguing.

 

There are a lot of problems with balance in the Hero system, and a lot of the changes that were made from 4th to 5th only made them worse.  The changes then from 5th to 6th went even further in the wrong direction.

 

Mental powers have operated by a different system than the rest for quite a long time.  It doesn't scale properly because it uses set +10, +20, +30 effect levels, which means you need at least a certain number of dice to get that effect.  At low power levels, mental attacks are near useless.  At high power levels, they become overwhelming. 

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That's part of why I stopped responding.  There's a lot of moving goal posts in this thread.  People are just arguing to argue.  Respond to one point and they'll move to something else so they can keep arguing.

 

There are a lot of problems with balance in the Hero system, and a lot of the changes that were made from 4th to 5th only made them worse.  The changes then from 5th to 6th went even further in the wrong direction.

 

Mental powers have operated by a different system than the rest for quite a long time.  It doesn't scale properly because it uses set +10, +20, +30 effect levels, which means you need at least a certain number of dice to get that effect.  At low power levels, mental attacks are near useless.  At high power levels, they become overwhelming. 

 

I agree in part but I'm continuing because:

 

I don't take it personally when someone disagrees with me in a civil manner. I'd stop if my stress level was being raised.

 

I'm learning something. I'd never thought about how many attack mechanics Hero has and how they could confuse newcomers before. 

 

We might come up with something that improves the game for someone.

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WTG on cherry-picking the points you reply to, and on moving the target of the argument in your reply.

I don't believe the current posts move the goalposts any more than responding to a concern that the HKA mechanic is not balanced with a post on mental powers. It seems like you wanted mental powers to be pretty much automatically successful as a "one punch" against anyone with a normal Ego - which is pretty much everyone - because a Blast is. Against credible opponents, a Blast requires several hits to end the battle. A mental attack should not be automatically successful and one punch the typical "important target" when other attacks do not. The mechanics of mental powers are such that allowing the mental attack to generally one punch unimportant targets means they also one punch the real threats.

 

Do you have a proposed solution to the mental power conundrum? Mine is to double their cost (10 points per 1d6) and make them cumulative (not "maximum of x times the maximum roll" cumulative, but fully cumulative). In a 60 AP game, this would mean they are 6d6, average 21 per hit, accumulating to 63 points in three hits, which is ego +50 against a 13 Ego. Meanwhile, the 12 DC blaster rolls an average of 42, punches 17-22 past the average 20 - 25 defenses to get 51 - 66 points through in the same number of hits.

 

The Mentalist loses ground to mindless opponents and those with mental defense. But he attacks vs OCV with an invisible ability that has noncombat uses the Blast does not. Overall, I'd call that reasonably balanced.

 

What happens if we drop down to 6 DC's(very low power)? Well, a Blast rolls 21, and gets 11 - 15 STUN past 6 - 10 defenses (Standard Heroic, where we have 3 - 8 DC's as a norm), so three hits does 33 - 45 STUN. The Mental attack rolls 3d6, so 10.5 on average. Three hits is 31.5, Ego +20 on a 10 or 11 Ego. Not quite as good. But then, STUN comes back a lot faster in a 3-4 SPD game - we don't really have a rule for how long those accumulated mental points take to fade, do we? Generally not in combat time, in my limited experience with cumulative mental powers.

 

You didn't address any of the instances where a Mental concept is less viable that others. Instead you used the one example where the Mental concept was effective, posited a heavily disadvantaged Mental Power and changed the required effect level.

I addressed your examples. I have not found the Mentalist to be less viable than others. I have found that they do not get instant control of credible opponents, just as Blasters don't get instant KO's against credible opponents. They also have less ability to instantly control normal/mooks, but they also have abilities much more useful in out of combat situations. Overall, I have not found this to be a balance problem However, the comparison is much less straightforward than "KA with normal STR", "KA with high STR" and "KA with superhuman STR".

 

So, Mental Powers (and their "limited potential effectiveness") are only useful when the more direct options are not viable? Sounds like a concept that is not getting equal value for the points. How would we solve that? Oh, I see, give them a cost break and let them effect unimportant targets, then use effective powers to combat the real threats. Doesn't quite seem competitive with a Blaster, Lightsaber or  Chewbacca's STR.

Again, the fact that the mental power requires multiple hits to take out a credible opponent seems pretty comparable to other attack powers in the Hero system. And they are ALSO viable where cutting the opponent down is not (maybe that's how Obi should have handled the Cantina situation?)

 

For me it's simple, the concept of "Guy with normal STR and claws" is not as good all-around as the concept of "Guy with superhuman STR with claws" unless claws have as much all-around utility as STR.

For me, it is as simple as "if Guy with normal STR and claws" is not as good as "Guy with superhuman STR with claws", then the former should cost less than the latter. Just like "Guy with normal STR and no claws" costs less than "Guy with superhuman STR and no claws".

 

Normal STR guy paid more for his HKA so he gets to equality for HKA usage but he doesn't hit as hard with just STR. That's what he paid for.

So, if the points paid are not an indicator of the value of the ability, what good are they? Would you be OK pricing Blast at 2 points per 1d6? Sure, that means Blasters are better than Bricks, but the player chose the Brick concept, so it's all OK, right? I'd argue for repricing of mental powers as well, if my experience showed that they were less beneficial, across the board, then other concepts. But that has not been my experience.

 

55 STR guy shouldn't get equal usage for his HKA as the other two. He didn't pay for it. He does get the benefits of more STR.

30 STR Guy paid for his 30 STR and gets to add 6 DCs to an HKA. If that is fair, then it is no less fair that 55 STR guy paid for his 55 STR and gets to add 11 DC's to an HKA. 30 STR Guy paid for his STR and an HKA. So did 55 STR Guy. Either it is fair for STR to add to HKA's or it is not. An arbitrary cap (doubling or anything else) acknowledges there is an unfairness, but leaves some level of unfairness in the system because "logically, STR should enhance an HKA" (but all the other logical power extrapolations still cost points for the extra abilities) or "well, we've always done it that way" (well, if the way we've always done it is best, why do we have a new edition at all?)

 

We would not dream of saying "PD or ED cannot more than double defenses when added to Resistant Protection", or "For every point of Resistant Protection, 1 point of the character's normal defenses also becomes resistant." Why are KA's and STR different?

 

 

To get a better ruleset. We both agree that the 6th rule change is a problem, the difference is to me what we had in 2nd-5th was workable while to you it's just a change to a rule that needs discarding in toto for another method.

I do not agree that the problem is removal of the doubling cap from 5e to 6e. The problem is that adding to KA with STR is inconsistent with de-linking (and a lot of other inconsistencies in this regard were corrected in 6e), and provides a clear advantage to "strong with claws" over "less strong with claws". Either it is, or is not, unbalanced for STR to enhance HKA damage. If it is not unbalanced, then the amount of STR enhancing the HKA makes no difference. If it is unbalanced, then capping it only say "we'll limit the unbalance, but we won't fix it", which is not the right approach IMO.

 

Was the old approach workable? Sure. That does not mean it was balanced. But the new approach remains workable as well. It just means an even higher STR and a KA is also advantageous. However, in games where STR actually gets high enough to make this a real issue (I see few Heroic characters with 55 STR), the KA itself has become markedly less useful. The combination of those two aspects results in the system remaining manageable, because the ability of the KA to inflict excessive STUN against high defense opponents has been removed. That change has, however, made the KA less useful in games with high rDEF where lethality is fairly limited. OK - in games where lethality is supposed to be low, powers designed to kill are not appropriate anyway, so KA's shouldn't be very useful.

 

If they were rendered useless in Fantasy games, or Western games, or Modern Action Hero games, I'd be much more concerned. But they weren't. If there were no way to have STR add to a sword or dagger strike in a fantasy game, I'd again be concerned. But there is - design the equipment with extra DC's that require a user to dedicate some STR to it. Sure it's different than what we see with point-purchased equipment in a Supers game. So are STR minimums, and for that matter getting equipment without purchasing it with character points.

 

But the damage adding rules had become a kludgy, overcomplicated mess with far too many caveats and exceptions. Steve set out to clean that up, and he cleaned it up. Why? In part, because it was confusing newcomers - even experienced Hero gamers had discarded a lot of the damage adding baggage in favour of a more streamlined game. Cleaning it up for 6e required removal of the limit to damage addition to a KA, or so Steve decided. Those limits were one of the many exceptions and caveats. The removal of that limit highlighted the inequity in allowing STR to add to HKA (and no other attack power to add to any other attack power), but the inequity was always there. Fixing it requires removal of the link.

 

And, of course, we get the sidebar saying "but maybe the grognards want to keep doing it the old way". We got a similar sidebar for the Stun Multiple. Even with that sidebar, though, the rules apply to ALL attacks the same way. No more "only add half the martial arts modifier to a KA".

 

Matterhorn (STR 60) decides to take advantage of the Adding Damage rules. He buys a dagger — HKA ½d6, Armor Piercing (+¼). Using his 60 STR, he can increase the dagger’s damage to 3½d6! Fortunately for the campaign, Matterhorn’s GM is no fool; he recognizes that it’s unbalancingly effective to let a character have an HKA 3½d6 for 6 Character Points. (While it’s true Matterhorn has also paid 50 Character Points for his STR, that has plenty of usefulness on its own.) He rules that Matterhorn can’t do more than double the DCs of his dagger, so regardless of how much STR he uses it can’t do more than HKA 1d6+1, Armor Piercing damage.

So how is that markedly different than

Hercules(STR 30) decides to take advantage of the Adding Damage rules. He buys a Greatsword — HKA 2d6. Using his 30 STR, he can increase the Greatsword's damage to 4d6! Fortunately for the campaign, Hercules' GM is no fool; he recognizes that it’s unbalancingly effective to let a character have an HKA 4d6 for 30 Character Points. (While it’s true Hercules has also paid 20 Character Points for his STR, that has plenty of usefulness on its own.) He rules that Hercules can’t add DC's to a Killing attack with another attack power. He paid for a 2s6 KA, and that is what he gets.

The sidebar doesn't get very far before exceptions come back in, too. "As a general guideline"; "unless he rules otherwise"; "typically grants exceptions" (LOTS of examples listed);Extra DC's are base damage sometimes and adders other times; half a column to get back to a kludgy mess...

 

Where are the Figured Characteristics, Find Weakness, Transfer and Comeliness sidebars? Why not just one big sidebar that "Hey, you can always keep using an older edition, in whole or in part, if you like those rules better. You can change any rule you want, any way you want."

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Part Deux

 

 

There are three approaches I perceive under discussion.

 

First, "You can't add damage from one attack to damage from another attack". This is the rule throughout all editions, with the sole exception (orphan mechanic) of Killing Attack (and Hand Attack if interpreted as Blast, no Range instead of STR, Damage only).

 

Second, "You can add damage from only one attack (STR) to only one other attack (HKA) but you can't more than double the second attack." The added caveat of the doubling rule applied from 2e to 5e, and was twisted into applying to some advantaged Hand Attacks in some later editions. But if your STR and HA had the same advantages, no doubling rule, and if you forego the HA advantages, again no doubling rule. But if it's a weapon instead of a Hand Attack, pro rate your STR for the advantages to add damage (remember the comment that 6e aimed to simplify the "adding damage" rule?).

 

Third, "You can add damage from one attack to another attack", perhaps as a +1/2 advantage on one of the two attacks. That's the underlying theme suggested for Killing Attacks - you can have either Range or Augmented by STR. But the latter has never been an option for any other type of attack. Only the KA comes with a Ranged version and an HTH version, the latter gaining this "STR Adds" benefit rather than just being less expensive by virtue of the "no range" limitation.

 

One core precept of Hero to me has always been "you get what you pay for". You want to be immune to environmental effects, you buy Life Support. You want to be resistant to damage, you buy a defense power (it does not come free with Life Support, nor vice versa). Many examples exist. 6e enhanced this - you want high END, high STUN and high REC, you buy them, not CON. But we're still left with "you want sharp claws, buy STR". Pre6e, you matched your STR DC's to your HKA DC's. 6e took away that limit, and now we hear the wails about how unbalanced it is that a guy with 60 STR can have a 14 DC KA for 10 points. So why is it somehow OK for a guy with a 35 STR to get a 14 DC KA for 35 points, when the guy with 10 STR has to spend 60 points to get the same KA? These are variations on the theme, but STR is granting the guy who wants a non-ranged KA (or will pay the +1/2 advantage for a Ranged HKA and get both range and STR adds) something for nothing. He's not bound by the metarule that "you get what you pay for". He's not bound by "the most expensive approach is the right one" (that would be 14 DC HKA, STR does not add). 

 

He's an orphan mechanic exception to the general principal that abilities are each purchased separately.

 

To me, the "exploit" is a mechanic which allows the character to get more than he pays for. That includes all of "65 STR + 5 points HKA = 14 DC's of HKA", "65 STR + 5 points HKA = 14 DC's of Normal Damage", and "35 STR + 35 points HKA = 14 DCs of HKA or of normal damage". THEY ARE ALL EXPLOITS - 65 + 5 is just more blatant than 35 + 35.

 

 

Agreed on the first point.

 

Mostly agreed on the second point. The issue with advantages is prorating the non-advantaged power to the advantaged power.

 

The third point is where I'm confused somewhat. Muscle powered HTH weapons(both HA and HKA) function in conjunction with STR in the real world and in every other game system I've seen. You can unlink them but I can't see a logical reason for it and I disagree that it needed for play balance(for which logic need not necessarily apply). In the first case, the mechanic is unchanged throughout the editions(except where it concerns doubling). In the second, which makes KA a meta-power. You have to,decide if the meta-power is default range or hth(and redo the rules advantages made to simulate the non-default) and reprice all equipment based weapons with balance for campaigns where both exist.

 

Lastly, if we're using purchasing powers separately as the standard, then the synergy between two powers shouldn't come up. Doubling affects HKA/HA based on how many points you put in HKA/HA. The character that purchases should be able to double it for more indepedent of the the power/skill used to double it, the character that purchased less doubles for less.

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The third point is where I'm confused somewhat. Muscle powered HTH weapons(both HA and HKA) function in conjunction with STR in the real world

And someone resistant enough to heat that they can stand in the heart of a star would take no damage from a flamethrower or a Sunstroke attack. But in game, they do. Logic of what this ability "should do" is typically used, at least in Hero, to justify purchasing the things it should do. They are not granted for free.

 

and in every other game system I've seen.

Plenty of other games have plenty of other rules. Should Hero adopt a "roll high" standard and/or polyhedral dice because other games do?

 

You can unlink them but I can't see a logical reason for it and I disagree that it needed for play balance(for which logic need not necessarily apply).

If it is not unbalanced for STR to add to an HKA, then why is it unbalanced if it can more than double the HKA? What other games have you seen that apply this doubling rule, since that is one test you suggest above for de-linking STR and HKA damage? D&D doesn't prohibit the 30 STR Fighter adding +10 to his 1d4 dagger strike.

 

In the first case, the mechanic is unchanged throughout the editions(except where it concerns doubling). In the second, which makes KA a meta-power. You have to,decide if the meta-power is default range or hth(and redo the rules advantages made to simulate the non-default) and reprice all equipment based weapons with balance for campaigns where both exist.

Many mechanics have been unchanged through various editions. Comeliness and Figured Characteristics have been with us since 1e, with no changes any more significant than the doubling rule.

 

The metapower is ranged, as that is the default for attack powers other than STR (even Hand Attack, since it is either "blast, no range" or "STR limited" meets this standard), now that 6e finally made Drain ranged by default. Are there any more non-ranged by default attacks? Looking at p 162, most are either Ranged or Self. The only NO ranges are Aid, HA, Healing, KA (varies)and Summon. Aid costs 6 points per d6 - making it Ranged and 10 points wouldn't change much. Healing would be 15 points per die instead of 10. That leaves HTH attacks and Summon.

 

We don't need to replace the non-default. A no range KA is a -1/2 limitation like every other no range attack power. Only STR is no range by default (and HA takes its rightful form as "Extra STR, damage only").

 

Yes, the equipment needs to be repriced. But "equipment bought with character points" has never aligned with "equipment you can buy for cash". Would you let Norse Thunder God Man put a STR Min on his Hammer? Can my character buy 20 STR and a Summonable Club, 15d6 Blast (he can throw it), 20 STR Min for 37 points instead of an 11d6 HTH attack, can be thrown (+4d6 from STR) for 55 points (btw, the limit on HA at -1/4 is stupid low - that should cost 55 x 1.25/1.5 = 46)?

 

Or, since the rules already provide that only "In Heroic campaigns, melee weapons built with HKA and HA have a Strength Minimum that defines the minimum STR required to use them properly.", perhaps we simply reprice STR Min to incorporate "STR in excess of the STR MIN adds 1 DC per 5 points of extra STR".

 

We already have a modifier for the STR min when added STR cannot enhance the damage. If we maintain the doubling rule, what do we have? Double the damage (call that a +1 advantage - that doubles the cost!), Must Have STR of 5 points over STR Min per DC added (call that -1/2 on the extra DC's, so -1/4 equivalent), caps other forms of damage adding (call that -1/2). If we apply the limitations directly to the advantage (ie reduce the +1 instead of calculating a +1 advantage and -3/4 in limitations), and set a 1-3 STR Min as a further -1/4 from the total, we get the STR Min table on p 199 of 6eV2 - -0 for STR 1-3, and a further -1/4 for each up to 5 additional STR min. And if extra STR can't add damage? That's a further -1/2. RESULT: No repricing required.

 

Wow, that was actually much easier than I had expected in my vision of "+x DC's limited to require STR be used". Thanks for pushing me to work through the thought process.

 

Lastly, if we're using purchasing powers separately as the standard, then the synergy between two powers shouldn't come up. Doubling affects HKA/HA based on how many points you put in HKA/HA. The character that purchases should be able to double it for more indepedent of the the power/skill used to double it, the character that purchased less doubles for less.

Doubling does not affect HKA based on points in HKA. It affects HKA based on a combination of points in HKA and points in STR. If you buy STR with no HKA, the potential to add to an HKA is lost. If you buy an HKA without enough STR to double it, the potential of the HKA is lost. That's why we get that "sweet spot" of STR = points in HKA. Any more STR wastes the potential of the STR and any less wastes the potential of the HKA.

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