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Killer Shrike

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

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20 minutes ago, Toxxus said:

 

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.

 

I used to fuss with formulae and caps and so forth, but there is no magic formula and caps IME have more cons than pros. At some point, in Hero and other systems, I ended up at a loose assessment method I call Relevance and Reliability. I wrote it up at some point during the 5e era with some examples; here it is (typos and all):

 

http://www.killershrike.com/GeneralHero/HERO5RelvanceReliablity.aspx

 

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59 minutes ago, Toxxus said:

 

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.

That sounds to me like they're always broken.  Either you get more than you pay for or you no longer have what you paid for.  Both are bad. 

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I wanted to address this bit...

 

On 2/8/2019 at 4:21 PM, Killer Shrike said:

There's a lot there to parse. But I notice a sub-theme of literalism or semantic anchoring.

 

For instance, I infer that in your mind the term "Powers" is synonymous with "superhero powers" and thus any game effect constructed using powers which includes guns and swords and so on are thus "super powers". That may not be what you mean, but that's the vibe I'm picking up by reading between the lines. Please clarify if I'm off base.

 

More or less correct, though there are some nuances.  

 

For instance: guns and swords in the first-gen standalone games weren't super powers; they weren't associated with Power builds at all.  "Normal damage" and "Killing damage" are a thing, and swords, knives, and guns do Killing damage, while clubs, fists, and vehicular collisions do Normal damage.  Some things that are Powers in Champions appear as Skills in those games, particularly Running, Swimming, and Luck.  Others have their own specifics; in particular, spells in Fantasy Hero 1st edition use a subset of the Champions 3rd edition Powers rules, with some additional default mechanical constraints:  requiring a Magic Skill Roll, taking a full Phase, being at half DCV when casting, and each of those can be bought down or off with Advantages, or made worse with Limitations.  Magic items (including weapons and armor, but crucially not normal ones) are built using the spell effects rules, as are monster special abilities (including "mundane" ones like armor, claws, wings, poisons, etc.).  Psychic abilities in Justice Inc. are not built using the Powers rules at all; probably the best way to code them using the full toolkit would be as various custom Skills, based on an EGO roll, and assuming they have No Conscious Control or a hefty penalty if trying to use consciously.  

 

If I were going to run a Star Wars game, for example, I would presume that Powers means one of the following: 

  • The Force
  • Racial abilities
  • Gadgets (including cybernetics)

The Powers themselves would be closely tied to their special effects; I might have separate lists for Force abilities, racial abilities, and gadgets, with their own mechanical constraints.  Martial Arts if available would be specific martial art forms (probably including specific Force-related forms), and I would probably pre-build the forms and specify how a character might learn them.  I would be coming at this from the standpoint that this is not a full toolkit game, and you don't have the ability to do whatever you want.  

 

I've written a Google document, linked in my signature (HERO System Low Heroic Protocols if it's not showing up), which goes into more detail about where I'm coming from. 

 

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22 minutes ago, Chris Goodwin said:

More or less correct, though there are some nuances.  

 

Out of curiosity did you click the link for anchoring and read it? Any thoughts on that?

 

22 minutes ago, Chris Goodwin said:

For instance: guns and swords in the first-gen standalone games weren't super powers; they weren't associated with Power builds at all.  "Normal damage" and "Killing damage" are a thing, and swords, knives, and guns do Killing damage, while clubs, fists, and vehicular collisions do Normal damage.  Some things that are Powers in Champions appear as Skills in those games, particularly Running, Swimming, and Luck.  Others have their own specifics; in particular, spells in Fantasy Hero 1st edition use a subset of the Champions 3rd edition Powers rules, with some additional default mechanical constraints:  requiring a Magic Skill Roll, taking a full Phase, being at half DCV when casting, and each of those can be bought down or off with Advantages, or made worse with Limitations.  Magic items (including weapons and armor, but crucially not normal ones) are built using the spell effects rules, as are monster special abilities (including "mundane" ones like armor, claws, wings, poisons, etc.).  Psychic abilities in Justice Inc. are not built using the Powers rules at all; probably the best way to code them using the full toolkit would be as various custom Skills, based on an EGO roll, and assuming they have No Conscious Control or a hefty penalty if trying to use consciously.  

 

Sure. And some of those implementations could be abstracted or distilled down to common base effects (which is all that "powers" are in the Hero System), and some of those could be encompassed in a general skill model, or included as Talents, or Perks as a means of categorization. If it tidies up the rules organization, removes redundancy, and provides a common basis for reuse and standardization, where was the harm? If "sword" turns out to be a label attached to some amount of an effect called "killing damage" with some generalized garnishing to represent it as an object and so forth, which allows it to be defined in game mechanics that also work to define a claw or superpower, then why not?

 

22 minutes ago, Chris Goodwin said:

If I were going to run a Star Wars game, for example, I would presume that Powers means one of the following: 

  • The Force
  • Racial abilities
  • Gadgets (including cybernetics)

 

If a different word were used instead of Powers, what then? Would that help you relax your literal mind a bit? If the section were called "Effects", would it bother you less to see a javelin and a gun and a lightning bolt spell and a mutant optic beam and so forth all expressed as some variation of a "Killing Attack" (the actual effect they apply and what they all have in common) with various modifiers applied (to define the differences between them)?

 

22 minutes ago, Chris Goodwin said:

The Powers themselves would be closely tied to their special effects; I might have separate lists for Force abilities, racial abilities, and gadgets, with their own mechanical constraints.  Martial Arts if available would be specific martial art forms (probably including specific Force-related forms), and I would probably pre-build the forms and specify how a character might learn them.  I would be coming at this from the standpoint that this is not a full toolkit game, and you don't have the ability to do whatever you want.  

 

Sure, and that's the same thing I do in 4e or 5e or 6e for a new campaign in principle; choose from the available options and cast them into a specific combination for use in that setting. Custom packages, gear write ups, Talents, etc. I usually also type up most of it and share it with the internets for other people to use or cannibalize or mock. :)

 

22 minutes ago, Chris Goodwin said:

I've written a Google document, linked in my signature (HERO System Low Heroic Protocols if it's not showing up), which goes into more detail about where I'm coming from. 

 

Thanks for linking; I'll check that out.

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50 minutes ago, Chris Goodwin said:

I've written a Google document, linked in my signature (HERO System Low Heroic Protocols if it's not showing up), which goes into more detail about where I'm coming from. 

 

Ok, I read the premise / opening pages, and skimmed the rest of it looking for crazy / not crazy. 

 

First off, it is well written and clear in its intent. I would not want to GM using those guidelines, but I definitely would play in a campaign using it. I like it as a variant, I am willing to recommend / endorse it to others who are looking for that kind of feel and are ok with the lack of tooling to support it (if you were to make some Hero Designer templates to dial that in, it would be much more accessible), and to my mind this is an excellent example of toolkitting. 

 

In short: well done.

 

 

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37 minutes ago, Killer Shrike said:

 

Out of curiosity did you click the link for anchoring and read it? Any thoughts on that?

 

Sure. And some of those implementations could be abstracted or distilled down to common base effects (which is all that "powers" are in the Hero System), and some of those could be encompassed in a general skill model, or included as Talents, or Perks as a means of categorization. If it tidies up the rules organization, removes redundancy, and provides a common basis for reuse and standardization, where was the harm? If "sword" turns out to be a label attached to some amount of an effect called "killing damage" with some generalized garnishing to represent it as an object and so forth, which allows it to be defined in game mechanics that also work to define a claw or superpower, then why not?

 

If a different word were used instead of Powers, what then? Would that help you relax your literal mind a bit? If the section were called "Effects", would it bother you less to see a javelin and a gun and a lightning bolt spell and a mutant optic beam and so forth all expressed as some variation of a "Killing Attack" (the actual effect they apply and what they all have in common) with various modifiers applied (to define the differences between them)?

 

I did click the link just now, and I'm a little hesitant to go down that path. 

 

The kinds of games I'm talking about are the kinds of games I want to play in, and the kinds of games I want to run.  My. Personal. Preference.  I'm perfectly capable of understanding the overall abstract "Power" that can represent anything you want it to be. I strongly resent the implication that I'm under some kind of cognitive bias.  

 

I'm fully aware that the kind of game I'm suggesting basically stopped existing when Dark Champions came out, because that was around the time I got into it with Nu Soard Graphite over what exactly a Fantasy Hero game is "supposed" to be.  I'm expressing my wish that someone, somewhere, was still running the kinds of games I want to play in, nothing more.  Please, don't pull pop-psychoanalytical BS in to this.  
 

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9 minutes ago, Chris Goodwin said:

I did click the link just now, and I'm a little hesitant to go down that path. 

 

The kinds of games I'm talking about are the kinds of games I want to play in, and the kinds of games I want to run.  My. Personal. Preference.  I'm perfectly capable of understanding the overall abstract "Power" that can represent anything you want it to be. I strongly resent the implication that I'm under some kind of cognitive bias.  

 

I'm fully aware that the kind of game I'm suggesting basically stopped existing when Dark Champions came out, because that was around the time I got into it with Nu Soard Graphite over what exactly a Fantasy Hero game is "supposed" to be.  I'm expressing my wish that someone, somewhere, was still running the kinds of games I want to play in, nothing more. 

 

Please, don't pull pop-psychoanalytical BS in to this.  

 

Everyone has cognitive biases, and it is generally accepted as valid psychology, not pop-psy. But, if you are angered by that type of thing, very well. 

 

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11 minutes ago, Killer Shrike said:

 

Everyone has cognitive biases, and it is generally accepted as valid psychology, not pop-psy. But, if you are angered by that type of thing, very well. 

 

 

As I said in my first post on the thread, "best" is a matter of personal taste.  I have made it very clear in every one of my posts since that what I'm expressing is mine.  I'm aware that I, like everyone, have cognitive biases; I'm not certain why you felt the need to bring it into this discussion.

 

I'm angered by the implication that I'm somehow not seeing what everyone else is seeing.  I have my preferences for the kinds of games I want to play in.  They're not the same as everyone else's, and in fact that's the core of my thesis, that first-gen Champions, Fantasy Hero, Danger International, Justice Inc., etc., were different games from one another and from their current-day equivalents.  They're different in ways that I happen to prefer.  They're "best" for me because I want a different flavor of Fantasy Hero or of Danger International or Star Wars Hero etc. than literally everyone else seems to.  I get that that's my personal preference, but it's nothing more than that.  

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7 minutes ago, Chris Goodwin said:

As I said in my first post on the thread, "best" is a matter of personal taste.  I have made it very clear in every one of my posts since that what I'm expressing is mine.  I'm aware that I, like everyone, have cognitive biases; I'm not certain why you felt the need to bring it into this discussion.

 

I'm angered by the implication that I'm somehow not seeing what everyone else is seeing.  I have my preferences for the kinds of games I want to play in.  They're not the same as everyone else's, and in fact that's the core of my thesis, that first-gen Champions, Fantasy Hero, Danger International, Justice Inc., etc., were different games from one another and from their current-day equivalents.  They're different in ways that I happen to prefer.  They're "best" for me because I want a different flavor of Fantasy Hero or of Danger International or Star Wars Hero etc. than literally everyone else seems to.  I get that that's my personal preference, but it's nothing more than that.  

 

Whoa, lets pump the breaks a bit. I'm totally on board with where you are coming from on 3e. 

 

Let's replay the conversation. You made a great post laying out your position, which I responded to. I noted the following:

 

There's a lot there to parse. But I notice a sub-theme of literalism or semantic anchoring.

 

For instance, I infer that in your mind the term "Powers" is synonymous with "superhero powers" and thus any game effect constructed using powers which includes guns and swords and so on are thus "super powers". That may not be what you mean, but that's the vibe I'm picking up by reading between the lines. Please clarify if I'm off base.

You responded:

 

2 hours ago, Chris Goodwin said:

More or less correct, though there are some nuances.  

 

To make sure we were on the same page, I asked if you read the link to clarify if your "MORE OR LESS CORRECT" response included the entire section you quoted or only the "Powers" is synonymous with "superhero powers" part of it. That's all.

 

Your opinion is respected, you are respected, and your input is valued. 

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8 hours ago, Toxxus said:

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.

 

I think, but am not sure, hit locations stayed  because you also get volatility with non-KAs.  I never found the same issues in Heroic games with hit locations that I would see in Supers games.  But it may also be expectations of greater combat volatility and risk in those heroic games.

 

Abort to Force Wall, as KS notes, also has issues.  That Barrier also cost a lot more points than block, dodge or dive for cover.

 

5 hours ago, massey said:

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

 

My examples work just as well in a Supers game.  I don't find Heroic any more or less subject to utility of abilities.  In a D&D game, the utility of Power Attack depends on whether your GM likes giants (higher hp and lower AC) or Undead (harder to hit with less hp).  How useful item crafting is depends on down time.  The variable benefit of abilities is hardly unique to Hero, much less Supers.

 

5 hours ago, massey said:

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.

 

A 10D6 Energy Blast with x3 Endurance is only 25 points.  Using that on your normal Endurance is a real limitation.  It throws your whole End balancing act out of whack.  The only way to really get ahead with it is to funnel it through an End Reserve.  But to even get "4 charges" worth, you need an End Reserve with 60 End.  That's a minimum of 6 points, and that's with no Recovery.  A 10D6 Energy Blast with x5 Endurance is 17 points, but to get 4 charges worth, you need an End Reserve with 100

End.  That's a minimum of 10 points.  We still aren't getting ahead of the Charges limitation.

 

10d6 Blast with 4 charges will be unusable after 4 attacks.  A 10d6 Blast, x3 END and a 60 point reserve with 1 REC is four uses in every combat, assuming they are 12 minutes or more apart.  As KS notes, if you have only one combat a day, 4 charges is looking pretty good.  If you have four combats, you have effective use of 16 charges - a -0 limitation - for the price of 32 points.  That does not seem as balanced as you make it out to be.  As KS notes, the intent of End Reserve was not - ever - "get out of the drawbacks of Increased END for free".

 

Now, my character with base END, and REC based on what he needs for STUN, can probably manage just fine spending normal END for movement and other non-attack abilities.  But he'll be spending 6 END a phase to attack, so 30 END a turn.  Should he pay 30 points for +60 END so he can keep going for 2 turns, or buy a 60 point END battery with 5 recovery for 11 points?  How about a 30 point reserve with 30 REC for 33 points - 3 more points and now he is the Energizer Bunny.  You and I do not quite see the same balance here.

 

5 hours 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.  

 

Sweep is definitely what I was remembering - thanks, Chris.  Another maneuver that moved from "HTH combat only" to "All attacks can benefit" as the system evolved from 4e.

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3 minutes ago, Killer Shrike said:

 

Whoa, lets pump the breaks a bit. I'm totally on board with where you are coming from on 3e. 

 

Let's replay the conversation. You made a great post laying out your position, which I responded to. I noted the following:

 

There's a lot there to parse. But I notice a sub-theme of literalism or semantic anchoring.

 

For instance, I infer that in your mind the term "Powers" is synonymous with "superhero powers" and thus any game effect constructed using powers which includes guns and swords and so on are thus "super powers". That may not be what you mean, but that's the vibe I'm picking up by reading between the lines. Please clarify if I'm off base.

You responded:

 

 

To make sure we were on the same page, I asked if you read the link to clarify if your "MORE OR LESS CORRECT" response included the entire section you quoted or only the "Powers" is synonymous with "superhero powers" part of it. That's all.

 

Your opinion is respected, you are respected, and your input is valued. 

 

Fair enough.  I may have been being oversensitive.  I'll further point out that how literal the definition of Powers as super powers, or magic, or psionics, or the Force, or whatever, depends on the campaign.  Certainly not a universal thing.  But, in the sorts of campaigns that I'm talking about, and the games I want to play in, usually Powers have a more literal definition within the setting.  And Champions campaigns tend to be an exception; in fact I often make a distinction in my own mind between "heroic level" games (or "low heroic" in my parlance) and superheroic games.  The street crook with a handgun (2d6 RKA, OAF, 6 shots) isn't a super just because he has something that happens to be built as a Power; he's not a super at all, unless he has some other (small-p) powers.  

 

And even in, let's say, a "low heroic" Fantasy Hero game, a character could certainly develop "fighter tricks" (like "brick tricks") that would be best represented as a Multipower or VPP.  But I want to play in games where fighters don't start with those, or where rogues use the Stealth Skill, not a super-stealth Invisibility to Hearing.  

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20 minutes ago, Chris Goodwin said:

 

Fair enough.  I may have been being oversensitive.  I'll further point out that how literal the definition of Powers as super powers, or magic, or psionics, or the Force, or whatever, depends on the campaign.  Certainly not a universal thing.  But, in the sorts of campaigns that I'm talking about, and the games I want to play in, usually Powers have a more literal definition within the setting.  And Champions campaigns tend to be an exception; in fact I often make a distinction in my own mind between "heroic level" games (or "low heroic" in my parlance) and superheroic games.  The street crook with a handgun (2d6 RKA, OAF, 6 shots) isn't a super just because he has something that happens to be built as a Power; he's not a super at all, unless he has some other (small-p) powers.  

 

And even in, let's say, a "low heroic" Fantasy Hero game, a character could certainly develop "fighter tricks" (like "brick tricks") that would be best represented as a Multipower or VPP.  But I want to play in games where fighters don't start with those, or where rogues use the Stealth Skill, not a super-stealth Invisibility to Hearing.  

 

Yeah, that makes sense to me. And the value to me from the Hero System as a toolkit is that I can use it for all of those things and other things, and thus I put a high value on mechanical considerations and configurable options. I also recognize that some people really prefer to engage with a game as a setting + specific rules bespoke to that setting and a certain "tone" baked into it. I get your argument that you preferred the pre-4e approach. If I placed a higher value on setting + rules and genre simulation etc, and less value on abstract reusable mechanics I would probably also prefer pre-4e.  

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On 2/10/2019 at 5:12 PM, Killer Shrike said:

I had already checked out a friends copy of GURPS and it didn't quite do it for me...I liked the idea of it but the mechanics felt wrong to me. The Hero System on the other hand was "love at first read".

 

Im fascinated by this comment because I have the exact same reaction. I play GURPS with a group of friends to get my RPG fix these days, and I can’t quite get my finger on why I prefer HERO System 6e, nor can I articulate it to my friends. I’m wondering if you can expand on this a bit? I may turn it into a new thread. 

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It's been many many years (I was in my teens back then, only a few years older than my own son is today), but I felt like GURPS made big promises and I really wanted to like it, but I recall having a feeling of diminishing returns...a kind of sense of systemic friction. I can't explain it any better than that...I found the idea of it compelling and wanted to like it, but there was no chemistry for me.

 

Later when I picked up the Hero System, it was the opposite; I have a couple of handfuls of crystal clear memories of various moments of my life, and I kid you not that one of them is me standing there in the store skimming through the Powers section and having my mind blown. 

 

A couple (more than 2, less than 3) years later, after I was already far lost to the Hero System, I actually did play a few sessions in a GURPS WildCARDS campaign, but I did not enjoy it at all. I don't remember much about it other than constantly trying to resist the urge to talk about how the Hero System did this or that better than GURPS. I didn't enjoy it and was glad that it didn't catch on with the group. I was then able to talk them into trying supers with the Hero System which became the Justice Incorporated campaign which ran for a good stretch of...something like 14-18 months of nearly every other week sessions. So all's well that ends well. :)

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9 hours ago, Brian Stanfield said:

 

Im fascinated by this comment because I have the exact same reaction. I play GURPS with a group of friends to get my RPG fix these days, and I can’t quite get my finger on why I prefer HERO System 6e, nor can I articulate it to my friends. I’m wondering if you can expand on this a bit? I may turn it into a new thread. 

For me, it's that GURPS has one building block and a lot of exceptions where HERO has many building blocks but few exceptions. 

I can look at a HERO character sheet and tell what everything does without looking anything up, since I know the base powers and the advantages and the limitations.  It took a while to get there, but now I've "learned HERO". 

I can't look at a GURPS character sheet and tell what things do without looking them up, because each one-line entry needs a book-and-page lookup to find what the unique text of that ability or flaw is.  Unless I memorize every GURPS book, I've never "learned GURPS". 

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23 hours ago, Toxxus said:

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.  :(

 

Is that the file Lord Liaden directed to in a post a few months ago? Send him a message and find out. 

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19 hours ago, Chris Goodwin said:

And even in, let's say, a "low heroic" Fantasy Hero game, a character could certainly develop "fighter tricks" (like "brick tricks") that would be best represented as a Multipower or VPP.  But I want to play in games where fighters don't start with those, or where rogues use the Stealth Skill, not a super-stealth Invisibility to Hearing.  

 

Amen to this! I really miss the old Advanced D&D days, before fantasy turned into “Medieval Supers.”

 

This is partly why I’m really interested to see what Champions Now looks like when it’s done. The (re)turn to grittier, darker supers is full of many potential applications to other HERO tropes. 

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19 hours ago, Chris Goodwin said:

And even in, let's say, a "low heroic" Fantasy Hero game, a character could certainly develop "fighter tricks" (like "brick tricks") that would be best represented as a Multipower or VPP.  But I want to play in games where fighters don't start with those, or where rogues use the Stealth Skill, not a super-stealth Invisibility to Hearing.  

 

One thing I'm concerned with is multipowers.  It just makes additional abilities/tricks TOO cheap.  It's essentially a 90% discount on each additional item.  Basically you get 9 additional options for the price of 1 additional option.

 

I don't like that every character has one, but if they don't get one they're basically playing the "build your character" game poorly.  Would you like 8 fewer moves than the other players for the same cost?  Congrats - you've....succeeded?

 

After everyone settles in I may go to a house-ruled flat division that gets somewhere between multipower and you can only afford 2-3 spells.

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I guess it all comes down to the game you build.

 

say you are a member of the fighters guild, you get access to their special training programme.  The “perk” of joining the guild is the multipower reserve.  Every slot in the multipower requires the right guild skill to use.  You can decide that either the character needs to make a skill roll to activate the power or get the default slot.  The default slot would be an enhanced damage killing attack with the focus of any martial weapon (bonus for being in the guild).  

 

When you buy buy a new slot you also need to buy the skill to activate it.  It is a decent way not only to add to the cost of boosting options but you might have to travel to find a master who can teach you, possibly even persuade him to teach you or prove you are worthy of being taught.

 

Doc

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17 hours ago, Toxxus said:

 

One thing I'm concerned with is multipowers.  It just makes additional abilities/tricks TOO cheap.  It's essentially a 90% discount on each additional item.  Basically you get 9 additional options for the price of 1 additional option.

 

I don't like that every character has one, but if they don't get one they're basically playing the "build your character" game poorly.  Would you like 8 fewer moves than the other players for the same cost?  Congrats - you've....succeeded?

 

After everyone settles in I may go to a house-ruled flat division that gets somewhere between multipower and you can only afford 2-3 spells.

 

Yeah, I don't allow power frameworks in heroic level games unless it's something very specific, such as building a weapon with multiple functions (like the M203 grenade launcher). I've even toyed with the idea of a battle axe with a spike as a "multipower," but that is starting to push what I think is reasonable for a non-supers campaign. Otherwise heroic games start to look a little too video-gamey, like D&D has become.

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2 minutes ago, Brian Stanfield said:

 

Yeah, I don't allow power frameworks in heroic level games unless it's something very specific, such as building a weapon with multiple functions (like the M203 grenade launcher). I've even toyed with the idea of a battle axe with a spike as a "multipower," but that is starting to push what I think is reasonable for a non-supers campaign. 

 

I think it all comes down to when the GM builds the game.  He then decides how things are going to be.  You can decide the ground rules, what is coming out of the core and what is staying in there unused.  However, you do the. Have an obligation to explain those decisions to your players.  You need to do it in detail if they are going to build their own characters.

 

I think this ability to build your game would be a fantastic add-on to Hero Designer, it is currently a character building tool that uses all the rules, if there was a way to use and design game templates that players could use to design characters for that particular game, then HERO would begin to be fully realised.  I guess that fits in with my dream 7th Edition, it would need that kind of tool...

 

Doc

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On 2/13/2019 at 12:33 PM, Toxxus said:

 

One thing I'm concerned with is multipowers.  It just makes additional abilities/tricks TOO cheap.  It's essentially a 90% discount on each additional item.  Basically you get 9 additional options for the price of 1 additional option.

 

I don't like that every character has one, but if they don't get one they're basically playing the "build your character" game poorly.  Would you like 8 fewer moves than the other players for the same cost?  Congrats - you've....succeeded?

 

Well...I kind of don't want to bite on this, but failed my EGO roll.

 

A different way to look at it is, any more than you need of something is surplus to requirements.

 

Technically, you only need 1 attack and 1 defense, if they are good enough. Add in 1 utility and 1 mobility and you have a decently well rounded character. 

 

A character having more options adds variety and circumstantially offers potential answers to out of the ordinary problems, but the 80/20 rule applies here.

 

Now, in the Hero System specifically, all characters get a plethora of attack and defense options for free out of the gate in the form of hybrid defense (DCV and PD/ED) and Abort options, and all the various non-lethal free attack maneuvers. These can be easily augmented to make a character better at non-lethal combat, ranging from simply increasing accuracy or evasiveness (OCV / DCV) to increasing damage and resistance, as well as adding more sophisticated martial maneuvers.  

 

In some genres, lethality is not common, but augmenting the free non-lethal options with lethal options is pretty commonly done. In most genres more esoteric forms of attack and defense are not common, but augmenting characters with *exotic attacks and defenses is also doable without issue. 

 

For ease of conversation, I'll refer to these striations as "vectors". Non-lethal is a vector, lethal is a vector, each flavor of exotic is a vector.

 

A character that has multiple augmented attacks and defenses has more nuance than a character who lacks them, but a character with multiple non-lethal options, or multiple lethal options, or multiple exotic options within a single vector is not necessarily more dangerous or effective overall than a character with a single option. The character with more options has gone "wide" spreading their points out over more things, while the character with fewer options can go "deep" focusing their points on their narrower set of options.

 

On the other hand a character with non-lethal, and lethal, and one or more forms of exotic options is probably more dangerous and effective overall than a character with only non-lethal, or only unaugmented non-lethal and lethal, or only one exotic option. In other words, the total number of vectors of attack / defense is more significant than the total number of options within one vector.

 

Similarly, a character with multiple utility and / or multiple mobility vectors is more utilitarian or mobile than a character with no or only one of either, but not necessarily more effective than a character with only one of either or both.

 

Personally, when making a character as a PC (which is a semi-rare event as I'm usually the GM), or when helping players craft their PC's (a much more common event), I first focus on covering the bases of offense, defense, utility, and mobility filtered thru the lens of the character's concept, until they are competitive. If there are points left over, I then start sidegrading and adding nuance. This might take the form of recasting the character's abilities to take advantage of a framework if the mechanics of the framework make sense to the character's concept. It might take the form of adding flexibility to a simpler ability such as Variable Advantage / Variable SFX / OIF of Opportunity, and so on. It might take the form of leveraging more esoteric power-specific modifiers. It might take the form of committing to more skills to make it cost effective to leverage Overall Skill Levels. It might take the form of deepening an investment in martial arts to make damage classes and tight group CSL's more effective. It might take many forms, essentially, depending on the campaign, the character's concept, the skill of the player, and a meta consideration of finding an interesting niche to differentiate the character.

 

So, for instance I'm not overly concerned if players hand in a character with 5 flavors of lethal attack per se; I am more concerned by a character with multiple viable vectors of attack, or a character that can viably target multiple vectors of defense. Similarly I am more concerned by characters that have multiple utility or mobility or defense options than a character with several attacks all within the same vector. 

 

EDIT: *exotic: in the Hero System, this would be Power / Mental / Flash / AVLD / NND / Entangle / any out of the ordinary attack and any out of the ordinary defense against such an attack.

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Hmm.  I'm not sure I can get behind the idea that any power that is more than you need is surplus to requirements, at least if you mean what you seem to mean.

 

Very few actual characters built by players are ever going to buy a NND as their only major attack: it is going in a MP.  You also almost never see an Entangle outside a MP, or a Flash.  There are many other examples.

 

The problem with MPs is not the mechanic, as such, but the way it seems to be habitually used - to cover a wide range of bases to make characters effective in a wide range of situations because that is play-efficient rather than because that realises a concept.  A lot of example characters I have seen are guilty of that.  You get powers with really complex builds that are there for synergy rather than anything else or powers that are situational.  You'd never splash out on that particular power if you were paying full points.  Well, almost never.

 

Remember Starburst (I think that was his name, could have been Opal Fruit) from 1eChampions?  He had a MP with an attack, defence and movement power in it, IIRC.  He was damn interesting to run.

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7 hours ago, Doc Democracy said:

I think this ability to build your game would be a fantastic add-on to Hero Designer, it is currently a character building tool that uses all the rules, if there was a way to use and design game templates that players could use to design characters for that particular game, then HERO would begin to be fully realised.  

 

Um...well...there is.

 

First off, you have Campaign Settings. There are various options available across 4 tabs.

image.thumb.png.ee69c9d13d4135a7d9467f311eae0ddb.png

 

You can also make a custom template...

 

image.png.690a5428e5ad85c1b10024c5c24414c9.png

 

When you make a new character you can choose a custom template...

 

image.png.bafab92b6278ed5408553eea058cb0c1.png

 

You can make one from scratch, or copy the builtin's and modify them...

image.png.b6143c02838f0768e9ea03667cbaa49b.png

 

They are also extensible, meaning you can base a template on another template and patch over things in the base templates with variants.

 

It's covered pretty extensively in the HD doc's, getting its own chapter. 

 

image.png.c8c4511af0a117b81a7247b1c0180dc3.png

 

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Sean Waters said:

Hmm.  I'm not sure I can get behind the idea that any power that is more than you need is surplus to requirements, at least if you mean what you seem to mean.

 

<SNIP>

 

Did you read the entire post or just the preamble?

 

EDIT: to avoid a misinterpretation and hurting of feelings, I don't think what you think I meant is what I meant or what I said; the later half of what I typed explores my meaning thoroughly. I have the impression that your questions are formed from the first part of the post, and that the later part of the post clarifies my meaning sufficiently. If you did read the entire thing in depth and the questions you raise are still present, then I'm more than glad to answer them. Also, I added a footnote re: "exotic" which might provide further clarity.

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