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Killer Shrike

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

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Free equipment is far more unbalancing in a Fantasy setting than a Modern one. Buying spells and powers while others get weapons for free is a character tax on combat effectiveness and I've seen very few games where  a character can afford to be useless in combat rather than outside of it.

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Massey is being generous when he says 'it went over like a lead balloon', see, I watched Mythbusters, they made a lead balloon (specifically a zeppelin) and it flew. I have not seen a 6th edition game.

Edited by SpaceknightFenix
Tired, forgot a bit.

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9 hours ago, massey said:

Then let's set the rest of that discussion aside, since ultimately we agree on this point. 

 

I am eager to do so.

 

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I was attempting to show how it was costed correctly before, and it's not now. 

 

"Correct" is an altogether more loaded term.  You showed how it was costed differently than before, which was not in doubt. 

 

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And I think it's indicative of a larger pattern.

 

And, again, feel free to present other elements of this pattern you allege for discussion.

 

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On 2/11/2019 at 5:54 PM, massey said:

My favorite character was in a concept game where we had unlimited points.  We told the GM what we wanted and he built the characters for us.  It was in a mixed Marvel/DC world where we were playing descendants of the original heroes.  Not an End Reserve in sight.  That's why I said I wasn't here trying to save a beloved character.

 

I really don't want to quibble about trivialities, but what you actually wrote was: "I'm not upset that my favorite character is now unusable.

 

It's been a little while since I received my grammar school indoctrination into the proper way to structure a sentence, but I'm pretty sure if what you meant to say was you did not have a favorite character rendered unusable and therefore you are not upset, a clearer way to say that would have been:

 

"My favorite character was unaffected and therefore I am not upset" or "I am not upset, as none of my favorite characters were affected", or something along those lines.

 

Whereas "I'm not upset that my favorite character is now unusable." would seem to suggest that your favorite character is now unusable but you are not upset about it.

 

Similar to "I'm not upset that my favorite team lost" or "I'm not upset that my car is totaled" or "I'm not upset that I wasn't offered the position".

 

It's all well to mean one thing and jumble the intent when typing in a hurry, we all do it from time to time. But it's another thing to pretend that people reacting to what you typed vs what you meant is on them. 

 

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Hugh Neilson (who has posted quite a bit above) was, I believe, part of the crew who helped make the changes that lead to 6th edition.  He posted his own commentary a page or so back.  I think we've got evidence in this very thread of "what they were thinking".

 

You continue to cling to the narrative that 6e was designed via a committee. I responded to this the first time you mentioned it, and others have debunked it as well. 

 

More to the task, whether it was or wasn't designed by committee is entirely irrelevant to the points you are trying to make. So, it doesn't help your position to keep returning to that premise, it only undermines it with misinformation. I don't understand why you would revisit the idea.

 

As feedback, I find you more persuasive and interesting to debate with when you stick to facts and avoid wild supposition. 

 

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I said earlier that Steve Long didn't follow the original design philosophy that was present in 4th edition and earlier.  I stand by that 100%. 

 

To which I responded in depth.  I feel like we're just resetting to where we started. We're back to committees and agendas and rogue philosophies. We were making good progress forward, why are we going back to rehash your original position?

 

 

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Now he doesn't have to, he bought the game.  He can do with it what he wants. 

 

Steve Long did not buy the game. A group of individuals formed a company called DoJ and that company acquired the assets of Hero Games. I'm not sure if Steve is a partial owner or a contractor or an employee, or some combination thereof. 

 

It is irrelevant however, as the role that actually matters for purposes of discussions about 6e core and its authorship is this:

 

image.png.24b328872ea9a1c47a6be691f258fc8d.png

 

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But as a result, what we've really got are two different systems layered on top of one another. 

 

You've said this before.

 

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In that sense, it's "arbitrary".  I'll give you an important example. In 4th edition and earlier, the question was often proposed "How do you make a dragon who can do a claw/claw/bite?" The answer was "buy it a higher Speed".  I don't know if you can find one of the 4th ed FAQs around anymore, but that was the answer that was always given. 

 

You can still do that in 5e and 6e if you like.

 

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In 5th edition and later, we got the Rapid Attack maneuver. 

 

And? Establish why that is problematic. 

 

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We got Multiple Power Attack.  We got the ability to use multiple martial art maneuvers as part of the same action.  This was a fundamental change to the nature of the system. 

 

Actually, as was mentioned previously, supposedly Multiple Power Attacks were always implicitly allowed by the rules, and 5e just made it explicit. I was taken aback as well back when 5e came out, but I went back to 4e and couldn't find anything prohibiting it and in fact if I recall correctly there was something Linked related that supported the notion that it was permitted. 

 

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Some players really liked these changes, and some players didn't, but it was a clear difference from the "1 phase = 1 action" mentality that preceded it.

 

Hold on. A Rapid Attack is 1 action (a 1/2 Phase Action, technically ). An MPA is 1 action. Please clarify what you actually meant.

 

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The 5th edition multiple martial art maneuver rules were so broken that we just had to say "no, that's ridiculous".  Too many legsweep/grab/nerve strike/joint break combos. 

 

Do you perhaps mean Multiple Attack martial art combos?  I'm going to assume so.

 

A few things here:

  • Multiple Attack is a caution sign ability
  • Multiple Attack is optional, collectively and individually
  • A Multiple Attack with maneuvers imposes the worst OCV and DCV modifiers of the maneuvers used.

I am curious to see which combos you found "ridiculous", though.

 

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The Hero System took a sharp turn towards increasing offensive firepower.

 

Well, or offered more options other than just "buy more SPD".

 

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12 hours ago, massey said:

Mine is much better, because I wake up a full phase earlier.  You aren't getting up on your first phase, you're getting up on your second.  I can take another recovery if I want (so I'm getting to my feet at the same time as you) and then I've got 25 Stun and End.  That's probably plenty of End to get me to the next post-12.

 

That assumes you have a 20 REC, plus another 20 only when KOd.  I'd definitely be looking at how that compares with others in the game.  Your "other recovery", remember, does not get the extra REC only when KOd when you are not actually KOd.  Meanwhile, you are not getting the benefit of any abilities that the Reserve keeps powering while you are KOd, or even taking that recovery.

 

12 hours ago, massey said:

Let's agree that 6th edition didn't really improve things.  Overall I think the changes were poor, but I agree that things weren't perfect before.

 

 

I do not agree.  The fact (NOT opinion - fact) is that 6e moved much closer to balancing combat skill levels. 

 

That is not because it repriced CSLs, but because a character is no longer faced with the choice of an 8 point investment (IIRC, +1 level with all combat) to be allowed +1 OCV or +1 DCV (that must be activated) or half a DC when he could instead spend 9 points (really 6 as 3 are refunded from the reduced cost of SPD) to have +1 OCV and +1 DCV at all times.  That 8 points could be better if he also needed mental combat bonuses, I suppose, but another 6 points would give him +1 mOCV and mDCV, so a 12 point investment for +1 to all four at all times, versus 8 points for a choice of one at a time, or half a DC.

 

12 hours ago, massey said:

Sure.  But which character do you think is going to be the most effective overall?

 

 

That depends entirely on the game. 

 

What are the ramifications of shooting all your perps?  Are we role playing actual police officers, monitored by the media and the police force, or murder hobos who may freely slaughter their enemies? 

 

Ignoring the 10 points spent on either +10 STR or +5 OCV with the gun, how hard is it to hit a typical opponent?  In my experience, PCs like to hit more than they miss, so they buy enough OCV to typically connect on an 112-, at worst.  That's 62.5% of the time.  5 extra OCV means hitting about 95% of the time, so about 1 extra hit every three attacks.  Is that more valuable than getting an extra 7 STUN?  Again, depends on our assumptions.  If that extra 7 STUN means frequently costing the opponent his next action because he is stunned. that seems very meaningful.  I suppose Bob can target hit locations, but I am thinking a police officer with a steady stream of head shots on minor thugs is going to attract some media attention.  "Police brutality" screams the press.

 

When we do not have our equipment for in-game reasons, Bob has +10 STR and John has useless skill levels.  When we are suspended while under investigation for improper conduct, which seems pretty common in police dramas, Bob has +10 STR and John has +5 OCV with a weapon currently locked up in the police station.  When Bob tries to keep a perp from fleeing, his Grab has an extra 10 STR to retain his hold.

 

It seems like which ability is better depends a lot on the situation, and the game itself.  Much like 10 points spent on Swimming is a lot more valuable in a Pirates game than a Desert Nomads game.

 

11 hours ago, massey said:

 

Good enough for me.  Shows which way his thoughts were going.  And I think it's very different from the reasoning in 4th and before.

 

 

What is your source for the reasoning in 4th or before?  It feels like you are intuiting that reasoning.  Like KS, I find it less than likely that END Reserve was priced based on using a "this power is exhausting to use" limitation which is then offset by "I will massively cut the cost of END required for this power by buying a reserve".

 

If the original authors had END perfectly balanced, or believed they did, why did it change from 1 END/5 AP to 1 END/10 AP between 1st and 4th?  Why did END Reserve evolve from a limitation that saved points to a separate power that cost points over that same period?

 

I agree with KS that who designed the system, or how, is less relevant than how the mechanics compare.  I find the designer's thought process useful in assessing what the change was intended to accomplish, but that's about it.

 

I will also note that I consider "you can build this in several different ways, each with a very similar, if not identical, cost" is mechanically superior to "you can build this in several different ways, each with a very different cost", especially in a game whose premise is "you get what you pay for" rather than "you win by exploiting synergies and avoiding build traps".  I will also suggest the original designers shared the view that similar abilities should have similar costs.  Look at the evolution of defenses + damage resistance, armor and force field from 1e to 4e for one example.

 

With three authors, I think earlier editions were designed by a committee.  They clearly recognized methods by which the game could be improved, or there would have been no changes between 1e and 2e.

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TERMINOLOGY and other comments on "multiple" maneuvers:

 

A Multiple Power Attack (5e) is now a Combined Attack (6e).  It is a single attack with more than one power (like a Blast and a Flash) and is no different than a Strike.  As KS notes, it was believed by many to always have been legal, but never explicitly stated in the rules until 5e.

 

A Multiple Attack is a single action allowing more than one attack against the same, or different, targets.  This has been in the game since 1st edition, but was available only for the Move By maneuver until 5e (?).  Kind of like most combat maneuvers were only available for HTH attacks for many editions. 

 

[I think 5e based on the context - I thought we were able to do these before 5e, but I may be misrecalling.]

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37 minutes ago, Hugh Neilson said:

A Multiple Attack is a single action allowing more than one attack against the same, or different, targets.  This has been in the game since 1st edition, but was available only for the Move By maneuver until 5e (?).  Kind of like most combat maneuvers were only available for HTH attacks for many editions. 

 

I'm pretty sure the original Danger International had the rule that eventually became Multiple Attack for firing a gun more than once. I don't have the book with me at the moment, but I remember playing with that rule back then... but it was 30 plus years ago, so take that for what you will.

 

 

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As I convert my 2nd D&D table to HERO (Fantasy Hero) there are a couple of things that really stand out.

 

I see why they lowered the stun multiplier on killing attacks - Had a lightning bolt (RKA 2d6+1 AoE Line) nearly flatline two party members with a max stun multiplier.  1d3 feels too low (averages 2), but even with 1d6-1 averaging 2.5 the potential to pull a 5x at a 16.67% chance is much too good compared to Hit Locations where your chance to get a 5x is under 5%. 

 

I'm seriously considering having custom dice made that run 1,2,2,3,3,4 to make this a little more predictable.

 

Why weren't the stun multiples on the Hit Location chart changed at all when the stun multiplier was changed from 1d6-1 to 1d3?

 

Barrier is too good - I've had to nerf it to have the earth bender be limited to a number of barrier instances limited by INT/5.  Being able to abort to throw up a wall against incoming attacks is several times better than block, dodge or dive for cover.

 

I miss Transfer.

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2 hours ago, Hugh Neilson said:

 

That assumes you have a 20 REC, plus another 20 only when KOd.  I'd definitely be looking at how that compares with others in the game.  Your "other recovery", remember, does not get the extra REC only when KOd when you are not actually KOd.  Meanwhile, you are not getting the benefit of any abilities that the Reserve keeps powering while you are KOd, or even taking that recovery.

 

 

You'll want to do your math again.  The character doesn't have a 20 Rec.  The character would have +20 Rec.

 

Your example had a character with a 12 Rec, who was dropped to -19 Stun.  On post-12, you get a recovery and go up to -7.  Then at the end of your next segment (let's say segment 3) you get another recovery and you wake up at the end with 5 Stun.

 

My character would also have a 12 Rec, and he's also dropped to -19 Stun.  But on post-12, he's got an additional 20 Recovery.  He gets 32 back, and at the beginning of Segment 3 he's awake at 13 Stun.  Then he has a full Segment 3 to work with, which may involve taking a recovery, bringing him up to 25 total.  The same number of recoveries are being taken, and the character gets 20 more.  So if one person is at 5 Stun, the other would be at 25.

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3 hours ago, Hugh Neilson said:

 

I do not agree.  The fact (NOT opinion - fact) is that 6e moved much closer to balancing combat skill levels. 

 

That is not because it repriced CSLs, but because a character is no longer faced with the choice of an 8 point investment (IIRC, +1 level with all combat) to be allowed +1 OCV or +1 DCV (that must be activated) or half a DC when he could instead spend 9 points (really 6 as 3 are refunded from the reduced cost of SPD) to have +1 OCV and +1 DCV at all times.  That 8 points could be better if he also needed mental combat bonuses, I suppose, but another 6 points would give him +1 mOCV and mDCV, so a 12 point investment for +1 to all four at all times, versus 8 points for a choice of one at a time, or half a DC.

 

 

Skill level costs deserve more analysis than I can give them right now.  It also directly ties into the costs of characteristics, which I've avoided up to this point.  I'll agree that 8 point levels were too expensive.  I disagree that they got better in 6th.  And again there's a big problem that 2 point levels now apply to every kind of maneuver you can do with a weapon.

 

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That depends entirely on the game. 

 

What are the ramifications of shooting all your perps?  Are we role playing actual police officers, monitored by the media and the police force, or murder hobos who may freely slaughter their enemies? 

 

Ignoring the 10 points spent on either +10 STR or +5 OCV with the gun, how hard is it to hit a typical opponent?  In my experience, PCs like to hit more than they miss, so they buy enough OCV to typically connect on an 112-, at worst.  That's 62.5% of the time.  5 extra OCV means hitting about 95% of the time, so about 1 extra hit every three attacks.  Is that more valuable than getting an extra 7 STUN?  Again, depends on our assumptions.  If that extra 7 STUN means frequently costing the opponent his next action because he is stunned. that seems very meaningful.  I suppose Bob can target hit locations, but I am thinking a police officer with a steady stream of head shots on minor thugs is going to attract some media attention.  "Police brutality" screams the press.

 

When we do not have our equipment for in-game reasons, Bob has +10 STR and John has useless skill levels.  When we are suspended while under investigation for improper conduct, which seems pretty common in police dramas, Bob has +10 STR and John has +5 OCV with a weapon currently locked up in the police station.  When Bob tries to keep a perp from fleeing, his Grab has an extra 10 STR to retain his hold.

 

It seems like which ability is better depends a lot on the situation, and the game itself.  Much like 10 points spent on Swimming is a lot more valuable in a Pirates game than a Desert Nomads game.

 

 

Now that's entirely correct, and is the whole reason for the heroic level discussion.  Heroic games have too many unknowns.

 

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What is your source for the reasoning in 4th or before?  It feels like you are intuiting that reasoning.  Like KS, I find it less than likely that END Reserve was priced based on using a "this power is exhausting to use" limitation which is then offset by "I will massively cut the cost of END required for this power by buying a reserve".

 

If the original authors had END perfectly balanced, or believed they did, why did it change from 1 END/5 AP to 1 END/10 AP between 1st and 4th?  Why did END Reserve evolve from a limitation that saved points to a separate power that cost points over that same period?

 

I agree with KS that who designed the system, or how, is less relevant than how the mechanics compare.  I find the designer's thought process useful in assessing what the change was intended to accomplish, but that's about it.

 

 

Definitely intuiting how they priced it.  One of the first things I did when I was a happy little powergamer was slap Increased End on a power and then buy up an End Reserve to pay for it.  And lo and behold, it tracks very closely with the cost of Charges.  You don't really gain much at all.  That's not accidental.

 

And I'm saying the authors got it right when they got to 4th edition.

 

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I will also note that I consider "you can build this in several different ways, each with a very similar, if not identical, cost" is mechanically superior to "you can build this in several different ways, each with a very different cost", especially in a game whose premise is "you get what you pay for" rather than "you win by exploiting synergies and avoiding build traps".  I will also suggest the original designers shared the view that similar abilities should have similar costs.  Look at the evolution of defenses + damage resistance, armor and force field from 1e to 4e for one example.

 

With three authors, I think earlier editions were designed by a committee.  They clearly recognized methods by which the game could be improved, or there would have been no changes between 1e and 2e.

 

I also consider "build it in different ways, each with a similar cost" to be a mark of great game design.  And that's why I've spent half the damn thread talking about the cost relationship between End Reserve and Charges.

 

I don't care about earlier editions.  For me, this thread is all about 6th ed vs 4th ed.

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5 hours ago, Killer Shrike said:

snip arguments unrelated to game mechanics

 

And? Establish why that is problematic. 

 

 

Actually, as was mentioned previously, supposedly Multiple Power Attacks were always implicitly allowed by the rules, and 5e just made it explicit. I was taken aback as well back when 5e came out, but I went back to 4e and couldn't find anything prohibiting it and in fact if I recall correctly there was something Linked related that supported the notion that it was permitted. 

 

 

Hold on. A Rapid Attack is 1 action (a 1/2 Phase Action, technically ). An MPA is 1 action. Please clarify what you actually meant.

 

 

Do you perhaps mean Multiple Attack martial art combos?  I'm going to assume so.

 

A few things here:

  • Multiple Attack is a caution sign ability
  • Multiple Attack is optional, collectively and individually
  • A Multiple Attack with maneuvers imposes the worst OCV and DCV modifiers of the maneuvers used.

I am curious to see which combos you found "ridiculous", though.

 

 

Well, or offered more options other than just "buy more SPD".

 

 

 

Speed is the most powerful characteristic in the game.  That's why it's also the most expensive.  Anything that allows you to function as if your Speed were higher is (potentially) incredibly powerful.  The Talents that allow for additional attacks have a set cost of 10 points apiece.  This becomes more and more powerful the higher your Speed, as it lets you "double up" your attacks on more phases.

 

Multiple Power Attack has been implied in Hero since at least 4th edition (no need to revisit The Great Linked Debate).  But it was always an inefficient choice -- two 10D6 Energy Blasts are inferior to one 20D6 Energy Blast.  That was the case until 5th edition, where you could buy an additional focus for +5 points.  10D6 Energy Blast OAF (25 points) + second focus (5 points) gives you two 10D6 attacks for the cost of one 12D6 attack (assuming it would also be an OAF).  That's a significant increase in power.

 

Perhaps you haven't seen characters that can really take advantage of these maneuvers.  It was all we saw.

 

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3 hours ago, RDU Neil said:

 

I'm pretty sure the original Danger International had the rule that eventually became Multiple Attack for firing a gun more than once. I don't have the book with me at the moment, but I remember playing with that rule back then... but it was 30 plus years ago, so take that for what you will.

 

 

Danger International had Double Fire as an optional combat maneuver that anyone could use; Fantasy Hero 1st edition had Double Sling Fire, Prepared Arrow Fire, and Sweep as combat maneuvers that characters could buy for 3 points each.  These were effectively Multiple Attack; Double Fire was literally two shots, which could be taken at the same or different targets, but Sweep would allow a character to attack as many targets as he could reach, explicitly a maximum of one attack per target.  The Double Sling and Prepared Arrow didn't specify how many targets.  

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I've allowed my players to use multiple attack in Fantasy Hero with some limitations (large weapons sweep adjacent targets, 1-hand and dual wielders get 2 attacks on 1 target), but I don't allow multiple-attack with powers, nor would I allow a multiple power attack.

 

Nobody wants to eat a Fireball, Lightning Bolt, Cloudkill, Cone of Cold mega-combo just because the attacking wizard is willing to pay END for all 4 moves up front.  This concept just annihilates any semblance of balance.

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14 minutes ago, Toxxus said:

I've allowed my players to use multiple attack in Fantasy Hero with some limitations (large weapons sweep adjacent targets, 1-hand and dual wielders get 2 attacks on 1 target), but I don't allow multiple-attack with powers, nor would I allow a multiple power attack.

 

And that's within the spirit of the rules for you to make decisions like that to find the tone you want.

 

14 minutes ago, Toxxus said:

Nobody wants to eat a Fireball, Lightning Bolt, Cloudkill, Cone of Cold mega-combo just because the attacking wizard is willing to pay END for all 4 moves up front.  This concept just annihilates any semblance of balance.

 

Well, if those are "spells" with casting requirements such as incantations, etc, 

 

If attacks have Power
Modifiers that are mutually exclusive — such as
Concentration, Gestures, or Incantations, each
of which prevents the simultaneous use of other
powers with the same Limitation — those attacks
may not be combined into a Multiple Attack.

 

 

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26 minutes ago, Chris Goodwin said:

 

Danger International had Double Fire as an optional combat maneuver that anyone could use; Fantasy Hero 1st edition had Double Sling Fire, Prepared Arrow Fire, and Sweep as combat maneuvers that characters could buy for 3 points each.  These were effectively Multiple Attack; Double Fire was literally two shots, which could be taken at the same or different targets, but Sweep would allow a character to attack as many targets as he could reach, explicitly a maximum of one attack per target.  The Double Sling and Prepared Arrow didn't specify how many targets.  

 

Right... Double Fire was what I was thinking about.

 

Sweep was in 4th Ed, and we used that a lot. I never played original Fantasy Hero, but played the ever-living crap out of 4th Ed FH. Probably my third favorite Hero book... 1) Danger International, 2) the BBB, 3) 4th Ed Fantasy Hero.

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11 hours ago, Grailknight said:

Free equipment is far more unbalancing in a Fantasy setting than a Modern one. Buying spells and powers while others get weapons for free is a character tax on combat effectiveness and I've seen very few games where  a character can afford to be useless in combat rather than outside of it.

 

I'm sure there has been one before, but I think I'll start a thread on the "free equipment" idea, because I agree it can be problematic, but it is also simpler, more intuitive, and how I play every HERO game, Superheroic or Heroic.

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23 minutes ago, Killer Shrike said:

Well, if those are "spells" with casting requirements such as incantations, etc, 

 

If attacks have Power
Modifiers that are mutually exclusive — such as
Concentration, Gestures, or Incantations, each
of which prevents the simultaneous use of other
powers with the same Limitation — those attacks
may not be combined into a Multiple Attack.

 

That's a fair point, but do you want to face an alchemist than can lob half a dozen exploding beads in a single titanic detonation?

 

Sorry guys, the alchemist used expendable OAFs that require brew time to replace so he doesn't have Inc, Gest, Conc.  Please make a Dive for Cover roll or eat 8d6 + 8d6 + 8d6 + 2.5d6K + 2.5d6k...

 

Allowing  multiples of the normal damage amount to occur all at once is going to be one hell of an alpha strike and one that I don't want players to endure nor build for themselves.

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7 minutes ago, Toxxus said:

 

That's a fair point, but do you want to face an alchemist than can lob half a dozen exploding beads in a single titanic detonation?

 

Sorry guys, the alchemist used expendable OAFs that require brew time to replace so he doesn't have Inc, Gest, Conc.  Please make a Dive for Cover roll or eat 8d6 + 8d6 + 8d6 + 2.5d6K + 2.5d6k...

 

Allowing  multiples of the normal damage amount to occur all at once is going to be one hell of an alpha strike and one that I don't want players to endure nor build for themselves.

How exactly is this character affording six+ 60 AP powers without being crippled in other areas?  Why didn't the GM stop this at chargen? 

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4 minutes ago, Gnome BODY (important!) said:

How exactly is this character affording six+ 60 AP powers without being crippled in other areas?  Why didn't the GM stop this at chargen? 

 

If you look at the Alchemist write-ups in the Grimoire they are massively limited by focus and brewing restrictions. 

They are powerful and CHEAP.  A character can easily afford this many powers and many more w/out needing to use a multipower.

 

Regardless, I would never allow multiple offensive spells to be used in a single phase regardless of limitations chosen.  It's just too much firepower and as soon as it was allowed - all casters would switch to that model.

 

 

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3 hours ago, massey said:

Speed is the most powerful characteristic in the game.  That's why it's also the most expensive.  Anything that allows you to function as if your Speed were higher is (potentially) incredibly powerful.  The Talents that allow for additional attacks have a set cost of 10 points apiece.  This becomes more and more powerful the higher your Speed, as it lets you "double up" your attacks on more phases.

 

You are confusing SPD with attacks and the application of effect to targets.

 

The end goal is to apply game effect against one or more targets. Often the game effect applied is a combination of BODY and STUN damage, in other cases the game effect applied takes a different form. 

 

An attack allows the application of game effect against one or more targets.

 

SPD quantifies how many actions a character gets per 12 seconds

 

An action can be used to make an attack. 

 

A character with more SPD can take more actions and therefore apply effect to more targets. That's all very simple and obvious. In the most basic case there is a ratio of 1:1:1 (1 SPD:1 Action:1 Target). Over the course of a given Turn (the time increment SPD is arrayed across), in the simple case, a character with 4 SPD could potentially apply effect to 4 different targets, or apply effect 4 times to one target, 2 and 2, etc, but at maximum 4 total applications of effect per Turn.

 

However the rules have long allowed this ratio to be altered by a character via various abilities. Autofire, Area of Effect, Triggered Effects, Sweep, Spreading, Two-weapon Fighting, Multiple Move Thru/By, Throw (one character into another), and force multipliers such as Duplication, Summon, or Followers, and so on are all ways in which a given character has been able to alter the ratio between their SPD characteristic and the number of application of effect to targets per Turn. 

 

You pretend that Rapid Attack or Multiple Power Attack (5e parlance) / Combined Attack (6e parlance) are somehow exceptional in this regard. If you are indeed willing to grant the point that MPA's were permitted in earlier editions, then it get's even more difficult to understand your position. 

 

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Multiple Power Attack has been implied in Hero since at least 4th edition (no need to revisit The Great Linked Debate).  But it was always an inefficient choice -- two 10D6 Energy Blasts are inferior to one 20D6 Energy Blast.  That was the case until 5th edition, where you could buy an additional focus for +5 points.  10D6 Energy Blast OAF (25 points) + second focus (5 points) gives you two 10D6 attacks for the cost of one 12D6 attack (assuming it would also be an OAF).  That's a significant increase in power.

 

You mean the optional doubling rule that a GM chooses to allow or not, and chooses to allow to be used to make multiple attacks with or not? 

 

At the GM’s option, characters in any type of
campaign may double the number of a particular
piece of equipment, weapon, or object they have
for +5 points.

...

Items of equipment bought with the 5-point
doubling rule are considered “separate” from
the original item. They’re distinct from each
other, each with its own identity and uses even if
they’re defined identically in HERO System rules
terms. Thus, a character could use two of them
for Two-Weapon Fighting, a Multiple Attack, or
the like. In the interest of game balance, common
sense, or dramatic sense, the GM may forbid any
uses of double-bought equipment that he deems
inappropriate.

 

Quote

Perhaps you haven't seen characters that can really take advantage of these maneuvers.  It was all we saw.

 

Or perhaps I understand what "optional" means, and how to exercise GM's discretion. 

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17 minutes ago, Toxxus said:

If you look at the Alchemist write-ups in the Grimoire they are massively limited by focus and brewing restrictions. 

They are powerful and CHEAP.  A character can easily afford this many powers and many more w/out needing to use a multipower.

I don't have access to that book.  How do they work, and if you say they're "powerful and CHEAP" doesn't that suggest they need their Limitations rechecked for validity? 

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22 minutes ago, Toxxus said:

That's a fair point, but do you want to face an alchemist than can lob half a dozen exploding beads in a single titanic detonation?

 

Sorry guys, the alchemist used expendable OAFs that require brew time to replace so he doesn't have Inc, Gest, Conc.  Please make a Dive for Cover roll or eat 8d6 + 8d6 + 8d6 + 2.5d6K + 2.5d6k...

 

Maybe not, but off hand it sounds like you might be "doing it wrong".

 

To change the context, would a soldier be able to throw 5 grenades as one action? Having thrown grenades in real life, my position would be "no, unless they were attached to a bandoleer, in which case it would not go very far or scatter very well". 

 

If I'm modeling something in the Hero System and end up with something that doesn't function the way I think it should in actual play, maybe some modifiers can be applied to dial it in more precisely. 

 

If you post the character sheet and campaign guidelines and how you define alchemy up in another thread, or hit up my email directly I'd be glad to look at what you've got and tender some advice. 

 

22 minutes ago, Toxxus said:

Allowing  multiples of the normal damage amount to occur all at once is going to be one hell of an alpha strike and one that I don't want players to endure nor build for themselves.

 

If you allow a fighter to "Sweep" (to use the old term) their broadsword through several enemies and that's ok, it gets a bit slippery to start fussing about other characters attempting to apply effect to multiple targets all at once in a similar way. If done deliberately, say to incentivize melee combat or to help counterbalance a martial / caster disparity caused by whatever magic system you are using, or because you are running a lower fantasy and want to favor non-magical solutions, etc, then ok...you're using the tools available to you to craft the campaign setting you want. That's good toolkitting.

 

But if done arbitrarily (there's that lovely word again) because a fighter hacking multiple foes with a mighty swing of their blade feels right to you and some other character effectively doing the same thing with a different sfx feels wrong, then you might allow (or require) a limitation to be applied to the abilities you don't want to be used in this way.

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29 minutes ago, Gnome BODY (important!) said:

I don't have access to that book.  How do they work, and if you say they're "powerful and CHEAP" doesn't that suggest they need their Limitations rechecked for validity? 

 

In a campaign where you may not have reliable access to rare ingredients or consistently be able get long rest periods it's balanced pretty well.  Basically after the charges are gone you have to buy new bottles, rare ingredients and then spend 6 hours brewing the potions.  If you fail your alchemy roll you do not get your charges back.  If the GM hand-waves that then it's broken.  They end up netting a -6 or more limitation on all of the powers so they're quite cost effective.

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31 minutes ago, Killer Shrike said:

If you allow a fighter to "Sweep" (to use the old term) their broadsword through several enemies and that's ok, it gets a bit slippery to start fussing about other characters attempting to apply effect to multiple targets all at once in a similar way. If done deliberately, say to incentivize melee combat or to help counterbalance a martial / caster disparity caused by whatever magic system you are using, or because you are running a lower fantasy and want to favor non-magical solutions, etc, then ok...you're using the tools available to you to craft the campaign setting you want. That's good toolkitting.

 

That's pretty much what I was shooting for.  The mage types all have AoE's which not only hit multiple opponents, but are often highly accurate since they're targeting DCV 3 hexes and not the higher defenses of individual targets.

 

I also have a maximum combat effectiveness spreadsheet that has hard campaign caps and a running total for each player.  So far it's working pretty well though it could use some tweaking.  I may post the sheet in the near future, but I was hoping I could get a hold of the Character Rating System from Adventurer's Club #3.  A couple guys online have pointed out that they have it, but nobody will share the article.  :(

 

My spreadsheet is based on a blurry memory of that AC #3 from 30+ years ago.

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5 hours ago, Toxxus said:

As I convert my 2nd D&D table to HERO (Fantasy Hero) there are a couple of things that really stand out.

 

I'm not here to pimp myself, but my old AD&D 2e to Hero 4e conversion materials are still online, linked to from here: http://www.killershrike.com/FantasyHERO/SystemConversion.aspx

 

It's from 2003, and some of the content was typed up from paper from the pre-internet era or copy and pasted from pre-CSS html, so it's all very old school web 1.0...but some people have found it helpful over the years. You might to.

 

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I see why they lowered the stun multiplier on killing attacks - Had a lightning bolt (RKA 2d6+1 AoE Line) nearly flatline two party members with a max stun multiplier.  1d3 feels too low (averages 2), but even with 1d6-1 averaging 2.5 the potential to pull a 5x at a 16.67% chance is much too good compared to Hit Locations where your chance to get a 5x is under 5%. 

 

Yeah, the stun lotto is not a thing that I miss.

 

For some campaigns, I just use a flat STUN multiple of 3. Even if not for the PC's, if I preroll damage for NPCs I often do. It just saves time. Depends on the group of players. Some players LOVE random; the more random the better. More dice is more random so more better. It takes a little more to excite me than dice results, jaded soul that I am, but I don't want to deprive that simple joy from those who can get euphoric by numbers in the upper range of available values appearing on cubes of plastic bounced off a table top. YAHTZEE!

 

But if the other players at the table are old salts who just want to get on with it, or more story oriented types, x3 Stun it is.

 

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I'm seriously considering having custom dice made that run 1,2,2,3,3,4 to make this a little more predictable.

 

That would be cool. I had some custom dice made back in the day for STUN multiples, and for a couple of other games, but I was not happy with the quality and tossed them out. The technology has gotten much better; a friend of a friend had some custom dice made a couple of years ago for a game they were designing and they were good. I don't remember which company they used, but could probably find out if you want.

 

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Why weren't the stun multiples on the Hit Location chart changed at all when the stun multiplier was changed from 1d6-1 to 1d3?

 

Well, the problem wasn't STUN, it was VARIANCE, and some of the broken builds one could manage with Increased Stun Multiple. Hit Locations suffer from neither overall. There is variance in which hit location you hit, and a character can take advantage of that with PSL's, but if you math out the Hit Locations per pip, IIRC it's something like x2.8 average. You should check my math, I pulled that out of dimmest memory.

 

The real average is higher, of course, due to called shots...but called shots have the odd behavior of doing 0 damage if they miss. Thus High shots / Low shots are better on average usually except in the most extreme cases of accuracy.

 

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Barrier is too good - I've had to nerf it to have the earth bender be limited to a number of barrier instances limited by INT/5.  Being able to abort to throw up a wall against incoming attacks is several times better than block, dodge or dive for cover.

 

Barrier does require GM monitoring. FW did to. I'd be curious to see the character & build.

 

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I miss Transfer.

 

Me too. That's why, as I mentioned earlier, I allow it as a Custom Power. It's a good macro effect with a lot of utility and it's intuitive.

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