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Ok everybody lets take a moment to appreciate that we have different opinions and that not all campaigns are alike. All the talk I seen here makes sense and the characters and point values indicate great GM's who got their game in order. The only thing that is important in accordance to balance is to stick to the creation parameters you as the GM have developed. 

 

Normal characteristics maximums not being used as the maximum for human development in many campaigns is because the games curve is way to steep. Its the only weakness of the hero system. 

 

The hero system is unique among rpgs as its rules are not really rules for simulation but rather an "language" which can be used to describe everything from a pencil to an house cat to an sentient galaxy cloud. 

 

The only problem here is that we start at different places when we set the standards, in relation to how much emphasis we put on different aspects of the stories we create. Be it ease of gameplay, realistic simulation, dramatic effect or balance. 

 

The discussion I wanted was to get each of your thoughts about players focusing on not getting hurt and doing damage themselves rather than being able to get hurt but still keep going and that the majority of characters I seen in the game goes down if they take a stunning hit twice. 

 

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5 hours ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

THe game has always shown humans to be within a pretty  narrow range of abilities.  Hero since very early on with books like Danger International has used normal characteristic max.  That shows what humans can ordinarily be and that anything beyond that is -- get this -- super human. 

 

Its just... honestly its bizarre this discussion is even taking place.  The places you go on the internet, when the most blatantly obvious and common sense stuff is challenged just because, I dunno, people feel defensive or something, or just contrary.

 

What’s blantly obvious is that your assumptions are challenged and your proof backing up your claim is lacking.

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On 2/22/2018 at 7:48 PM, Christopher R Taylor said:

 

Or, its what I pointed out: the comic books specifically do not have these low defense characters get hit much and they avoid damage in the fights, which wold never happen in Champions. Again, what I've pointed out all along.  Champions characters are built differently than in comics and the comics have over the last 20 or 30 years started to reflect that (now everyone wears body armor, for instance).

 

And I notice nobody is talking about Storm...

 

Storm sucks.

 

Comic book characters don't actually have stats though.  We don't know what Cyclops' PD is because X-Men is not a Hero Games product.  All we can do is try to simulate what we see on the page.  Cyke has taken enough hits over the years for us to know that he's not fragile.  As you even mentioned earlier, Storm survived a blast (somehow) that dropped Colossus.  So you can't really say that they're "low defense characters" because they don't operate that way.  Cyke often appears to be one of the last X-Men standing during major brawls.

 

And anyway, 4th ed Oculon had 15 PD and 20 ED.  He isn't supposed to be super-durable.  Under the "powers/tactics" section of his entry in Classic Enemies, it doesn't say anything about him having any defensive powers.  He's just a Cyclops ripoff.  If he can have that level of defense, the real Cyclops certainly should.

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Didn't Marvel at one point have the X-men costumes be made of unstable molecules by way of Mr. Fantastic and Professor X? 

 

That combined with just 1 or 2 levels of Combat Luck arguably allows mutants to survive with normal range base defenses (8-15 for example) before adding anything else.

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Trencher the problem with your question though is that (IMO), it’s highly subjective. 1) It would be helpful to know what guidelines for builds you are using for your PCs. 2) You mentioned CKC, which is good, though I would like to know more specific characters. 3) Even citing CKC, Steve Long mentions in the front and on most characters how to make such a character either weaker or stronger. This probably the most problem I have with your perceived problem is that your a basing some of it on villains  and they have always been presented as here they are. Use them as is or change to taste. Do you have Champions 5th?  I ask because that team is built to a campaign standard. Therefore they would be a better guide to judge your question.

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In my campaigns I use 25/25 or 75/75. I try to keep cvs at no more than 7 at the start and damage under 45 active points. 

As for Conquers, Killer and Crooks I can mention: Dr Destroyer, Ankylosaur, Anubis, Herculean and others. (But hey, Dark Seraph can actually tank two stunning blows before going down.)

I never got champions 5th ed because I liked the old team better.

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18 hours ago, Cassandra said:

Mercenary

 

Male Char Female

15 STR 10

14 DEX 18

15 CON 13

12 BODY 11

13 INT 13

10 EGO 11

15 PRE 15

16 COM 16

5 PD 4

3 ED 4

3 SPD 3

6 REC 5

30 END 26

28 STUN 23

Total Characteristics Cost: 100 Points

 

Cost Skills

8 CSL: Combat +1

3 Concealment 12-

3 Demolitions 12-

2 Navigation [Ground] 12-

3 Stealth 12-

3 Streetwise 12-

3 Tactics 12-

Total Skills Cost: 25 Points

 

Cost Powers

15 Armor +5 rPD +5 rED

45 Multipower (45 Points)

3 u) HA +6d6, HTH Attack (-1/2), No END (+1/2)

4 u) HKA 2d6 [[3d6 [Male] or 2 1/2d6 [Female] w/STR]]

4 u) RKA 2d6, Autofire [2-3 Shots] (+1/4), [32c] (+1/4)

4 u) RKA 2d6, Explosion (+1/2), [16c]

Total Powers Cost: 75 Points

 

Total Cost: 150 Points

 

75+ Disadvantages

5 DF: Uniform (Easily Concealable/Noticed)

10 Hunted: Employer (More Powerful/NCI/Watch) 8-

15 Hunted: Government (More Powerful) 8-

10 PsyL: Fear of Employer (Uncommon/Strong)

15 PsyL: Greedy (Common/Strong)

10 SocL: Secret Identity (Occasionally/Major)

10 SocL: Subject To Orders (Occasionally/Major)

Total Disadvantages Cost: 150 Points

 

 

This is a typical mercenary working for a supervillain or evil organization.  Most superheroes can easily defeat them one on one, but for 25 Points a villain can get four of them.  They are good for distracting superheroes of threatening innocents.

 

Nice build! 2 questions. 1) Since Armor adds to PD, the merc has an effective 10 PD against Normal attacks. So you then allow this to break the 8 PD cap because it’s the Armor that makes it exceed the PD  and not natural PD?  Iow a normal who is a merc with 10 PD and 5 dmg res. wouldn’t be acceptable? 2) How do you handle say a normal thug - even at 5 PD but no other defenses and he gets hit with a 10D6 Normal attack?  An average hit, he would still take 5 Body. Now if this was in a game that emulates Silver Age comics, that thug would take no Body that I can see. ( I’ve been reading the DC presents of Elongated man and Hackman series and they punch and slam normal mobsters at no other Ill effects other than KO. And the characters aren’t claiming to be pulling their punches either.)

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36 minutes ago, Trencher said:

In my campaigns I use 25/25 or 75/75. I try to keep cvs at no more than 7 at the start and damage under 45 active points. 

As for Conquers, Killer and Crooks I can mention: Dr Destroyer, Ankylosaur, Anubis, Herculean and others. (But hey, Dark Seraph can actually tank two stunning blows before going down.)

I never got champions 5th ed because I liked the old team better.

That’s seems awfully low for a Champions game. Are you saying your PCs are only 150 total point builds?  And I like low-powered. Btw I got Champions 4th so we can look at that team. Oh and maybe a better metric might be to use Classic Enemies too if you have it cause Scott Bennie states what level the characters are built at.

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12 hours ago, massey said:

 

Storm sucks.

 

Comic book characters don't actually have stats though.  We don't know what Cyclops' PD is because X-Men is not a Hero Games product.  All we can do is try to simulate what we see on the page.  Cyke has taken enough hits over the years for us to know that he's not fragile.  As you even mentioned earlier, Storm survived a blast (somehow) that dropped Colossus.  So you can't really say that they're "low defense characters" because they don't operate that way.  Cyke often appears to be one of the last X-Men standing during major brawls.

 

And anyway, 4th ed Oculon had 15 PD and 20 ED.  He isn't supposed to be super-durable.  Under the "powers/tactics" section of his entry in Classic Enemies, it doesn't say anything about him having any defensive powers.  He's just a Cyclops ripoff.  If he can have that level of defense, the real Cyclops certainly should.

I believe that this is a classic example of Trope Follys and the balance that the GM/players strike between genre simulation and game play.

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7 hours ago, Ninja-Bear said:

That’s seems awfully low for a Champions game. Are you saying your PCs are only 150 total point builds?  And I like low-powered.

I was thinking the same thing.  I like low-powered, too, but max CV7 and 45 active point attacks is a high-powered agent-level game in 6e, methinks.

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8 hours ago, Ninja-Bear said:

Nice build! 2 questions. 1) Since Armor adds to PD, the merc has an effective 10 PD against Normal attacks. So you then allow this to break the 8 PD cap because it’s the Armor that makes it exceed the PD  and not natural PD?  Iow a normal who is a merc with 10 PD and 5 dmg res. wouldn’t be acceptable? 2) How do you handle say a normal thug - even at 5 PD but no other defenses and he gets hit with a 10D6 Normal attack?  An average hit, he would still take 5 Body. Now if this was in a game that emulates Silver Age comics, that thug would take no Body that I can see. ( I’ve been reading the DC presents of Elongated man and Hackman series and they punch and slam normal mobsters at no other Ill effects other than KO. And the characters aren’t claiming to be pulling their punches either.)

 

1. The Normal Characteristic Maxima 8 PD cap only limits PD from characteristics.  The Armor can be considered to be anything from a bulletproof vest to inherent dexterity to luck so it's not effected by the NCM.  Tony Stark in his Iron Man armor can take a NCM because the Armor isn't part of his characteristics.

 

2. A 10d6 attack would do an average of 35 STUN and 10 BODY.  Since this is a normal attack a physical 10d6 would do no BODY, and an Energy Attack would do 2 BODY.  The attack would most likely about 25 STUN coming close to knocking them out (and the GM should have them go down for the count to keep play simple).  This is an easy way to have the heroes take on low lever characters without risk of killing.

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5th Edition Campaign Levels

 

350 Points Legend

250 Points Superhero

200 Points Hero

150 Points Elite Normal

100 Points Veteran Normal

50 Points Competent Normal

25 Points Skilled Normal

0 Normal 

-25 Incompetent

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14 minutes ago, Surrealone said:

I was thinking the same thing.  I like low-powered, too, but max CV7 and 45 active point attacks is a high-powered agent-level game in 6e, methinks.

 

150 Points are Elite Agents for organizations like VIPER and PRIMUS.  They also represent Special Forces soldiers that the heroes might run into.   A villain can have 4 of them for 25 Points Followers.

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On ‎2‎/‎22‎/‎2018 at 6:48 PM, Christopher R Taylor said:

 

Or, its what I pointed out: the comic books specifically do not have these low defense characters get hit much and they avoid damage in the fights, which wold never happen in Champions. Again, what I've pointed out all along.  Champions characters are built differently than in comics and the comics have over the last 20 or 30 years started to reflect that (now everyone wears body armor, for instance).

 

And I notice nobody is talking about Storm...

 

"Low defense characters who never take a solid hit" is the reason Combat Luck got designed in the first place.  Their defenses don't have the SFX of standing there and taking it, but of avoiding most or all of the hit.

 

I find most players (and most character designs) work to avoid being easily stunned.   Losing a phase is a Big Deal, and does not happen often in any Hero game I've played.

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It makes combat go faster and each hit and attack be more dramatic. It is fun to see the players tense up eveytime an attack get thrown in their direction but it also can create a bit of problems when a mook get a lucky hit and the PC is seriously hurt. 

I only GM post apocalypse, fantasy and sci fi at the moment but I like to use champions enemies as major npcs to fight. (with some reduction of power offcourse)

 

And what I have seen that could be a bit of a problem is that some of the players always try to make all intents and purposes a ninja in every campaign they are in because attacking first, being able to stealth and being hard to hit is incredible powerful compared to everything else. If they are a mage they make a ninja mage, if they are a star ship captain they want a cloaked ship that can fire while cloaked and so on.

 

Also even if they dont make ninjas the main focus of every player is to upp the damage output, the to hit ratio which means their dex which means they also get harder to hit and at a distant third upp their armour. Stun and body is rarely a priority. Its even more pronounced in low point campaigns where players buy off a couple of body points just so they can get more dex. I cant fault their logic because what will those two less body points do really if the character get shot? Better to put more points in dex and increase the chance of not getting shot.

 

So I guess the conclusion I can draw so far is that low point campaigns have more trouble with glass cannon syndrome than high points ones. 

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Trencher when I made a Conanesque character for a Fantasy Campaign I bought his STR to 20. Fantasy you are more likely to take Body compared to most other genres. My GM didn’t mind because I also was a “stormtrooper” concept. I charged head first into battle!

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Trencher I just reread where you said that your players bought down Body! Wow! What do those two points due? It can literally mean the difference between life and death for your character. If you go by negative starting Body equals death that means a Normal is better at surviving than your player. -10 vs -8. I can appreciate going first dirt mentality. (I played a heck outta Battletech). I love going first in most games I play. However, sooner or later than this being a game rolling dice, you can end up taking Body. My ninja character in a game in a Silver Agr type game has been down to 0 Body. (The days before combat luck).  I would have a serious discussion with your players, especially if you intend to play a deadly, I.e. Killing Attacks are common, genre.

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I think a lot of the glass cannon syndrome is actually pretty normal.  It is a reflection of both reality and game design.  Take the example of a gun vs armor.   You typical armor is bought using resistant defense with an OIF limitation.  The gun on the other hand is bought with either blast or RKA with an OAF limitation.

 

When you break this down by the points you see that the armor gives less bang for the buck.  In most games characters tend to by similar amount of physical and energy defense.  This means that armor has to pay twice.  Since armor is also using a lesser restriction it costs more.  For 10 real points you get DEF 5 armor.  The gun on the other hand only has one energy type, and a more restrictive limitation.  For the same 10 real points I get a 4d6 blast.  The blast will do an average of 14 points, so 9 after adjusting for armor.  So for every 1pt you spend on blast you get .9 points through.  Armor on the other hand prevents .5 point per point.  If we using nonresistant defense the numbers improve slightly so now every point spent prevents .75 points of damage.  This means that characters are paying 20% to 80% more for defenses than attacks.

 

Next we factor in the fact that a character can normally only make one attack, but may be attacked multiple times.  This means I only have to have one attack available.  On the other hand since I can be attacked by different things I need to have all my defenses operating all the time.  In game terms this is often represented by a multipower. 

 

If multipowers are used or the character has multiple weapons they can switch to attacks become even more efficient.  So now the person with armor has 7 DEF for 14 real points.  The gun is now a 20pt multipower with 4 slots for 14 points.  The multipower has a 4d6 blast, a 1d6+1 RKA, a 2d6 NND, and a 2d6 Drain.  Now for every point I am spending on the gun 7 gets through.  This brings the ratio down to .5 which matches the armor.  Except now I have two attacks that completely bypass the armor. 

 

There will of course be a lot of variation from my calculations, but the idea behind them remains sound.  Simply put attacks are more often than not more efficient than defenses.  This also reflects the real world.  We have guns now that can shoot through any armor we have. 

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On 2/24/2018 at 4:27 PM, Hugh Neilson said:

 

"Low defense characters who never take a solid hit" is the reason Combat Luck got designed in the first place.  Their defenses don't have the SFX of standing there and taking it, but of avoiding most or all of the hit.

 

I find most players (and most character designs) work to avoid being easily stunned.   Losing a phase is a Big Deal, and does not happen often in any Hero game I've played.


Combat Luck is a way of reducing damage when the character is hit.  It doesn't increase the DCV.

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1 hour ago, Cassandra said:


Combat Luck is a way of reducing damage when the character is hit.  It doesn't increase the DCV.

 

Didn't you just point out over in the Lex Luthor thread that Lois Lane has the power "Summon: Superman" defined as screaming for help?   The special effect of a power is whatever you want it to be.

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2 minutes ago, massey said:

 

Didn't you just point out over in the Lex Luthor thread that Lois Lane has the power "Summon: Superman" defined as screaming for help?   The special effect of a power is whatever you want it to be.

 

I would go with Mind Link instead of Summon.  Summon would have your buy a very friendly individual which is very expensive.

 

Mind Link would work if Lois Lane is a player character.  If not you can have her as a NPC with a 14- roll and Superman can hear her say Help from a long distance.

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Or Lois could have a triggered images sound that she plants on Supes when she kisses him.  When she screams, the sound images trigger allow Supes to hear the cry for help. :)

 

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