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So you know how many CP it will cost to build your base on underground or on the moon.  You know the CP to build your latest ray guy.  How do you determine how much the materials will cost, if the design is supported in setting, and how long it will take to build? 

 

I am somewhat new to Hero, I have been playing and running games for a couple years, but I have never found any guidance for converting CP's into monetary expense.  Nor have I found guidance on build times.

 

I typically run Champions, Pulp and Spy Genre games.  Lacking clear direction, I often resort to the construction rules of other game systems.

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Economics are so complicated the books do not even approach it. The main reason for this is genre conventions so greatly affect it.

Imagine 250 years ago for a person to have a 1 pound bar of aluminum would make him able to retire for life and having a few sets of nice clothes was a statement of wealth. In today’s era pop cans are made out of aluminum because it is so cheap and everyone has plenty of clothes. (I can say that even when we were homeless growing up we had access to new clothes at least a couple times a year as there were many groups that if you could show up clean and sober would provide them free). Additionally the cost of making goods used to be balanced by the need to maintain craftsmen, but the industrial revolution changed everything there.

In the united states we can get a electronic device that requires tens of thousands of hours to be crafted if you include the time to build the operating system, compile a processor with millions of individual switches and a memory card with 128 billion separate bit locations (iPhone 6+) all for about two day’s wages ($300) and a contract to use it for 2 years or a week’s wages ($800) outright. Meanwhile that same phone if available only 50 years ago would have been worth millions or even priceless.

On the other hand a hand crafted desk of simple and basic form will cost you a couple thousand dolor’s now, while 200 years ago it would be expected in every business or middle class home.

So it would be impossible to put a flat relationship between the dolor and the character point. Most people I know own from as little as 4 to as many as 30+ firearms, normally you can get a basic semi-automatic 9mm for under $500, while really nice ones can go into the thousands or tens of thousands. If you had that same weapon for sale 1000 years ago any ruler would give you half of his kingdom.

 

What I would do is think about it from an abstract point of view, what is the setting, is the base built in a way that is commonly feasible or using a lot of advanced technology? The following are things that is real life tend to send project cost through the roof and above budget.

Advanced or new technology (always stability issues).

Aesthetically appealing or artistic

Novelty (the newer or more original a design is the more it will cost to see it happen)

Availability of competent labor (we find that timing and availability can double labor cost, especially when competing with other oil refineries)

 

Believe it or not it is also better to pay $100/hour for a skilled welder than to pay for 5 rookie welders at $20/hour billing rate. The one skilled craftsman will work faster and with fewer errors that the combined output of 5 laborers. In some cases the unskilled crafts will simply not be able to do what a skilled tradesman can do. For highly skilled positions this continues to hold true, a senior engineer billing out at $750/hour will be able to generate better design and more reliable project plans than a younger guy who bills for only $75/hour.

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So you know how many CP it will cost to build your base on underground or on the moon.  You know the CP to build your latest ray guy.  How do you determine how much the materials will cost, if the design is supported in setting, and how long it will take to build? 

 

I am somewhat new to Hero, I have been playing and running games for a couple years, but I have never found any guidance for converting CP's into monetary expense.  Nor have I found guidance on build times.

 

I typically run Champions, Pulp and Spy Genre games.  Lacking clear direction, I often resort to the construction rules of other game systems.

 

There is no conversion between character points and $$$, other than the Wealth perk.

 

By paying character points, you get the item in question (whether it's a base, vehicle, focus, whatever).  The dollar amount isn't important, because your character doesn't necessarily have to pay money for it.

 

For instance, let's say you've got a Batman-style character, and you pay the points to have a Batcave.  How did you get it?  Well, Bruce Wayne has 15 points of Wealth.  He can spend as much money as he wants with no repercussions.  The exact dollar amount isn't important, because 15 points of Wealth gives you basically unlimited spending power.  He literally always has more money.  So you could do that, but you don't have to.  You could also, say, inherit the base from a long-lost wealthy uncle.  Or perhaps you stumble across the base, no one else knows about it, and you claim it as your own.  Think about the Christopher Reeve Superman movie -- he found a green crystal, threw it in the Arctic Ocean, and then it grew into a base.  Zero dollars spent.

 

When you spend the character points, you get the item.  Any real world considerations, like cost, compliance with zoning codes, accessibility of the site to construction equipment, etc, are taken care of by the character points.  Certainly depending on the campaign, the GM could rule that some bases aren't available.  But generally, all real world factors are taken care of when you spend the points. 

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To take a different approach:

 

Do some real-world research. One of the things that I love the most about Role Playing Games is that I learn things, constantly. I learned a metric buttload about the politics of Russia and the CCP running a near-future cyberpunk game. This isn't because Shadowrun 4 (the system I used, I just stripped out magic) had any details about Asian politics. Rather, I took the opportunity to do research, because I like that kind of thing. Granted, this doesn't have to be a massive endeavor. Wikipedia is actually roughly on par with other encyclopedias, so you can get a good rough overview of things.

 

What I would do, is take this opportunity to do a little Google-fu, and dig up a range. 

 

On that note: I found a couple infographics for Bruce Wayne and Tony Stark - I agree with the author of the blog this is hosted on, some of those numbers seem to have materialized out of thin air. There's a breakdown on YouTube that handles Mr. Wayne a bit more thoughtfully. One can usually get rough estimates of the cost of various military technologies, which are by far and away the most resource-intensive things your average Champion or Spy is likely to be dealing with. For Pulp Heroes, ludicrous technology that works not because of science, but because of Science! is a genre staple. Though, if you're curious, adjusted for inflation, you're probably looking at upwards of $33 million to build the Hindenberg today. 

 

Salt to taste.

 

Anyway, hope that's more helpful than frustrating! TL:DR? Google is your bestest buddy for this stuff.

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I am somewhat new to Hero, I have been playing and running games for a couple years, but I have never found any guidance for converting CP's into monetary expense.  Nor have I found guidance on build times.

 

That is very very deliberate and part of the game's design philosophy. The rules for hero are designed to emulate effects, with the the how and why being given over to descriptive text. Likewise, one does not ask where your Punisher knockoff gets the money to buy his guns, only that he paid the cp cost for them (heroic campaigns have a different relationship between characters and equipment). Likewise, vehicles have bodies, armor, and speed and accelleration stats, but they do not have weight or cargo capacity stats.

 

It is entirely possible to create a point-buy game system that uses a roll low vs. 3D6 resolution system that goes to exquisite length to capture the world in terms of size, mass, dollar value (or the equivalent). A guy named Steve Jackson did just that, and it is called GURPS. That system hass all the rules for creating vehicles (and by extension, bases) that breaks it down to the fraction of a pound, cubic foot, wattage of power used, and dollar or equivalent cost (I am running off knowedge that ends with 3rd edition, so some of my statements might not be accurate for the latest edition). The Hero system chose not to go that route.

 

The long and short of it is--your moon base takes a length of time to build equal to one moon base's build time, as determined by your GM (or you, if you are the GM). If other gaming systems give you acceptable numbers, that's great.

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The Money worth of a base can not be effectively quantised. Even if it could, that value is meaningless. The game effect be quantised and is the only thing that should be.

D&D and many other games tried to limit access to money bought resources. It was several pages and still did not work.

 

As for managing gear, vehicles and contacts in heroic games, APG I 191 has the Resource Ponts mechanic.

Basically it confines heroic gear to a VPP like construct. You get some points for free. You can buy more at a favorable rate for XP. And the GM can hand out points as more granular/specific reward for missin progress.

 

In Champions stuff is clear: You buy points for gear. Period.

You can ocassionally pick up an item and use it. But once it becomes regulary you have to buy it as power.

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Likewise, vehicles have bodies, armor, and speed and accelleration stats, but they do not have weight or cargo capacity stats.

 

Point of order: A vehicle's size and STR score determine its weight and cargo capacity. However, there are no rules for vehicle (or personal, except for armor) equipment costs, weights, or volume.

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I want to thank everyone for all the great insights. 

I now understand the money should never enter the equation with CP purchases. 

 

I think I may have to create  basic rule for designing innovations for my Pulp Hero game. It appears to NOT be in scope of the game design, unless the GM adds it.

 

Also, time to build of items must be researched, CP points do not matter in this scenario, rather GM and player agreement.

 

I was worried that I was failing to set dramatic timing efforts for technology innovation, but it sounds like any such timing should be a factor of my game, and not a mechanics ruling. I will review all of these insights and attempt to incorporate their lessons.

 

Thanks for the references and advice.  Awesome community here.

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So you know how many CP it will cost to build your base on underground or on the moon.  You know the CP to build your latest ray guy.  How do you determine how much the materials will cost, if the design is supported in setting, and how long it will take to build? 

 

I am somewhat new to Hero, I have been playing and running games for a couple years, but I have never found any guidance for converting CP's into monetary expense.  Nor have I found guidance on build times.

 

I typically run Champions, Pulp and Spy Genre games.  Lacking clear direction, I often resort to the construction rules of other game systems.

If another game system has rules you can use, use 'em. Otherwise, my suggestions:

 

How much does it cost? I would say, make it cost everything the player character has, and more, that is, put them in debt. This serves two purposes. It prevents the character from spending money in ways that short circuit adventures or make your job more complicated; "No, you can't afford to hire an investigator/bodyguard/whatever. Sure you're rich, but you're still paying off that moon base." And debt can be a motivator or plot hook; "Your financier is threatening to call in the debt and repossess your ray gun, but will give you a year's extension and cancel half the debt if you can catch the guy who robbed his bank (and preferably recover the money.)"

 

Is the design "supported in setting?" If you're running the game, you control the setting. If you don't want moonbases and rayguns, don't let players have them. If moonbases and rayguns fit into your vision of your game world, go ahead and shoot for the moon.

 

How long will it take? Depends on the needs of the game and how things play out. I have two players in a Turakian Age game who both wanted magic weapons. I arranged for one to gain her item from an assassin that turned up to kill her because it fit right into her complicated backstory. The other guy has the right Skills to forge a special weapon and got hold of the right kind of metal but hasn't had access to a magical forge because the players zigged when I expected them to zag and missed the one I had set up at first, and now are on their way to where they'll discover the Temple of the First Sword and a forge perfect for creating unique artifacts.

 

Lucius Alexander

 

Palindromedary Enterprises

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Most of the advice you have gotten is for Superhero type games.  You pay CP to have an item.  If you are playing a Heroic level game then you may need to do a lot more research because in heroic games you pay for items w/ money not CP (as a general rule).

 

So some examples of Heroic games where this might be really important:

  • Fantasy/Science Fiction setting where the characters are basically traders and troubleshooters.  You will need to set up some kind of reasonable way of handling the economics of trade.  In one of my campaigns the players ended up leasing a tavern.  They spent time setting up contracts for food, drink, and other items for the place.  They had to hire a staff.  And then we had to come up with a way to account for the ups and downs of business.  In the end I had a spreadsheet and I each owner of the place roll 3d6 each month and counted the luck vs. unluck.  If there was more luck then they made a profit.  If there was more unluck they lost money.
  • Characters who are in a very resource poor environment - apocalyptic or survivors of a lost colony - you will probably want to figure out some kind of bartering system.
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Here's another idea -- is the thing they want commercially available?  If the player wants a 4 story brownstone in Brooklyn, with a 2 car garage, Direct TV, and high speed internet, that's the sort of thing you can put a price on.  Just Google and see how much it costs.  I wouldn't even make a character in a superheroic game pay points for that.  It's not going to work very well as a super base, but if the team just wants a place to hang out, that's fine.  Things like a moon base, however, absolutely require points.

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The Ultimate Vehicle had an optional rule for obtaining a vehicle using the Money Perk, but it was limited to normal off-the-shelf vehicles; no weapons or armor, for example.

Poor and Destitute can't have a Vehicle, or at most a 10 Character Point Vehicle with lots of Disadvantages (Complications).

Middle Class can have a 20 Character Point Vehicle.

Characters with the Money Perk add the value of the Perk to the base 20 Character Points for Middle Class.

 

Note that this was 5e, where Disadvantages reduced the cost of a Vehicle.

 

The same rule was offered for Bases in 6e in The Ultimate Base.  It just removed references to Disadvantages/Complications reducing the cost.

 

i.e. Ultimate Vehicle gave Middle Class a 20 Character Point Vehicle, 100 points plus any points from Disadvantages.

Ultimate Base gave Middle Class a 20 Character Point Base, 100 points, period.

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Point of order: A vehicle's size and STR score determine its weight and cargo capacity. However, there are no rules for vehicle (or personal, except for armor) equipment costs, weights, or volume.

 

Correct. I meant vehicle weight and volume. My comparison game, GURPS 3e, has a vehicle system where you define the vehicle mass and volume, and calculate performance statistics based on the power (in watts, not END) of the motive drivetrain (which you purchase with dollars or the equivalent) to determine accelleration and speed. It is a very good, if exhaustive system, but the complete opposite design philosophy than Hero, where you as, "what are its performance metrics?" and pay for those, and let how it gets them be flavor text.

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