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RDU Neil

Stunned without losing STUN?

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38 minutes ago, RDU Neil said:

 

I did, and maybe I'm bad at it, but didn't see anything reflecting a nice clean build of "Do this to Stun somebody" just a long discussion on how a Taser works. Maybe I missed what you were expecting me to see.

 

See the notes under the tazer builds to see the relevant rules.

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49 minutes ago, zslane said:

There's a puzzling tendency for HERO players to believe that the existing power set is always the best way to build any and all things. However, there are cases where the mechanics you are after aren't really covered by the existing skills/talents/powers/etc. without a lot of torturous, highly indirect application of what's available in the RAW. This situation is hardly unusual; new powers have been added to virtually every edition of the game in order to cover various concepts more directly/elegantly, and there's no reason you can't as well. You'll have to decide if obtuse builds based around Entangle, Mind Control, Flash, or Change Environment are better fits for what you're after than a simple Stun Target power that you come up with yourself.

If we are just going to be trolls: It could equally fairly be said that there is a puzzling tendency for those inexperienced with their wagons to believe that they can do a better job reinventing the wheel than the people who built the wagon (the wagon being the game system, and the wheels being the individual rules that make up that system). Sadly this is rarely the case, which is why we pay professional game designers to produce higher quality games than we can.

 

I'll admit though, It is often easier to just hit "F**k It", and make something arbitrary up. It looks really simple on paper to just type out: Stun Target (11- Roll) as a power instead of some "obtuse build", and if everybody is one the same page it works just fine... However, every element of one of those obtuse builds you complain about has a defined meaning within the game system, and it's function can be understood at a glance by anyone actually familiar with the mechanics of the system. Conversely, there isn't any RAW defining what "Stun Target (11- Roll)" means, how it works, or anything else about it. So one has to consider if it still a more elegant solution if you are still going to have to write up this new power and its mechanics and keep them somewhere the players can reference (which for most Powers takes up most of a page, even in CC/FHC), or else be willing and able to teach and/or remind your players how this new power works over and over again (potentially from memory, usually in the middle of combat, and sometimes weeks or months apart). Not to mention all the inconveniences that house rules can cause when playing under other GM's using the same base system, or when attempting to seek rules advice from a forum such as this one.

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Hmm... That was too harsh perhaps. We should feel empowered as Game Masters to make any changes to the system be believe will improve the table's experience. I just want to strongly caution against making any house rules without very carefully examining the ramifications of the proposed changes: That includes comparing the costs and effects of any new game elements to those of existing game elements to ensure your change isn't going to cause yourself problems later.

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1 hour ago, Cantriped said:

Hmm... That was too harsh perhaps. We should feel empowered as Game Masters to make any changes to the system be believe will improve the table's experience. I just want to strongly caution against making any house rules without very carefully examining the ramifications of the proposed changes: That includes comparing the costs and effects of any new game elements to those of existing game elements to ensure your change isn't going to cause yourself problems later.

 

I agree with you completely.

 

I would also offer up the following rules of thumb when it comes to power builds (or inventing new powers):

 

1. Simpler is better than complicated.

2. Utilizing existing mechanics is better than inventing entirely new mechanics.

3. SFX are your best friend; allow them to cover the incidental details that won't have a significant game effect but will help you abide by rule of thumb #1.

 

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19 hours ago, zslane said:

There's a puzzling tendency for HERO players to believe that the existing power set is always the best way to build any and all things. However, there are cases where the mechanics you are after aren't really covered by the existing skills/talents/powers/etc. without a lot of torturous, highly indirect application of what's available in the RAW. This situation is hardly unusual; new powers have been added to virtually every edition of the game in order to cover various concepts more directly/elegantly, and there's no reason you can't as well. You'll have to decide if obtuse builds based around Entangle, Mind Control, Flash, or Change Environment are better fits for what you're after than a simple Stun Target power that you come up with yourself.

 

In our campaign, we still use the old Mental Paralysis power, which has been used to simulate this kind of attack.

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A flash bang grenade basically has two main effects: a Flash that affects both Sight and Hearing, and a Stunning effect. One could also argue that it delivers a small explosive EB since physical injuries can occur very near the point of detonation. SFX might also allow for the igniting of flammable materials at the detonation site.

 

I would probably write it up as something along the lines of:

 

Flashbang Grenade

2D6 Flash (Sight and Hearing)

+ 4D6 NND blast (defense having protective ear cover, e.g., Flash Defense for Hearing)

+ 3D6 EB (exploding).

SFX allows for igniting flammable materials in the detonation hex.

 

The 3D6 EB provides for the possibility of knockdown (knockback is unlikely though).

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19 minutes ago, zslane said:

A flash bang grenade basically has two main effects: a Flash that affects both Sight and Hearing, and a Stunning effect. One could also argue that it delivers a small explosive EB since physical injuries can occur very near the point of detonation. SFX might also allow for the igniting of flammable materials at the detonation site.

 

I would probably write it up as something along the lines of:

 

Flashbang Grenade

2D6 Flash (Sight and Hearing)

+ 4D6 NND blast (defense having protective ear cover, e.g., Flash Defense for Hearing)

+ 3D6 EB (exploding).

SFX allows for igniting flammable materials in the detonation hex.

 

The 3D6 EB provides for the possibility of knockdown (knockback is unlikely though).

Agree... but by "flash bang" I meant the "disorienting" affect... not the need to simulate an actual flash-bang grenade.

 

I think I got my answer on how to create a generic "disorienting/stunning" attack that could have several different, but doesn't require losing Stun to initiate the "Stunned" game state effect.

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From APG1 page 83 - The Stunned effect lasts as long as the Change Environment is maintained (1 Turn*). However, when affected the victim gets to make a CON Roll immediately (at -6*), and if the roll succeeds the attack has no effect on him. If the roll fails, he gets to make an additional CON Roll every Phase he’s affected at a cumulative +1 (so +1 on his second roll, +2 on his third, and so on). As soon as any roll succeeds, the power immediately stops affecting him and he has his full Phase in which to act.

 

APG simply provided a Change Environment option - make a CON roll or be Stunned.  I don't recall the price point applied - I think 20 or 25 points.

 

If you make your CON roll, you shake off being stuck by a pin rapidly enough to avoid losing an action.  I am pretty sure if I keep sticking someone with a pin as fast as I can, I will not get to keep sticking them with the pin for a long time.

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I'm not fond of the Change Environment build, it is super kludgey and easy to abuse (like several APG options).  I think a ruling like "a drain stun that is high enough to on average stun a target can be said to automatically do so if bought to do no actual drain effect" or something like that would be a better rule.

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I think CE which forces a roll to avoid being Stunned is as reasonable as CE which forces a roll to avoid falling prone.  I'm not sure a "drain that does not really drain" is any less kludgy. 

 

17d6 (170 AP) Drain will get 51 on a 3 point per 1d6 standard effect, recalling that STUN is a defensive power costing 0.5 points.

 

What's the limitation for "immediately recovers"?  That seems pretty limiting to me.  Tack on HyperMan's "CON roll at -6 avoids entirely" means someone with a 30 CON needs 11- to avoid the effect (that's higher than average, and is a 62.5% chance of failure, which is equivalent to acting on a 9-,)  That's a -1 1/2 limitation, IIRC (Act 11- being -1). 

 

I'm curious how the APG cost and your cost would compare.  Your model would be a lot cheaper in a Heroic game.

 

 

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Hugh, I believe a 30 CON would have a default 15- roll before whatever penalty purchased for the CE is applied. In the case of my tazer example the target would need to make a 9- roll to NOT be stunned the first phase.

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As far as the pricing goes it's mostly in the core rules, per 6e1 page 174-176 the cost of -6 to a characteristic roll is 18 and long lasting 1 turn is 2. Per APG1 the stunning effect is an additional 30 for 50 base cost which i added the +1/2 sticky advantage to reach 75 active for my tazer build.

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12 hours ago, Hugh Neilson said:

I think CE which forces a roll to avoid being Stunned is as reasonable as CE which forces a roll to avoid falling prone.  I'm not sure a "drain that does not really drain" is any less kludgy. 

 

17d6 (170 AP) Drain will get 51 on a 3 point per 1d6 standard effect, recalling that STUN is a defensive power costing 0.5 points.

 

What's the limitation for "immediately recovers"?  That seems pretty limiting to me.  Tack on HyperMan's "CON roll at -6 avoids entirely" means someone with a 30 CON needs 11- to avoid the effect (that's higher than average, and is a 62.5% chance of failure, which is equivalent to acting on a 9-,)  That's a -1 1/2 limitation, IIRC (Act 11- being -1). 

 

I'm curious how the APG cost and your cost would compare.  Your model would be a lot cheaper in a Heroic game.

 

 

 

9 hours ago, Hyper-Man said:

Hugh, I believe a 30 CON would have a default 15- roll before whatever penalty purchased for the CE is applied. In the case of my tazer example the target would need to make a 9- roll to NOT be stunned the first phase.

 

The -6 is buried in my text, which gets us around to a 9- roll, which is 37.5% likely.  In other words, the power is 62.5% likely to stun the target, which is the % chance of rolling 11-, so the limitation should be -1.  I'll edit my post - thanks for the catch.

 

8 hours ago, Hyper-Man said:

As far as the pricing goes it's mostly in the core rules, per 6e1 page 174-176 the cost of -6 to a characteristic roll is 18 and long lasting 1 turn is 2. Per APG1 the stunning effect is an additional 30 for 50 base cost which i added the +1/2 sticky advantage to reach 75 active for my tazer build.

 

OK, so that would be 50 points to Stun the target under my assumptions.  We need 170 AP (150 if we allow an average roll of 3.5 instead of a 3 point standard effect).  We already have a -1 limitation, so the value of "The Drain has no lasting effect" needs to be costed.  If we think that limitation is -1 1/2 or more Christopher Taylor's build is cheaper.  If we believe that limitation is less than -1 1/2, the CE build is cheaper.  Of course, the cost can also be varied by changing the assumed CON level and assumed STUN of the target. The CE will be less effective against higher CON targets (and more effective against lower CON targets), while a Drain would be less effective against higher CON or higher STUN targets (and more effective if they have lower CON or STUN).

 

Based on all this analysis, I don't think 50 points is an unreasonable result.  A 5d6 STUN Drain will KO the target in 3 average hits (assuming no power defense), and leave him recovering 5 STUN per turn, so recovery is pretty limited.  I'd rather have that power fighting one on one.   But with a coordinated team, Stunning the target once or twice (the average result of three CE hits) is as, or more, powerful.  Seems "rough justice" balanced to me.

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On 19/02/2018 at 11:24 PM, Christopher R Taylor said:

I'm not fond of the Change Environment build, it is super kludgey and easy to abuse (like several APG options).  I think a ruling like "a drain stun that is high enough to on average stun a target can be said to automatically do so if bought to do no actual drain effect" or something like that would be a better rule.

 

I instinctively agree with this.  The problem is that, on reflection you are buying a HUGE power and then applying a HUGE limitation to get the right cost for the effect you are looking to achieve.  That has a problem if the power breaks the Active Point caps applied in many campaigns and, if you allow the exception here, you are opening that process up for any munchkin that wants to play the mega limitation game, fishing for super effectiveness.

 

I think it is wrong to buy a power just to access a minor side effect of the power requiring a major limitation on the power.  The point of drain stun is to drain stun, not to leave someone stunned.

 

Doc

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FWIW, in the SETAC discussions predating 6e, Steve Long indicated that Hero does not include AP caps.

 

Should it be 180 or so AP to have a 62.5% chance of Stunning a target with no other effects? 

 

The CE option was discussed, but not included in 6e, with the point that some effects were impossible to achieve reasonably by the RAW.  Stunning and asphyxiation were two examples.

 

For 50 points, you can force a CON roll on someone at -6 or they are Stunned.  Is that more effective than paying 48 points to require everyone in a 32 meter radius area to make an INT roll at -6 or take completely random actions (my interpretation of the Confusion spell in the 6e sidebar, extrapolated to -6 instead of -4) or a -6 DEX roll to avoid falling prone?

 

Anyone else recall the days of kludgy TK or Blasts with huge AP and limitations to get the ability to just knock someone prone?

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I'm a little surprised no one's suggested a hefty 10d6 NND attack (whatever defense) with the disadvantage (only to Stun target, doesn't cause Stun damage).

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Well that's why I went with Drain, because it has a defense built in and effectively acts like an AVAD.  You're unlikely to run into anyone with more than 23 CON that isn't built around being really tough (at least in my campaigns), so they ought not to be stunned often anyway.  So that's 6½d6, a 65 point power to auto stun just about anyone without power defense.  In a heroic game, 18 is pretty high and that's only around 5d6.  Neither is going to destroy any campaign's active point caps.

 

However in principle I do agree with this sentiment:

 

Quote

The problem is that, on reflection you are buying a HUGE power and then applying a HUGE limitation to get the right cost for the effect you are looking to achieve.

 

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Aside from the aforementioned addition to Change Environment in the Advanced Players Guide; Sounds like you want a Target to spend half their phase 'shaking off' some attack/effect before they can act, that isn't really a 'and you've been Stunned' mechanic (i.e. no actual STUN Loss).

 

Within the current ruleset, PRE Attack could actually achieve this effect, oddly enough. With a "can only achieve +10 Level of Effect, Target loses 1/2 Phase Action" Limitation and a Special Effect of that could boggle someone, like "solid punch to the ear" or "small flash bang" or something.

 

Otherwise, you are probably looking at making a whole new set of mechanics or attack/defense to deal with a new situation, which seems like it might actually cause more problems than it solves.

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On ‎2‎/‎20‎/‎2018 at 9:56 PM, Hyper-Man said:

One more factor in support of the pricing of the Stunning option is that the price of the Automaton ability Takes no Stun costs 15 points.

 

NItpick: I think you mean, the Cannot Be Stunned Power. Takes No Stun is considerably more expensive.

 

Lucius Alexander

 

The palindromedary wants to buy Cannot be Nitpicked

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Entangle works well for a "force them to take time to be able to act" effect, but its very situational.  If the character has to break free of an entangle every phase, they lose half a phase unless they REALLY break free (double the body or -- house rule but makes sense -- can reduce the entangle to at most 0 body with casual strength).  This is useful for like a morass or swampy area; it just continually entangles your feets slowing you to a half phase every time you act just to move.

 

The drawback is that really strong characters will simply ignore it, which is a bit confusing in terms of logic and continuity.

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