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Hi all, relatively new lurker, I think first-time poster, and new Heroes 6E GM (6E is the first edition I've played, we've played 3 campaigns in it, 1 for over a year).


If there's a better section for this kind of thing, let me know (I have more questions about the why of certain rules).


Anyways, I have a question about Takes No STUN.


As is often said, complete immunity is not something that HERO is set up for, and so things like Life Support and Takes no STUN are nice big wrenches in the system.


Still, I want to understand why Takes No STUN triples the cost of Defensive Powers.


This isn't a sour grapes "this makes my idea super expensive" kind of complaint, it is a "this makes zombies and golems significantly more expensive than they weight they hit at, and none of my players ever take it, even if they make Robots (there is a precident that some Androids are so complex that they can be stunned precident, and they all take it if offered)" complaint.


I understand that taking Stun out of consideration is a significant disruption in combat, particularly if the opponent up against it has invested heavily in blasts or HAs or increased stun modifiers on Killing attacks, but I do not see the solution given really fixing the problem, but instead causing a whole horde of others.


For starters:


For the 60 points that the (more useful of the two) Takes No STUN power costs, you can get

  • The Cannot be Stunned power for 15 points,
  • +20 to REC, with the Limitation (only for the recovery of STUN points, which I think would reasonably be -1) for 10 points,
  • +10 pts each of PD and ED for 20 points, and
  • +30 points of STUN for 15 points.

All of which without invoking the defense trippling. If you have even a few reasonable amount of defenses (say DCV of 5 and rPD/rED of 3/3, normally 19 points, but instead 57), you can purchase the PD/ED to +20 apeice and the STUN up to +62 for the difference in price or start putting in 25% or 50% Damage Reduction for Stun Only (-1/2). In campaign power levels in which we play, that's effective immunity to Stun, without additional defenses being tripled.


Therefore, my players see no incentive to take the power. There's a precidence for automitons not taking it (vampires and Champions villian robots), and simply saying no to them just disincentivizes robot and undead characters.


As for me as the GM, it means that, while skeletons and zombies are fine, since they pretty much have no defense except not taking stun, golems and such are wildly overpriced for their hitting power against the PCs.


Beyond the fact that it makes golems more expensive than I feel they should be and my players not take the power, there's simply the logical aspect of the trippling. Trippling is a geometric effect for a benefit that I'm not convinced is geometric. Trippling means Power Advantages and Limitations are trippled, is that better or worse than giving defensive abilities a +2 power advantage cost? It just seems like a really clunky and clumsy mechanic. If anyone has had a different experience, or horror stories of an earlier edition where the trippling wasn't there, I'd love to hear it.

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Every system has a wrench that is tossed in just to see what happens. The Automaton powers are sort of like that for Hero. For example, I don't even use the Stunned rules so none of my players would see a benefit to buying Cannot Be Stunned. Previous editions didn't even offer them as options for player characters IIRC. Mostly I think that Automaton powers were introduced to give GMs shortcuts to building specific types of characters (namely the aforementioned zombies, robots, etc.). I really think, on the balance, that there are better options. Fifth and Sixth editions really have way more ways to simulate such abilities, especially if you use the Advanced Player Guides. Even without those, you can come up with something that makes a zombie (for example) impervious to pain (Damage Negation, Only vs. Stun) without having the burden of tripling other defenses.


You can even make the Takes No Stun ability not triple other defense costs. Be careful with that as there may be some of those unforeseen consequences. At least consider raising the cost of that instead. Me personally? I'd just scrap all of the Automaton powers except for Does Not Bleed (which can be useful in campaigns where the Bleeding rules apply). I'm glad they are there for the closet cases, but mostly I'd find alternatives.


I'd also not worry about the logic behind them either. I imagine that, at the time, they seemed like a good fit. They are legacy rules now and though I'm sure somebody will come along and tell me how great they are and how off base I am, they don't really have relevance in 6E. All of these are my opinions and I have been known to look at the world in an odd way.

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I'm not 100% sold on Takes no Stun tripling defense power costs, its one of those legacy things like "your attack ends your phase" that everyone has always done but I doubt has tested out much to see if its necessary.  Particularly obnoxious is that it triples DCV and DMCV, which is illogical except from a cost increasing point of view.  I can buy at least somewhat that your PD should be increased in price since its doing double duty now (since you take no stun, the body damage it reduces is all the damage you take, which makes it more efficient for you).  But being hit is no different for a stun-free character as for anyone else.


I can somewhat, sort of see why flash defense gets tripled, because in theory you could buy an AVAD attack against flash defense, but that's exceptionally rare and just silly.

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I have found the Automaton Powers to be useful, and I know others have as well, but I am not sure they've been tested out enough to draw definitive conclusions.


As I understand it, the reason for tripling defense cost is that those defenses such as PD and ED and Resistant Defense that block both STUN and BODY now only block BODy, which usually comes in smaller doses. For Normal Attacks for example, you probably take a third as much BODy as STUN. So if you are defending against a 10d6 normal Attack for example, you'd need about 35 PD to totally block an average roll, but now need only 10 PD to stop that same roll.


Which still doesn't explain why just about everything that could be labeled "a defense" gets tripled in cost, but does explain it for things like ED and PD.


Lucius Alexander


Manually operated palindromedary

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I think the problem here is one of GM option. Both 6E1 and CC  state that these powers can normally only be purchased by Automatons, which are controlled by another character. As a GM, I can't think of a situation over the last 3+ decades where I would have let a PC run such a character (i.e., being controlled by another character as the automaton rules--including the additional information in 6E2--indicate).


In other cases, such as Nolgroth not using the Stunned rules, that's a choice that has affects on the rules in general. It's not wrong, there are just consequences, such as Cannot Be Stunned being completely useless as a power.


The group I game with has only recently switched to playing under 6E/CC rules, so I haven't had to worry about whether or not it makes sense to also triple DCV and DMCV costs as well. However, in general, I don't have a problem with it. Since I see them as what they were (RAW) originally introduced for, I agree with Nolgroth that they are GM shortcuts. And, as the GM, I have infinite points to play with. I build the characters/monsters/whatever for the effect I want them to have, not to meet an arbitrary point total. That may be a consequence of playing Champions/Hero since 1981.


The one place I see the cost of Automaton powers being a possible issue is for Summoning, etc. For PCs, that is (q.v., GMs have infinite points). In which case I say, if you don't like the cost, reduce it. Or don't make it triple some/all defense costs. Or use some of the other options already presented in this thread to do the same thing. The same applies if you allow a PC to use these powers.


As for the original question:

Still, I want to understand why Takes No STUN triples the cost of Defensive Powers.


Unless someone on the boards was involved in design discussions for 5E (when these were introduced) or 6E and wants to chip in, I think only Steve Long can answer, and he doesn't answer design questions.

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I agree stuff like Cannot Be Stunned and No Hit Locations were useless in previous editions because they did - or at least I understood them to - triple costs of defenses as well and that was grossly out of proportion to their utility.  These days they're amazingly valuable, but I won't let characters take just Cannot be Stunned on its own without extremely good justification and other design elements.  Its just too darn useful to not have to worry about being stunned ever.

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