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Rethinking Growth


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On ‎6‎/‎6‎/‎2018 at 12:18 AM, Funk Thompson said:

 

I can dig up a build, but basically +STR, +CON,+PD/ED, +BODY; with appropriate modifiers depending on build (ie. "costs END" for a guy that grows, nothing if it is just a big critter but I want it noted that the characteristics are due to size) and then stretching and KB resist if applicable / big enough.  Then a side effect for the increased mass, size, DCV penalty, etc.

 

Part of this is just due to Growth (using HERO Designer) not really listing all of that very well on the character sheet compared to a list or custom power (custom power is somewhat hard to read, but at least lists everything out.)

 

You say "Custom Power." Do you mean "Compound Power?"

 

If you mean Custom Power, I'd love to know you get that to work for this.

 

Lucius Alexander

 

Palindromedary Power

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My issues with Growth/Shrinking is that it implies and tries to simulate size/mass/etc. for characters... but Hero doesn't have size/mass/etc. for attacks, and that is very relevant.

 

A bullet is a small thing moving very fast, and has a certain effect on a adult human sized target with certain size/mass/etc. If that bullet hits a small child (1/4 the size and mass of the adult) that bullet tends to do a LOT more damage to it because relative size/mass is different. If a bullet hits an Ant-Man type character, that relative size/mass is hugely different, and that bullet should do excessively more damage. A bullet hitting a 60 ft. tall character should do almost nothing, as its size/mass ratio is vastly reduced.


Now, you could take a rough stab at this with higher/lower Body on the target. Child has less body than Adult... but there is not enough granular range in Body for this to work, and Shrinking doesn't reduce the Body of a character... and Growth doesn't really add enough body, etc.

 

Essentially, Hero has no way of mechanically representing "scale" effectively. Everything is built assuming adult human scale, with damages and defenses flexing around that purely on a linear more or less fashion.

 

At what point has a shrinking character gone so small their blast attack is negligible? At what point is a Growth character so large that an average "size" attack is negligible?  In Hero terms, these aren't even questions. Champions as designed nearly 40 years ago, did not expect hard analysis, but just 'go with the comic book convention' and built the power to reflect that convention. Hero System, evolved over decades of actually asking these hard questions, has failed to adequately address them, because it is REALLY, REALLY HARD to do so in a balanced way. Vastly different scales on the same battlefield are going to be wildly incompatible in any "realistic" application, and you don't want that in a game... but Hero isn't a game any more, it is a game building system... so perhaps it is time to actually address scale.

 

Like at what point is a Growth character's punch an Area Effect?  Why doesn't an Area Effect attack do more damage, since it is hitting all of the target's body, not just one spot (i.e., why explosives are way more lethal than bullets)?


Game balance is the answer... but that leads to all kinds of "But then..." kind of things.

 

Even if you want to simulate classic comics concepts (Colossal Boy, Giant Man, etc.) it was always inconsistently done in the comics in ways Hero doesn't let you. Giant Man gets big, and they you have several panels of him taking all the blasts and shots, but he ignores them. We don't see him saying, "This will only last a couple of seconds, because all these little blasts will actually nickel and dime my stun away, and I'll be unconscious or dead!"... no, you see him completely ignoring the effects of "small attacks" because he is "big". But the increased PD/ED etc. to ignore those small attacks (dozens of them, so high rolls and max damage would occur a lot) would mean he was now tougher than the Hulk in many cases.


There is just too much "illogic" in comics, for a logical system like Hero to effectively simulate them. With Growth and Shrinking, we've either just stayed away from them, or limited them to relative human scale (a couple levels only, either side).


I've yet to see any ideas that actually make the size/mass changing work well.

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Quote

A bullet is a small thing moving very fast, and has a certain effect on a adult human sized target with certain size/mass/etc. If that bullet hits a small child (1/4 the size and mass of the adult) that bullet tends to do a LOT more damage to it because relative size/mass is different. 

 

Yeah but that's just represented by lower Body and Stun scores, a simple and elegant solution.

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13 minutes ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

 

Yeah but that's just represented by lower Body and Stun scores, a simple and elegant solution.

 

I commented on that. As I said... if you stay in a "roughly human range"  (say small child to hill giant at 20 feet or so) the system is very elegant with the Body/Defense spread. I acknowledge that. It is when you get into serious shrinking and growth that the scaling breaks down.

 

Again, this is part of what I've found with Hero over the decades... the closer to "human" you are, the better the system simulates it. The farther you get in terms of baseline human, the more you really have to shrug and ignore the "but what if..." moments. Bigger/smaller... what is my effect on things at another scale. If I run so fast, why am I not burning up? How can I breathe? If I shrink down far enough, will my lungs work?


This is why I feel that if you really want to emulate super-stuff, it is not about getting more and more detailed and deconstructed, but going back to a more hand-wavey, just go-with-it kind of thing.

 

As for the elegane of Body, it breaks down when it tries to parse the difference between "Body is what must be defeated to KILL a thing... vs Body is what must be defesated to DESTROY a thing"  A bullet can effectively kill, without doing much destruction to a body at all. Bigger attacks should actually destroy MORE of the human body, thus doing WAY more "Body damage" on a exponential level. Dying to small hole from a rifle shot vs. "Ludicrous gibs!" exploding in red mist? Body damage in general isn't good at simulating which is which.

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I don't think the powers were designed for scale, but that doesn't mean you can't use the existing powers to get you the scale you want.  For instance, you can always link resistant defenses and damage reduction to growth to represent scale of attack issues.  Similarly, shrinking can be ladled with lots of limitations to increase the damage using limited power and side effects. 

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7 hours ago, RDU Neil said:

My issues with Growth/Shrinking is that it implies and tries to simulate size/mass/etc. for characters... but Hero doesn't have size/mass/etc. for attacks, and that is very relevant.

 

A bullet is a small thing moving very fast, and has a certain effect on a adult human sized target with certain size/mass/etc. If that bullet hits a small child (1/4 the size and mass of the adult) that bullet tends to do a LOT more damage to it because relative size/mass is different. If a bullet hits an Ant-Man type character, that relative size/mass is hugely different, and that bullet should do excessively more damage. A bullet hitting a 60 ft. tall character should do almost nothing, as its size/mass ratio is vastly reduced.


Now, you could take a rough stab at this with higher/lower Body on the target. Child has less body than Adult... but there is not enough granular range in Body for this to work, and Shrinking doesn't reduce the Body of a character... and Growth doesn't really add enough body, etc.

 

Essentially, Hero has no way of mechanically representing "scale" effectively. Everything is built assuming adult human scale, with damages and defenses flexing around that purely on a linear more or less fashion.

 

At what point has a shrinking character gone so small their blast attack is negligible? At what point is a Growth character so large that an average "size" attack is negligible?  In Hero terms, these aren't even questions. Champions as designed nearly 40 years ago, did not expect hard analysis, but just 'go with the comic book convention' and built the power to reflect that convention. Hero System, evolved over decades of actually asking these hard questions, has failed to adequately address them, because it is REALLY, REALLY HARD to do so in a balanced way. Vastly different scales on the same battlefield are going to be wildly incompatible in any "realistic" application, and you don't want that in a game... but Hero isn't a game any more, it is a game building system... so perhaps it is time to actually address scale.

 

Like at what point is a Growth character's punch an Area Effect?  Why doesn't an Area Effect attack do more damage, since it is hitting all of the target's body, not just one spot (i.e., why explosives are way more lethal than bullets)?


Game balance is the answer... but that leads to all kinds of "But then..." kind of things.

 

Even if you want to simulate classic comics concepts (Colossal Boy, Giant Man, etc.) it was always inconsistently done in the comics in ways Hero doesn't let you. Giant Man gets big, and they you have several panels of him taking all the blasts and shots, but he ignores them. We don't see him saying, "This will only last a couple of seconds, because all these little blasts will actually nickel and dime my stun away, and I'll be unconscious or dead!"... no, you see him completely ignoring the effects of "small attacks" because he is "big". But the increased PD/ED etc. to ignore those small attacks (dozens of them, so high rolls and max damage would occur a lot) would mean he was now tougher than the Hulk in many cases.


There is just too much "illogic" in comics, for a logical system like Hero to effectively simulate them. With Growth and Shrinking, we've either just stayed away from them, or limited them to relative human scale (a couple levels only, either side).


I've yet to see any ideas that actually make the size/mass changing work well.

Simply add a x2 Vulnerability to all body if you want more real for small and Damage Reduction for larger...

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Long Limbs: you have limbs longer than normal - this increases your reach, and if you want to walk normally, increases your height. These limbs are not particularly flexible - if you want flexible limbs, buy stretching.

 

for X points you can double the reach of your limbs [y] for arms only, [z] for legs only. the limitation is that the range penalty at the range of your limbs apply to attacking any target inside that range.

 

(this is why giants find it hard to attack people once they get inside their range)

 

these penalties can be reduced by buying big hands/feet

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12 hours ago, dsatow said:

I don't think the powers were designed for scale, but that doesn't mean you can't use the existing powers to get you the scale you want.  For instance, you can always link resistant defenses and damage reduction to growth to represent scale of attack issues.  Similarly, shrinking can be ladled with lots of limitations to increase the damage using limited power and side effects. 

 

You could also use Damage Negation. I created this for large vehicles.

 

Size Matters:  Damage Negation (-6 DCs Physical, -6 DCs Energy) (60 Active Points); Limited Power (Only vs generalized damage) (-1/2), Limited Power (Not vs AoE Attacks) (-0) (40 pts)

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19 hours ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

I think Growth would probably work best as a meta power like a talent: here's how you could build guys who get bigger.  Instead of a set power, just a suggestion of combined powers with a cost.

 

Sort of how Transfer could be brought back into the game.

I assumed that is the way Growth is bought now. I must have missed something.

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On ‎6‎/‎27‎/‎2018 at 12:36 PM, RDU Neil said:

 

 

As for the elegane of Body, it breaks down when it tries to parse the difference between "Body is what must be defeated to KILL a thing... vs Body is what must be defesated to DESTROY a thing"  A bullet can effectively kill, without doing much destruction to a body at all. Bigger attacks should actually destroy MORE of the human body, thus doing WAY more "Body damage" on a exponential level. Dying to small hole from a rifle shot vs. "Ludicrous gibs!" exploding in red mist? Body damage in general isn't good at simulating which is which.

 

"Okay, roll damage: 2d6+1 Killing. Roll locaition - you hit 13, Vitals. Okay, he's dead with a small hole in him."

 

"Okay, roll damage: 9d6 Killing. Actually, don't bother rolling, he's now a red mist."

 

 

Lucius Alexander

 

Did you see the hit location chart for the palindromedary?

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