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

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33 minutes ago, massey said:

I think this tread should actually be titled “dissenting views NOT welcome”.

 

Yah but these last few pages are just dickering about how things are stat-ed up. Which isn't really anything to do with 5th or 6th.

 

I love the circularity of some of these lines of thought though.

 

Green Lantern can't have a Dex 17 because nobody stats him up that way so clearly a Dex 17 can't be good enough for an ace test fighter pilot because otherwise somebody would stat him up that way?

And really he can't have a Dex 17 because he wouldn't even be an Olympic Gymnast (a descriptor which is universally defining a standard for some reason, like all Olympic Gymnasts are identical) and obviously he's superior to a Olympic Gymnast because those guys can't fight because they don't have high Dex because they don't have high CV.

Oh, but then Speed comes out of left field and now The Thing can't be a sprinter because how would it make sense that a guy that can lift 75+ tons while only weighing between 500 and 1,600 pounds and does could he possibly move faster than a normal human? Even tho he is not a normal human and wasn't "normal" even before he had powers.

 

And THEN there's the constant mode switching.

In the comics (which don't adhere to a coherent or consistent narrative or power level or anything else) because X or Y happens "all the time" then clearly Hero must also make sure to utterly emulate that situation as well.

If characters in the comics are hit by goons all the time then the goons CV must adhere to Hero System standards and then The Thing can't have a Speed X or Dex Y because his CV would be too high and then agents can't shoot him!!!!!!

 

How can we ever resolve these impossibilities!!!!!??!?/!11?!??1

 

What's that? A GM can talk to their players and establish norms and guidelines for their games? Get outta here!

 

And what about the concert pianist?!??!? How can Hero claim to be any kind of non-crap system if we can't perfectly emulate concert pianists and Olympic gymnasts that suck in fights using exactly the same point-base and stat range as a Heroic Adventure game!?>?!???!?/!!!

 

How can Hero be the best at anything if I can't combat-gimp my concert pianist DNPC, you guys!??!??!

 

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5 minutes ago, Cassandra said:

The 5th Edition is the ultimate evolution of the Hero Game System with the perfect balance between powers and skills.  Why mess with perfection?

 

Removing Figured Characteristics does improve the system overall. Unfortunately it makes chargen more difficult(not massively but noticeably due to the lack of common benchmarks for the previously figured characteristics). This can be easily fixed by the GM. It's just that the main obstacle for new players is chargen and the game doesn't acknowledge it.

 

A better question is, Is 6th edition the most fun version of the game, To me it's not.  IMO, the last book that was written with fun in consideration was the 5th edition UNTIL Superpowers Database. After that the books became more and more like textbooks.

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1 hour ago, TranquiloUno said:

 

Yah but these last few pages are just dickering about how things are stat-ed up. Which isn't really anything to do with 5th or 6th.

 

I guess that’s my fault.  I tried to use an example to show mechanical differences and how they affect speed and efficiency, and got dragged way off-topic by people using edge cases and nitpicking instead of addressing the overall issue.

 

So, I’ll just make a few general comments based on my own experience, then go back to lurking:

* 4th Edition felt the most ‘fun’.  5th started the trend of big rulebooks and a mind-numbing level of rules in the quest for perfectly balanced characters.

* Despite the above, 5th did a lot to enable character builds for common situations that were prohibitably expensive in previous editions, such as high-speed movement (thanks to Megascale).

* 6th continued the trend of fixing issues that were unviable in previous editions (such as Damage Shield), at the cost of being even more unfriendly to the new player.

* 6th edition created a situation where the player base is significantly fragmented, as it was different enough to turn off some players while not being different enough to entice new ones.  I believe one poll on this site shows less than half the respondents playing the current version of the ruleset, which is contributing to the drop in popularity.  Heck, we even have another version coming out to further fragment the player base (Champions Now).

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18 minutes ago, Fedifensor said:

 

I guess that’s my fault.  I tried to use an example to show mechanical differences and how they affect speed and efficiency, and got dragged way off-topic by people using edge cases and nitpicking instead of addressing the overall issue.

 

 

 

 

Emphasis added. Welcome to the thread! ;)

 

Quote

 

 

So, I’ll just make a few general comments based on my own experience, then go back to lurking:

* 4th Edition felt the most ‘fun’.  5th started the trend of big rulebooks and a mind-numbing level of rules in the quest for perfectly balanced characters.

 

This is kinda the biggest thing for me. Whatever I can do in 6th I can do in 4th. I'm sure somebody can find a bunch of exceptions to this, special specialized optional specific rules that only work under 6th and that 4th can never hope to match, but....for me, nothing has really improved since 4th.

Cleaner, clearer, more examples, more specifics, MORE more, but...nothing really seems to have changed functionally.

 

 

Quote

* Despite the above, 5th did a lot to enable character builds for common situations that were prohibitably expensive in previous editions, such as high-speed movement (thanks to Megascale).

 

Sure. Mega-scale is a cool advantage. Of course...it's "just" another Advantage. Could just as easily slap, "Not quite FTL but boy-howdy is it fast!", as a +1/2 (or -1/4) on FTL.

Or a GM could pretty easily come up with their own variation.

Good example of something that 5th added explicitly that was kinda "missing" before.

 

 

 

Quote

* 6th continued the trend of fixing issues that were unviable in previous editions (such as Damage Shield), at the cost of being even more unfriendly to the new player.

 

If a player can't take the time to learn Hero they shouldn't be allowed to play. ;D  ;D

 

Quote

* 6th edition created a situation where the player base is significantly fragmented, as it was different enough to turn off some players while not being different enough to entice new ones.  I believe one poll on this site shows less than half the respondents playing the current version of the ruleset, which is contributing to the drop in popularity.  Heck, we even have another version coming out to further fragment the player base (Champions Now).

 

I think 4th was too good at doing what it did (ie, everything) to the point that there's a point of diminishing returns on further versions in that the changes are mostly to address things that most players won't ever be aware of.

I think the rules and potential rules interactions are complex enough that more of a GM guidance style balancing is the important thing, not so much mechanical balancing.

 

Certainly we all have our individual experiences playing Hero but many of the "problems" that folks report are...just things I've never encountered.

Except for the problem of actually getting folks to learn\play Hero system.

 

None of the rules have done much to fix that. Our greatest weakness! ;D ;D

 

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2 hours ago, Grailknight said:

ld consider that a gimped build.

 

 

 

That's fine, but is it a _wrong_ build? 

 

To clarify where I was coming from:

 

I'm on a touch screen during the day, which means it takes a stupid amount of time for me to type anything.  At the time I was composing that post, the conversation was about agents and the Thing, who where high SPD because of training, and the dissenting view was something olong the lines of "how does combat training make them Olympic class sprinters?" 

 

It doesn't, obviously.  But just watching even an amateur boxing match demonstrates that a normal human can train to up his reaction time well up to what we consider a speed 5 or even a 6, able to dodge, block, strike, and counter-strike at speeds most of us are just never going to achieve.   

 

For a more personal real-world perspective, reference my own post about getting my ass kicked by a guy who had only a modicum of combat training.  I grew up scrapping, and generally held my own.  I couldn't compete with one guy my own age who had only the training he got in the Army:  nothing complex, but more than I had. 

 

As far as seeing it done, I've got four agent groups for my supers games that use that build: up SPD and cut movement.  It gives what I'm looking for: a couple inches per turn more movement than a normal, but heightened reaction speeds. 

 

2 hours ago, Doc Democracy said:

if the argument for figureds is it is more intuitive, reducing your movement because you increased your speed is NOT intuitive. 

🙂

 

I'm not making that argument, though: I am suggesting that HERO combat _models_ people moving non-stop while attacking and defending, and that the fact that it is modelled in stop-motion, stop-go-stop-go-stop as its broken across phases seems to lead toward an acceptance that this is what the characters are actually doing.  They aren't.  X inches isn't when you stop then go again, it's the point at which you are able to react or make a decision. 

 

2 hours ago, Doc Democracy said:

 

It might not surprise you that I would be interested in that kind of decoupling, movement bought per turn and divided between phases like Duke was reaching toward and SPD used as non-movement actions.

 

I would prefer that myself.  I'm a huge propenent of movement-by-segment.  Partly because I think it would more clearly demonstrate SPD as something more than "it's how fast you move," and partly because it segues nicely into figuring mobe-throughs based on inches-per-turn.  With the current model, someone with SPD8 doing 20" hits only as hard as someone SPD1 doing 20", which right there should be something of a hint that SPD and movement could use a bit of separating. 

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When I've played under 6th edition... actually sitting down at the table and rolling dice and counting movement and BODY and STUN... I was hard-pressed to notice a difference between 6th and other editions.  If you had looked really closely you could tell, but it was pretty hard.  

 

Sometime during the period between the last year or so of 4th edition and the first couple of years of 5th edition, I decided that the way I would run my games forever henceforth would be: if you can describe what you want your character to do, I will figure out how to make it work within the rules, even if I have to come up with some new rules.  Now it's "... or use some from another edition".  

 

We have one system, spread out through a bunch of games from 1981 to the present; gameplay is close enough that the editions are completely illusionary, and every piece exists as part of the toolkit.  

 

It's almost enough that the real differences are:  1st through 3rd used 1 END per 5 Active Points (and levels of halving to reduce it), a -1/3" Range Modifier, and diminishing returns on Disadvantages.  4th and 5th used 1 END per 10 Active Points (and a flat Advantage to reduce it to half or zero), range modifier based on doubling distances, and caps per category on Disadvantages.  6th is just like 5th, except it decoupled Figured Characteristics and got rid of Comeliness.  


There are plenty of dials and switches GMs can set... Knockback or Knockdown?  Impairing/disabling wounds?  Hit Locations or not?  To me, we can add END Cost and Range Modifier and Disadvantage handling to that.  

 

All of this nitpicking to figure out which edition is better?  I have to admit I've done my share of it... but I don't think it's relevant anymore.  We can all get ahold of very nearly every Hero Games publication, ever, legitimately on PDF, and use whatever pieces and parts from whatever book we want in our games.  It's all "the HERO System".  Does it really matter if one part was invented in 1981 or 1985 or 1989 or 2002 or 2009?  

 

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7 hours ago, Doc Democracy said:

You think that Ben Grimm qualifies to run more than twice as fast as a normal person. 

 

I don't think he thinks that.

 

7 hours ago, Doc Democracy said:

But SPD 6 means that he does 100m in about 8.5 seconds leaving Usain Bolt in a heap of trembling muscle...

 

No. It doesn't.

 

6 hours ago, Gnome BODY (important!) said:

If the desired character is human movement-speed and superhuman combat-speed, buy high SPD and sell back some Running. 

 

Thank you, now I don't have to say it.

 

3 hours ago, Grailknight said:

It means exactly that you move three times as fast as a normal. Selling back that ability is the outlier'

 

I have never seen anyone do this particular sell back.


 

 

I do it all the time.

 

Lucius Alexander

 

Just ask the palindromedary

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38 minutes ago, Lucius said:
8 hours ago, Doc Democracy said:

You think that Ben Grimm qualifies to run more than twice as fast as a normal person. 

 

I don't think he thinks that.

 

I didn't, until I looked a bit more into the Thing and saw that he's at peak human agility; he's also rated at non-superhuman speed.  So yes, he could very well be close to a match for Usain Bolt.  I mean: he played (American gridiron) football, and made it through United States Marine Corps basic training, OCS, and flight school. 

 

When we look at Hal Jordan and Carol Danvers for Dexterity, speed, and SPD, we ought to be putting Ben Grimm right there with them.  

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18 minutes ago, Chris Goodwin said:

When we look at Hal Jordan and Carol Danvers for Dexterity, speed, and SPD, we ought to be putting Ben Grimm right there with them.  

 

That would probably be about average for superheroes then. Sounds fair.

 

All we need to decide now is where "average for superheroes" is, and how it compares to "average for normals".

 

Naturally, that's campaign dependent. Yes, there are GMs that think that the 14-18 Dex range is about right for most superheroic characters, others that prefer the 18-30 range, and outliers on both ends. None of these choices are superior to another.

 

There is a slight problem with (running) speed that shows up with Ben Grimm, but not Hal or Carol, because they fly. I'm honestly not too stressed by it, because while it doesn't really make sense that Ben can out-sprint Usain Bolt, I don't have any problem with Ben being able to run a faster marathon. You can model the difference (speed versus stamina), but I prefer abstraction beyond a certain point.

 

Of course, if the scenario is Ben Grimm having a race with Usain Bolt, things are different. It's like Superman fighting Muhammad Ali.

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10 hours ago, Grailknight said:

I have never seen anyone do this particular sell back.

 

Neither have I. Doesn't mean it doesn't happen, nor that because some do that it means it is obvious that suggesting increasing speed infers reducing movement to keep things consistent.

 

I understand the frustration with referencing specific issues such as a sprinting Thing but it does reflect the mechanical approach to things.

 

I am with Chris Goodwin, I see very little difference in play between editions and think my job as GM is to deliver a game to my players that they have a good time playing.  The biggest difference between editions is in character creation and the "feel" of the rulebooks. I think the ability of a GM to build a character and support in judging edge cases and esoteric powers is better in 6th than in those that came before, that ability has cost the system colour and inspiration (a fault present in many universal systems).

 

I think as a game engine, 6th edition is best; as a game to play it is lacking. I don't think that is controversial.

 

Arguing  edge cases and preferences shows we have more in common than we have differences. We will never play the same games but I would bet we would all be able to enjoy playing in each others games regardless of how we had to create characters to get there.

 

Doc

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19 hours ago, Chris Goodwin said:

 

Just to point out... Ben Grimm ran with a street gang as a child... played football in high school, went to Empire State University on a football scholarship, and served in the US Marine Corps as a test pilot in WWII.  I'd say that qualifies him for at least DEX 18, SPD 4-5.

 

Hrm. Well, I ran with a tough crowd in a hostile environment (the Everglades) as a child, was suspended for fighting many times from grade school thru highschool, played highschool lacrosse (led the league in face offs and maybe also roughing penalties), was scouted for ivy league scholarships before I broke my wrist in the last game of my senior year and lost my ride, and served in the US Marine Corps where I had perfect PFT's (physical fitness tests). I ran 3 miles cross country in 15 minutes like clockwork. I did obstacle course speed competitions against other Marines. And so on and so forth. I was exceptionally fit and fast and scrappy.

 

At my  best, most physically fit (late teens, early 20's) I don't think I was DEX 18 SPD 4-5. That's 10 points of DEX over normal person average of 8 DEX and acting twice as often or more than normal people. Seems extreme to me.

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15 hours ago, massey said:

I think this tread should actually be titled “dissenting views NOT welcome”.

 

Dissenting views are very definitely welcome. All views, dissenting and agreeing, are however subject to scrutiny, dissection, and discussion. This is after all a public discussion forum. Wherein we discuss things. As a forum of peers. 

 

It's kind of in the name. ;)

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15 hours ago, Grailknight said:

Removing Figured Characteristics does improve the system overall. Unfortunately it makes chargen more difficult(not massively but noticeably due to the lack of common benchmarks for the previously figured characteristics). 

 

I do not agree that the lack of figureds makes chargen more difficult; quite the opposite...I think it makes it simpler and easier. Figureds require knowledge of the relationships between the characteristics, and application of sub calculations, which cascade each time a primary with figureds is tweaked. None of that happens in 6e with a la carte figureds. 

 

You personally may be more familiar w/ pre-6e and thus find that style easier due to familiarity, but having sat thru the process of players making pre-6e and 6e characters, my perception has been that the 6e approach is easier for players in general. And having made very many characters myself, I find making 6e characters to be much less fiddly than 5e particularly in the area of primary-secondary twiddling. 

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15 hours ago, TranquiloUno said:

Yah but these last few pages are just dickering about how things are stat-ed up. Which isn't really anything to do with 5th or 6th.

 

I love the circularity of some of these lines of thought though.

 

Green Lantern can't have a Dex 17 because nobody stats him up that way so clearly a Dex 17 can't be good enough for an ace test fighter pilot because otherwise somebody would stat him up that way?

And really he can't have a Dex 17 because he wouldn't even be an Olympic Gymnast (a descriptor which is universally defining a standard for some reason, like all Olympic Gymnasts are identical) and obviously he's superior to a Olympic Gymnast because those guys can't fight because they don't have high Dex because they don't have high CV.

Oh, but then Speed comes out of left field and now The Thing can't be a sprinter because how would it make sense that a guy that can lift 75+ tons while only weighing between 500 and 1,600 pounds and does could he possibly move faster than a normal human? Even tho he is not a normal human and wasn't "normal" even before he had powers.

 

And THEN there's the constant mode switching.

In the comics (which don't adhere to a coherent or consistent narrative or power level or anything else) because X or Y happens "all the time" then clearly Hero must also make sure to utterly emulate that situation as well.

If characters in the comics are hit by goons all the time then the goons CV must adhere to Hero System standards and then The Thing can't have a Speed X or Dex Y because his CV would be too high and then agents can't shoot him!!!!!!

 

How can we ever resolve these impossibilities!!!!!??!?/!11?!??1

 

What's that? A GM can talk to their players and establish norms and guidelines for their games? Get outta here!

 

And what about the concert pianist?!??!? How can Hero claim to be any kind of non-crap system if we can't perfectly emulate concert pianists and Olympic gymnasts that suck in fights using exactly the same point-base and stat range as a Heroic Adventure game!?>?!???!?/!!!

 

How can Hero be the best at anything if I can't combat-gimp my concert pianist DNPC, you guys!??!??!

 

 

If people want to argue about build semantics and appropriate characteristics levels and other concretions, while you and I may not find much value in that sort of discussion, and you and I may smile bemusedly at the edge cases and extreme positions taken and think "Hero System GMing 101 techniques wallpaper over this sort of thing", and you and I may prefer to focus on abstractions and higher order considerations...who are you and I to tell the rest of our peers that they are wasting their time on circular arguments of little consequence? It is their time to spend and their privilege to self-determine what to spend it on and to decide what is and is not consequential for themselves. 

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14 hours ago, Fedifensor said:

...addressing the overall issue....

 

So, I’ll just make a few general comments based on my own experience, then go back to lurking:

* 4th Edition felt the most ‘fun’.  5th started the trend of big rulebooks and a mind-numbing level of rules in the quest for perfectly balanced characters.

* Despite the above, 5th did a lot to enable character builds for common situations that were prohibitably expensive in previous editions, such as high-speed movement (thanks to Megascale).

* 6th continued the trend of fixing issues that were unviable in previous editions (such as Damage Shield), at the cost of being even more unfriendly to the new player.

* 6th edition created a situation where the player base is significantly fragmented, as it was different enough to turn off some players while not being different enough to entice new ones.  I believe one poll on this site shows less than half the respondents playing the current version of the ruleset, which is contributing to the drop in popularity.  Heck, we even have another version coming out to further fragment the player base (Champions Now).

 

I personally agree (and have stated this upstream as well) that I found 4e to be more fun as well. I think that was partially due to the lighter weight rules, but also partially as a byproduct of being younger and more prone to having fun in general. 

 

I used 5e / 5er for many years and it was a very utilitarian edition of the game. Less fun, but more robust. However there were some math issues, particularly at the heroic level of play which is what I primarily used the game system for.

 

6e rules addressed many of my fundamental issues w/ 5e and IMO is a cleaner game engine. The 6e rulebooks are comprehensive and very well organized. "6e lite" versions of the rules such as Basic, Champions Complete, etc, are able to be cleanly derived from this model and co-exist as subsets within the 6e model, such that GM's can easily use the full 6e rules to expand campaigns using a lite version of the rules when they like without disruption, and players coming from a lite version of the game can easily transition to a full version or a different lite version (for instance a player who started on CC could reasonably switch over to Fantasy Complete without disruption). This is what a universal system is supposed to do; and while pre-4e, 4e, and 5e all offered similar crossover the edges were rougher and the abstractions leaked more. 

 

So, my personal perception is that 6e as a game system succeeded in fulfilling the design goals of being a unified universal point based game system applicable to any level of play in any genre better than previous versions and thus represents the pinnacle of the game's evolution as a system.

 

Having said that, I do agree that it fractured the player base more than most new editions do. I don't think that is entirely at the feet of the system itself however, it is also partially due to the fading out of the game company producing it and downturns in the pen and paper RPG that were happening industry-wide in the timeframe after 6e was published. There were also some publishing choices that in retrospect could have been different that may have helped transition more players (what if say a product like Champions Complete had been printed much earlier or even concurrently with 6e, for instance?)

 

As to fun, while it is true that the core rulebooks are written in reference manual style, more "fun" treatments of the rules could be presented in lite versions of the game. Tone is independent of the game system, its a function of authorial voice. If you have a lawyer writing your books it perhaps isn't surprising that the books thus authored may take on a "lawyerly" voice. Personally I think in the reference tome model of the 5e / 6e core books that's a PRO not a CON. But in the genre, splat, player friendly, low entry bar books a looser / less formal voice is warranted. 

 

So, that's a long winded way of saying that I basically agree with your post, though perhaps for different reasons than your own.

 

 

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13 hours ago, Chris Goodwin said:

When I've played under 6th edition... actually sitting down at the table and rolling dice and counting movement and BODY and STUN... I was hard-pressed to notice a difference between 6th and other editions.  If you had looked really closely you could tell, but it was pretty hard.  

 

Sometime during the period between the last year or so of 4th edition and the first couple of years of 5th edition, I decided that the way I would run my games forever henceforth would be: if you can describe what you want your character to do, I will figure out how to make it work within the rules, even if I have to come up with some new rules.  Now it's "... or use some from another edition".  

 

We have one system, spread out through a bunch of games from 1981 to the present; gameplay is close enough that the editions are completely illusionary, and every piece exists as part of the toolkit.  

 

It's almost enough that the real differences are:  1st through 3rd used 1 END per 5 Active Points (and levels of halving to reduce it), a -1/3" Range Modifier, and diminishing returns on Disadvantages.  4th and 5th used 1 END per 10 Active Points (and a flat Advantage to reduce it to half or zero), range modifier based on doubling distances, and caps per category on Disadvantages.  6th is just like 5th, except it decoupled Figured Characteristics and got rid of Comeliness.  


There are plenty of dials and switches GMs can set... Knockback or Knockdown?  Impairing/disabling wounds?  Hit Locations or not?  To me, we can add END Cost and Range Modifier and Disadvantage handling to that.  

 

This is a great post, and I can say that you and I are actually philosophically very close. 

 

13 hours ago, Chris Goodwin said:

All of this nitpicking to figure out which edition is better?  I have to admit I've done my share of it... but I don't think it's relevant anymore.  We can all get ahold of very nearly every Hero Games publication, ever, legitimately on PDF, and use whatever pieces and parts from whatever book we want in our games.  It's all "the HERO System".  Does it really matter if one part was invented in 1981 or 1985 or 1989 or 2002 or 2009?  

 

My main reason for starting the thread was coming back to the forums after a multi-year absence and noticing here and there snide comments, edition bashing, anti-Steve digs, and polls that cast 6e in a poor light. When I left the forums, 6e was generally well regarded, so the shift in my years away took me by surprise. As I regard every edition of the game I've personally played fondly, and 6e in particular, I was curious to find out what was going on among the community.

 

Personally, I find value in comparing and contrasting things; it's how I recognize things that are good and should be retained and also things that could be improved. I have an analytical mind and analysis of pros and cons is how I process the world. For my own part, while I think 6e is right for me, I respect people playing earlier editions of the game. You'd be hard pressed to find anything I've written crapping on any edition of the game. I can point out things that I think one version did better than the other, but that's not an attack on either version or the people who prefer that version. We may be in different tents, but we're all in the same circus here.

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22 hours ago, Chris Goodwin said:

 

Just to point out... Ben Grimm ran with a street gang as a child... played football in high school, went to Empire State University on a football scholarship, and served in the US Marine Corps as a test pilot in WWII.  I'd say that qualifies him for at least DEX 18, SPD 4-5.

 

20 hours ago, Chris Goodwin said:

It also puts his "Speed" rating, which measures movement, as "normal human".  I'd put his SPD at a hard minimum of 4.  I would say that he might very well count as an Olympic class sprinter.  "Peak Human Speed and Agility" for sure says DEX 20, SPD 4. 

 

My point is, I've seen "The Thing is slow and clumsy" a lot, and I wanted to break that meme.  He's not slow and clumsy.  He gets tagged by agents a lot because why waste time dodging when their attacks will bounce off his rocky hide.

 

The WIKI says he moves as fast as he did when a human.  If we tap Ben as 18 DEX, 4 SPD (5 pushing into Legendary and I don't see "Human Ben" as legendary), that's as high as I think we can go.  Non-powered Ben Grimm is a scrapper, and a competent one, but noi a Super. 

 

But an 18 DEX, 4 SPD Hero Super IS slow and clumsy - compared to the other Supers.  That's the fault of 1e setting the DEX and SPD benchmarks well above what we eventually adopted as "normal human" levels.

 

You don't have to Dodge to have full DCV.  How many times has a Hero player, asked for his DCV, provided less than his full DCV?  [I have seen it once, and it was because the attacker was an unknown and the PC was overconfident - good RP, but how many players will not play their full stats and abilities?]  By making DEX the only way to get CV at an efficient point cost, pre-6e Hero ensured that every character would have a high DCV, eliminating those "dozens of attacks, but they all just bounce off" source material aspects.

 

21 hours ago, assault said:

Strictly speaking, a gold medal gymnast can have any Dex you want to give them, as long as they have high enough skill rolls in Gymnastics. 8 or 10 would be perfectly fine.

 

If their combat skills are actually relevant in a game, either one of two things would apply. Either they are (roughly) as combat-skilled as Daredevil or Robin (actually I should have written Nightwing, since the Robin I was thinking of was Dick Grayson), in which case they would have comparable Dex and Spd; or they are basically just normals, and I don't really care about their Dex and Spd.

 

This started out as a discussion of the removal of Figured Characteristics making the game less intuitive.  When the build suggested for a world-class athlete who excels at a sport focused on agility, it does not seem intuitive to suggest that such a character would just have the same DEX as an average guy on the street.

17 hours ago, TranquiloUno said:

Green Lantern can't have a Dex 17 because nobody stats him up that way so clearly a Dex 17 can't be good enough for an ace test fighter pilot because otherwise somebody would stat him up that way?

And really he can't have a Dex 17 because he wouldn't even be an Olympic Gymnast (a descriptor which is universally defining a standard for some reason, like all Olympic Gymnasts are identical) and obviously he's superior to a Olympic Gymnast because those guys can't fight because they don't have high Dex because they don't have high CV..

 

So are you suggesting GL have a 17 DEX and, say, 4 SPD?  That sounds reasonable for an ace test pilot, at or near the top of the field.  Basically, we build Hal Jordan as an experienced air force test pilot, now in the private sector, agent-level character, then we add superpowers.  Sounds good.  We take Ronnie Raymond, high school jock, with maybe 14 DEX and 3 SPD, then add Firestorm powers.  So far, it's all good.

 

Then we toss them into the CU, and their 5 and 6 CVs make them unable to hit other Supers, who are all DEX 23+.  Those other Supers are also SPD 5-7, running rings around GL and Firestorm. 

 

How is it that we are wrong to suggest "all Olympic Gymnasts are identical" in having exceptional DEX, between peak human and perhaps dipping into legendary, but we are also wrong to suggest that "all test pilots and military veterans are not identical" in having high DEX?  Just as I can build a great gymnast with an 8 DEX and skill levels, I can build a great fighter pilot with 8 DEX and skill levels.  And I can build those much more cost-effectively than a pre-6e combat specialist with 8 DEX and combat skill levels.

 

13 hours ago, Chris Goodwin said:

 

I didn't, until I looked a bit more into the Thing and saw that he's at peak human agility; he's also rated at non-superhuman speed.  So yes, he could very well be close to a match for Usain Bolt.  I mean: he played (American gridiron) football, and made it through United States Marine Corps basic training, OCS, and flight school. 

 

When we look at Hal Jordan and Carol Danvers for Dexterity, speed, and SPD, we ought to be putting Ben Grimm right there with them.  

 

Sure - Ben is a "fast brick".  But from the above, it seems like that's more in the range of 15-18 than 23-26, doesn't it?  The averages were set for us in 1e, and never reassessed when we established that our "low end Supers with no indication they possess more agility than an average to somewhat above average normal" were, in fact, well into the Legendary range of DEX.

 

Another mechanical issue, of course, is that pretty much  no one will buy that suggested 17 DEX - the skill breakpoint is 18.  When dealing with skills, even a 5 point stat difference doesn't really feel like much, so we start seeing stat inflation.  Decoupling CV from DEX allowed DEX to fall across the board without changing the CVs we are used to.  GL could have that 15 or 17 DEX, and a 9 OCV/DCV reflecting his years of combat training and experience, without investing way more points than a character with a 26 DEX.

 

In the comics, how many characters, proportionately, have agility that is truly legendary to superhuman?  I'd say about the same proportion whose STR is in those ranges - a fair number, but a definite minority.  The STR in Hero is consistent with the source material.  The DEX is not.  Decoupling DEX from CV makes it possible for the DEX spread to be consistent with the source ,material.  To me, that is a mechanical superiority.  

 

Decoupling figured is a side effect of that mechanical superiority, though.  Realigning the costs of characteristics so that the stats that boost other stats are not bargain priced - the only efficient choice - was the real change.

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21 hours ago, SpaceknightFenix said:

Yeah, dex is a bit ridiculous, but all of the stats are ridiculous if you shove 60 points into them. Except maybe Ego, if you aren't dealing with psionics in any way.

 

Well, they can make an Ego roll to push any stat on a 21 or less.  :)

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16 hours ago, Fedifensor said:

So, I’ll just make a few general comments based on my own experience, then go back to lurking:

* 4th Edition felt the most ‘fun’.  5th started the trend of big rulebooks and a mind-numbing level of rules in the quest for perfectly balanced characters.

* Despite the above, 5th did a lot to enable character builds for common situations that were prohibitably expensive in previous editions, such as high-speed movement (thanks to Megascale).

* 6th continued the trend of fixing issues that were unviable in previous editions (such as Damage Shield), at the cost of being even more unfriendly to the new player.

* 6th edition created a situation where the player base is significantly fragmented, as it was different enough to turn off some players while not being different enough to entice new ones.  I believe one poll on this site shows less than half the respondents playing the current version of the ruleset, which is contributing to the drop in popularity.  Heck, we even have another version coming out to further fragment the player base (Champions Now).

 

I think player base fragmentation is an issue for any game that evolves in new editions.  Republish the same thing with minor tweaks, and why should players invest in a new edition?  Make major change, and some will like it while others loathe it.  So why do game companies do it?  Because that has become the economic model.  As the edition gets older, the sales trail off.  A new edition ticks off some fans of the older edition,  but brings in new blood buying way more product.

 

15 hours ago, Chris Goodwin said:

When I've played under 6th edition... actually sitting down at the table and rolling dice and counting movement and BODY and STUN... I was hard-pressed to notice a difference between 6th and other editions.  If you had looked really closely you could tell, but it was pretty hard. 

 

It's definitely true that it is primarily character building and costing that has evolved.  I was going to say "only", but that's not true.

 

The evolution of martial arts into specific maneuvers, including ranged martial arts, and the 6e reverse engineering to provide basic maneuvers that cover some elements previously requiring martial arts, has been good, I think.  So has the extension of combat maneuvers beyond "only for STR in HTH combat" to other attack modes.  Spreading of ranged attacks also grew out to other attacks. 

 

But the core of the task resolution system, including the combat system, has remained stable over all editions, I think.  Perhaps that speaks to the elegance of the original design, or perhaps it speaks to what players and GMs gripe the most about, but it does not seem like there is much of a push to alter those mechanics.

 

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4 minutes ago, Hugh Neilson said:

* 6th continued the trend of fixing issues that were unviable in previous editions (such as Damage Shield), at the cost of being even more unfriendly to the new player.

* 6th edition created a situation where the player base is significantly fragmented, as it was different enough to turn off some players while not being different enough to entice new ones.

 

I liked the 6th edition rule books, but I'm a software engineer.  My players are mostly above average intelligence with experience playing multiple game systems and they ALL looked at the 6th edition rule books and promptly gave up on learning the system.

 

I've had a little more success getting them to read through the Fantasy Hero Primer and Fantasy Hero Complete.

 

Actual game play has been great.  The HERO combat system is just as good as I remembered from the 80s.  It's simply the best, imo.

 

Character creation is so overwhelming that I get concepts from players and then I'll pull up HERO designer and create a basic skein and we'll tweak from there.

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To the movement conundrum, I think players would rapidly become frustrated with being able to move 2 meters/one hex per phase.  Realism needs to work within playability.

 

Maybe there is a partial answer in decoupling combat and non-combat velocities.  How often do we actually use noncombat speeds anyway? Movement could be per phase, with our current meters model.  Maybe we drop base running, with the understanding that it reflects less than an all-out sprint.  We already need LTE to prevent people sprinting for sustained periods.  Decoupling the movement modes could help with that as well. 

 

Maybe we even ditch noncombat multiples in favour of "combat" and "noncombat" movement speeds.  We have Megascale to really pump up noncombat speed anyway.

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53 minutes ago, Hugh Neilson said:

I think player base fragmentation is an issue for any game that evolves in new editions.  Republish the same thing with minor tweaks, and why should players invest in a new edition?  Make major change, and some will like it while others loathe it.  So why do game companies do it?  Because that has become the economic model.  As the edition gets older, the sales trail off.  A new edition ticks off some fans of the older edition,  but brings in new blood buying way more product.

 

More specifically, launching a new edition allows the company the opportunity to spend the next year or more after the core book is released tweaking and rereleasing material they already published in the previous edition.  HERO got to republish Champions, Fantasy HERO, and tons of other sourcebooks.  Yes, they revised mechanics and added new content, but they aren’t starting from scratch.  It’s pretty obvious that reselling Champions for 6E brings in more cash than trying to find some original content that may or may not resonate with customers.

 

The problem HERO ran into is that many customers said, “Hey, this is new enough that I have to redo things, but not different enough to justify the purchase of hundreds of dollars of books.”  Time is also an issue.  There was a 12-year gap between 4E and 5E (1990 to 2002), a 2 year gap between 5E and 5E revised (2004), and 5 years between 5E revised and 6E (2009).  

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