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Killer Shrike

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

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I personally build my mooks as OCV ~4, one or two Firearms CSLs, and then build their gun as a multipower with an attack slot and an Aid Firearms CSL 1d6 (standard effect) slot.  This both speeds up combat, since I only have to make one attack roll per mook-group, and makes them threatening only in groups. 

One mook shooting at you?  OCV 5, he'll miss, ignore him.  Six mooks shooting at you?  One attack at OCV 10, you're likely to get hit. 

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1 minute ago, Gnome BODY (important!) said:

I personally build my mooks as OCV ~4, one or two Firearms CSLs, and then build their gun as a multipower with an attack slot and an Aid Firearms CSL 1d6 (standard effect) slot.  This both speeds up combat, since I only have to make one attack roll per mook-group, and makes them threatening only in groups. 

One mook shooting at you?  OCV 5, he'll miss, ignore him.  Six mooks shooting at you?  One attack at OCV 10, you're likely to get hit. 

 

Too bad that doesn't work without Figured Char...er...sorry, nevermind. ;):D

 

That's a real nice solution to the mook problem you got there. :)

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, TranquiloUno said:
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Or we simply have a standard stat range for thugs which includes DEX, OCV, DCV, STUN, REC, END, etc. with no need for mathing out figureds at all.  We can have slap-together NPCs without Figured pretty easily.

 

Well...you'll be mathing it out to the extent that they have values, right?

Same in all versions?

 

See, here's what I'm getting at when I say "editions don't matter".  "Mathing it out" is really where they matter the most, which is to say... not very much at all.  

 

I can, within probably a few decimal places of 99.9% accuracy, build the same character in at least 5th and 6th editions.  Any edition, if I'm willing to import parts from one or another, but for the sake of this I'll stick with those two.  They'll have different costs, and one or the other will take some build-gyrations, but I'm confident of this statement.  

 

The big difference?  The costs.  

 

What I'm getting at is: with very few exceptions, the differences between editions are point costs.  

 

And that's what we're quibbling over.  

 

If I want to build the Thing with 18 DEX, 10 OCV and 4 DCV -- which build I'm accepting for the sake of argument -- I can do that in 5th edition, without resort to Combat Skill Levels, thusly: 

 

DEX 12 (6 points)

+6 DEX, Does Not Improve DCV (-1/4) (14 points)

+12 DEX, Only Improves OCV (-3/4) (21 points)

 

30 DEX for purposes of OCV only (therefore OCV 10), 18 DEX for all other purposes but DCV (therefore 18 DEX), and 12 DEX for all purposes (therefore 4 DCV).  Total cost is 41 points.  Even less if I want to hit the breakpoints, but ... at this point, really?  (I put those particular Limitation values where I did because "Does Not Improve DCV" doesn't limit as much as No Figured Characteristics (-1/2), and "Only Improves OCV" limits it more than No Figured Characteristics.)

 

When all is said and done... yes, it was easier in 6th edition.  DEX 18 (16 points), OCV 10 (40 points), DCV 4 (5 points), +0.8 SPD (8 points).  Total cost is 69 points.  

 

The difference is... in 5th edition we've done more pencil writing and pushed more calculator keys.  In 6th edition we've spent more points.  (I said pencil because I'm not sure you could get this build out of Hero Designer, without using your pencil anyway.)  

 

Which edition is better?  Whichever one you went into this more inclined to like.  

 

What's the real difference?  Point costs.  It's like we're quibbling over whether Aid should cost 5 points per d6, or 10 points per d6, or 6 points per d6.

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12 minutes ago, Chris Goodwin said:

What's the real difference?  Point costs.  It's like we're quibbling over whether Aid should cost 5 points per d6, or 10 points per d6, or 6 points per d6.

Also GM approval.  Bob may say your limitations are accurately priced, Alice may say Only Improves OCV is a -1, and Carl may say you can't do that and have to use CSLs. 

With 6e you're going by-the-book so unless your GM didn't tell you about a house-rule there's no (OK, less) mechanics dispute chance. 

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

Also GM approval.  Bob may say your limitations are accurately priced, Alice may say Only Improves OCV is a -1, and Carl may say you can't do that and have to use CSLs. 

With 6e you're going by-the-book so unless your GM didn't tell you about a house-rule there's no (OK, less) mechanics dispute chance. 

 

Assume I'm the GM.  Bob and Alice are quibbling over points.  Carl, meet Hugh.  Hugh, Carl.  

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5 hours ago, TranquiloUno said:

So you're saying that experienced folks won't need to use it and that inexperienced folks should just use the reference ranges provided? And that either way it should generally work out? Figured or Non-Figured, 4th or 6th, always true, right?

 

No, I am saying that Figured do not make it any easier on experienced or inexperienced folks, so that is not an argument that supports retention of figured characteristics.

 

5 hours ago, TranquiloUno said:

Well...you'll be mathing it out to the extent that they have values, right?

Same in all versions?

 

 

I do not, in 6e, have to divide various stats by 5, add results together, etc. to get to my base number for another stat.  IOW, I do not have to math out the base number.

 

5 hours ago, TranquiloUno said:

What's your point here? We could do that, and yes, no figured char mean...no char are figured.

 

 

My point was that the argument presented, that one specific stat does not affect another specific stat, does not demonstrate that having one stat affect another, or not, is a good thing, or a bad thing, or indifferent.  It was, as discussion points often are, a response to another point presented by another poster.

 

5 hours ago, TranquiloUno said:

Indeed. No conflicts between having Figureds and also individually adjusting game stats (even O\DECV if you want). That's what I'm saying. Minor stuff.

 

There was a conflict. One that required "thou may sell back only one figured char" becoming a RAW.  Why?  Because if you buy 1 million CON (2 million points) and sell back the END (-1 million), STUN (-500k), ED (-500k) and REC (-400k), you now have an extra 400,000 CP to spend on other abilities.  That illustrates, to me, the merits of a change.  You could not, prior to 6e, independently increase or decrease CVs - they were not separately priced.  You also could not Adjust them - a simple spell to grant "+1 to hit" was not possible with a simple build.

 

5 hours ago, TranquiloUno said:

I understand your point, and the points of several others, is that having CV as it's own stat allows you to create effects like a guy that's easier to hit but also better at hitting and a mentalist who is great on attack but sucks on defense and so on. All the potential (endless) examples of concepts that might need to have those values differ.

I don't see this as a big issue personally. I would just adjust them as a GM, or talk to my GM about adjusting them as a player (and is there a GM out there that's going to tell you "No! It's against the rules!!!" if you want your Ben Grimmalike to have a lower DCV than their Dex would normally give them?).

So, to me, again, the individually adjustable CVs\other are very minor things, easily done if desired. So then Figured\non-Figured is very minor.

 

I also believe the character with a 10 OCV and 10 DCV and the character with 10 OCV and 6 DCV should have a cost differential appropriate to the DCV differential.  We did not have that pre-6e.

 

5 hours ago, TranquiloUno said:

Figured\Non-Figured seems pretty minor. Easily optional. And I prefer having them. Minor stuff.

 

Perhaps, then, you are not the poster who suggested the removal of figured char's was a dealbreaker between 5e and 6e, making 6e the poorer system.  That was where all this started, quite a few pages back, although it has certainly been obfuscated by other elements of the discussion.

 

4 hours ago, Chris Goodwin said:

I can, within probably a few decimal places of 99.9% accuracy, build the same character in at least 5th and 6th editions.  Any edition, if I'm willing to import parts from one or another, but for the sake of this I'll stick with those two.  They'll have different costs, and one or the other will take some build-gyrations, but I'm confident of this statement.  

 

The big difference?  The costs.  

 

What I'm getting at is: with very few exceptions, the differences between editions are point costs.

 

Just how much of the rules are devoted to those point costs?  I think they are pretty important to the system.  When it is clear that one way of achieving a given result is vastly more cost-effective, I consider that a problem in a point-based system.  When I can pay the same, but get more, that is also a problem

 

4 hours ago, Chris Goodwin said:

If I want to build the Thing with 18 DEX, 10 OCV and 4 DCV -- which build I'm accepting for the sake of argument -- I can do that in 5th edition, without resort to Combat Skill Levels, thusly: 

 

DEX 12 (6 points)

+6 DEX, Does Not Improve DCV (-1/4) (14 points)

+12 DEX, Only Improves OCV (-3/4) (21 points)

 

30 DEX for purposes of OCV only (therefore OCV 10), 18 DEX for all other purposes but DCV (therefore 18 DEX), and 12 DEX for all purposes (therefore 4 DCV).  Total cost is 41 points.  Even less if I want to hit the breakpoints, but ... at this point, really?  (I put those particular Limitation values where I did because "Does Not Improve DCV" doesn't limit as much as No Figured Characteristics (-1/2), and "Only Improves OCV" limits it more than No Figured Characteristics.)

 

As has been noted above, the question of the limitation values now becomes very relevant.  For 21 points, I get +4 OCV.  For 24 points, I can have +12 DEX, No Figured.  So is +2 to all DEX rolls, +12 to Lightning Reflexes and +4 DCV only worth 3 points?

 

+6 DEX that does not improve DCV for 14 points?  Sounds like a good deal - especially since I can buy +2 skill levels to boost DCV for 10 points, and be 4 points ahead.  I am, of course, still getting that Speed Rebate, since  I would get -1/2 for sacrificing that and keeping the DCV.

 

Since "only improves OCV" is -3/4, "does not increase OCV" must be at least -1, right?  After all, DEX only gives OCV and "all that other stuff".

 

I think I will stick to the view that the change in DEX from 5e to 6e reflects a mechanical improvement.  You have convinced me that this was the right answer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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On 4/21/2019 at 4:35 PM, Hugh Neilson said:

Decoupling CV from DEX provided an opportunity (one not taken) to bring DEX back into line.  The Thing can have a 13 DEX, a 5 DCV and an OCV of 10, reflecting him being a bit faster than the average guy, even better at dodging, and a very skilled fighter.  That option was not really there pre-6e, as it was cost-prohibitive.

 

Why do you say "not taken" as this is what started to happen when we built Supers in 6th Ed.  You could have a 10 DEX Brick, because you put his fighting ability in other stats, and he was just average with agility skills. It still meant that 7/8 Combat Value was probalby the "baseline", but you didn't have to have high DEX to achieve it.  I read everything else you wrote as agreeing with the decoupling of figured stats (the one thing I really love about 6th)... and I really like that it did have the actual in play/in character creation effect of dropping some stats down to a more "reasonable" level.  

If we didn't have such a history of "what a super looks like" from all the other editions, and we started fresh with building characters, I think you would see "11 DEX" on the Thing, but his OCV was probably a base 8, and levels over time. 

 

Also, though I never made a big deal about it... one "justification" I made in the supers games over decades, was "If 23 is the base superhero Dex, even if there was no good reason other than they were a PC... then that just means that stats from 15-20 are more common in the normal population"  Essentially, if the supers were 'bumped up' by default, I 'bumped up' the whole universe a bit. Agents had a base 5 OCV (15 Dex) whatever... then they could get levels. Anybody actually fit and trained who mattered, even if a "normal NPC" could have an 18 DEX, etc. Big strong bikers in bars would regularly have 15-20 STR. And this generally fit the source material... in that "named characters" or even just "the villain of the piece" always were better than the bystanders. 

And keeping this consistent in the campaign meant that the players undestood "what was normal" in the world... because I totally agree with what you said above... the cornerstone of a good supers universe is that the supers have a benchmark "normal" in which to compare themselves.  Just how "super" are they? Since 23 had been set at a default historically, it just became clear that "normal" or more like "normal that mattered dramatically in the stories" was often above average.

Maybe I'm also lucky, but after early high-school days back in the early '80s, I never played with people that really got into the DEX wars. If people played to character, they just didn't point dump into efficient stats... and I never played long with people who prioritized that kind of gaming. That helps, too.

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1 hour ago, RDU Neil said:

Also, though I never made a big deal about it... one "justification" I made in the supers games over decades, was "If 23 is the base superhero Dex, even if there was no good reason other than they were a PC... then that just means that stats from 15-20 are more common in the normal population"  Essentially, if the supers were 'bumped up' by default, I 'bumped up' the whole universe a bit. Agents had a base 5 OCV (15 Dex) whatever... then they could get levels. Anybody actually fit and trained who mattered, even if a "normal NPC" could have an 18 DEX, etc. Big strong bikers in bars would regularly have 15-20 STR. And this generally fit the source material... in that "named characters" or even just "the villain of the piece" always were better than the bystanders. 

 

You know, I was thinking about this while lurking on this thread. I’ve always wondered if the character point inflation wouldn’t have been necessary in 6e if they had simply shifted all the Characteristic ranges back down to lower levels. If normal is still 10, and if DEX doesn’t need to be elevated to drive the Figureds, then the ranges could overlap more, and supers could still excel at some Characteristics while remaining “normal” at others. Then the point inflation could be reduced.

 

I only say this as I’m building some pre-gen heroic characters for a Pulp campaign. I’m fighting against every urge to inflate DEX and the CVs simply out of habit. My players are all new, so they won’t be programmed to think like the earlier editions, so I’m trying to reset the ranges in my own mind.

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17 minutes ago, Brian Stanfield said:

 

You know, I was thinking about this while lurking on this thread. I’ve always wondered if the character point inflation wouldn’t have been necessary in 6e if they had simply shifted all the Characteristic ranges back down to lower levels. If normal is still 10, and if DEX doesn’t need to be elevated to drive the Figureds, then the ranges could overlap more, and supers could still excel at some Characteristics while remaining “normal” at others. Then the point inflation could be reduced.

 

I only say this as I’m building some pre-gen heroic characters for a Pulp campaign. I’m fighting against every urge to inflate DEX and the CVs simply out of habit. My players are all new, so they won’t be programmed to think like the earlier editions, so I’m trying to reset the ranges in my own mind.

 

I think you are on to something... at least the point inflation wouldn't have been THAT much.

If we can deprogram ourselves on this... there are many character who have no need of more than an 11 DEX, when what they really need is a 6 OCV and some levels and you'd never really notice what their DEX was most of the time. You can have 10 STR Cyclops type characters, because you don't have to feel like you are overpaying for Stun by not buying up his STR which will rarely come into play... 15 STR if you want him to be older, trained, in his prime Cyclops, etc. 

 

For Pulp era, where, IMO, they might all have stats in the normal 10-20 range anyway... only the really strong guy have a 25 or the really brilliant scientist, she has a 23 INT, or something... I think you could seriously keep the game in check, as nearly all thugs and cultists would really boil down to 3 or 4 CV and xDC of damage. usually with thugs and agents, I have the noted as "one hit guys" or "two hit guys" or "Three hit guys" depending on their gear and training and such. Then I just look at the PC damage roll... average or below is one hit... noticably above average is two hits... and just wing it. Speed up those hordes of agents.

 

Of course, if you are going for my gritty Pulp, with hit locations and such, then yeah... every thug or agent is a potential threat, and combat is more serious. I love those kind of games, but it really is a matter of campaign style choice.

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I think what Hugh means by "not taken" is reflected in the published material choices made more so than the philosophy behind them. Removing Figured Characteristics was a chance to demonstrate examples of lower DEX and a general decrease in power. The game could have been balanced to more rounded characters at maybe a 10 DC average to reflect the increase in character expense.

 

Instead we got straight ports of the earlier villains, maintaining DEX and CV at the Figured levels, a needless 10 DC bump of the main Master Villains and a promotion of the secondary masters to 20+ DC. The big boys are so stupidly powerful that even teams of experienced heroes get trounced handily unless the campaign limits are designed with fighting them from the beginning

 

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1 hour ago, Grailknight said:

I think what Hugh means by "not taken" is reflected in the published material choices made more so than the philosophy behind them. Removing Figured Characteristics was a chance to demonstrate examples of lower DEX and a general decrease in power. The game could have been balanced to more rounded characters at maybe a 10 DC average to reflect the increase in character expense.

 

Instead we got straight ports of the earlier villains, maintaining DEX and CV at the Figured levels, a needless 10 DC bump of the main Master Villains and a promotion of the secondary masters to 20+ DC. The big boys are so stupidly powerful that even teams of experienced heroes get trounced handily unless the campaign limits are designed with fighting them from the beginning

 

 

Yeah, this is what I mean, and of course forgot to say. The conversion of characters (especially the CU villains and Champions, etc.) from 5e to 6e left them with crazy high points to match the original builds. Really, the original builds should have been completely redone with fewer points, but that would make using any pre-6e material really problematic. So the easier (and understandable) move was to keep the stats the same and just increase the starting Character Points so that new characters could keep up with the traditional ones. That is another sort of opportunity “not taken,” and could have gone a long way toward correcting the slow creep in the Character Point totals. 

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4 hours ago, RDU Neil said:

Why do you say "not taken" as this is what started to happen when we built Supers in 6th Ed.  You could have a 10 DEX Brick, because you put his fighting ability in other stats, and he was just average with agility skills. It still meant that 7/8 Combat Value was probalby the "baseline", but you didn't have to have high DEX to achieve it.  I read everything else you wrote as agreeing with the decoupling of figured stats (the one thing I really love about 6th)... and I really like that it did have the actual in play/in character creation effect of dropping some stats down to a more "reasonable" level. 

 

Not taken by Hero, as Grailknight and Brian Stanfield note below.

 

4 hours ago, RDU Neil said:

Maybe I'm also lucky, but after early high-school days back in the early '80s, I never played with people that really got into the DEX wars. If people played to character, they just didn't point dump into efficient stats... and I never played long with people who prioritized that kind of gaming. That helps, too.

 

My group playing to concept and genre blinded me to the Stun Multiple issue for decades.  They did not use KAs against living targets, so it never became an issue.  I had to be shoved into the math (on these Boards, many years back), and re-do the math myself, to be persuaded.  At that point, it occurred to me how often I gave 6 DC KAs to agents, since they would at least have a chance of putting some STUN through...which also proved the case.

 

The fact that I have not seem a rule gap exploited does not mean the gap does not exist, or should not be fixed.

 

1 hour ago, Grailknight said:

I think what Hugh means by "not taken" is reflected in the published material choices made more so than the philosophy behind them. Removing Figured Characteristics was a chance to demonstrate examples of lower DEX and a general decrease in power. The game could have been balanced to more rounded characters at maybe a 10 DC average to reflect the increase in character expense.

 

My disappointment was instant on seeing the sample characters continuing with OCV, DCV and DEX levels the same as a 5e character.  Fixing the issues has little point if even the publishers do not reflect the benefit of the fixes in their writeups. 

 

Had there been real changes to character designs, flowing from the rule changes, maybe 6e would have gained more traction as the new books would actually be DIFFERENT from the old ones, not just copy, paste, update costs and change xp/bonus accordingly.

 

I get why they did not - to sustain reverse compatability - but that very reverse compatability devalues the new products for the new edition.  A tough choice for a company that values its existing fans.

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Oh, one more mechanical change - 6e added several non-martial maneuvers that, IMO, were missing for a long time.  You no longer need be a Martial Artist to choke or trip an opponent!

 

Could you have made similar maneuvers for prior editions?  Sure.  But I will suggest anything we "made up for ourselves" reflected a mechanic which was perceived as missing.  We added it to make the game better.  Doesn't adding mechanics that make the game better make the new edition mechanically superior?

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The point brought up on inflated DEX scores and the increased 6E Character Build Points does bring up a good point;

 

When we were working up what actually happens when you remove figured and still build the Exact Same Characters we locked ourselves into the old method, almost by accident. Of course, it was the only benchmark we really have to go on that was solid numbers to work with.

 

I'm still against DEX costing 2Points Per +1, I feel this places unnecessary emphasis on the combat aspect, and this also contributed to the Base Point Inflation - the one characteristic guaranteed to be bought to 18+ in a Champions game (and 13+ in Heroic games) costs twice as much as anything else.

 

The "maybe we should reconsider what baseline Characteristics are" instead of just using the current published material (and I plugged every single Published 5th Edition character into a spreadsheet for some people to play with) was not an argument that was prudent at the time.

 

If one wanted they could probably pull 25points off the Standard Superhero and reduce the DEX/CV values a notch or two without much effect to the At Table Experience. 

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To the costing of DEX, GA, my initial feeling was that DEX should be 1 point, just like INT and PRE.  However, that view evolved.  I think DEX is worth 2 points.  Half of that goes to "+ to all DEX rolls", so it should cost 5 points for +1 to all DEX rolls, and we should have more limited versions down to +1 to only one application of a DEX roll (not the current +2 points for +1 to a skill).  The other half goes to Lightning Reflexes, again with the ability to buy that separately, and limit for restricted applications.

 

DEX is not overpriced.  We're starting from the pre-6e baseline that PRE and INT both cost 1 point, and since we removed enough from DEX to make it equivalent, DEX should cost 1 point.

 

PRE and INT are underpriced and should also be 2 points. 

 

INT would provide INT rolls (like DEX rolls) and PER rolls ( also like DEX rolls), so 5 points for +1 to all rolls for either one.

 

PRE would provide PRE rolls and PRE attacks.

 

PRE defense moves to EGO, the price of which stays 1 point.  Half of EGO is EGO rolls (there are far fewer, as it does not drive skills) and the other half is PRE defense.

 

This would make skill levels and enhanced PRE equivalently costed, and priced more in line with their utility.

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I'll agree that if DEX is worth 2pt/+1 then INT, PRE, and STR are all also 2pts/+1.

 

STR does Damage (at 5pts/D6) and Lifting.

 

But as long as we insist that STR is 1/1 then all the others should fall in line with that level of utility, including DEX (especially if we're stating that Lightning Reflexes - i.e. going first is important, and I contend it's no more important that the lifting capacity of STR in the first place - which is to say, not so important as to inflate either cost).

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I don't agree that Dex, Int, Pre, and Str are worth 2 pts per point.  That's crazy talk.

 

Back when we still had figured stats, the common complaint was that Str, Dex, Con, etc, were too underpriced because they gave you more points in figured stats than they cost.  But that's really a criticism of the costs of those figured stats themselves.  In 6th edition, one of the good changes was to reduce the costs of those stats, showing an implicit understanding that they weren't worth what they used to cost.

 

In 4th edition and before, there was a strong inclination to undervalue the level of limitations.  You can still see champions of that movement today.  Hugh will often speak out and say that XYZ limitation shouldn't really be a limitation (just ask him).  Somewhere in one of the 4th ed books, I think it's even explicitly stated, to err on the side of a smaller limitation.  This thinking was obviously followed with powers that were derived from a stat.  Hand Attack was 3 points per D6, which is basically Strength with "no figured characteristics", except it also doesn't add to your jumping and doesn't help you break out of grabs.  Perception was 3 pts per +1, so it was basically Int with a -1/2 limitation.  Likewise a 5 point skill level with Int skills doesn't grant you Perception bonuses, basically Int with a -0 limitation.

 

Those limitation values aren't high enough.  They never were.  But now we're seeing people take those components and trying to reconstruct the original stat from it.  And they're saying "oh boy, look at Intelligence, it's so underpriced.  You can't even buy all the things it gives you for that price."  That's because those components were overcosted to begin with.

 

Now it's possible that all the components of a stat are worth more separately than they are together.  Maybe Perception really is worth 3 points per plus (I don't think it is, but maybe).  Maybe a skill level with all Int rolls really is worth 5 points.  But that doesn't mean the two together are worth 8 points per +1.

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2 hours ago, massey said:

I don't agree that Dex, Int, Pre, and Str are worth 2 pts per point.  That's crazy talk.

 

On this point, I agree. Not base Characteristic is worth more than 1/1. This simplification of costs down, and removal of Figuring, is one of the reasons I think 6E is mechanically a superior system. It allows for maximum customization of base character stats, and (except for how DEX is priced) places no particular emphasis on which elements will help you more inherently.

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personally I think characteristics are what skew the system. There are two big elements to HERO. Skills and Powers. Everything a character does tends to come down to these two elements. Characteristics have been an ill-fitting bridge between these two elements since first edition.

 

I know why that is. I know why people like them, they are a direct link to how we perceive the world.

 

personally I think the system would be cleaner without them and all the arguments of the proper cost and the assumption that one characteristic is pretty much like another.

 

Doc

 

 

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19 hours ago, ghost-angel said:

I'll agree that if DEX is worth 2pt/+1 then INT, PRE, and STR are all also 2pts/+1.

 

STR does Damage (at 5pts/D6) and Lifting.

 

But as long as we insist that STR is 1/1 then all the others should fall in line with that level of utility, including DEX (especially if we're stating that Lightning Reflexes - i.e. going first is important, and I contend it's no more important that the lifting capacity of STR in the first place - which is to say, not so important as to inflate either cost).

 

STR makes it more challenging.  STR does damage with no range, which is worth less than Blast.  It does add to some other maneuvers (although Ranged Martial arts do the same , they cost points and are not part of the core volumes). 

 

For DEX, INT and PRE to be 1 point each, I suggest it should be possible to duplicate their effects for a similar cost.  It costs 4 points for +1 with all intellect or agility skills, but only one at a time.  I think +1 to all other skills (complementary skills, or skills used simultaneously for other reasons), +1 to all non-skill rolls using the characteristic and either +1 to all perception rolls (itself  A 3 point ability) or +1d6 to PRE attacks (Striking Appearance costs 3 points for a limited version with a bonus to some interaction skills bundled in) is worth more than one point.

 

Similarly, +1 with all agility skills, but only one at a time, and not other DEX rolls (6 points) and +5 Lightning Reflexes (5 points) costs more than +5 DEX at 2 points per, so these are overpriced, even at that level.

 

At 2 points for INT, DEX and PRE, I think we can set some reasonable pricing, but not at 1 point.

 

As for the value of acting first, I don't place a ton of value on that either, but many players do.  I also see this in d20 games, where I consider +4 to initiative pretty meh compared to other uses of character resources, but others consider it the go-to first choice.

 

19 hours ago, massey said:

I don't agree that Dex, Int, Pre, and Str are worth 2 pts per point.  That's crazy talk.

 

So what should their component parts cost to get them back into line with the cost of +5 DEX, INT or PRE (leaving STR aside as an outlier)?

 

19 hours ago, massey said:

Back when we still had figured stats, the common complaint was that Str, Dex, Con, etc, were too underpriced because they gave you more points in figured stats than they cost.  But that's really a criticism of the costs of those figured stats themselves.  In 6th edition, one of the good changes was to reduce the costs of those stats, showing an implicit understanding that they weren't worth what they used to cost.

 

Here we agree, although I also felt skill levels were overpriced in 5e.  One approach would be reducing the cost of the component parts - what is +1d6 PRE attacks, +1 to all rolls based on one of those three skill-driving stats, +1 to all PER rolls, etc. actually worth?  They must total the cost of DEX, INT or PRE for the values of both the characteristic itself and the component parts to be appropriate.

 

19 hours ago, massey said:

IIn 4th edition and before, there was a strong inclination to undervalue the level of limitations.  You can still see champions of that movement today.  Hugh will often speak out and say that XYZ limitation shouldn't really be a limitation (just ask him).  Somewhere in one of the 4th ed books, I think it's even explicitly stated, to err on the side of a smaller limitation.  This thinking was obviously followed with powers that were derived from a stat.  Hand Attack was 3 points per D6, which is basically Strength with "no figured characteristics", except it also doesn't add to your jumping and doesn't help you break out of grabs.  Perception was 3 pts per +1, so it was basically Int with a -1/2 limitation.  Likewise a 5 point skill level with Int skills doesn't grant you Perception bonuses, basically Int with a -0 limitation.

 

That issue is not fixed, is it?

 

BTW, in many instances, the core rules do vastly undervalue limitations.  Defense "only versus fire", for example - I would not consider "not vs fire" a -2 limitation (1/3 the usual cost), so I cannot credit "only vs fire" being a -1/2 limitation (2/3 the cost).  Standard Effect at -0 to drop below the average roll is similarly ludicrous - volatility tends to be advantageous, not disadvantageous, as numerous analyses of Killing Attacks over the years have shown.

 

19 hours ago, massey said:

Now it's possible that all the components of a stat are worth more separately than they are together.  Maybe Perception really is worth 3 points per plus (I don't think it is, but maybe).  Maybe a skill level with all Int rolls really is worth 5 points.  But that doesn't mean the two together are worth 8 points per +1.

 

If +1 with all PER rolls is worth 3 points, and +1 with one INT skill roll at a time is worth 4 points (current 6e pricing), then the value of both must be 7 points.  If I can spend 5 points to get more benefits (and I can - I can get +1 to all PER rolls, all INT skills at the same time and all other INT rolls for 5 points), then the pricing is off somewhere (it's tougher to compare the values of different abilities, but +5 INT does everything +1 Enhanced PER and +1 INT skill level does , for a considerably lower cost - buy more and pay less is objectively mispriced).

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Would some of the above discussion be "solved" if Normal Human Maximum was applied to all characters, both Heroic and Super, as a rule? 

Maybe even lowering the NHM to 15 in Heroic games and keeping it at 20 in Super games, or some variation of that? 

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8 minutes ago, mallet said:

Would some of the above discussion be "solved" if Normal Human Maximum was applied to all characters, both Heroic and Super, as a rule? 

Maybe even lowering the NHM to 15 in Heroic games and keeping it at 20 in Super games, or some variation of that? 

 

That would solve nothing.

 

Normal Human Maximum is not even a solution in search of a problem; it's a problem pretending to be a solution in search of a problem.

 

Lucius Alexander

 

What was it Markdoc said about applying to Pixies and Ogres but not to Pachyderms and Palindromedaries?

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4 hours ago, Hugh Neilson said:

That issue is not fixed, is it?

 

BTW, in many instances, the core rules do vastly undervalue limitations.  Defense "only versus fire", for example - I would not consider "not vs fire" a -2 limitation (1/3 the usual cost), so I cannot credit "only vs fire" being a -1/2 limitation (2/3 the cost).  Standard Effect at -0 to drop below the average roll is similarly ludicrous - volatility tends to be advantageous, not disadvantageous, as numerous analyses of Killing Attacks over the years have shown.

 

Not completely fixed, no.  But I think limitation values since 5th have gotten closer to their real value.  I don't have a way of measuring this, just a general impression.

 

Quote

If +1 with all PER rolls is worth 3 points, and +1 with one INT skill roll at a time is worth 4 points (current 6e pricing), then the value of both must be 7 points.  If I can spend 5 points to get more benefits (and I can - I can get +1 to all PER rolls, all INT skills at the same time and all other INT rolls for 5 points), then the pricing is off somewhere (it's tougher to compare the values of different abilities, but +5 INT does everything +1 Enhanced PER and +1 INT skill level does , for a considerably lower cost - buy more and pay less is objectively mispriced).

 

Maaaybe.  But there are a couple of possibilities.

 

1)  Characters don't exist in a vacuum.  INT is less valuable if a character doesn't have any INT-based skills.  A character who has a lot of INT skills benefits more from a higher INT than somebody who only has one or two.  It's possible that, let's say Deduction is worth 2 points per +1 if that's the only INT skill you have.  Obviously adding more skills makes that +1 seem too expensive, but by itself maybe that 2 points is a bargain.

 

2)  We get into problems with rounding.  It may be that +1 Perception for a single sense isn't worth 2 points.  Maybe it's actually "worth" 1.8 points.  And maybe 3 points for a general +1 Perception isn't really worth it unless you've got a lot of different targeting senses, but the assumption is that you won't bother to buy it unless you are one of those characters who do have a bunch of different targeting senses.  Maybe +1 with all Perception is only worth 2.4 points, but you gotta make it pricier than the +1 for a single sense.

 

I think what happened is that people got a discount by buying a limited version of an existing ability.  But the belief at the time was that these limited versions were still worth more than a single point or two, and so they got priced higher.  The idea was that if somebody wanted all the abilities, they'd just purchase more of the unmodified stat.  Breaking it up into pieces isn't as cost efficient, but maybe you don't need everything the stat gives you.  We can debate whether that's the right way to do it or not, but I think that's clearly what they did.

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The fundamental problem with the pricing of Characteristics is that they put on a pretense of having more possible values than they really do, which is a lingering D&Dism. 

What's the mechanical difference between INT 10 and INT 11?  Given that, why do both INT 10 and INT 11 exist

 

The real solution isn't to make them cost 1 per point (underpriced) or 2 per point (overpriced), it's to redefine what a point is.  Eliminate the five point banding by making 1 INT be +1 to PER and all INT skills.  Then set that price to whatever is appropriate. 

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I have toyed with the reverse concept of making every point worth something.  STR is easy when you break DCs down into 5 parts (10 STR = 2d6; 11 STR = 2d6+1; 12 STR = 2d6 +1 - 2; 13 STR = 2 1/2d6; 14 STR = 3d6-1; 15 STR = 3d6).

 

For rolls, you get an extra d6 on all skill and similar checks; if you miss by only one on the 3d6 roll, you succeed if the fourth d6 is no greater than the points above the breakpoint (so 10 INT rolling a 12 succeeds on a 1 or 2, while 11 succeeeds on a 1, 2 or 3).

 

CON is already point for point to resist being stunned.

 

Fiddly, but an option to make every point matter with more granularity.  The Mayfair DC Heros game used normal human stats of 2, and +1 reflected a doubling, much like Hero's primaries being divided by 5.

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