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How would you price this Limitation?

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Let's add some more controversy.  Most powers fire off a single shot.  Autofire fires off multiple shots, that cost multiple END.  That results in a different Reduced END advantage (but not a different Increased END limitation), Charges that are used more rapidly and a need for a Charges advantage which is more expensive than 0 END for non-autofire powers.

 

Why?  Why shouldn't the base power be "a burst of 5 8d6 Blasts" for 60 AP, and 6 END (or one charge) per burst?  If that's a machine gun with a 1 charge Blast and a 5 round Autofire Burst, limit the autofire one to use more than one charge.  Being able to attack 3 times should be a limitation, not an advantage, regardless of whether those three attacks roll damage once, five times or ten times.

 

I don't see this as a huge balance issue, and removing the orphan mechanic for "if it's autofire, reduced END costs more and more charges get used" would streamline the system just a bit.

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22 minutes ago, Hugh Neilson said:

As well, why should NovaMan get a -2 limitation for making his NovaBurst cost 0 END and only being usable once a day when TurtleMan's UltraShield, which provides Resistant Protection once per day, gets the same -2 limitation despite not spending any less END on that power?  NovaMan is getting a free +1/2 advantage compared to TurtleMan - how is that fair?  Adding 1/2 to each level of Charges limitation would be the equivalent of recognizing that TurtleMan has effectively "paid" the Costs END limitation on his power, before removing it with Charges.

I'll admit, this part made me chuckle. Not for any particularly good or bad reason, but tis a False Comparison you've got there. Not only because you're comparing One Power with a Separate Power, but you're comparing two separate Types of powers to boot. Heck, if you wanted to be "Crunchy" and abide by RAW you could take TurtleMan's UltraShield with Duration Limit Instant for your extra -1/2.

 

Different powers get different amount of utility depending on the limitation and advantage placed on them. Flash is nice constant, but comparatively blows compared to a Constant Entangle. Blast with Double Knockback is simply less effective than Killing Attack with Double Knockback, even at the same Base Cost. Simply put, Different powers are Different for a reason. An Advantage/Limitation will effect two different powers differently due to them being made for different purposes. 

 

So let's compare Apples to Apples. More Gala to Fuji, but whatever. NovaMan's Blast vs ElectricMan's Blast. NovaMan took his blast with, let's say, 4 charges. He gets a -1. ElectricMan took his blast with No Endurance +1/2. And let's say they both spent... Oh, 30 Real Points first. NovaMan will come in swinging with a mean 'ol 12d6. Painful! ElectricMan however, is only coming in with a piddly 4d6 compared. How outrageous! Clearly this is in the wrong! And you'd be right! Except.... It's not. That's 30 Real Points, not Active Points. ElectricMan put in only 30 Active Points. NovaMan? 60.  So it would make sense that NovaMan is doing three times the damage. 

 

 So let's modify the scenario a bit! Instead of 30 Real Points, they both spend 30 Active points, and thus are "Saving" the same amount of endurance. Novaman then comes in swinging his 6d6 at ElectricMan's 4d6. Novaman's still wiping the floor! Until two turns from then. When NovaMan run's out of his Blasts, and ElectricMan's still swinging away. Because this balance isn't just on a single point, it's on a continuous exchange. No End says a Resource cost has been cut. Charges says a Resource has been put in its stead. That's the benefit of No Endurance. You can use it all day without losing anything. Charge limits that. Charge says, "These many times, no more." You lose something from No Endurance in Charge, that being continued use.

 

 Is it perfect? Nah. It's trying to simulate everything from a Once-Daily PerfectBlock to a Laser Rifle with a battery Pack, to a bunch of fireworks. Of course it isn't going to be perfectly balanced. Should it be that it comes with 0 End? Honestly, the way the system was set up, it seems to indicate there is expected to be more gadgets and objects used, rather than X-Daily Powers. If you think it should Not have the 0 End requirement, then that's easy enough. Adjust it down. If you think it should, keep it where it is. Or don't. Buying the Limitation Costs Endurance or Advantage 0 End is near the same. (0 End on a Constant for +1/2, Make a Constant cost end for -1/2) And in the end... You're saving or losing a few points for a power or idea in a Tabletop based around being Superhero's, where Rule 0 is literally Ask the GM. If the crunch is the draw... Isn't that missing the point?

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I have seen several people in the "0 End should not be part of Charges" camp. I am curious, do you think the price of charges would need to be adjust accordingly?

 

Yeah I'm fine with removing the 0 END bonus, but you'd have to give charges a slightly better limitation or the whole price structure changes, and in decades of playtesting its been pretty balanced as is.

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4 hours ago, Sveta said:

I'll admit, this part made me chuckle. Not for any particularly good or bad reason, but tis a False Comparison you've got there. Not only because you're comparing One Power with a Separate Power, but you're comparing two separate Types of powers to boot. Heck, if you wanted to be "Crunchy" and abide by RAW you could take TurtleMan's UltraShield with Duration Limit Instant for your extra -1/2.

 

A power which costs END gets a +1/2 advantage by limiting it with Charges.  A power which costs 0 END gets the same limitation for the same number of charges, but no free +1/2 advantage,  That is a very different comparison than any of the ones you raise.

 

4 hours ago, Sveta said:

Different powers get different amount of utility depending on the limitation and advantage placed on them. Flash is nice constant, but comparatively blows compared to a Constant Entangle. Blast with Double Knockback is simply less effective than Killing Attack with Double Knockback, even at the same Base Cost. Simply put, Different powers are Different for a reason. An Advantage/Limitation will effect two different powers differently due to them being made for different purposes. 

 

If I am fighting an opponent with Desolidification, the Flash seems a lot better.  Ditto if my opponent has a 4d6 RKA which blows through the Entangle - he's still firing it blind if he's flashed.

 

Double knockback?  40 AP of Blast averages 8 BOD x 2 = 16 - average of 7 on 3d6 = 9 x 2 = 18 meters.  40 AP of KA averages the same 8 BOD to be doubled to 16, and I subtract 3d6, so 5 or 6 x 2 = 10-12 meters knockback on average, so the Blast is the more effective power at knocking the target back, at least at that AP level.

 

My issue is less with balance than with "you don't bundle effects".  Many of the historical issues in this regard have been fixed.  We no longer have Armor that costs 5 points for 3 rDEF, Damage Resistance than makes half your PD and ED resistant for 15 points, all for 30 points and force fields that get resistant PD and ED but cost END.  They were streamlined and made consistent.

 

Flight has the same noncombat multiple mechanic as every other movement power.  It didn't at the start.

 

CON and STR don't provide more points in figured characteristics than they cost to purchase.  Growth, Shrinking and Stretching no longer come bundled with damage adders.

 

But Charges still come bundled with 0 END,  Why?  Because it's always been that way?  So what?  Every rule has "always been that way" until it got changed.  Combat maneuvers were always usable only with STR, until they became usable with other attack powers.  Martial arts always cost STR and multiplied STR damage, until they didn't.  Adjustment powers always had no range, until they became ranged by default.  We always had Comeliness, until we no longer had Comeliness.  Seduction was always Seduction until we renamed it Charm.  Killing attacks were always more effective at putting STUN through to high defense targets until they weren't.  Aid always had no fade rate if it did not raise an ability above its starting point, until it did fade, and it never cost END by default until it started costing END by default.  And on and on and on.

 

Hero is based on getting what you pay for, paying for what you get and not bundling abilities together, so a Limitation that comes bundled with an Advantage is an exception to that maxim.  There's no compelling case to be made for that exception, so I favour its removal to take out one more orphan mechanic which lacks consistency with the overall system philosophy.

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13 hours ago, Hugh Neilson said:

There's no compelling case to be made for that exception, so I favour its removal to take out one more orphan mechanic which lacks consistency with the overall system philosophy.

The compelling cases have already been made, you are just choosing to ignore them in favor of pressing your argument. The most compelling reason is that it actually is consistent.

The philosophy at play is ease of use (for both player and GM), the rules are written to encourage you to use as few game elements as possible in its examples*, and with the exception of heroic campaigns using lots of projectile weapons, characters don't generally have to track two resources to perform an action.

*This is also partially why we don't get full write-ups for heroic equipment and talents, that and a combination of laziness and frugality (they had to save page-space for all those example callouts).

Frankly, the small benefits of changing the rule are far outweighed by the much more common array situations where it just adds more work (and modifiers) to achieve the same results.

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There's nothing about 'using as few game elements as possible' in the game philosophy. The system has been moving ever closer towards breaking components down to increase granularity of concept (removing figured characteristics and making them secondary characteristics, for example). Making Charges do only one thing (limit uses per time period) is much more in line with the overall system philosophy than the current setup of having one modifier do two things - thus causing further complication elsewhere; especially since it has a flip point where it goes from Limitation to Advantage, and affects the cost of another modifier (autofire) as well. That is, IMO, much more of a book keeping problem than simply tracking multiple resources during play.

 

And I'll note your exception of Heroic campaigns tracking ammo is... well, Charges, so you've already stated that the reason not to do a thing is a thing that is already being done anyway... making that point moot.

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O END is a feature given to charge to offset some of the advantages delivered by END. A 2d6 ranged killing eye-laser  (3 END) has certain features that the 2d6 automatic pistol does not. Gazerbeam is tired, so he starts shooting his eye-laser at 1d6-1 (using one END). Joe Bullet has sixteen shots, all doing 2d6.

Gazerbeam is trapped, and pushes his eye-laser to write a message on the cave wall, just in case. Joe Bullet is trapped, and can just manage to chip the wall in sixteen places no matter how hard he pulls the trigger.

So, yes, one intentional feature of charges is the 0 END cost, because it offsets drawbacks that SHOULD reduce the costs of charges.

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This suggestion may miss the mark, but you could potentially write it up as 3d6 Healing, Constant (+½), can only be used at 1d6 Healing each phase (-½), your other limitations here (-x), and it would give you 1d6 (~3.5 BODY) per phase, up to a maximum of 18 BODY healed, each dice of effect taking one extra phase. So on average, you would heal 10-11 BODY in three Phases, but could go for more. (To increase the maximum effect with Healing, you must increase the number of Healing dice.) As you increase your Healing dice, the other limitations would stay the same, although one could argue that the "can only be used at 1d6 Healing each phase" limitation might be more limiting than -½. I would disagree, as the Constant advantage mitigates this.

 

 

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20 hours ago, Cantriped said:

The compelling cases have already been made, you are just choosing to ignore them in favor of pressing your argument.

 

I don't believe Hugh Neilson is ignoring anything. I know that I haven't seen the compelling case you claim to exist. Where is it?

 

Lucius Alexander

 

Did the palindromedary eat it while we weren't looking?

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Honestly? I personally could care less whether End 0 is tied into Charges or no. The simple fact of the matter is that it's trying to simulate more than one thing. As mentioned way on above, it seem to most readily indicate something that someone can only do so often, a daily sort of thing, and items with limited uses. End 0 seems tied into Charges due to the assumption that Charges would be used for items more than powers, and thus would go off the energy of the item, or simply being a persistent effect. Marbles are round regardless of energy, just as caltrops are pointy.

 

No matter which way you cut it, the guys who developed Hero had to pick one of the two to presume. Presume the limitation is meant for objects, and cut Endurance intrinsically, or powers, and have the cost reflect that without an Endurance cut. If you disagree with their implementation, fantastic. Hero lets you do that, so do that. If you're the GM, modify the cost and remove End 0. Or don't. You're the GM. If you're the player? Ask the GM about it if it tears you up real bad. Come to a solution on a person to person level.

 

Am I saying that Charges should start with the 0 End quality? Nah. It is, as you all have repeatedly harped on a bonus. What I can tell you though is that it currently is written up that it does include it. So lest you and your GM hash out a solution like the ones above, just take the -1/2 Limitation for Costs Endurance and move on. Heck, if I had to hazard a guess, those who believe that Charges shouldn't reduce Endurance Cost are already doing that, or a houseruled version. But for the love of villainy, unless you're the GM, if someone else is using the Charge method you disagree with? Bloody well let them. Argument's between players to figure out the minutia of what should and shouldn't cost a few or less points on an ability or two shouldn't be what the game is about. If they are cheesing it up, yeah, talk to them and the GM.  Work it out there.

 

Regardless of where one stands on this issue, it seems to have struck a nerve for many. So might we take this to a separate thread? That way people later on can see the discussion happening in an apt named thread, not a discussion on how to implement a lengthy sort of Healing Spell. 

 

 

Note: Speaking of that healing spell, I'd probably put it in something like... this:

  • Healing Prayer - Healing  1d6, BODY & STUN (+1/2) (15 Active Points); Limitations (-X)
  • +  Healing Strength - Healing 5d6, BODY & STUN (+1/2) (75 Active Points); Limitations, Only for the purposes of Maximum Healing (Limited Power -1),  Linked (Greater to Lesser, Non-Proportional -0) Limitations (-X)

Each action used to heal can only do 1d6 of healing, can be non-consecutive, but cost an ammount of End based on how much you are aiming to heal at that moment. Only up to 6, can toss 1 End that way and be golden. Trying to heal more than 6? Toss two End, and so on. I settled on the -1 for Limited power as that is where it indicates the power looses about half it's utility. This healing spell is absolutely fantastic out of combat... but in combat... You're still only healing 1d6. Good, but probably not what you are wanting in that moment. 

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7 hours ago, clnicholsusa said:

O END is a feature given to charge to offset some of the advantages delivered by END. A 2d6 ranged killing eye-laser  (3 END) has certain features that the 2d6 automatic pistol does not. Gazerbeam is tired, so he starts shooting his eye-laser at 1d6-1 (using one END). Joe Bullet has sixteen shots, all doing 2d6.

Gazerbeam is trapped, and pushes his eye-laser to write a message on the cave wall, just in case. Joe Bullet is trapped, and can just manage to chip the wall in sixteen places no matter how hard he pulls the trigger.

So, yes, one intentional feature of charges is the 0 END cost, because it offsets drawbacks that SHOULD reduce the costs of charges.

 

Hmm.  I have slowly been convinced by Hugh (yup, it can happen on internet discussions!).

 

Those advantages delivered by END are not advantages, they are the baseline of the rules.  What you have to consider, if you were to change the Charges limitation is whether you have it properly stripped down.  If the Charges limitation is simply how many times it can be used per day then that is all it should be doing, no hidden limitations or advantages.  

 

Why should a charge not be able to be pushed?  Why shouldn't you be able to reduce the effect of a charge?  We have limitations that can add these things if they are required.

 

There is an interesting point on being able to get more charges if you reduce the effect but I think the gain is minimal for the level of bureaucracy you would add when END Battery already exists and would probably be a far better mechanism to use for that kind of power.

 

Doc

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44 minutes ago, Doc Democracy said:

Why should a charge not be able to be pushed?  Why shouldn't you be able to reduce the effect of a charge?  We have limitations that can add these things if they are required.

1) Because only powers that cost END can be pushed... the Charged equivalent is Boostable-Charges. It is just the nature of the mechanics for Pushing that they only apply to END costing powers. Trying to apply pushing to charges will only create confusion and the need for even more, and more convoluted rules. Mostly because there is no set conversion rate for how much END 1 Charge is worth... it could have almost any value. However note that it isn't because of Charges that the power cannot be pushed... it is the included Zero END... so if you place Costs END on a charged power, you can spend additional END to push the power, but doing so will still only use up 1 Charge.

It isn't like Novaman is impossible to build under the current rules. Throw Costs END and Increased END (or Costs LTE) on his Nova and boom-done; you've got a power usable once per day that also exhausts you.

 

2) Technically, you can if the weapon doesn't have Beam, but it still uses up the whole charge instead of a portion of a charge.

 

3) Again, you can, but Cannot Be Pushed/Reduced has generally not been considered worth even -1/4 by itself... and the pricing model gets skewed if you apply to many limitations co powers (even ones they might deserve like Cannot Be Pushed).

Bundling insignificant or related modifiers is just one of the many methods that have been employed to keepbthe number of game elements used to a minimum.

 

As a point of user experience... in almost 20 years of working with the HERO System on a daily basis: I have built exactly one powersuite that might have benefited from the proposed rule change (a Novaman-like character; at the time I used Lockout to prevent his other powers from working while his Nova recharged).

Meanwhile the default rule has saved me from having to include Zero END in hundreds (perhaps even thousands by now) of power suites... Because I prefer to show my work, especially with regard to how I build Equipment.

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3 hours ago, Doc Democracy said:

Those advantages delivered by END are not advantages, they are the baseline of the rules.  What you have to consider, if you were to change the Charges limitation is whether you have it properly stripped down.  If the Charges limitation is simply how many times it can be used per day then that is all it should be doing, no hidden limitations or advantages.  

 

Why should a charge not be able to be pushed? 

 

2 hours ago, Cantriped said:

1) Because only powers that cost END can be pushed... the Charged equivalent is Boostable-Charges. It is just the nature of the mechanics for Pushing that they only apply to END costing powers. Trying to apply pushing to charges will only create confusion and the need for even more, and more convoluted rules. Mostly because there is no set conversion rate for how much END 1 Charge is worth... it could have almost any value. However note that it isn't because of Charges that the power cannot be pushed... it is the included Zero END... so if you place Costs END on a charged power, you can spend additional END to push the power, but doing so will still only use up 1 Charge.

It isn't like Novaman is impossible to build under the current rules. Throw Costs END and Increased END (or Costs LTE) on his Nova and boom-done; you've got a power usable once per day that also exhausts you.

 

Emphasis added - apparently, you need to dispel confusion caused by the current model, which suggests the intuitive obviousness you fear would be lost if charges did not default to 0 END is not as prevalent as you claim.  In any case, if Hero was going for Intuitive, we would long since have a system where Life Support allowing survival in the frigid depths of Space provided some defense against a Freon Blast.

 

If Charges cost END by default, then charged powers could be pushed by default.  Boostable Charges add a Burnout factor to the power - what about a concept that can use multiple charges to enhance the power WITHOUT making future uses unreliable?  What if an extra charge is, in concept, to add more (or less) power than the Boostable default?

 

Perhaps "boostable charges" is better simulated by a smaller ability and a larger ability in a Multipower, with all slots feeding from charges and some using more than one charge.  And if some boosting causes a Burnout effect, then add that to the power itself.

 

Your arguments are actually reinforcing, rather than refuting, my view.

 

However, since you view the current model as easy and modular, please provide the easy summary of how Boostable charges that Cost END interact with Pushing, in your view.

 

The fact that Novaman can be constructed under current rules is no more relevant than the fact a gun with six charges that cost 0 END could be constructed if charges cost END by default.

 

3 hours ago, Doc Democracy said:

 

Why shouldn't you be able to reduce the effect of a charge?  We have limitations that can add these things if they are required.

 

2 hours ago, Cantriped said:

2) Technically, you can if the weapon doesn't have Beam, but it still uses up the whole charge instead of a portion of a charge.

 

True.  And if the charges represent my Laser Gun Battery, I should have used an END Battery, or a variant of charges, or perhaps boostable charges, etc.  We have lots of tools.  That makes the game complex.  Making Charges a tool that limits the number of uses in a specified time period, without also providing the advantage of making the power use no END, would not, in my view, markedly increase the complexity of the game.  For some constructs, it would and for others, it would not.

 

3 hours ago, Doc Democracy said:

There is an interesting point on being able to get more charges if you reduce the effect but I think the gain is minimal for the level of bureaucracy you would add when END Battery already exists and would probably be a far better mechanism to use for that kind of power.

 

2 hours ago, Cantriped said:

3) Again, you can, but Cannot Be Pushed/Reduced has generally not been considered worth even -1/4 by itself... and the pricing model gets skewed if you apply to many limitations co powers (even ones they might deserve like Cannot Be Pushed).

Bundling insignificant or related modifiers is just one of the many methods that have been employed to keepbthe number of game elements used to a minimum.

 

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA  I cannot believe you would describe a 2 volume rulebook as "keeping the number of game elements used to a minimum", nor that you would consider 1 use per day, or usable without limit (0 END) to be "insignificant", "related" or both!

 

2 hours ago, Cantriped said:

As a point of user experience... in almost 20 years of working with the HERO System on a daily basis: I have built exactly one powersuite that might have benefited from the proposed rule change (a Novaman-like character; at the time I used Lockout to prevent his other powers from working while his Nova recharged).

Meanwhile the default rule has saved me from having to include Zero END in hundreds (perhaps even thousands by now) of power suites... Because I prefer to show my work, especially with regard to how I build Equipment.

 

The most obvious example which springs to my mind is a Vancian magic system where Wizards are also expected to be tired out by repeated spell use, much as warriors are tired out by repeated sword strikes.

 

I suggest the lack of "charges that cost END" is as much a function of the base mechanic adding "0 END" as any indication of what proportion of Charged powers would, or would not, logically require an expenditure of END.  I suspect that, if Charges cost END by default, a lot of builds that presently have 0 END charges would have charges that cost END.  Not a handgun, certainly, but natural abilities with limited uses.

 

The fact that you rarely use a mechanic does not mean the mechanic is useless.  There are plenty of mechanics I rarely use, but that others make great use of.

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11 minutes ago, Hugh Neilson said:

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA  I cannot believe you would describe a 2 volume rulebook as "keeping the number of game elements used to a minimum", nor that you would consider 1 use per day, or usable without limit (0 END) to be "insignificant", "related" or both!

I use CC remember? Its only 240 pages and describes almost exactly the same system... the fact the 6e 1&2 were poorly written isn't relevent to a point made regarding how the material is typically used. My point had to do with how the example material is written and presented.

For example, even though both modifiers are described in 6e2, neither Real Fire, nor Real Electricity pop up in examples (such as in Champions Powers, or the Hero System Grimoire) of Fire or Electricity powers very often. Likewise, the system uses a fairly simplified, arbitrary template for Equipment (and ignores even that in superheroic campaigns) that purposfully cuts corners just to reduce the amount of line-space used on any given example.

 

You are also putting words in my mouth. I never said that 1 Charge (a -2 Limitation even with Zero END included) was insignificant, however I would agree they are related as both pertain to the power's resource expenditure schema.

What I said was that Cannot Be Pushed is typically considered too insignificant to be worth a whole -1/4 by itself. Ergo why it typically bundles with Beam, Charges and Zero END... just like needing to be maintained is too insignificant to be a limitarion by itself, which is why both Real Weapon and Armor include other restrictions.

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3 hours ago, Cantriped said:

I use CC remember? Its only 240 pages and describes almost exactly the same system...

 

That is 375% of Champions 1st Edition and 300% of Champions 2e.  Again, if the goal was to reduce the number of game elements to a minimum, we could have far fewer elements and a much smaller game.

 

Further, I believe it requires more word count to explain that Charges cost 0 END, that as a result Charges can be either an advantage or a limitation, and that it caps out at +1 instead of the +1/2 that 0 END would typically cost, to account for the possibility of an Autofire attack than would be required to simply, with no added discussion, leave powers with charges costing END by default, perhaps providing a Handgun sample power which applies both Six Charges and 0 END to demonstrate how this apparently very difficult build might be reflected in game terms.

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The fact is if you removed the Endurance part from Charges it would require less words to explain, it would also remove words from Autofire. It would create less side explanations as everything would be normalized:

Charges limit how often a power can be used.

Reduced END removes Endurance cost.

 

The only reason you see an interaction between the two is because the system put one in at the very beginning. Once you remove all Endurance considerations from Charges every argument about pushing, reducing effect, altering costs, math on where it switches from Limitation to Advantage, go away completely. That's a fact.

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Late to the party, and I didn't read the back half of posts, but I did want to say that I generally agree w/ Hugh and others who weigh in on the side that in a perfect world or ruleset, Charges would not combine 0 END within its effect.

 

Separating the # of times per time unit subsystem of Charges from the END subsystem would result in a cleaner model. Over the many years when I was doing HERO stuff I'd often bump into the particular HERO-ism of Charges as they work in the rules as written. As a content creator and rules tinkerer I expended a fair amount of rules fu over the years working around or accommodating or exploiting that rules behavior in various power constructs, magic system designs, etc when trying to model certain concepts.

 

From a fundamental perspective, early rpgs tended to put hard limits on how many times characters could use certain abilities, and it was generally arbitrary. Being charitable this can be seen primarily as a concern for game balance and a tool allowing for certain strong abilities to be attainable but not usable for every action; a hard limit of how many times the ability could be used prevented this. Without some kind of limiting factor, a player would typically choose to use their strongest ability whenever it was applicable for maximum effect. The HERO System and some other games that followed on from those earliest games offered alternatives, such as HERO Endurance costs, that allowed for powers to be used a limited number of times per fight, but to reset between encounters. In the case of HERO Endurance, it also put a lot of agency into the player's hands; as END is a shared resource used to pay for all of a character's abilities (by default) choosing which to pay for and when encounter to encounter is empowering to a player who wants that kind of control over their character. This makes a lot of sense mechanically for intrinsic abilities; particularly if you then add options for players who don't want to be bothered by tracking END costs or who don't want some or all of their abilities to be constrained in this way.

 

Where the problems begin is when you get to dealing with extrinsic abilities. Tools, items, independent objects that are used by a character but not intrinsically part of the character. In my opinion, the source of many issues in the HERO system model stem from a failure to clearly separate intrinsic and extrinsic abilities at a fundamental level and treat them differently mechanically. There's a significant amount of rules cruft that drops away or comes under scrutiny if the rules instead just required an ability to be identified as either intrinsic or extrinsic, each with a different mechanism of limiting frequency of usage as their distinguishing characteristic. Going further it could even be argued that the default state of abilities could be NO LIMIT on frequency of usage, with an array of options for ways to limit frequency of usage defined by the rules (cool down, # per time unit, resource expenditure, self-injury, collateral damage, etc), and applying one or more of those options for limiting frequency to a given ability would offer a choice of a favorable trade off (lower point cost, increased effect, side grade, unlocking a modifier or secondary effect). But that would be a different game, or a pretty significant overhaul of the HERO System. A digression for another time, perhaps.

 

 

As pertains to this discussion you get to modeling a tool like a gun, the limit of how many times the gun can be fired is not determined by END, and firing the gun does not appreciably tire the person shooting it. Its a short hop from wanting to model that type of limit on # of times of usage per unit of time to adding a mechanic to the game such as Charges. And when used in this way to model a gun or a scroll or a medkit or some other similar type of effect, Charges basically work as intended. But when Charges inevitably get applied to other kinds of effects, particularly effects that are meant to reflect innate abilities of a character...that's where the two different styles of limiting frequency of use (END, Charges) start to rub up against one another in uncomfortable ways.

 

Working within the existing game and band-aiding / monkey patching it, a relatively clean option would be to just create one or more new Limitations that redefine the # of times per day idea, decoupled from and orthogonal to END. Variants like fuel, boostable, and continuing charges could be fully unpacked. More properly modeling how bullets and ammo clips work. And so on. Deconstructing the Charges Limitation into its composite parts and calibrating some of them and discarding others.

 

A lot of officially published characters would be impacted. A few could be selected as test subjects / case studies to work out the details of such a systemic overhaul upon. 

 

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Good to see you on the Boards, KS - feels like I have not seen you for a while.

 

As I read Killer Shrike's excellent commentary above, I am struck by how easily 0 END could have been bundled with Focus instead of Charges from the start.  It would have been no better (some foci granting powers which should not cost END and others granting the ability to do things that should cost END), but a similar logic applies.

 

The other "old school" game construct I always  noted was hit points that are slow to recover.  Maybe that's because I used to translate a lot of Villains & Vigilantes adventures, where hit points did not recover between combats, resulting in a more D&D style of several minor encounters wearing the heroes down.  I found I often had to revise the adventure so the villains would be encountered as a team, and not picked off one by one.  That, or make some powerful enough to be at least a bit challenging for the team as a whole,

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I really have no preference. I can see advantages and disadvantages to both (simplicity and ease of modelling on one side, changing existing characters and powers plus dealing with current player bias on the other). I can work with it either way, but honestly I don't see it changing since I have heard nothing about a new edition for a long time. It would be more likely to make it in as an alternate in APG 3 or the like.

 

- E

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On 8/28/2018 at 6:01 AM, Hugh Neilson said:

Good to see you on the Boards, KS - feels like I have not seen you for a while.

 

Most likely; I've not been active for awhile. I wrapped up a contract job and am taking a little break before looking for my next gig, so I have a bit of time on my hands.

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