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As a rules lawyer in the other games I play, I have such a hard time with character creation when it comes to costing things that the real world normally provides.  I still have not wrapped my head around these key concepts.  I don't have the Hero System books, but I have CC6, Powers, and one Villains book.

 

My latest headache is in regards to electricity.  I have consulted CC6 and read about Electricity.  I have looked at the preface to Electrical powers in the Powers book.  I've searched this forums for answers, but can't find any with my search terms.  So I still don't get it!

 

I am creating a character that can shock, but with the No Range limitation, since he has to touch his target.  But electricity also flows through metal, water, and other conductors.  Do I *buy* advantages and/or limitations to reflect this natural phenomena, or does the special effect alone justify the character's use of electricity through such mediums?  Do I buy different powers (or a power framework) that represents his attack through each kind of medium, like Shock Through Water, or Shock Through Metal?  Are the different kinds of conductors considered to be foci?  I have spent time enough trying to research this on my own--it was time for a question.

 

And that's another weakness of mine.  Instead of being creative and accepting my own answer, I'm always looking to cannon or official resources for answers.

 

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Nothing wrong with wanting a "canonical" answer, even if it's only for comparison purposes. ;)

 

For information on how to represent electricity using the HERO System rules, I suggest reviewing the following:

 

6E2 148-150 -- this is the best place to start; it's an expanded version of what you'd see in the HERO System Basic Rulebook or Champions Complete. It discusses many of the issues you raise, such as grounding, AC and DC current, and the Real Electricity (-1/4) Limitation.

 

Ultimate Energy Projector, pp. 83-89 -- this has much the same info as 6E2, plus a lot more. It includes rules for the secondary effects of electricity and how electricity interacts with other special effects. (If this sort of information interests you, and I bet that it does, UEP is a great book; it does the same thing for dozens of other types of energy, and has a bunch of optional rules related to the general subject of energy use/projection.)

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I am creating a character that can shock, but with the No Range limitation, since he has to touch his target.  But electricity also flows through metal, water, and other conductors.  Do I *buy* advantages and/or limitations to reflect this natural phenomena, or does the special effect alone justify the character's use of electricity through such mediums?  Do I buy different powers (or a power framework) that represents his attack through each kind of medium, like Shock Through Water, or Shock Through Metal?  Are the different kinds of conductors considered to be foci?  I have spent time enough trying to research this on my own--it was time for a question.

 

And that's another weakness of mine.  Instead of being creative and accepting my own answer, I'm always looking to cannon or official resources for answers.

There are two different things:

What electicity [the naturally occuring hazard] does.

And what electricity [the special effect for your powers] does.

 

Special effects do not have a major, regular impact on the game unless where explicitly referenced. Stuff like a Limitation, the nessesary Desolidifcation/Resurrection/Healing weakness or the rules for fighting Underwater (6E2 somewhere).

If it did, you would get indirect and ranged on your Electic HTH-Attack for free, the Fire-User would want to get a Damage over Time effect for "setting things afire" for free. And before we know any semblance of balance is out the Window.

 

When building a power, I follow this basic rule:

Start with the game effect. Try to keep it abstract (do not nail yourself down to one specific power).

If you are not certai nwich power to pick (where it stands in the whole system), that is what I wrote this post for.

Do not let the special effect force anything about the power. This goes both for advantages and disadvantages (like no Range).

You are done. Next power please.

 

Rules lawyering does not work in Hero. Because among the rules Nr. 0 (wich are written before it is even mentioned what dice to roll) it says that the balance has priority over any specific build or thing written in the books. (I am not sure if CC incldues those, but I hope so).

Even without any mention of a Stop sign, Yield Sign or explicit "GM approval", the GM can deny any build. Even "Blast, 12d6" without any Advatanges and Limitations.

Taking "limp Leg" complication and "No Legs" complication would be invalid. The limp leg woult not be limiting, hence it would be not worth any points. These are some of the issues the Hero rules are trying to avoid (or at least balance).

 

 

You can ocassionally conduct a rangless Electricity power through metal and water. However once you start to do it regulary, it sounds like you tried to get a limitation that is not actually limiting. If you do it regulary, how is that power still limited?

Either you meant something different (less limiting) with the limitation or you always wanted a blast and "just wanted to save some points", wich is one of the few things not allowed by the rules.

 

As an example, "Telekinesis, Only Water".

By the book it is -1/2 (I think).

But the human body is 70% water. Does that mean I can manipulate it too (albeit with the no punching limitations)?

Nope, that would a differnt limitation. One that is much less limiting. I would go and make it a "Only Water (-1/4)". It still applies most of the "whole body only" limitation, but it would be a lot less limiting then only being able to direct water you can otherswise organise.

Even then this power would still no allow me to block bloodflow too the brain or other such fine stuff. That would go into NND territory. So either a explicit power, or using Martial Arts via Telekinsis.

 

Also all those rules asume some sort of standart setting. If you make a underwater campaign, a lot of the rules would change:

The pricing for flight and swimming should flip. One is now as usefell/useless as the other.

You would not be using the Underwater+Special effect rules. Build those normally, instead develop rules for using them out of the water.

Breathing Water would be the default breathing, rather then breathing Air. And LS: Airbreathing would become a viable power.

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As a rules lawyer in the other games I play, I have such a hard time with character creation when it comes to costing things that the real world normally provides.  I still have not wrapped my head around these key concepts.  I don't have the Hero System books, but I have CC6, Powers, and one Villains book.

 

My latest headache is in regards to electricity.  I have consulted CC6 and read about Electricity.  I have looked at the preface to Electrical powers in the Powers book.  I've searched this forums for answers, but can't find any with my search terms.  So I still don't get it!

 

I am creating a character that can shock, but with the No Range limitation, since he has to touch his target.  But electricity also flows through metal, water, and other conductors.  Do I *buy* advantages and/or limitations to reflect this natural phenomena, or does the special effect alone justify the character's use of electricity through such mediums?  Do I buy different powers (or a power framework) that represents his attack through each kind of medium, like Shock Through Water, or Shock Through Metal?  Are the different kinds of conductors considered to be foci?  I have spent time enough trying to research this on my own--it was time for a question.

 

And that's another weakness of mine.  Instead of being creative and accepting my own answer, I'm always looking to cannon or official resources for answers.

 

First thing, talk to your game master about what effects he'll give you for free.  How does he see electricity working?  In the real world, electricity flows through metal, water, etc, but it's not like it's easy to aim through those substances.

 

Special effects can have an effect in the game.  Fire can burn things, electricity can hit people in water, etc.  But it's all up to the GM how he's going to adjudicate those things.  These can give you bonuses (hitting everybody in the room with your zap bolt, because the ground is covered in six inches of water).  But they can also give penalties (hitting everybody in the room, including you and your buddies, every time you try to use your zap bolt).  A fire blast could trigger a massive explosion if somebody breaks a pipe and lets the room fill with gas.  That could be good or bad depending on where you are.

 

So talk to your GM.  Find out what he will let "electricity powers" do naturally.  Find out if that fits with your vision of how your powers work.  For instance, if the villain is holding onto one end of a long copper wire, and you are holding onto the other end, then I'd probably allow your "No Range" shock attack to hit him, full power, without any to-hit roll.  But that's probably not a very common occurrence.  If the floor of the room is covered in water, I'd probably allow you to hit everyone who is standing in the water with your no range attack.  But I'd drop the damage down quite a bit.  So your 12D6 Blast becomes a 6D6 Area of Effect, or an 8D6 Explosion.  Something like that.  If the villain is standing on top of a big metal object (like a truck or something), and you want to touch the object and send your shock attack through so that it hits the villain?  I probably wouldn't let it do that.  Not for free.  That's the kind of thing you probably need to pay for, because electricity (as I said earlier) isn't that easy to aim.

 

I've seen electricity powers in movies and stuff, where the character is able to target people by sending a surge of power through the electrical lines in the house.  So Bob is standing over by the refrigerator, and Zap Man touches the power lines outside the house.  The surge goes through the power lines, through a winding route within the walls of the house, to the fridge, and then leaps out of the door handle and fries Bob.  Since electricity doesn't normally do that (it's not impossible, but it's certainly not normal), then that's the sort of thing you probably need to purchase.  Pick the advantages you want if you are going to try and use it that way.

 

As far as needing a different power writeup for each medium (one for shocking through water, one for going through metal, etc), that depends on how you want the attack to work.  Generally no, you don't have to buy it separately.  But you know, that depends on what you want the attack to do.

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Wow.  These are really great answers to my concerns.  I appreciate all of you for your thoughtful responses and the time each of you took to address my concern.  And, sorry I originally posted this in the wrong forum.

 

The character I'm creating is a villain minion, and the rules lawyer in me wants to it "right", "fairly", and "well-balanced".  The electricity minions work for a water-based boss who is immune to electrical effects.  The water-based boss first power-sprays the characters and the fighting area with water, and then the minions go to work, shocking the water to shock the characters.  They can't "throw" their electricity, and thus the No Range limitation.  And I just couldn't figure out how to name such powers, limitations, and advantages and to "cost" them to figure out if it would be a fair fight with my heroes.

 

In some of your responses, you presumed that I was not the GM when, in fact, I am.  My sons like to play Champions with me, which is good father/son time.  However, to my detriment, they have expressed no interest in reading anything in the rule books.  They maneuver their characters where they want and use their powers, but have no real understanding of how the game is making these things occur.  I tell them what dice to roll, what characteristics they need to tell me, and let me just say that it is all very taxing.  I don't know the system very well myself, even after reading CC multiple times, so it's hard on my brain to create the adventures, create the bad guys, and perform combat.  To this day, I don't know how power frameworks, combat skills, and variable advantages work.  But that's outside the scope of this forum thread.

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Wow.  These are really great answers to my concerns.  I appreciate all of you for your thoughtful responses and the time each of you took to address my concern.  And, sorry I originally posted this in the wrong forum.

 

The character I'm creating is a villain minion, and the rules lawyer in me wants to it "right", "fairly", and "well-balanced".  The electricity minions work for a water-based boss who is immune to electrical effects.  The water-based boss first power-sprays the characters and the fighting area with water, and then the minions go to work, shocking the water to shock the characters.  They can't "throw" their electricity, and thus the No Range limitation.  And I just couldn't figure out how to name such powers, limitations, and advantages and to "cost" them to figure out if it would be a fair fight with my heroes.

 

In some of your responses, you presumed that I was not the GM when, in fact, I am.  My sons like to play Champions with me, which is good father/son time.  However, to my detriment, they have expressed no interest in reading anything in the rule books.  They maneuver their characters where they want and use their powers, but have no real understanding of how the game is making these things occur.  I tell them what dice to roll, what characteristics they need to tell me, and let me just say that it is all very taxing.  I don't know the system very well myself, even after reading CC multiple times, so it's hard on my brain to create the adventures, create the bad guys, and perform combat.  To this day, I don't know how power frameworks, combat skills, and variable advantages work.  But that's outside the scope of this forum thread.

it is possible to build and balance that, but it is not easy. It feels likely you copy-pasted it straight out of a MMO/strategy game. I actually know a boss somewhat like this in SWTOR (but he both splashes and eletrocutes).

You should definitley build it with powers, so you can properly gauge thier strenght relative to the hero team. But actually building those powers might be tricky.

 

One approach would be Adjustment Powers. Spraying them with water "drains" thier ED, but only against Electricity effects. But doing Adjustment powers with fading onto multitple characters can get complicated quickly. It might be better to just go for Supress, as that effect stays constant.

Either way better pre-caculate the effect beforehand. PD/ED should only suffer 1/2 or 1/4 effect from Adjustment Powers.

 

If they have no range but always work with some that gives them range and is immune himself, that sounds like a limitiation a lot less then No Range.

Since these guys work for "water splash guy." what are the realistic chances they will not have a body of water to conduct through? If he is a one shoot villain, what are the chances they will not have that option this adventure?

The book mentions similar cases - like only when air is Humid, when a ally has Change Environment (Humidity). But nothing like "Wet debuff enables attack" and "AoE that gives Wet debuff".

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Maybe advices on how to build a boss battle might help you more then helping with this one idea?

The biggest danger with bosses are them either getting stunned/having to abort. Or them having to much defenses. Giving them Damage Reduction while lowering thier defenses can help with both:

The lowered defenses allow everyone in the team to do something to take him down. While the Damage Reduction multiplies how much damage they have to take to be stunned.

That leaves only Grabs as primary danger. If he lacks the strenght to break every heroes grab Barriers, Desolidification and Teleport can help. However Desolid and Barrier are a double edged blade - they block his attacks too, unless he has the right advantages.

 

Duplication, can not Recombine can also be viable for bosses. It can be used for stuff like Multiple-headed Hydra. I do not have the book in reach, but such a build is in 6E1 somewhere around.

Dr. Octopus steel tentacles could be simulated with everything from mere Extra Limbs to "Duplication, Can not recombine". Depending on how many actions you want that character to have.

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Wow. These are really great answers to my concerns. I appreciate all of you for your thoughtful responses and the time each of you took to address my concern. And, sorry I originally posted this in the wrong forum.

 

The character I'm creating is a villain minion, and the rules lawyer in me wants to it "right", "fairly", and "well-balanced". The electricity minions work for a water-based boss who is immune to electrical effects. The water-based boss first power-sprays the characters and the fighting area with water, and then the minions go to work, shocking the water to shock the characters. They can't "throw" their electricity, and thus the No Range limitation. And I just couldn't figure out how to name such powers, limitations, and advantages and to "cost" them to figure out if it would be a fair fight with my heroes.

 

In some of your responses, you presumed that I was not the GM when, in fact, I am. My sons like to play Champions with me, which is good father/son time. However, to my detriment, they have expressed no interest in reading anything in the rule books. They maneuver their characters where they want and use their powers, but have no real understanding of how the game is making these things occur. I tell them what dice to roll, what characteristics they need to tell me, and let me just say that it is all very taxing. I don't know the system very well myself, even after reading CC multiple times, so it's hard on my brain to create the adventures, create the bad guys, and perform combat. To this day, I don't know how power frameworks, combat skills, and variable advantages work. But that's outside the scope of this forum thread.

This is going to sound like an odd suggestion, but it sounds like they don't need any limitation on their powers.

 

While the minions technically don't have a range on their shock powers, if the boss is always there, hosing down the heroes with water, then that limitation is avoided. It sounds like the minions aren't going to be showing up on their own. For all intents and purposes, the only time they show up and try to use their shocking grasp (or whatever you call it), is when the boss is there blasting people and granting the minions extra range on their attacks.

 

If I have superpowers, and I put the limitation "can only use powers after being hit by lightning bolt, must be hit once per minute to maintain powers", well that sounds like a pretty severe limitation. I'm probably never gonna get to use those powers. But if my teammate can throw lightning bolts at will, then it's not much of a limitation at all. It's really just "must be nearby Jerry", which isn't nearly as limiting, no matter how bad Jerry smells.

 

It sounds like your minions are going to be able to use their powers on anyone they want. There's gonna be enough water around them so they can zap people basically at will. It doesn't matter if that ability is linked to the boss or not, since the boss is virtually always present.

 

If you really feel like you must give them a limitation, I'd suggest -1/4. "Power is no range, unless a conductive surface is nearby". And then that covers it.

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You could buy the attack No Range, and then buy-off No Range with the Limitation Only Through Conductive Material applied to the points.  That Limitation is -1/2 for Teleportation.

 

Lightning Touch:  Blast 12d6 (60 Active Points); No Range (-1/2).  Total cost 40 points.

Electrical Conduction:  Buy-off No Range on Lightning Touch (20 Active Points); Only Through Conductive Material (-1/2).  Total cost 13 points.

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I think you have a solution with either of the above. What tells me that? One of them works out to 53 points and the other works out to 48 (understandable because 1/4 is the smallest you can limit a whole power). I think the second is more elegant, but the first is easier. And since it is a GM power, I would hand wave it.

 

- E

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Wow.  These are really great answers to my concerns.  I appreciate all of you for your thoughtful responses and the time each of you took to address my concern.  And, sorry I originally posted this in the wrong forum.

 

The character I'm creating is a villain minion, and the rules lawyer in me wants to it "right", "fairly", and "well-balanced".  The electricity minions work for a water-based boss who is immune to electrical effects.  The water-based boss first power-sprays the characters and the fighting area with water, and then the minions go to work, shocking the water to shock the characters.  They can't "throw" their electricity, and thus the No Range limitation.  And I just couldn't figure out how to name such powers, limitations, and advantages and to "cost" them to figure out if it would be a fair fight with my heroes.

 

In some of your responses, you presumed that I was not the GM when, in fact, I am.  My sons like to play Champions with me, which is good father/son time.  However, to my detriment, they have expressed no interest in reading anything in the rule books.  They maneuver their characters where they want and use their powers, but have no real understanding of how the game is making these things occur.  I tell them what dice to roll, what characteristics they need to tell me, and let me just say that it is all very taxing.  I don't know the system very well myself, even after reading CC multiple times, so it's hard on my brain to create the adventures, create the bad guys, and perform combat.  To this day, I don't know how power frameworks, combat skills, and variable advantages work.  But that's outside the scope of this forum thread.

You can also buy the agent's power Variable Limitation. Either No Range, or requires target or area to be wet. Also the attack could be Area Effect Cone, with a limitation only vs Wet or Touching people. Insulated people are immune.

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This is going to sound like an odd suggestion, but it sounds like they don't need any limitation on their powers.

 

While the minions technically don't have a range on their shock powers, if the boss is always there, hosing down the heroes with water, then that limitation is avoided. It sounds like the minions aren't going to be showing up on their own. For all intents and purposes, the only time they show up and try to use their shocking grasp (or whatever you call it), is when the boss is there blasting people and granting the minions extra range on their attacks.

Although if the Boss gets KO'd, or if the Heroes attack the Boss' base while he's elsewhere, then the minions lose their range ability. So I'd say it's worth a Limitation, but a small one.

 

Another way to build this would be to give the minions No Range, and then give the Boss Ranged, Usable By Others as a Naked Advantage? Not sure how that would cost out. Honestly, a simpler way would just be to give the minions Ranged, but a Conditional Limitation of Range Only Works Through Appropriate Conductive Material. Maybe -1/4?

 

And if you have latent Rule Lawyer tendencies, I highly suggest picking up the Hero System core books. (Currently only available in pdf, sadly.) I actually really like Champions Complete, but it's specifically written to appeal to people who don't like a lot of crunch in their peanut butter.

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In case that is a issue, the OP is specifically  mentioning he as CC6 version of the rules. And No Range was one of those that changed a bit in value.

you should probably double check the rulebook before making assertions like that. In fact only a few things changed between editions most of the values for limitations and advantages stayed the same.

 

CC pg 111

"NO RANGE

Applies To: Ranged Powers
Value: -½
Changes a Power’s Range attribute from Standard Range or Line Of Sight to No Range. Double the value for Constant Powers thatrequire ongoing contact with the target.

NO RANGE MODIFIER: See Reduced Range Modifier (page

113)

---

Bolded for emphasis.

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Even my own context makes it pretty clear referring no NR as a -1/4 limitation was an error on my part.

 

Thanks for correcting me, BDH.

 

The obvious point is that "only ranged via conductive materials" can't be -1/2, since it's better than no range at all, so if it is limited enough to merit any point break, it must be -1/4.

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This sounds to me like it would be best built as a multipower. Something like:

 

Electro-Touch:  Multipower, 50-point reserve

 1) Shocking Grasp:  Blast 10d6 (50 Active Points); No Range (-1/2)

 2) Power Surge:  Blast 8d6, Area Of Effect Nonselective (20m Radius Explosion; +1/4) (50 Active Points); No Range (-1/2), Conditional Power Power only works across conductive surfaces and water (-1/2)

 

And since this is a group of minions who use this as a main attack I'd also give them all Insulated Uniforms. 

 

Something like:

 

Insulated Uniform :  +30 ED (30 Active Points); Limited Power Only vs electrical attacks (-1)

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you should probably double check the rulebook before making assertions like that. In fact only a few things changed between editions most of the values for limitations and advantages stayed the same.

 

CC pg 111

"NO RANGE

Applies To: Ranged Powers
Value: -½
Changes a Power’s Range attribute from Standard Range or Line Of Sight to No Range. Double the value for Constant Powers thatrequire ongoing contact with the target.

NO RANGE MODIFIER: See Reduced Range Modifier (page

113)

---

Bolded for emphasis.

 

Let us get the discussions as I see it straight:

Hugh mentioned the wrong value (it si fixed now) for no Range.

I pointed out that it might have been a mistake with the version, wich might include someone having 5E values in mind (on top of CC and 6E). As it turned out later, it was only a typing error.

 

You wrote a very condescending post saying "you are wrong". When my point was "people make mistakes" (and just re-clarfiying wich version of hte rules we are talking about).

What is this, "Missunderstand Christopher as far as possible"-weekend?

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Hrmmm

 

I would give the agents a multipower and put a straight blast in one and a blast with area of effect surface with a conditional modifier of surface must be conductive.

 

In general, I would put everything I think the villains/NPCs would likely do in the write up but, if necessary for fun and pacing of the game, I'd just wing it and write it in later.  The hardest thing I think to learn as a GM for HERO is with all the exacting calculations and limits and everything, is that as a GM, you don't have to keep point balance, just fun balance.

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That's how it is around here: ask one little question and the replies will come pouring in. Often from different groups of people depending on the topic of discussion. I've noticed over the years that different members have different areas of expertise. Just like out in the real world.

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