# More damage for rolling well

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I think I instigated this topic based on my comment in another thread.

What we have done is simply allow the player to reroll and die that shows less than the characters Margin of Success.

The character may reroll only once. Effectivity I see a lot of dice showing a 1 or 2 getting rerolled but players normally are not willing to risk getting less than a three.

For those of you good at math I would be curious what the statistical curve is on that with 6d6 as most of our heroic characters run in the 30 ap range.

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I think I instigated this topic based on my comment in another thread.

What we have done is simply allow the player to reroll and die that shows less than the characters Margin of Success.

The character may reroll only once. Effectivity I see a lot of dice showing a 1 or 2 getting rerolled but players normally are not willing to risk getting less than a three.

For those of you good at math I would be curious what the statistical curve is on that with 6d6 as most of our heroic characters run in the 30 ap range.

I am not good at maths, however, 6D6 on average roll 21 STUN.  that is (1+2+3+4+5+6)/6 * 6

Now if we presume 1s and 2s are re-rolled that becomes (3.5+3.5+3+4+5+6)/6 * 6 = 25 STUN

As most low numbers get bumped up it skews the bell-curve, pushing more results towards the centre.  So you can expect fewe low rolls and on average about a 20% bump in STUN damage...

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Well without doing complex math.

Auto-keep 5 and 6, auto-reroll 1 and 2.

3's have a 66% chance of doing same or better and 4's have a 50% chance for same or better. So re-roll 3's as it's a good bet and 4's are a coin flip.

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What makes the math frustrating is the reroll can be a 1,2,3,4,5 or 6.

I do not see the 2d6 killing attack suddenly doing 10 body every time, but I do see the plate mail wearing tank taking 2 or 3 body from the week placed blow.

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Interesting opinion, but it's just that. I don't specifically use Rule of X, but I do use campaign guidelines. Do you have the same opinion of those? Because in combination with starting points they really work out to a complex rule of X that covers all possible stats and powers.

- E

Campaign Guidelines are absolutely a good thing; even required for Hero. Because the system neither cares nor accounts for them at the System Level. This part of what I mean when I say "The system is not your babysitter" - it requires the group to come up with, and set out, the expectations for the game they are playing.

Good guidelines are a range of numbers, so if the GM says "8-10 DCs" with Speeds of "3-6" expected it wouldn't be unreasonable for someone to go full out Speed 6 and to do so sacrifice some points in the DC area to get the extra bit to hit the top range; but it should not be a requirement (which is what Rule Of X often does: if you max out one area you're almost always forced to hit minimum level in another to fit into some randomly chosen end point number).

Once you set guidelines for a campaign all discussions become easier as well, as you go from a theoretical discussion (the effects of allowing extra dice to raise the average has drastically different effects on a game using 6DCs/30APs versus a game using 18DCs/90APs). And all too often we default to the "classic champions" range of 10-12DCs; which may or may not be helpful, but without the context of campaign guidelines almost all of us have experience with that range by virtue of playing with groups who have been using that for 20+ years now.

tl;dr:

Campaign Guidelines: these are the laws of system-physics upon which the game is built.

Rule Of X: these are merely telling you how to build your character based on (nearly) arbitrary decisions.

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I really dislike these ... I specifically don't use them because if I wanted someone to tell me how to build my character I'd be playing a class-based system.

They are, in my experience, absolutely useless for any scenario that isn't directly tied to the specific X Formula, even detrimental to the discussion, and the System itself does not count on or use such a faulty mechanic.

There's no reason a high defense character can't also have a high OCV. Or a high Speed character should have low DCs. It's nothing more than a cage and a crutch.

I don't see how any of those criticisms follow from a Rule of "X". A rule of X has absolutely nothing to do with a class-based system, to the point where I can't even fathom where that sentence is coming from. All a rule of X does is set a limit on certain aspects of the character (CVs, DC, DEF, SPD, ect). It is actually less restrictive than most campaign limits, which involve Active point caps, or the like, because it is more lenient about each individual aspect, so long as the total of the aspects (after certain weighting) come out to the "X" or under. Or to put it more concretely, a character in a game with a 60 Active point cap can never have an attack higher than 12DC (at least, not without GM's Permission). A character in a game with a rule of "X" can choose to have an attack with higher DC than 12, they just need to be willing to decrease some other aspect to compensate. One of these is more restrictive than the other, and it's not Rule of X.

As for being absolutely useless in any scenario that isn't directly tied to the specific X formula, I have never seen a Rule of X that doesn't just focus on combat numbers. So I don't see how a Rule of X that involves DC, CV, Def, and SPD, would have any bearing on, for example, a skill contest. There's still, perhaps, the issue of gaming a Rule of X, by, for example buying every attack with +1/2: Accurate AoE 1m (though truth be told, the numbers work out that even this is hard to game: a character with 12d6 Blast, CV 9 hits just as hard and often as a character with 12d6 Blast [+1/2 Accurate AoE 1m], 3 CV, which both cost the same and have the same "X" value), but a rule of X doesn't negate the "GM's approval" step of the character creation process.

Lastly, HERO system has no inherent guidelines or limits for characters' power levels, due to the freedom and point buy nature of the system. But that's not the same as saying an individual campaign shouldn't have guidelines or limits for power levels. In fact the books often assume, either implicitly or explicitly, the possibility or even likelihood, of such limits. The Rule of X, for example, didn't just come from the aether, it is specifically mentioned and described in the 6e2 as an option for such campaign limits (along with 5 pages specifically focused on designing and tuning campaign limits; quite a bit for something the game doesn't "count on or use"). But even assuming no campaign limits, you have essentially two options: Either all characters have the same CVs, DCs, DEFs, SPDs, ect, or they don't. If they do, then I suppose any such rule regarding hitting well providing damage bonus won't disproportionately affect anything. However, what I suspect as the far more likely option is that there is some variation between characters (even if not defined by rule of X). In that case, (let's ignore fluff for a moment, since it seems to be a sticking point to you that for some ungodly reason Superman might hit harder than the Flash), you have two characters, Character A and Character B.

Character A has higher OCV than Character B, but lower Damage. Against an average opponent, Character A hits X+Y% of the time, while Character B hits X% of the time. Character A does Z average damage on a hit, while character B does Z+W average damage on a hit. Between the two of them the ratio of their average damage per attack is (X+Y)*Z:X*(Z+W). Because they aren't under any campaign limitations, this ratio isn't necessarily 1:1, but it's in rough proportion to the ratio of the points spent on offensive combat applications, because the pricing of things in a point buy system such as HERO more or less guarantees that. Suddenly the GM decides to add a rule where damage is now a function of both DC and how much the character hit by. This shifts the ratio to be something like (X+Y)*f(X+Y, Z):X*f(X,Z+W), assuming the partial derivatives of f are positive over all reasonable values of X and Z (as the rule would imply), the ratio has suddenly shifted to favor Character A, and shifted away from the proportion of points spent on offensive combat applications. While a simplistic model, which doesn't even figure any other areas in the rules, besides costs, where OCV and DC interact, it makes it obvious that any such rule, as it stands, will be disproportionately favoring OCV over Damage.

Edit:

I see no reason that [bricks] should 'hit less often' and I see no reason why a speedster type should 'do less damage'

[if] the GM says "8-10 DCs" with Speeds of "3-6" expected it wouldn't be unreasonable for someone to go full out Speed 6 and to do so sacrifice some points in the DC area to get the extra bit to hit the top range

I'll let these just stand for themselves.

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Hrm. You both seem to have strong opinions on the issue (how surprising on the Hero boards!), but I think you are both interpreting things a little too literally. Rule of X or Campaign Guidelines can accomplish the same things and either can be restricting or allow a great amount of freedom. They can even be used together in some cases. It sounds like Ghost has seen lots of Rule of X where they were set up in a way to be very prescriptive and only allow for a limited variety of builds that were effective (ala a "class" system). And it sounds like Tholomyes is perhaps used to people always having the ability maxing to campaign limits if they desire, creating the "everyone is the same" effect. That is not always the case with well designed Campaign Guidelines either. You can set guidelines that you can only afford to max one or two things in.

Anyway, I just thought I'd chime in and say maybe some examples of what you each consider "bad" would clear the air?

- E

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I'll let these just stand for themselves.

Ah, I see my point went screaming past you ...

it also wouldn't be unreasonable for another character to have both Speed 6 and DC 10 (max both) in the theoretical 8-10DCs and 3-6SPD campaign. Which Rule Of X more often than not prevents from happening (which is what the 2nd part of that sentence said).

Anyway, this is thread drift, so unless I have something else to contribute to the original topic I'll ignore further posts along these lines.

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Tholomyes im confused with you because this thread is about doing more damage if you roll well. Now my suggested method doesn't deal with if you roll well, just increasing the average dice roll. So I still don't see your issue. I give an idea on hiw to increase damage on a thread that asks on how to increase damage.

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Tholomyes im confused with you because this thread is about doing more damage if you roll well. Now my suggested method doesn't deal with if you roll well, just increasing the average dice roll. So I still don't see your issue. I give an idea on hiw to increase damage on a thread that asks on how to increase damage.

Increasing damage on rolling well is an idea that is highly flawed, but has the potential for merit, if the "i"s are crossed and "t"s are dotted, as far as the cost structure and interactions with other rules, such as CSLs and spreading an attack, and taken care of. Increasing damage by adding more dice, but capping it, is functionally identical to just adding more dice. Technically, there is nothing wrong with the concept of adding more dice and capping it, but it throws up a lot of red flags, because a) the way it's described implies that it is (for the 10d6+2d6 capped at 60 STUN example) treated as a 10d6 attack (both in the way the build is formulated, as well as its description of "increasing damage") and  the fact that the 2d6 dice are being treated like they have a limitation: Can't increase average damage.

For a) the attack is a 12d6 attack, as I have mentioned. "Increasing average damage" of a 10d6 attack by 2d6 means making it a 12d6 attack. If campaign limits or guidelines or anything of the sort are in effect, or the power needs to be benchmarked to villains, or whatever, it needs to be treated identically to a 12d6 attack. (Furthermore, in such an event your idea doesn't even do what you say it does: your idea is to "increase average damage", then, by however miniscule a margin, it runs at an opportunity cost to a 12d6 attack).

For  the only reason I could think of that part a) would not be the case is if you were treating it like a 12d6 attack, but having a limitation on the last 2d6, decreasing the real cost. However since the limitation doesn't functionally do anything, it shouldn't be worth anything. This is, admittedly, not textually supported in your posts (there is nothing I can see to indicate that you price the extra dice at anything lower than 5 points, but it was intended both as a safeguard, in case I was misunderstanding you on part a) as well as a cautionary aspect, in case you decided to treat it, going forward, like 12d6, with a limitation, which would also not be correct)

But I've stated this ad nauseum in the past, so instead, I want to see your answer: What does 10d6+2d6 (capped at 60 STUN and 20 BODY) do that 12d6 does not? What is its purpose as an idea? What circumstances would someone take 10d6+2d6 (capped), and not 12d6? Are they allowed to take 10d6+2d6, but not allowed to take 12d6? What gives the idea its value?

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Increasing damage on rolling well is an idea that is highly flawed, but has the potential for merit,

In your opinion Tholomyes, in your opinion. You have to remember that we are all spouting opinion here and I think the opposition you have received to your contributions is not because of the (very helpful) mathematical analysis - that is one of the reasons I bring things to the board - others are far more focussed on that than I am. However, you translate things into very black and white terms and impose your value judgement on it. I dont actually need your opinion of whether adding damage for rolling well is highly flawed or not and the value I put on the reasons you find it flawed can be coloured by the fact you lead off with that opinion.

But I've stated this ad nauseum in the past, so instead, I want to see your answer: What does 10d6+2d6 (capped at 60 STUN and 20 BODY) do that 12d6 does not? What is its purpose as an idea? What circumstances would someone take 10d6+2d6 (capped), and not 12d6? Are they allowed to take 10d6+2d6, but not allowed to take 12d6? What gives the idea its value?

This is an example of the black and white. Rather than look for the compromise. Ninja Bear is proposing something that a lot of people think about. Personally I think it is a workable idea but only worth limitation if, for example, the added damage only kicks in if the roll (of 10D6) is below 35 and will only supplement upto the value of 35. That has a significant impact on the average damage of the roll but is significantly less impactful than just adding 2D6 to the attack. Looking for the compromise or providing insight rather than looking for numerical reasons to trash the idea often gains more traction.

All of this, of course, in my own highly individual opinion... :-)

Doc

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Doc Democracy that is an interesting idea. That is sorta the idea of having set effect (or is that standard?) to make sure that a crap roll isn't so crappie.

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Doc Democracy that is an interesting idea. That is sorta the idea of having set effect (or is that standard?) to make sure that a crap roll isn't so crappie.

Yeah, set effect is right. It gives you a little comfort zone. Any roll from 29 to 35 will deliver you 35 STUN, anything below 29 gets a 6 STUN boost while everything above 35 STUN gets nothing.

:-)

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Well Doc sometimes I get lucky

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Too many people in my game roll like crap. And philosophically, that only means you get less damage for rolling poorly. I think I'll pass on this one.

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I know this has been talked about many times but I wanted to explore an option that is new to me.  I have been talking about it over on the Fantasy HERO forums but this is much more about system generically. (post with calculations here)

The idea is that when you hit by more than you need (and you are not using hit locations - the built in option for giving more damage to more accurate fighters) then you generate a dice pool.  If you normally do 12D6 damage then you add one dice for every one you roll better than you need.  You roll the pool and count up the best 12 dice, so damage is capped to the maximum you have bought.

I kind of like it in principle, it does shift the balance.  With 12 dice, even CVs and defences of 25 the average damage through defences is (I think) increased from 17 through defences to 22 through defences.  Shifting the balance is not necessarily a bad thing (as long as you are not doing it in the middle of a campaign) just something you have to bear in mind as a GM when eyeballing characters.

I see several issues with that idea in Hero and I will mostly base it by Comparing it to how hitting and damage is done in Shadowrun - because I always found Hero and SR to be very close siblings.

The first big issue is that Hero attacking does not manage Randomness well.

The more dics you throw, the less random will be the result. We know this effect with Blasts, Normal Body damage and the Stun Lottery.

In Shadowrun 4+5E a 6D6 dicepool is considered small/beginner level with 2 average successes. 12-15D6 (4-5 average successes) is more what you should be fielding in combat. The bigger the dicepool, the better the Delta of Randomness is managed.

Compared to that 3d6 will have incredibly jumpy results.

The second big issues it is a "roll against passive score" thing.

While you can use abort to some degree, overall the attack roll is all about overcomming a passive score (DCV).

In Shadowrun hitting/dodging is a skill contest. Resisting damage is a extension of that skill contest (extra damage from Net hits).

The lack of granularity in skill&attack rolls for hero is both a strenght and a weakness.

It is a strenght in that it speeds up resolution.

Reducing the task to "counting 1, 5 and 6" was a nessesary step to keep the SR system from becomming unwieldy. They had to change thier very couting and skillroll system as a result of having that many dice.

It is a weakness in that it lacks detail. In SR there can be bonuses like +1 Dice. Adding or substracting 9 dice would not make it a sure success or failure. +/- 5 in Hero is a clear success or failure.

While it is true that you can theoretically do anything with every system, there is a certain feedback between mechanics and the tone of a game. It is a new concept for me as well, but it makes a lot of sense:

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Yes, but can you dance to it?

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Too many people in my game roll like crap. And philosophically, that only means you get less damage for rolling poorly.

In the end, that's where I ended up with this kind of thing.  Its not that people are penalized, its that they never get to take advantage of a bonus, which sucks.  Its not that I think everything should be all fair and socially just and equal, just that it shouldn't be needlessly antagonistic and depressing.

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In the end, that's where I ended up with this kind of thing.  Its not that people are penalized, its that they never get to take advantage of a bonus, which sucks.  Its not that I think everything should be all fair and socially just and equal, just that it shouldn't be needlessly antagonistic and depressing.

Not sure where you are coming from with this. It sounds like you have players that never hit or, when they do, it is by exactly what they need. Otherwise EVERYONE that hits by one or more than they need get access to this bonus...

However, it is all about the players, for some groups, this will play into a need to see hit rolls have some effect on damage. For others it may not. To me, it is a neat little tool that I can add to my toolkit to design the game feel I might, at some point, be looking for.

Doc

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Not sure where you are coming from with this. It sounds like you have players that never hit or, when they do, it is by exactly what they need. Otherwise EVERYONE that hits by one or more than they need get access to this bonus...

Or, I have players that roll poorly a lot, and some that roll very well a lot, thus gaining an advantage in power without paying anything for it.

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Sounds like they are already gaining an advantage by having powers they get to apply more often than their ill-rolling brethren already.

As I said, it is, or should be player-driven. Ask them. Simply ask, "if you roll well to hit, do you feel that should be reflected in a bit more damage?". You might be surprised by the answers, I thought it would be more mixed in my group but it was almost unanimous.

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Semi related:  I tend to use Hero Action Points (always when running an convention game, where one bad roll shouldn't derail the entire evening).

One thing a HAP can do is change the hit location (when running genres where that is used) by +/- 1.  Actual game example: Enemy hits a hero; GM rolls hit location 5, "The knife plunges into your face..." Player hurredly tosses a poker chip [used to track HAPs] to GM "...at the last moment, you manage to get your hand in front of the knife... it slices into your hand." Rolls damage with location 6.  In a con game I don't allow players to spend HAPs to modify their hit location rolls on their foes.

In a campaign game, the rule is - anything you do to your opponents with HAPs, they can do to you. So far, no one has tried using HAPs to move hit location on their opponents :evil grin:

More on topic, yes it does suck to get a great to-hit roll and then lousy damage roll.  I just haven't figured out any better way than RAW to deal with it.

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I could see allowing particularly good rolls to have additional effect as a "one off" type of affair. Especially if it fits the moment and that type of thing. Player rolls to hit and makes it by half, I have them reroll any 1's on the dice because it was well thought out, etc.

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I played in a game for a while where the GM allowed us to roll a single die after a critical hit, then roll the damage for the attack.  Any die in the damage roll that was less than the single die was automatically bumped up to the single die's value.  I thought it worked well and it sometimes led to max damage on 12 - 15d6.

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There was an optional rule for combat skill levels. I dont know if it still exists in 6th. But basically you can spend 2 CSL to add +3 stun damage to normal damage attacks or +1 Body to killing attacks. However, the bonus cannot exceed the maximum rollable on the dice.

Thus if you have a 2d6k attack, the most you can do is 12 body no matter what.

Just take that concept and transfer it to the to-hit roll. For every 2 points beyond the target number add +3 stun or +1 body depending on the type of attack, but it cannot exceed the maximum rollable damage. This corresponds to the critical hit damage rules which allows automatic maximum damage on a half roll or better. I think it goes well with that optional rule.

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