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Killer Shrike

HS 6e is mechanically the best version of the rules; dissenting views welcome

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As the title says, I think 6e is the best version of the rules published. However, I see grumbling and shade thrown on it here and there by various posters on these hallowed forums. Now, as it happens, I am aware of the broad strokes of the most common gripes people voice, but in the interests of collation and collegial discourse, I invite people to forward their personal arguments as to why they do not feel that 6e is the best version of the rules. Please keep it polite and in the spirit of reasonable discussion, and if it comes to it, friendly disagreement.

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You are incorrect because your opinions are opinions and my opinions are facts.  As proof, I am of the opinion that my opinions are facts, therefore it is fact that my opinions are facts. 

Furthermore I am of the opinion that 6e's removal of the Lack of Weakness power was terrible since no longer can the GM respond to "I use Find Weakness on him" with "FOOL, DOCTOR DEFENESTRATION HAS NO WEAKNESS!".  Therefore 5e is objectively and unarguably superior to 6e in all ways. 

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Agreed.

 

I have not experienced the 1st through 3rd editions but I have experienced 4th through 6th.  While there are some things I dislike in 6th I think it is ultimately a good evolutionary step for the game overall.  

 

It seems like people like to rip on 6th though so to each their own.

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All the arguments have already been rehearsed, and are dependent on taste anyway, so there's nothing new to say here.

 

The lack of George Perez art is an objective fact, but I'm not sure it counts as "mechanically". :(

 

OK, so while there's nothing new to say here, I'll say the old stuff one more time:

 

6e (and 5e, really) are, for me, beyond the point of diminishing returns. In fact, it would be fair to say I haven't read either of them, except to look up specific points.

 

I nearly wrote: "If I hadn't been playing since 1e, I wouldn't be able to play the game." The problem with that is that I learned to play 1e through playing with other people who had already read the rules. (I read the rules after that.) But still, at some point, somebody has to read the rules first, especially if the game is to spread beyond its existing base, and the rules are a splendid case of tl;dr.

 

One of the reasons for that tl;dr is that, for any particular game, most of the rules are irrelevant.

 

Learning to play a Hero System based game from the 6e rules is like trying to learn English from a dictionary.

 

There has to be a better way.

Justice Inc. was probably the closest to getting it right - a good blend of clarity, brevity and flavour.

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I agree that 6th shouldn't be discounted as one of the best but there are a number of broken items.

  • Changing Force Wall to Barrier created an effectiveness problem in that you can easily entrap people in circular wars with high amounts of BODY and no defenses.  While tunneling does get around the issue, not every superhero or character should have some form of tunneling.
  • Growth uses almost the same level of disadvantage for size as Density Increase uses but the disadvantage of Growth increase as you get bigger and bigger but the complication cost calculated into the power remains the same.  A -2 DCV isn't the same as a -4 DCV nor a -6 DCV.  In older versions of growth, the cost was linear but the current version after the second level of growth, the change in cost leaps due to the cost of AoE Strength.
  • The merger of multiple attack with multiple move by has broken many speedster builds.  Now, doing a multiple move by drops your DCV by 1/2 regardless of the number of targets.  

Some other problems that have existed prior to 6th:

  • Flying Dodge is the ultimate dive for cover/defense move.  It better than a normal dodge, you can abort to it, you get a full movement while doing it and you are considered to be standing at the end of it (no longer prone).
  • Because martial arts are so cheap, many move by artists will buy a passing strike, charge, et al. rather than use move by or move through  The maneuvers do not have the take 1/2 or 1/3 damage rules to them and better CVs.
  • Change environment ability to enforce an ability roll can be problematic.  The classic example is an oil slick.  Its fairly easy to create a large slippery area with a -6 to a Dex roll or fall for fairly cheap.

Finally, there are items in 6th which people don't like which seems, at least to me, to be personal taste:

  • No more find weakness/lack of weakness.
  • No more figured stats.
  • Penetrating requiring a impenetrable as a defense instead of hardened.
  • Damage Negation.

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Here are my anti-6th edition opinions. Don’t know, and don’t care if they change your opinions.

 

1st edition thru 5th edition are basically the same game. 6th edition goes it’s own way. This is from a simulation type game to a more general gamist type of game.

 

1) Getting rid of figured characteristics. What is gained vs. what is lost? The mathematics become slightly simpler, for sure, but how many people still use Hero Designer? If the majority of players use HD that simplicity of mathematics is lost.

 

2) nerfing of Killing Damage. The Stun Multiplier goes from 1-5 tom1-3 and the PD/ED now removes from all damage both Killing and Normal. I don’t know about Hit Locations, they remain unchanged which doesn’t really make sense to me...

 

3) hexes get switched to meters. Hexes allow players to know exact distances, while meters only work for those born or used to using the metric system. I understand that many players use TotM when playing Hero System, but removing hexes and the exact patterns of area-effects that come using a hex grid and we have to ask, “why do we worry about exact distances when using meters?”

 

I am tired and my heart is not into being so anti-HERO so I will stop here. There are other nits to pick but why bother.

 

 

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20 minutes ago, LouisGoncey said:

Here are my anti-6th edition opinions. Don’t know, and don’t care if they change your opinions.

 

1st edition thru 5th edition are basically the same game. 6th edition goes it’s own way. This is from a simulation type game to a more general gamist type of game.

 

1) Getting rid of figured characteristics. What is gained vs. what is lost? The mathematics become slightly simpler, for sure, but how many people still use Hero Designer? If the majority of players use HD that simplicity of mathematics is lost.

 

I would say balance is gained.  I would, however, have supported a sidebar on keeping Figureds, and the adjusted cost of the Primaries if they came with those Figured's.  The price of DEX would rise dramatically under that model, of course.  STR and CON probably not as much, as their Figureds were repriced more in line with their value.

 

20 minutes ago, LouisGoncey said:

2) nerfing of Killing Damage. The Stun Multiplier goes from 1-5 tom1-3 and the PD/ED now removes from all damage both Killing and Normal. I don’t know about Hit Locations, they remain unchanged which doesn’t really make sense to me...

 

KAs were far too effective at pushing STUN past defenses - much better than normal attacks. Not sure the 1 - 3 was the best fix, but some fix was needed.

 

The issue did not seem to arise when using hit locations, perhaps because normal damage also got multipliers.

 

20 minutes ago, LouisGoncey said:

3) hexes get switched to meters. Hexes allow players to know exact distances, while meters only work for those born or used to using the metric system. I understand that many players use TotM when playing Hero System, but removing hexes and the exact patterns of area-effects that come using a hex grid and we have to ask, “why do we worry about exact distances when using meters?”

 

Actual distances seem more intuitive than hexes, and hexes are not "exact distances".  How do the patterns change?  They are still the same shapes. 

 

I've never quite grasped why those so opposed to metric can't change "meter" to "yard" and be just as happy.

 

But then, I've never understood why a nation that fought a war of independence still clings to a measurement system based on the size of an appendage of some bygone monarch of the nation they gained independence from.

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5 hours ago, LouisGoncey said:

2) nerfing of Killing Damage. The Stun Multiplier goes from 1-5 tom1-3 and the PD/ED now removes from all damage both Killing and Normal. I don’t know about Hit Locations, they remain unchanged which doesn’t really make sense to me...

 

Oh, I forgot about the Stun Mod nerf!

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"change my mind" is just "convince me" with different words. And "convince me" is a trolling technique. A variant of the "shifting goalpost" approach, wich I define as "undefined goalpost". 948118328_ConvinceMe.jpg.6bf2fd4229e2cad52ccb43283b80cc0a.jpg

 

8 hours ago, LouisGoncey said:

 

 

 

Intersting point. Never thought about that :D

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I like 6e, but there are a few changes that I felt were not conducive to Fantasy Hero play.

 

1-  Encumbrance being based on strength means you can run around in full plate with effectively zero penalty.  Just watch an episode of Knight Fight to see what a full suit of armor does to DCV and END costs.  They do 90s rounds and the knights are dripping sweat and gasping for air after the 1st round.

2-  Fourth Edition had the right idea with weapon costs.  STR min has to be based on weapon effectiveness or any sensible player will cherry pick the best item.  6e dropped the +1 to hit inherent in almost all swords and retained it only for great swords.  Why would anyone use a STR min 12 sword instead of a str min 10 mace when they do exactly the same damage?

3-  Barrier being a power you can abort to makes anyone with that spell/power nigh invulnerable.  Compounding that with the created barriers being persistent for no extra cost means you can build your own castle in a couple hours.  I've had to GM alter it to cost end to maintain and be limited to INT/5 instances with BODY max = to 1/2 highest of PD/ED to keep it halfway civilized.

 

There are things I like a lot about 6e, but the rule books are MASSIVE.  Normal players are not going to choke through those things to learn how to play.

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1 hour ago, Toxxus said:

  Just watch an episode of Knight Fight to see what a full suit of armor does to DCV and END costs.  They do 90s rounds and the knights are dripping sweat and gasping for air after the 1st round.

 

90 seconds!? But that's like over 7 turns!? Of course they're tired. ;D ;D ;D

 

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I guess I'd be wondering "Mechanically" "Best" for....what?

 

Resolved: Any version of (almost) any RPG has rules that you can run a game with. (the actual important thing, playing the game)

Resolved: Any version of (almost) any RPGs rules will not survive contact with the enemy\players. (the less important thing, because rules will always be adjusted)

Resolved: The actual in-game stuff, specific to the group\characters\genre\setting\play-style, will be much more impactful than the actual rules.

Resolved: Running games is the actual thing that really matters.

 

 

So then, for 6e, what is it best at? And "best" compared to...?

 

What can I do with 6e that I can't do with 4e (or 5e\5er) that will improve or effect most\some\the "average" game? What's "best" about it?

 

I'd say 6e makes character creation slightly more complex for us Hero System veterans and somewhat more complex for new folks.

 

Resolved: Old-heads don't really matter to be honest. We'll modify things as we see fit. We're comfortable with the rules already.

 

So in this sense then 6e introduces complexity that...was anybody asking for this? Did old-timers find Figured Char and un-decoupled Dex\Ego CV so constrictive we couldn't run the games we needed to run?

 

Introducing complexity to a rules system and providing no real benefit to either new folks, or old folks, doesn't seem "best".

 

The 6e stuff in general makes sense as a logical end point of the 4e beginnings. IMHO at least.

 

But I don't think it really does much of anything to enhance average\general game play. IMHO again.

 

I also think, I mean, you know, essentially only us weird folks that give a funk about the rules actually read, post, care about the rules. So it's mostly going to be idiosyncrasy in terms of "best" rules version.

 

To me the advantages (+2?) of Hero are:

 

I can build stuff I want instead of picking stuff from lists that other people thought up.

A fairly clean and universal game engine (not char gen) that you only learn once.

 

6e added more fiddly bits to the "building stuff you want" but didn't really allow me to build stuff I couldn't already build.

The game engine doesn't seem to have changed significantly.

 

So...I can put time in to learning the differences in rules versions so I can...run the games I'm already running? Is that the best use of my time?

 

 

But...change your mind?

Well, sure, how about: What kind of games are you running now in 6e that you couldn't ever do before? How has 6e changed the actual games you are actually running for the better?

 

I will speculate baselessly that: A) You run fun games that your players enjoy and B ) You ran fun games in 4e and 5e as well.

 

So...for any additional work that would go in to learning the updated system, re-stating anything that needs re-stated, what's the IRL fun or ease of use that you're getting with 6e that you don't with 4e?

 

Like...just cost\benefit if I spend X hours learning rules and stuff which doesn't make actual game play better then couldn't I have spent those same hours running games, prepping for games, writing up stats and NPCs (I realize you, Killer Shrike, have stated up a bazillion NPCs and PCs and every other gawddamn thing under the sun, but you know what I mean) then...is it best?

 

Or maybe you meant specifically 6e is the best *Mechanically* of all Hero versions. IN which case...can you MAKE *your* case for that? What are the mechanics in 6e that improve over 5e in terms of game play?

 

 

 

 

 

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As much as I would love to jump in here and pretend we could change your mind, I recently discovered HERO Basic was available in print, and found a print copy for sale. 

 

When it arrives, I intend to work reading it around my scanning project (somehow). 

 

As much as I detest 6e, I want to see if the presentation in  Basic changes _my_ mind. 

 

Sure: I am an opinionated crotchety old curmudgeon.  But I pride myself on being as fair as I can, and as open minded as I can. 

 

 

Duke

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9 hours ago, Christopher said:

"change my mind" is just "convince me" with different words. And "convince me" is a trolling technique. A variant of the "shifting goalpost" approach, wich I define as "undefined goalpost". 

 

Well if you think that I am a troll rather than a long standing supporter for the game and those who play it, and that I am trolling rather than asking people who don't like 6e to itemize the problems they have with the ruleset that cause them to express a general dislike for it at one end of the spectrum up to using terms like "detest" at that other end of the spectrum, then you misunderstand me.


I'm not attempting to troll you (or anyone else) Christopher. I've been away from these board for a while, and coming back to it I notice a trend with the posters currently active where a noticeable subgroup seem to hold 6e in poor regard. As the opening post stipulates, I want to start a friendly forum for reasonable discussion for people to put forth their talking points for why some other version of the rules is a better version of the rules.

 

You are of course free to not participate in the discussion if you don't want to, but popping in to participate by accusing me of trolling seems counterproductive on the one hand or perhaps some might say a bit trollish in and of itself on the other. Name calling has a tendency to propagate, I suppose. But if you have an opinion about why 6e is not the best mechanical version of the rules, I would like to hear it if you would take the time to type it out.

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1 hour ago, TranquiloUno said:

I'd say 6e makes character creation slightly more complex for us Hero System veterans and somewhat more complex for new folks.

 

....

 

So in this sense then 6e introduces complexity that...was anybody asking for this? Did old-timers find Figured Char and un-decoupled Dex\Ego CV so constrictive we couldn't run the games we needed to run?

 

Introducing complexity to a rules system and providing no real benefit to either new folks, or old folks, doesn't seem "best".

 

You seem of the opinion that using Figured Characteristics is "simple" and not using them is "complex." I note that this is not a universal opinion.

 

Lucius Alexander

 

I am of the opinion that every tagline of mine should include at least one palindromedary. This is probably not a universal opinion but I happen not to care.

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For me and how I run the game, the changes introduced in 6e are fine: they're neither good nor bad on the whole.

 

I just find that, as I get older, new editions need to offer me something compelling before I'll adopt them. 6e didn't do that for me.

 

For those whose way of running the game meant they needed the changes, I understand why they prefer that edition. That's just not the case for me.

 

But for GMs interested in trying out HERO System? I always recommend Champions Complete. It's the solid 6e ruleset, but in a more reasonable package.

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Just now, Lucius said:

 

You seem of the opinion that using Figured Characteristics is "simple" and not using them is "complex." I note that this is not a universal opinion.

 

Lucius Alexander

 

I am of the opinion that every tagline of mine should include at least one palindromedary. This is probably not a universal opinion but I happen not to care.

 

 

First: I really admire your dedication to themed sigs! :)

 

Next:

In that Figured will assume non-default values relative to the primary characteristics I find them simpler.

In that a player now has additional choices that they MUST make I find that more complex. But, again, mostly for new people.

An experienced player might not really notice or care that they have to buy non-default DECV separate from OECV (or whatever).

 

I can't really...I don't really see the point in getting too in to the weeds on theoreticals but if I'm a new player and want to play a Mentalist then I just have to see Ego, realize that's "the mindpower stat" and dump points there (in 4th\5th).

In 6e they'd need to know how both the stat value and the DECV and OECV are likely to figure in to combat calculations\power effects and figure out where to buy them at.

 

I don't think it's a HUGE OBSTACLE to....you know, anything, differences between versions are so small as to be nearly ignorable or disappear in to house rules and such, I just think it's somewhat more complex for a theoretical new person.

 

I realize that part of the charm of Hero is doing your own thing your way. I don't think that super needs to be restated a lot for experienced players (ie, everybody on these forums).

So to make D&D comparisons seems...tenuous. That said: In D&D if I want to be a warrior I put my points in Str and I'm (basically) done. In 5e I put my points in Str and Con and I'm basically done. Sure, sure, combat levels, non-default Dex values, etc. It's Hero after all.

But if I have to figure out, as a new player, both where to put my points in stats and then also where to put my other points in other stats, the relationship of which might not be clear (like in 4th Dex 15 = pretty good in a fight, in 6e...what is a good OCV\DCV? What's my scale of comparison? (as a new player)).

 

Like I said, I dunno if it is worth getting to deep in to how a theoretical new player might find things, but at the same time I think looking at how it effects experienced players isn't AS big an issue (I know OCV\DCV 5 is a middling value and decent for Fantasy Hero, or whatever).

 

I think that for new players it's good to have some guides for things in the system.

To use White Wolf as an example the stats are from one to five "dots". So I can know my Dex of 3 dots is pretty good and my Dex + Gun is 6 dots and that's good too.

I think Hero can be...problematic for new folks, even experienced gamers (not experienced *Hero System* gamersm but well rounded experienced in other systems gamers) because of it's free form nature.

 

"What do you want to play? It can be ANYTHING!?!??!?!!?!?!!", leads to, "Ok, but, like...what should\can I play?".

 

Decoupling figured char, to me, seems to make that kind of guideline less clear, potentially, to new folks. While at the same time not providing real benefits to experienced folks.

 

But it's pretty minor. It just seems to add complexity (additional things to track and spent points on, instead of having those things effectively auto-scale with the stats) over 4e.

 

 

Ultimately, of course, you are correct. My opinion is probably not universal.

But then it comes back to what I'm asking Killer Shrike: What makes 6e "the best" mechanically for....?

 

New folks? Old heads? Perfect abstracted char-gen? Actually playing the danged game?

 

As I said before: 6e seems like a very logical end point of the Hero System based on 4e ideas.

To me as a Hero player\GM...that's fine, but also...it doesn't add anything to my player\GM toolbox.

I get nothing functional from 6e as a player (maybe I'm not just making insanely complex enough builds and fiddling my DEVC\OEVC bits enough or something).

And I get detriments, when trying to get new folks to dig on the rules, as a GM, while, again, not really gaining anything.

 

To me, personally.

 

So for Killer Shrike to make his case for how\why 6e is mechanically "best" I'd be interested in hearing what is gained, in games, in actual play, in 6e over 4e\5e\r.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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17 minutes ago, TranquiloUno said:

 

 

First: I really admire your dedication to themed sigs! :)

 

 

 

Thank you. My palindromedary taglines are handcrafted and unique by design.

 

17 minutes ago, TranquiloUno said:

Lots of Great STuff I don't plan to repeat!

 

Thank you, that was very clear and well argued.

 

Lucius Alexander

 

Now if I could just always wrangle the tagline into the right part of the post.....

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